Mom’s distant voice from downstairs said, “Hello?”
Oh, hello Maura, what can I do for you?”
I know immediately she is talking to her. Grabbing the phone receiver next to my bed I concentrate on peeling it off the dial without making a sound. Hearing my grandmothers voice for the first time is my chance to be nosy.
“No, he hasn’t left yet. He’s still here. If you must know, the city is covered in snow and the airport at a standstill. He’s decided to wait out the storm until tomorrow. I’ll tell him you called, after he’s out of the shower.”
“Francesca darling don’t be coy with me, you know full well a blizzard can’t stop my son from keeping his promises. What did you say to him? Did you use your little “voodoo power?” There’s a pause before she continued. “Must have been convincing to get him to forget his obligations. The business can’t run itself, Francesca. We are meeting clients from Germany. Jeoffrey will be here tomorrow if you know what is good for you and your precious family. Don’t forget I have the power to take everything away from you both.”
“Maura please, it’s too dangerous. The business can handle one day off.” Mom stammers at the words, caving to Maura’s whim. “The clients, I am sure will understand,” raising the pitch in her voice.
“My dear…. You are in no position to negotiate terms with me. If my son does not arrive at his appointed time, alternative plans will be set in motion. And when I mean alternative plans, I mean the leverage you think you have against me. I merely need to snap my fingers, and someone will be there in a flash to end this charade once and for all. Do I make myself clear, Francesca?”
“Yes, perfectly,” mother says.
As if I could see right through the walls, a visual of mother’s face flashes over my mind, tears falling down her cheeks.
“Good, now that I have your attention, please tell Jeoffrey to call me as soon as he is available, will you my dear?”
“I will, good-bye Maura.”
I replace the receiver before either of them hang up and try to dissect the conversation. What is so important that couldn’t wait until the weather let up? Whatever it is, leaves my mother petrified.
© 2018 Emmy R. Bennett/Wynter Storm