Unwelcome – short story

Guest – the Daily Prompt

“When was the last time you cleaned the baseboards?”

“Your grass is a little unruly, have you thought about hiring someone to cut it for you?”

“Did you know you have expired peanut butter in the pantry?”

“Your mortgage must be huge.  This house seems awfully big for the 2 of you.”

Olivia looked at her wrist, pretending to check the time.  A few days ago her world was relatively peaceful.  Maybe she wasn’t Martha Stewart, but her house was pretty clean by most people’s standards.  “Martha Stewart went to prison, anyway.”  She mumbled under her breath, quiet enough that no one could hear.

It seemed like the complaining was never going to stop.  When she was a child, these were her favorite aunt and uncle. She used to love sleeping over at their house, staying up all night, and eating ice cream for dinner.  Once when she was little, they took her camping and she got swimmers itch.  She was miserable and uncomfortable.  To cheer her up, the site guide gave her paper moose antlers which made her a walking advertisement for the state park.  But she didn’t mind (or realize), and it was one of her fondest memories.

But now, sitting in her living room after a 12 hour work day, she was wishing they had stayed in a hotel.  She pulled her curly blond hair into a pony tail, tucking the ends into the elastic so they didn’t brush her neck.  The feeling of her hair on her neck was something that drove her crazy when she was tired, and insane when she was tired and cranky.  She picked at her nail polish.  She was long overdue for a manicure, but couldn’t find any salons open during her non-work hours.  Mainly because all hours were work hours.

She zoned out as they continued to rant about everything she had or didn’t have.  Everything she didn’t do well enough.  She went to her happy place, where the sun was shining, she was sitting by the ocean, and people around her were silent.  She really wished her husband wasn’t out of town this week.  She needed some moral support to get through this visit.  She wasn’t even listening enough to hear her name.

Olivia, have you even been listening?” her uncle challenged.

She grabbed her glass from the coffee table, and walked over to the fridge.  She said nothing as she filled it first with ice, then water.  When she reached the base of the stairs, she turned to glare at them.

“Has anyone every told you that you’re horrible guests?”  She stomped upstairs, making a scene.  “Serves them right,” she said quietly, smiling to herself.  The joy was temporary.  After brushing her teeth and washing off the remnants of her makeup, her phone chimed.

What the hell did you say to your aunt?  – Mom




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