“If Momma ain’t happy….”
(A really short story by Frank Montagnino)
It was a bleak day; a gray day, the kind of day that if you didn’t have to go to work you’d just pull up the covers and stay in bed. But you wouldn’t enjoy that either, Joni thought.
She looked out the grimy window of her dreary room at the barren harvested field beyond the motel’s parking lot. “Empty,” she muttered to herself. As empty as her life since Roger had pulled up stakes and left her all alone on the outskirts of this Godforsaken, down-at-the-heels farm town.
Joni pulled her sweater tighter around her even though the room wasn’t especially cold. It was just the view that was cold and dismal; as desolate as her future. She glumly turned away from the window, flopped down on the hard as rocks motel bed and reached for a cigarette. She knew she shouldn’t be smoking, especially in her condition, but what the hell, she thought, you have to die from something.
She leaned back against the sweat stained headboard listening to Michael Bublé’s melancholy voice coming from the tinny motel radio.
“Another winter day
Has come and gone away…”
Damn, Joni thought, why do all the Christmas songs seem so mournful when they’re supposed to be cheery?
“…and I want to go home.”
I want to go home too, she thought, switching off the radio. But fat chance since Roger had left her with no transportation and damned little money.
“Well,” she grunted disconsolately,” if I’m going to be miserable so is he.” She opened her purse and fished out Roger’s business card. She knew he wouldn’t be at home to receive her call, but his wife would be.