Can we ever run away from who we once were?
“Again? This is the seventh time!”
Mom walks fast whenever she gets annoyed. I jog to keep up with her — I’m not so great at walking.
Her eyes lock on to me. “And why always to the ladies’ room?”
“I sneezed, okay! You know how hard it is for me to control it. That arts class went on for hours. The breathing technique you showed me can only do so much.” It isn’t my fault, but somehow I am always to blame.
She stops beside our car in the parking lot and sighs. There is no one about as she says, “Okay. Let’s try something new. Move yourself. A centimetre to the right.”
“A centimetre to the right. Come on, quick. I want to see how it looks.”
“Right here? Right now?”
Her head tilts in one direction. “Duh.”
Now, this is new. I’ve always moved to locations at a certain distance, but just a centimetre?
Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.
I open my eyes. I am now standing near the trunk of the car.
She shakes her head. “Too much. Focus. Remember to breathe. Just a centimetre.”
What did she want from me? Moms can be so overbearing.
I take another deep breath. In. Out. Mom always says, leave the air behind, maybe it doesn’t want to move with you. Inhale. Exhale.
I open my eyes to see her smiling. “Perfect,” she says. “No one will notice. It felt as if I had blinked.”
“But how does this help?” I am still confused.
“Whenever the urge to move comes over you, move a centimetre in any direction. Your body will be displaced, and no one will be the wiser.”
I grin, opening the door of the car. “How do you even come up with these things Mom?”
I get into the car, but not before I catch the sad smile on her face. She gets in and starts the engine.
“Okay, Mom. I’ll see you at home.”
“Don’t you dare — ”
Blink. And I am home.
The above is an excerpt from a short story ebook now available to read on Kindle available here (works on the Kindle app if you read it on a phone or tablet).