Book Excerpt – A Life of Turmoil: The Short Stories of Ana Franken, 08150017
A Life of Turmoil: The Short Stories of Ana Franken, 08150017
by Johanna Sparrow
Publication Date: Sep 16, 2017
List Price: $8.00
Format: Paperback, 154 pages
Publisher: On-Demand Publishing LLC
Parent Company: Amazon.com, Inc.
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Copyright © 2017 by Johanna Sparrow. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted with permission from the publisher or author. The format of this excerpt has been modified for presentation here.
Yes, Mother The turmoiled relationship of Ana Franken a Short Story
“Sometimes I wish that I had all boys. Raising a girl is too hard, and not to mention, I don’t like you, Ana. I don’t like you, Ana Franken.”
Standing in a perfect shade of pink, Mother is beautiful as yellow daisy covers her from her neck to right below her knee. She’s stunning, and that dress makes her look wonderful. I tried to rush past her without saying a word as if her beauty didn’t need confirmation. Somehow, I’d loss the words to say. So, I stood perfectly still in a large, open space pretending Mother didn’t see me. I wish that I was a boy so mother could love me. But I’m often told that wishing is for weaklings. I’d for sure have to change my name from Ana to Aaron. While standing in front of mother, I was having a full conversation in my mind, which drives her crazy.
“But Mother, you’re much too loud as always. Use your inside voice, please.”
Her lips touched my ears. “I wish that I had all boys, Ana Franken.”
Why not use your inside voice? My ears are ringing now. Maybe I should say something to let her know that I’m listening. But it’s too loud, so I’ll just stand here and do what I’m told. I’ll do what makes Mother happy, which is listening to her bitch at me for a living. “Yes, Mother.”
Don’t feel sorry for me; I bet your life is no better than mine. I’m used to Mother’s ways----her moments of unpleasantness and blaming me for having a shitty life. I just pray that I don’t become like her as an adult. I’m starting not to like Mother as much as I previously did. Her words cut me down, but I’m praying to God for better days.
And I’m not the only child. I have three brothers who treat me the same way Mother does because I deserve not to be loved, liked, or appreciated. My brothers, Jeremy, James, and Jared, enjoy running in the great room, which is something we were taught to never do. Eventually, Mother will let them have it. I want to see how still they stand when she’s whispering in their ears?
“Who has been running in my great room?”
Furious, mother turns and looks at me as always. But I say nothing since I’ll get the blame no matter what, and she’ll praise her sons and all their imperfections as if they’re golden.
“Answer me, Ana. Why have you been running in my great room?”
I would tell her the truth----that it wasn’t me. But my truth is a lie to mother, and her truth is a lie that she has placed on me. I don’t want to hurt mother’s feelings, but I’m much too tired of the life that I’m living. I’m starting to hate my brothers. Not because mother loves them, but because they know she doesn’t love me, and they do nothing to help me. I swear, they do things to send her in a frantic rage toward me.
What type of God would place you in a home where you’re unwanted? What type of God would expect you to stay? I don’t get this life or the family that I’ve been given. Daddy only looks out for himself. He walks in the house in a drunken stoop, wishing Mother wouldn’t talk to him as he runs to their room like a little boy. He won’t help me even though I’ve asked him a hundred times. He listens but never acts.
Did I tell you that Mother is a pastor and so is my oldest brother, Jeremy? Now, more than ever, he sniffs behind Mother like an injured puppy after fucking up his life. Don’t ask me to turn to God or to talk to people in the church. People’s loyalty is not toward doing what’s right, but toward other folks. God has become a symbol they love to throw in your face in hopes that you don’t question them. How many people truly trust God? Why are they always seeking forgiveness? If you love something, you’ll do right by it . . . right? Yes, Mother. Yes, Mother. Fucking yes, Mother. Will God punish me for hating what Mother says to me and how she treats me?
I’ve been talking so much about mother that I forgot to tell you that I have a family of my own. It’s just that sometimes my mind keeps me prisoner to the days that I lived with Mother and the family. She called me today, and I looked at the phone as if it was a snake getting ready to bite me. Why I freeze when I see her or when she calls, I don’t know. I just know the awful and fucked up stuff that I was made to go through as a child. And yes, I tried to kill myself. Who hasn’t? That’s what you do when you’re not wanted. Unfortunately, it didn’t work as I’m still here telling you my life.
Mother has tried to paint me as a monster to the family; a sort of ungrateful daughter, which isn’t true. I recently heard, “Don’t talk to Ana, she’s the daughter of Satan. Ana talks to the devil and is into black magic.” Why? Where is this coming from? Why do the people that hurt you the most, make themselves the victims? I wish that I could get revenge. I’d probably have their heads on a plate. Can you believe my thoughts are this way all the time? Maybe I’m delusional? I’ve taken a step back to look at my life and evaluate if I really need mother. I don’t think so.