Cover Art

The Future Reunion

by

Jenny Johnson

"Write a stage direction for two people that conveys the emotional relationship between them They may gesture, move, touch, and relate to objects or elements of the place; but there is no dialogue."

The (Hopefully) Future Reunion

They stand in front of each other outside of the two story home with white siding and black shutters. They stand on the sidewalk covered in freshly cut grass. After years of separation, they are together again. Not a word being said, just eyes scanning across their bodies. Taking it all in. Looking at the older and younger versions of themselves. Painful memories rise to the surface for both of them. Emotions of all sorts bubbly up inside.

The daughter's bottom lip quivers and she clenches her fist so tight that her knuckles turn white. Images of yelling and screaming flash back into her mind. Tears threaten to escape her tear ducts so she wipes them away quickly with her right hand all the while her left hand remains in a tight fist. 

The mother's heart aches from seeing the pain on her daughter's face. Harsh and disrespectful words ring in her ears from the past. She opens her mouth to say something but no words can form. She realizes what she must look like. She straightens her stance and juts out her chin firmly. She blinks back any tears that may be coming. She wants to look confident in front of her daughter. 

The daughter, trying to be strong, takes the first step forward even though she was embarrassed. She knows she must look different. Ten years, abuse, and anticipation can do that to you. The bruises on her face and arms from just two weeks before were still clearly visible. She raises a hand and daintily pushes a strand of her long dyed dark blonde hair behind her ear. Finally, she looks her mother in the eye. In an instant she remembers all the hurt she caused this older woman before her. She drops her gaze to the ground and sobs loudly. Her body heaves. 

The mother takes a deep breath in and runs to her daughter. Without any hesitation, she wraps her arms tightly around her daughter's shoulders. She notices her daughter's hand relaxes as she kisses the top of the crying young woman. 

They cling to each other for a long time and grieve the time they lost. Ignoring the cars speeding by, the shrieks of children from three doors down, and barking of two dogs coming from the house behind them, they stood there hugging, crying their tears of apologies they never addressed before. Love surrounding them kept them from seeing anything besides each other. 

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