The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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“So mama, what do you want for your birthday?” Dawn asked as she washed the dishes.

“Oh, don’t you worry about it baby. I don’t need anything.” Leola said as she sipped her orange juice. Her hand crept up to her neck, where a small necklace dangled.

“Come on, there has to be something.”

“No, baby. You spend too much money on me. You need to save it.”

The dishes clattered in the sink. Dawn rounded on her mother, soapy hands on her hips. “Who do you think you are?” Her naturally squeaky voice doing nothing to soften her words.

“What?” Leola was taken aback. Dawn never sounded like this, was never so serious.

“I am a grown woman. Who do you think you are to tell me how to spend my money?”

“Baby I’m not, I just-”

“You’re my mother. You’ve taken care of me for my entire life. If you think for one second that I wouldn’t buy you a birthday present then you don’t know me. I expect a list by tomorrow,” she said, turning back to the dishes.

A Loving Spat

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