Unforeseen Dives – 18a – Division

<< 17b – Revelation

I felt lucky Rebecca and Sean picked me up; it gave me a little bit more time to prep. I showered for the second time today, seeking relaxation more than cleanliness. Dinner was anything but the appropriate time to tell my mom about my… condition?
It required some one on one time, when she wouldn’t be pressured by proper behaviour. Rebecca and her husband were almost family but despite the closeness forced by my relationship with my partner, we met a little over two years ago. My mom deserved better than a slapdash intervention.
I slipped in a simple dress, pulled my hair back into a loose messy bun and applied some light make-up. My mom didn’t like it when I dressed up like I was a guest, nor did she appreciate any lack of refinement. I carefully balanced my look between the two.
Rebecca knew those details too. She wore a knee-length skirt and a simple blouse. Sean sported dress pants and a polo. We knocked on the door a 6 sharp and my mom answered in a heartbeat. She had obviously been waiting.
She hugged me tenderly and I smelled her “special occasion” perfume in her hair. The scent was faint though, telling me she had put it in the morning which incidentally revealed me she was seeing someone. It was a comforting thought; she needed happiness. Dad had been gone for years.
While she shook Rebecca and Sean’s hands, I scanned for other tell-tale signs. I suppose I can thank my mom for my observation skill since she was never one to reveal much. Some things cannot lie though. She wore a little cross around her neck instead of the heart-shaped pendant Dad gave her for their twentieth anniversary. It meant a lot and I was relieved to know she had not only moved on – that I already knew – but that she had found someone knew.
“Please, come into the dining room!” My mom motioned down the hall.
We followed her to my favourite room of the house. The dining room was all warmth. The sandy brown of the ceramic floor set out the deep burgundy of one of the walls and the moldings running along the ceiling. The three ivory walls dimmed the effect of the colors and magnified the rosewood table set.
Mom had put a bouquet of meadow cranesbill and laurel as a center piece along with a few candles. The silver cutlery and the party plates were out as well.
“Martha, you didn’t tell us this was a fancy party.” Sean commented with a smile.
“It’s not but nothing is too good for a daughter who was on national TV yesterday.” She planted a kiss on my cheek and headed for the kitchen. My mom was always perky but the little bump in her steps definitely reflected the lightness of an infatuated heart.
I grabbed the corkscrew in the buffet and tossed it to Rebecca. She caught it without even looking; telepaths rarely missed a catch. They had a special league for most sports since no sensible non-reader football player wanted to be pitted against an adversary who knew every ploy in advance. There still was a chance factor of course. No one perfectly controls a baseball bat. Games are thus possible but there’s no stolen base in telepaths’ baseball.
Rebecca opened the red wine Sean and she brought, and poured it in the decanter. My mom entered the room, preceded by a ridiculously big roast beef. We’d roll out of here and I’d have doggy bags for a week. Good thing she hadn’t gone as far as to prepare several courses; my churned stomach wasn’t in an appreciative mood. I disliked keeping things from my mom.
We sat around the table and Sean cut the meat in thin, tasty slices. Rebecca manned the mashed potatoes. I served the salad. Mom poured the sauce. Round and round the plates went until everyone was served. We clinked our glasses, sipped and dug into our meal. Apparently, the toast was in my honour but I chose to ignore that.
“So how are the new jobs?” My mom excelled at valorizing people. The grin on Sean’s face attested to that. Unfortunately, the new job wasn’t so thrilling for Becky and me.
“It’s amazing!” Sean answered after swallowing his bite of beef. He patted sauce off his chin with a napkin.
“I heard you’ve been involved in Wayne Dowson’s case?”
The whole story was juicy psychic news. Wayne was one of my coworkers before he turned berserk during office hours. His troubles warned us of the risk of our job: having our mind skewed by the futures we see. Fortunately, similar events were rare but Wayne would be the first one to revert to his former self. The possibility that he pulled through the trauma gave us hope.
“Yes, I am. It’ll be over soon.”
“Can you share your views or are they a secret?” My mom excelled at gossiping too.
“There will be a press conference on Monday. The killer’s tint is off Wayne’s mind. He can go home to his family.”
We cheered and toasted again. The news was distracting enough to keep the conversation off my new job as spokesperson, which was good. I couldn’t lie to my mom and my lack of enthusiasm would tarnish her mood. She was so proud to see me on television.
We finished dinner with my favourite pineapple pie and left around 10. I slid in the backseat, trying not to drop the expected doggy bag. Rebecca sat by my side and took my hand.
“It was a nice evening.” She said out loud. “Your mother is a hell of a cook.”
“Thanks. Don’t bring lunch on Monday; I’ll share the leftovers with you.”
“Yay!” She talked for Sean’s benefice. He knew very well she was hiding something from him but he trusted it concerned me and that he would be told in due time. They kept up appearances anyway.
Under the idle chat, she thought: “If Wayne can pull out of his mess, you should master your new skill in no time.”

18b – Division >>

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

8 responses to “Unforeseen Dives – 18a – Division

  • Jenn

    Very nicely done. I always find it interesting to see how others handle the family meals. We don’t pass around the plates, we pass around the food! And pineapple pie? Huh. I haven’t heard of that.
    I also liked how you showed the fact that there can be recovery from too much diving. That is good, but I’m sure not always the case.
    All in all, an amazing chapter!

    • Aheïla

      We usually pass the food around in my family too. But readers are more prone to teamwork and I thought passing the plates around would convey that a bit more.
      Pineapple pie. Yummy. My mother used to do that. She’d make a honey graham crackers crush and just spread a mixture of whipped cream and crushed pineapple over it. Simple and delicious. There are more complex versions, of course. She hasn’t done one in years.
      Thanks for your kind words!

  • Phil

    Nice attention to detail passing plates, food … I haven’t even thought about that, passing food, yeah, okay. Now if Wayne only foresaw that he would go nuts … I mean, wouldn’t he? Wouldn’t Cassidy?

    • Aheïla

      They aren’t omniscient. They see the future. Big difference! 😉
      Wayne went nuts because of the future he was diving into.
      And I know the prologue is far but that’s precisely what is bound to happen to Cassidy: the worst thing in her life, she won’t see coming… almost…

  • Marsha

    Very nice chapter Aheila. You can see that you are practicing your descriptive writing. I like the emotion that you have conveyed.

    • Aheïla

      Thanks Marsha. I’m actually practicing getting descriptions in an action story. The Hunt, and the beginning of The Spell, from the NaStyRoMo stories are actually pretty descriptive. It seems that there are two categories of stories in my brains: those with descriptions and those without. I’m learning to bring both closer together!

  • Alyssa

    Right, I’m back!! Sorry for the delay, lol, it wasn’t you who scared me off, it was my life. 😉

    So… I love how Rebecca and Cassidy need physical touch to work with. It’s in sharp contrast to your general work environment.

    • Aheïla

      I figured you were just busy. I’m glad you’re back! 😉

      Thanks! I wanted to put something like that in there, mirror the mental closeness inherent to having telepaths around in a physical closeness as well. I’m happy about how it worked itself into the story.

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