Word of the Day: Hyperbole

“Mom, I went to the doctor this week.” I removed the blood work papers from my purse and held it out to her. “He said I’m diabetic.”

Mom peered at me through her glasses, readjusting her eyesight after staring at a thrilling game of solitaire for the past hour. “I think I’m pre-diabetic. The last time I went to the doctor she said to cut back on my sugars. I asked her if I could just take a pill.”

I sighed, still holding out the papers to my mother. Of course, she didn’t take them. Why would she? It didn’t involve her. Mom’s pill case stowed away in a high cabinet, away from my kids’ hands, contained a plethora of medications and supplements provided to her by exasperated doctors trying to satisfy my mother’s self-indulgent tendencies.

Stuffing the papers back in my purse, I stood up to fold the laundry on the couch. “It really couldn’t hurt you to cut back on sugars.”

“I know I should, but fruit just doesn’t taste as good without a little something extra.” Mom grinned at me. “And you know I need my nightly bowl of ice cream.”

“Anyway, the doctor said I need to start giving myself insulin shots once a day. I also need to check my blood sugar.” My hands shook as I folded my son’s t-shirt. Needles scared the crap out of me. Every time the doctor gave me a flu shot, I closed my eyes tight, clenching my fists. Giving myself a shot–it was just unimaginable.

“You’ll be fine, Sarah. Besides, it could be worse. You could have a heart murmur and arthritis.” She continued to stare at her screen, almost as if she didn’t hear me. Ever since Mom turned seventy, it was almost as if I didn’t exist.

“I guess your right, Mom. Your issues are always a hundred times worse than mine.” I threw a pair of socks down into the pile. “If I were you, I think I would just roll over and die.”

“You’re not angry, are you?” Mom glanced up for a moment.

“Yes, Mom. I am mad.” I flopped down on the couch and stared up at the ceiling. “I brought you over here today to talk to you about my diagnosis. The whole time you’ve been playing your game and basically ignoring me.”

“Oh, sweetie.” Mom leaned forward and touched my arm. “I didn’t mean to block you out. I was just trying to relate with you.”

“Well, it’s not working that well.” My heart beat rapidly in my chest. I drew in a deep breath, closed my eyes, and counted to ten before letting it out again.

“Where are the kids?” This was another feeble attempt to connect.

I rolled my eyes. “They’re at school. It’s Monday. Where else would they be?”

“You’re always so short with me, Sarah. I just want to be part of your life.”

I reached over and held her hand. One of us had to be the grown-up in this relationship. It was exhausting. “Joey made the basketball team this week.”

Mom let go of my hand, so I stood up and went back to my folding.

“When I was in eighth grade, I was on the basketball team. The coach named me the MVP and asked me to join a traveling team. If they had that woman’s professional league back then, I’m sure I would have been a shoe-in.”

Taking the laundry basket, I stormed out of the room. “Pack up, Mom. I’m taking you home.” I yelled it over my shoulder, but kept my back to her so she couldn’t see the tears streaming down my face.

I’ve thought it would be fun to take the word of the day from the Internet and write a short story based off the word. Trying to stretch my writing muscles. Hopefully, you enjoy it, too.



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