Does your mother know what you do for a living?

“Does your mother know what you do for a living?” asked Ralph.

“Shut up!” I blurted out.

For all mom knew I was a nurse on a good hospital. It was true, most of it. And if I wanted to keep it that way I would have to sneak out on her when she comes to visit for the weekend. If my mom finds out what I do… she would freak out. Hahaha. I am a 36-year-old woman that’s afraid of her mom.

I prepared roast beef for dinner and put mom’s favorite blues song.

“Desiree!” She’s here. Let the show begin. I opened the door and there she was, with her long, black and gray hair in thick braids. She wore a lime-green blouse and khaki-colored pants. She hugged me, and we went inside to eat. Mom talked about the family and how much they missed me. They wondered when I would go to visit them.

“Um… it will have to be later… because of my job.” I whispered that last part.

“Right, you gotta save lives. How’s my little Brittany?” Brittany was my daughter. She was in a summer camp in Napa. My husband was on a business trip. It was just the two of us, I told her.

The evening went through smoothly. We talked, watched an old movie from Meryl Streep and then mom went to sleep.

Time for me to go to work.

I silently put on my nursing uniform, and sneak through the back door. The house was a few blocks from mine, luckily, because turning the engine of the car would have woken mom up. I had goosebumps, but it was a warm summer evening. Is somebody following me? Paranoia. That’s it. Calm down, Desiree.

I got to the house, finally. Brenda, the housemaid, lead me to the room. In the bed was, Ralph, my patient. He had his nostrils tubbed into an oxygen tank. He was reading “The Valley of Fear”. Whoever saw Ralph would never suspect that he had lung cancer. He smiled when I approached him.

“Good night, beautiful,” said Ralph.

I checked his pulse, strong. I was about to change his IV… when the door slammed open. MOM!

“Desiree! What are you doing?” Mom looked at my patient. “Ralph?”

“Hi, Taylor,” Ralph said, amused.

“Desiree… explain yourself. What are you doing with this scoundrel that abandoned me when I was pregnant?”

“Mom,” I looked at her right in the eyes. “I know Ralph, is my father, and I just wanted… to meet him.”

“Please, Taylor, I don’t wanna play the cancer card, but l lets be honest, I don’t have much time left. I wanna spend time with my daughter. I regret every day, that I left you guys behind.”

Mom was silent for a few seconds. Then she bowed her head and left. She gave her blessing.

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