Author's Note: Special thanks to Mei-chan4 (FanFiction), jakbnimble, & my mom for helping me start this story.
This story is dedicated to my mom. Although the characters are in a sense mine this story was her idea so she deserves all the praise.
An elderly woman sits on the couch with her eyes fixated on an old television playing a recorded V.C.R. tape of a popular soap opera from the sixties. I note that she seems so transfixed; almost like it's not just a show, but a lifestyle. It was like she now imagined herself living out the lives of the characters rather than her own.
I remember she used to be an actress for this show. She played the role of Melina, the rebellious teenage daughter. It was possible the woman was reflecting back on her experience as an actor, but I doubted it. My mother, Shirlee Van Breda has been suffering from a mental illness from a few years back. She has trouble remembering anything for more than a few seconds. I might even be a stranger to her now.
I walk over and take a seat on the couch beside the woman. At first I don't say anything. I wait for her to turn her head and acknowledge me, but she doesn't. The T.V. is now playing commercials and she's still as focused as before. Out of desperation I try to tap her shoulder.
"Mom, it's me, Damien. I came here to see how you were doing." I say, speaking loud and clear to make sure she understands.
The woman finally turns to face me. She doesn't speak, but I can see in her eyes that she doesn't recognize me either. I decide to explain further.
"I'm your first born son. Remember your 'little-Damie'?"
The woman shakes her head. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm just a girl. I don't have any children. Now if you don't get out of my house I'm calling the cops!"
This isn't like my mom. It hurts me to see her like this. I really wish there was a way for her to remember me again, but there isn't, at least not to my knowledge. I am about to answer when the front door swings open and in walks a woman in her mid twenties. I recognize her instantly as my younger sister Monica. She is followed by a boy whom I'm not so familiar with.
"Well Damian I'm here. Time for some good ol' quality time with mom." Monica says sarcastically as she takes a seat at the edge of the couch and pulls out her phone to start texting. The boy sits down beside me and extends his hand for me to shake.
"Hi I'm Josh Pesti." The boy says politely. "You probably don't know me, but I work at the pharmacy down town. I'm Monica's new boyfriend."
"I'm Damian Van Breda." I reply timidly. I've always been shy when it comes to introducing myself to new people. "I work for a uh ... Web designer for a small time internet company."
"Really? Which one?" Josh asks.
"Phantom CO. We help buy, flip, and sell classic cars throughout parts of North America. We're just starting so we aren't that big yet, but Bruce; he's the company head. He has faith that our company will grow and soon expand throughout America and maybe more parts of Canada too." I explained.
"That's pretty neat." Josh said. I'm not sure, but I think Josh is being sincere so I force a smile.
Josh looked over at the elderly lady whose mind had wandered back to the TV program rather than the conversation at hand.
"Good afternoon Ms. Van Breda." Josh said respectfully.
"Good afternoon sir. How'd you get into my house?" The woman asked seeming in shock. "Are you one of them Mages like I've seen on T.V.?"
"Um ... No." Josh replied uneasily.
"You left your door unlocked mom." Monica said, not bothering to take her eye off her phone. "Anyway, according to Damian it's our week to spend time with you so where do you want to go? McRonalds? Red Robin? You name it and Josh and I will take you there."
"Hush! Can't you see I'm watching my program?" The woman snapped.
"Alright, sorry. We'll go after then." Monica said nonchalantly.
It bothered me just how little Monica seemed to care about mother's worsening condition. It had been my idea for Monica to try to spend more time with mom before she passed away; not much just about an hour or two a month. After all that was only fair seeing as Monica would be the one to inherit all the money that mom had saved up from her acting career as well as her former estate.
I wasn't getting a cent. According to mom Monica needs the money more. That's fine and all; I even agree. Monica had lost her job after the company had made cuts. It has been close to a year now and she's still living off Unemployment. So I could see how the money would help. The only thing that bothers me is does she really deserve it? I had come to visit mom almost every day just to check if she's alright. Monica only came during her one time of the month and even then she was reluctant to do so.
"I remember this show!" Josh states cheerfully. "It's P.R.N. Right?"
"P.R.N.?" I question.
"Yes; it's short for a Latin phrase Pro re nata, meaning 'in the circumstances' or 'as the circumstance arises'. If I remember correctly this was one of the first shows to show attempted murder for a series finale. Even though no one actually died it really stirred up a lot of tension from the media."
I laugh. "Could you imagine if they saw some of the stuff that we have on T.V. today? They'd be shocked just how graphic some T.V. shows have gotten."
"Yeah tell me about it! The amount of violence would totally pale when compared to more modern shows like Walking Dead or Sons of Anarchy." Josh says. Josh looks like he's about to go on, but then a figure on the T.V. catches his eye.
A black and white projection of a young woman is shown. In that instant Josh doesn't even have to say anything for me to know why he's gawking. I had done the same thing when I had seen this film for the first time. Melina, the character portrayed by a younger version of my mother, bore a strong physical resemblance to Monica. Her skin type, hair style, even the clothing the two chose to wear was almost identical. I guess it was just because of common genetics, but still it was pretty incredible just how close two people from completely different generations could have looked.
Josh took a look at Monica then back at Melina with his jaw dropped. "S-she looks just like Monica! D-don't you think?" He stuttered.
"Do you think so? Monica asks, suddenly seeming to show interest while taking her eyes off the phone to study the figure on the T.V. "I don't think we looked that similar."
"She's our mother." I explain. "The woman sitting next to you once played Melina."
"Wow!" Josh exclaims.
At that moment the show ends and the credits begin to roll. Shirlee Boer, our mother's full maiden name passes on the screen along with a few other names. I remember my mom telling me once about the other cast members. Sadly by now most of the actors had already passed away or lost contact with my mom.
Monica sticks her phone in her pocket. "Alright come on mom; let's get this dinner thing out of the way." She says.
I watch Monica and Josh struggle to walk my resistant, confused mother out of the house and deep in the pit of my stomach I feel a hint of jealousy mixed with anger toward my sister, as well as deep sadness toward the mother I once had, but now is so different that she seems dead and out of my life for good.
-phantom130 5 (December 2012)