Wishful Thinking (working title)

Not a six minute story because I was interrupted in the middle of writing it, but I used their prompt: “She’d always come running when I called.”

She’d always come running when I called.

“Mom!”

Her footsteps echoed down the hall.

“Aiden, are you okay?” Her eyes were wide and her breaths came in short gasps.

I looked up at her while sitting calmly in my chair.  A pair of running shoes were clutched in each hand.  “Which do you like better?” I held up my right hand, “The black ones,” now the left hand, “or the white ones?”

She hesitated.

“Mom?”

“The white ones,” she answered, but her brow furrowed slightly, “is that what you called me for?”

“Well, yeah,”  Was that not obvious?  My fingers expertly pried open the laces of the white shoes.

She sighed, a softened expression crossed her face.  One I recognized all too well–the look of pity.

“Honey,” she began slowly, “you know that you don’t need either of them.” Her arm rested on my shoulder.  An attempt to comfort me.  I shrugged it off.

“You’re wrong.  Today will be the day.”  I turned away from her.

“Aiden–”

“No!” My voice was a little too loud, “I’m going to go walking.  I need them.”

She drew in a breath as if ready to speak, but no sound came out.  Instead, I heard the shuffle of her feet as she walked away.

I lifted my leg and slipped my foot into the shoe.  First the right foot, then the left.  My fingers deftly tied the laces.

Determined, I grasped the armrests and gathered all of my strength.  With a soft grunt I pushed against the chair.  My bottom hovered above the seat, but my legs refused to cooperate.    They collapsed in a twisted pile, but I wasn’t ready to give up.  I attempted to heave myself upright again, but the chair slid from beneath me.  My arms buckled under, and an involuntary cry escaped my lips as I crumpled to the floor.

Today was not the day.  Neither was yesterday, nor the day before.  I wondered if it would ever come.

I remained unmoving on the cold hardwood floor as I waited.

Suddenly, my mother was beside me.   I knew she would be.  She always came running when I called.

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