A Secret Grave 101 – Delicious Secret

 

“It’s my mother,” Mercer said in a hoarse voice. He placed his head in his hands. “I learned something about her that I… I just don’t know how to deal with.”

I waited a minute and then said: “Well, you can tell me. Perhaps I can help you sort it out. Whatever you say won’t go beyond these walls.”

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He reached for another piece of paper towel and blew his nose.  “I think she’s having an affair,” he said so softly I could barely hear him. “It makes me feel like she doesn’t care about me or dad at all.”

I handed him a bottle of water. “Why don’t you start at the beginning.”

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Caroline & Josiah

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This past Christmas Mercer flew to La Paz to be with his mother who was looking after her very elderly father, distinguished poet Jorge Martinez de Lopez-Guerrero. She had been there since mid-October and Mercer couldn’t figure out why she was staying so long – his grandfather, though bed bound and needy, didn’t seem at the point of death and he had several sons and another daughter besides Caroline who lived in La Paz and could easily tend to him.

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Jorge Martinez de Lopez-Guerrero

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One of the first things Mercer noticed upon his arrival in La Paz was that his mother looked different. She seemed younger, almost girlish, and there was an aura of excitement about her that he found vaguely disturbing. Caroline, whom he’d always experienced as devoted to him, barely seemed to notice he was there. Oh yes she hugged him hard and smothered him with kisses when she first saw him at the airport, but there was a distance, a kind of fraught and careless energy, he couldn’t explain. It was as if her mind was on something else, a delicious secret, a rapturous melody that no one else could hear. She would sigh and study herself in the mirror, disappear from the room with her phone for long private conversations, pace the twisted hallways of the house till he wanted to grab her by the shoulders and yell at her to hold still. She was jittery and distracted, had lost her appetite and was painfully thin. In bright new lipstick, with her hair styled differently, and modish skirts and sweaters instead of the flowy loose pants and tops he was used to seeing her in, this was not the mother he knew. And then one day toward the end of the Christmas break, he learned why.

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Caroline

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To be continued…

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Cover photo ~ http://www.ravishly.com/2014/07/16/apples-sex-the-bible-milton-feminism-fruit-myths-

 

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