Well, I am still behind in my over all word count, but I am plugging away. If I don’t get the first draft finished by the end of the month, I still will have made good headway. My current word count is: 23,995.
Asa went home and immersed herself in hot water and praise music. Together they filled her with hope and soothed her soul. She ate a quick bowl of soup heated in the microwave and was on her way back out the door when her cell phone rang. Caller ID displayed her parent’s phone number. Asa debated not answering, but was too full of prayer and praise to feel vindictive. Even so, she was cautious. “Hello?”
“Asa, this is your mother.” Caroline Madden always started her phone calls by identifying herself. “I just talked to your father. Are you all right?”
Am I all right? I am tired, bewildered and confused. I saw a man shot. My car and my phone were impounded. I was questioned in an attempted murder. Someone is passing out lewd photographs with my face on them. My father kicked me out of his office and his life. And you want to know if I’m all right? That’s what Asa wanted to say, but she told her mother what she knew she wanted to hear, “I’m fine, Mom.”
“Your father is such an idiot. I knew the moment he told me about them that the girl in those photographs couldn’t possibly have been you. I made him call Harry and confirm it. Now your father feels just awful. You really should have told him the truth.”
Asa had told him the truth. He chose not to listen. “Mom, I’ve had a really bad day. If you want me to feel sorry for dad and pretend he’s the one being persecuted here, you’re going to be disappointed. For once I need you to be on my side.”
“I can’t believe your selfishness,” Caroline said. “Since you feel this way perhaps we should reconsider paying for your education?”
Threats and manipulation were her mother’s signature weapons, although she usually preferred a more subtle application. “Reconsider all you want.” Asa said. “Dad doesn’t pay my tuition because he believes in me. He pays it because having a daughter in seminary makes him look good.”
“That’s a horrible thing to say!”
“Yes, that’s what I thought, too, when he said it to me.”
Her mother’s silence gave Asa hope that she’d finally gotten though to her, but she should have known better. ”Well, it’s clear you’re not going to be reasonable about this,” her mother said. ”Since it’s what you seem to want so badly, very well then, you’re on your own.” The line went dead.
Asa dropped her cell phone and slumped onto the couch. She pulled her knees to her chest, wrapped her arms around them and squeezed as tightly as she could, trying to hold all her shattered pieces inside.