“Morning mom.” Karen stopped in the doorway of the kitchen and stared. Her mom, lost in the pages of a book, hadn’t heard a thing and her coffee sat untouched in front of her. Karen stepped back into the shadow of the hallway. Her mother didn’t move except to turn the page and with each turn, her face flushed a deeper red. It looked to Karen as if she wanted to crawl inside the book.
She couldn’t remember a time, at least in recent years, she’d seen her mother looking so … happy? Content? Moved? No! Excited, that was it. What the hell was her mother reading? She squinted and leaned closer in an attempt to read the cover. Mr. Tubs slipped up behind her and rub against her leg. Karen yelped and stumbled into the room.
Her mother sprung from her seat as if bitten. She grabbed the chair to keep it from toppling and slapped a dish towel over the book. “Heavens, Karen you scared the life out of me.”
“Sorry,” Karen said, “you can thank Mr. Tubs for that, he caught me by surprise.”
Her mother carried her untouched cup to the sink. “Sit down, I’ll get you some coffee.” She opened the cupboard, “Cream and sugar?”
“Yeah, thanks.” Karen lifted the corner of the towel. “Whatcha reading?” Her mother spun around and grabbed the covered book from Karen’s grasp. Her face flushed crimson. “Nothing you’d like.” She stuffed the book in a drawer. “Gladys gave it to me, and I can’t imagine why. It isn’t very good.”
“Really?” Karen bit her lip to keep from laughing. “Why’s that?”
She handed Karen a steaming cup of coffee. “The language is a bit spicy for my taste.”
“Couldn’t tell it from the look on your face when you were reading. Fifty Shades of Grey, mom?” Karen snickered. “Spicy indeed.”
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