“Momma,” I said, “18 year olds cannot ‘run away’ from home.  They just move out. And I wasn’t 18. I was 20. I moved out when I was 20.”

“You did not move out, Charley Vaughan! You ran away. You got mad that I put a stipulation on your inheritance from your grandmother, and you ran away to pout,” she said.

She was right. Except for the pouting part. I don’t pout. Not much, anyway.

My grandmother had died almost two years ago, and had left each of her granddaughters a large some of money with instructions. Mine were as follows: “Reopen my bakery.I don’t care where, but find a place, and use this money to live your dream.”

When my mother had put the “marriage stipulation” into my and my sisters inheritances, I left home. I hadn’t known what else to do. It has been one more way for her to control me, and if my dream was not going to happen, there was no reason I had to stay around and play her puppet.

“Either way,” my mother cut into my thoughts,”it doesn’t matter anymore because you are finally getting married.”  She really said ‘finally’.  As if waiting until the ripe old age of 22 was unheard of. Truth be told, large portions of the South had moved on from such notions, but my mother was one of the few still holding out. She figured we would have our coming out parties at 15, and be married off by the time we got out of high school.

“Yes, momma” I said. “I am finally getting married,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“I have to go, Momma,” I said, pressing the end button before she could reply. I had to get ready to go shopping with my best friend.


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