Your mother to your father, “She lets boys touch her, but not us.” How can you explain? At 15 making your mother jealous is farthest from your mind. If hugging her would make a boy jealous you’d be all over it. Boys are easy, they make no emotional demands, despite the emotions they evoke, emotions you grant freely. Your mother dreamed of you for years before you were born—you can never keep up with, make up for that.
Julie Benesh is recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Grant and her writing can be found in Bestial Noise: A Tin House Fiction Reader, Tin House Magazine (print), Crab Orchard Review, Florida Review, Gulf Stream, Cleaver, Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and other places. Originally from Iowa, Julie now lives in Chicago where she works as a management consultant, professor of business psychology, and higher education leader and teaches creative writing at The Newberry Library. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.