A New Family
This piece is based on the picture below. It was quite interesting imagining their conversation!
“Jason, wait!” The petite woman called after the fleeing figure.
The man next to her sighed. “I’ll go talk to him. He’s going to have to get over all of this.” He sighed again, crossing his arms roughly across his chest. “I’m sorry Donna –he doesn’t normally act like this. It’s just, in his eyes, this is all happening so fast. He thinks I’m betraying Kate’s memory by marrying again so soon.”
Donna nodded sadly, a look of deep sympathy in her eyes. “We could probably have handled all of this a little better too,” she pointed out. After a moment she added as the man moved to put on his shoes, “I should be the one to talk to him John. If you go out there now he’ll just get mad at you, at me, and it will be that much harder for either of us to get through to him the next time. I’m smaller and I’m a woman –I’ll portray a less threatening figure.”
John raised an eyebrow in surprise, but just shrugged. “It doesn’t matter to me. You’re the psychiatrist.”
Donna sighed imperceptivity, pursing her lips. “John, you know just because I’m a trained psychiatrist, that doesn’t make me a super hero, right?”
“Sorry,” he told her, grinning at her and leaning down to give her a light kiss. “You just always seem like a super hero to me.”
“I’m going to go find him now,” she announced, slipping on the black ballet flats she had left next to the door.
“He’ll probably be at the train tracks,” John said over his shoulder as he went back inside, “He likes to go there to think.”
“Thanks John,” she said with a hesitant smile, “wish me luck!”
“What do you want Dad?” Jason asked angrily as he turned his head toward the sound of footsteps behind him. When he saw that it was actually Donna, his ears turned bright red in embarrassment. “Oh, sorry,” he mumbled, “I thought you were my dad.”
“Yeah, it almost was,” Donna admitted, sitting on the train tracks across from him. “He was pretty mad you said those things to him like that in front of me.”
“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” he told her, his ears getting even redder, “I’m sure you’re nice enough –you’re just not my mom.”
“Jason,” Donna began softly, “I know how you feel—“
Jason jerked his head up, looking at her in disbelief. “How could you? How could you even say that?” He asked harshly, hot tears welling up in his eyes. “You can’t know how I feel.”
She opened her mouth to reply, but he cut her off. “Just because you’re a shrink doesn’t mean you can tell me you understand how I feel when you don’t! Don’t they teach you that lying isn’t ethical in shrink school?”
“Jason, I understand you’re mad, but I lost my mom too, when I was just a little younger than you,” she explained.
Jason dropped his gaze, ashamed for reacting as he had. “Sorry,” he said quietly, “I didn’t know.”
“It was really hard for me at first, especially when my dad started dating again. When he proposed to the woman he had been dating for almost a year, I was so hurt he would try to replace my mom like that I ran away from home. A friend of mine in the neighborhood let me stay with her until my father figured out where I was. You know what he told me?”
He shook his head.
“He told me that he wasn’t trying to replace my mom. He explained to me how he still ached every time he thought about my mom and how he wished more than anything that she were still alive. I realized that he wasn’t giving my stepmother my mom’s place in his heart, but just giving her a piece of it too.”
“What’s your stepmother like?” Jason asked, looking shyly up at her, his cheeks still burning. “Do you two get along now?”
Donna smiled and nodded. “Of course it’s a different relationship than the one I had with my mom, but she’s still one of my best friends.”
Jason was silent for a moment before asking, “I really hurt my dad, didn’t I?”
“I don’t think anyone wants to be told they don’t love their dead wife or husband. It’s kind of a slap in the face to tell you the truth.” Donna told him softly.
Jason sighed, standing up and brushing the dirt off of the seat of his pants. “Then I had better go apologize,” he said slowly. “Maybe then we can start this relationship thing over with a fresh start.”
“I’m sure he’d appreciate that,” Donna agreed with a wide smile, “And I’d certainly like that too.”