Author: Jeff L Mauser
The soft high-count sheets are cool against my skin. I’m greeting by soft spring sunshine, I smile. Throwing the curtains aside, the green fields of home flow from beneath my window as far as I can see.
The aroma of coffee sashays in, overlaid with the enticing whiff of bacon. They lead me to the kitchen. The love of my life, Debra, turns and smiles. I brush my lips against the nape of her neck. I know better than to disturb her when she’s cooking. Especially when she’s cooking bacon.
I fill my coffee cup, sitting down at the built-in kitchen table. Sipping the tantalizing elixir I enjoy the quiet moment.
“Smells good Mom,” Buddy shouts bounding into the kitchen. “Dad, can you help me with this math homework?” He plops his books onto the table sliding next to me.
“Unbelievable,” Sissy lets out a long sad sigh. “Weren’t you part of the Feminist Movement back in the olden days’ Mom?”
“Olden Days? I’m going to the Federal Building later to protest the President’s choice for the Supreme Court, young lady. Don’t give me any olden days stuff.”
“But Mom,” Sissy says sitting at the table. “You’re cooking breakfast. Isn’t that like a ‘housewife’ thing?”
“Yes, but it’s agreed no one wants to eat your father’s cooking?” She’s balancing two plates on her left arm and holding one in her right hand.
“Dad’s good for donuts.” Buddy says laughing, then “Thanks, Mom.” He digs right in.
“Hey, I resemble that,” laughing. She kisses my cheek, putting a plate in front of me.
“I don’t understand how you can be subservient, to Dad.”
“I’m not, dear. When you fall in love you’ll understand.” She puts the plate in front of Sissy.
“Well then I’m never falling in love,” Sissy mumbles with a mouth full of food.
We smile. Debra said the same thing when we first met at a Human Rights protest. She sits and begins eating. Buddy and Sissy have eaten most of their bacon, eggs, toast, and Hash browns. I have taken a few bites. I’m savoring the family time.
Leaving for school Buddy and Sissy put their dishes in the sink. Finished I take her plate to the sink. I turn and she is in my arms. We hug, tight.
“Do you have to?”
“Yes.” We kiss.
The feeling of her arms around me linger as the bright spring sunshine fades. Her warmth dwindles as the sound of the guards’ baton against the bars come closer. I open my eyes to grayness. Gray walls, ceilings, floors, and faces. I disengage from the full lotus position to stand next to my bunk.
The guard passing my cell steps back glaring at me. “Weren’t you were floating above the floor.”
“No Sir. I was sitting on my bed, which is wrong. I should be standing facing you when you walk by.”
The guard scowls. He knows I’m right. He also knows what he believes he saw. The longer I’m silent, the less he trusts himself.
“That’s right boy. You’re always wrong. I’m always right. Got that Prisoner 6497368”
Lights outs, and again I drift away home. This time with our time ending, I acquiesce to her loving entreaties. Wrapped in her loving arms, I focus on her warmth and our need for freedom.
The guards’ baton against the bars fade. Assured of my success I relax for an instant. Just long enough to see the look on the guard face as my Cheshire cat grin is the last of me he sees.