The morning was really good for once – until the phone rang.
She didn’t take it. Not yet. She was not going to answer that damn phone. She had any number of excuses in the back of her mind, vague, dreamily, like nothing else mattered than here and now. And everything else could magically take care of itself. You could say – think – anything to shape your world and it would do as you pleased.
In the end she took it. Her lips still tasted salty and she allowed herself a second to remember that …
“Carrie – ? Are you there, honey?”
Okay, now there was no way back:
“Mum – what is it? Has something happened?”
She almost wished for it, although her gut told her it was not like that. And her heart that it should not be like that.
But it was something that would make her perfect, salty day all dry up.
Carrie seated herself upright in the bed, with the cell phone pressed hard to her ear. She soon pulled her legs up under herself, pressing her jaw equally hard towards her knees as she listened. It had only taken 10 seconds and now she was curled up like a steel spring.
Jon did not wait long before he rolled out and began looking for his socks and jeans as if nothing had happened. He knew it was now the only thing he could do.
The quiet morning before the suburban beehive woke up was still quiet. But in Carrie’s mind storms were raging.
Why could it never be different with mum, after all these years?
“Please, could you say that again?”
Carrie had to ask because from the moment she had picked up the phone, everything had become more and more unreal.
Her mother was happy to prolong that reality:
“Look, I know it’s hard to wrap your head around, and they have hundreds, if not thousands, of candidates. But this time it is you!”
“Me … “
“Yes! Marcus will give you a 100,000 dollars as part of the Church Universal’s yearly Give Way-Event. The only condition is that you’ll use them to improve, well, anything really. Start that business. Draw … whatever.”
“Uh … I don’t know if,” Carrie tried, but it was really too late.
“Don’t you think that it is awesome, darling?” her mother beat on. “I am really glad Marcus and I kept contact all those years. And you know, last year there was a widow who lived on welfare in Boston who received the Event Money and she has a small salon today that – “
“Look,” Carrie said, “I’m really not sure that – “
“I mean,” her mother continued undaunted, as always, “with you leaving college like that and never becoming a lawyer and then – “ she hesitated ever so slightly ” – that problem down in Florida, and all the hard work afterwards … I think you deserve it, Carrie.”