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The Sandbox Writing Challenge 2018 — Exercise 16



Imagine someone important to you sitting in this chair. What would you say to this person that you’ve NEVER SAID before

Mariel, you may not realize it — how could you — that even though you are now my ex-daughter-in-law, you still play a role in my life. And I’m not talking about dealing with the aftermath of your relationship with Brandon as I know it takes two people to make a marriage work.

I’m talking about the grief I experience when I look back on the days you and Bran were both here with us and how I never seemed to be able to reach you. You were so gun shy when it came to getting to know anyone outside of your family. And I believe part of that was your anger toward your family as well. You just assumed that all families were like yours, and you never gave us a chance to prove you wrong. Your paranoia constantly clouded all our attempts to draw you to us and make you feel wanted.

When we first met you when you flew out here to go to Stef’s wedding you seemed so open and sweet sitting there with your arm around me during the wedding. I don’t know what happened to change what I thought was a great beginning. The night you came upstairs to go to the bathroom and didn’t have your glasses on so couldn’t see the door was closed and someone was in there and you ran into the door so hard you were hurt, I wanted so much to come downstairs and make sure you were ok and give you a hug. But I knew that would not be welcome.

Still I continued to hope you would warm up to us and open up. I kept asking you to go to lunch with me, which you did a couple times. But most of the time you’d come upstairs at lunch, go into the kitchen and get your meal ready, then go back downstairs without saying one word to me as I sat here on the couch.

I enrolled us in a writing class as WSU as we both love to dabble in writing. I thought surely we’d have some common ground there. But you’d not say a word to me in the car on the way to class. Or any of the mornings I’d take you to work. Still I kept at it till Christmas that year. You wanted Bran to have a new bathrobe for Christmas but you’d run out of Christmas money. So when I found one I called you to see what size he wore, said I’d found one, and I’d see he got it. Five minutes later I get a call on the cell phone. It was Brandon asking me what the hell I said to you, that you were in the bathroom threatening to cut your wrists.

That was it for me. I finally had to confess that there was no way we’d ever be friends. It was hard enough just trying to be your mother-in-law. It broke my heart, as much for Brandon’s sake as for yours. I had never tried so hard with anyone.

So I guess I would like to say to you that it was unfair for you to put us in the same category as your family. I know you were struggling with depression and OCD, and God knows what else. I also know that things have changed and straightened around  in your life since then through counseling and medication. With my whole heart I wish we could have a second chance. Not you and Bran and the marriage, I mean, just that you and I might could still be friends. Maybe someday…


Picture Credit:
Chair — www.kiteloft.com
Quote — Tagalog Sad Love Quotes