Today's Scintilla story prompt asks to write about when you first saw one of your parents as an individual adult rather than just Mom or Dad.
It was summer and I was six. We lived on the outskirts of Chicago and my mother took me to the beach with her single frind Diane. My parents’ social circle was couples, except for Diane. She belonged to my mother alone. Diane was tall, thin, with dark hair, resembling a young Marlo Thomas. They had met at a local playhouse where my mother performed in plays.
On this occasion I spent the day alone with the women, a girl’s day out: lunch on the beach, dinner out, and the evening spent in Diane’s beach front apartment. I loved her apartment. It was a single woman’s flat with one bedroom and a beaded doorway separating the kitchen from the tiny ding area. In the evening, Diane lit well placed lamps to provide a sophisticated ambiance.
I was young, and hurried off to bed as daylight faded. But I didn’t go to sleep. I heard the women chatting, clinking wine glasses and sharing an ashtray. It was too good of a temptation not to spy on them.
Diane was the same age as my mother, thirty-one, but she seemed younger, more dynamic. She worked every day, wore chic clothing, took trips to Europe and dated handsome men. Around Diane, with me safely stowed away in Diane’s bed (they didn’t realize I crouched at the door and watched them.), my mother replicated her friend’s carefree posture. Diane placed some records on her Hi Fi, and the two women danced. My mother erupted in raucous laughter, easy, casual, adult laughter.
Did my father know this woman? Or was she a mysterious side of my mother only Diane knew? Marriages can’t survive without holding a piece of your identity for yourself, so maybe the free spirited woman dancing in Diane’s living room was my mother’s secret self.
writing prompt: Play a favorite old song and freewrite for twenty minutes. Let the music lead you.