Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz. Waving both hands over her head, Trudy chased away the bee. She wrinkled her nose and said, “Bees are so annoying!”
“Leave it alone, Trudy! Bees are good in a garden. They pollinate flowers and give us honey. They don’t intentionally hurt you, unlike people.” Trudy flinched at the angry snap of her mother’s voice. She fiddled with her large sunglasses.
Without looking at Trudy, her mother sighed. Her voice sounded sad as she asked, “What happened to your eye this time, child?”
She should’ve known her mother would figure out why she was wearing the big sunglasses again. “It’s nothing, Mom; just an accident. Tommy slipped. His hand hit my eye.”
Snip. Snip. Snip. Three more dead flowers went into the basket.
Her mother’s blue eyes turned and stared at Trudy’s long-sleeved shirt. “I assume the bruise you’re hiding under those sleeves was also an accident?”
“He didn’t mean to do it. He’s scared because he’s out of work.”
“I thought he just got a job.” Her mother moved on through the garden. Trudy rushed to keep up with her.
“It didn’t work out. Tommy needs something more challenging.”
“Like beating his wife?” Trudy’s mom stopped clipping the roses and looked at Trudy with raised eyebrows.
This annoyed Trudy. Her mom had no idea what Tommy was going through. “It only happened once before. That was months ago and he apologized over and over again. It’s my fault anyway. I’ve been irritating him a lot lately.”
Trudy’s mother shook her head. “Child, once is too much!”
“It’s my marriage, not yours!” Another bee buzzed around Trudy. She couldn’t help it. She slapped it to the ground and stomped on it. Her mother leaned down and picked up the bee with her gloved hand. She opened her hand to Trudy. The bee was squashed.
Trudy reached out and touched her mother’s hand. “I’m sorry, Mom. I shouldn’t have done that.”
“But you did and the bee is dead. You’re bigger and stronger than it is. You got scared, knocked it down and stepped on it. What’s the difference between what you just did to this bee and what Tommy’s doing to you, child?”
Trudy couldn’t take her eyes off the squashed bee. She killed it. It happened so fast, like Tommy’s beating last night. When she got home from work, he was slouched in his chair watching a football game.
He told her to get him a beer. She told him to get his own beer. Without warning, he grabbed her arm, threw her down. He was about to kick her, but she managed to turn her head just in time. His boot glanced off her eye.
Her mother was correct. Tommy was doing to her what she did to the bee. It wasn’t right. The tears came first, silently flowing down her cheeks, but they were quickly followed by gut wrenching sobs. Trudy’s mother grabbed her daughter and held her, letting her cry.
* * * * *
This time I used two prompt challenges:
Writing Prompt: 2014, Week 22 (I used the word “honey” used in the quote.)
Light and Shade Challenge Monday 26th May 2014 (I used the picture of the boot as inspiration.)