After he went through security I raced to a spot where people parked their cars and watched the planes take off. It was at the end of the runway where the planes turn and get themselves into position before laying on the thrusters and launching into the ether. I stood in front of my little red sports car and waved like mad as his plane taxied into position. I had no idea if he had a window seat or if he could even see me – but I didn’t care. I didn’t care either that the rest of the people parked there were staring at me instead of watching the plane take off. But it was all for nothing. He didn’t see me – there wasn’t a hand waving back or a handkerchief flapping at a window. I was alone once more. My eyes needed their own set of windshield wipers as I drove away, while my heart was being pulled to the east somewhere in a silver tube that flashed through the skies.
Back at work my mother scoffed at my sadness and my relationship with a ‘kid’. She called him that over and over – ‘a kid’. She had been nice to his face during his visit as he worked his magic on our computer and answered and fixed everything that she brought up. He had given his expertise freely and willingly and she had taken it greedily. But – as soon as he had left, she cut him down.
Yesterday I hauled out those daily emails I had printed off to reread and relive that time. Those emails were filled with the abuse I endured from my mother as I spilled my anguish to D across the miles. I could barely stand to be in the same room as her as it inevitably led to fighting. She made sure I knew that I was nothing in her eyes. But I stayed because I was good at my job and loved every aspect except that I had to deal with my mother. On more than one occasion she told me that I had no say in anything to do with the business – even though I was the manager. I searched for another job and went for a couple of interviews – but my fear of losing my house hampered me.
The arrival of spring brought around the beginning of a frantic summer spent answering the rafting phones once more and spending every weekend out on the river cooking for my brother’s guests and helping out. Although my mother expected me to help my brother – she had no sympathy that I was worn out from working 7 days a week. If I came in to work one minute late on Monday mornings, I heard about it and so did everyone else. She never treated her other children in this manner nor any of the staff. I don’t know why I was so special.
The store that my father had opened in Calgary was still operating under my brother and younger sister. Money had been left to them by my father and they had put it into the store. I wasn’t left anything at all – although my mother pointed out that he had paid $500 to some man to do the drywalling. Compared with the $30,000 given to my siblings – well needless to say - it hurt. On top of the hurt came the responsibility to ensure that this second store could operate smoothly. I had to do all the buying and make sure inventory was properly kept so no mix-ups happened. Every single coat had to be checked for flaws and tagged before it was sent off to the Calgary store. All they had to do was steam it and hang it up on a hanger. This more than doubled my workload – but my mother didn’t care. She just wanted things to go easily for the Calgary location.
This also meant that we needed to rearrange our whole computer system to insure the inventory was kept accurate. We needed a computer person to come in and make this happen. In an email to D I asked him if he thought he could write a program and get this working. Then I went and pitched this proposal to my mother who in turn asked my brother for his opinion. All it would cost the business was his flight. What it would give me would be another week with him. My brother’s opinion mattered to my mother more than mine and somehow it turned my idea into theirs – but in the long run I didn’t care. I was going to see D again! The arrangements were made for the beginning of August and I marked the calendar.