The phone rings and I hear mom’s voice, say, “Hello?” There’s a pause, and her tone deepens, “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. Now is my chance to hear my grandmother’s voice for the first time.
“No, he hasn’t left yet. He’s still here;upstairs taking a shower in fact.”
“Francesca darling, don’t be coy with me.” My grandmother’s voice is wicked calm.
“If you must know, Maura, 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.”
“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 continues. “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,” Mom stammers. “The business can handle one day off. The clients, I am sure will understand.”
“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,” Mom answers.
As if I can see through the walls, a visual of Mother’s face flashes over my mind, tears fall down her cheeks. I may not be able to see her from upstairs, but in my soul, I know she’s very upset.
“Good, now that I have your attention, please tell Jeoffrey to call me as soon as he is available, will you my dear?” Grandmother’s voice stay cool and collected. The rasp in her tone sends chills down my spine.
“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