What We Talk About When We Talk About Our Parents

The four of us were in my house talking when Hover said, “I hate my parents.” My younger sister Minka and I were quite excited when our parents announced to us the day before that they were traveling the next day. We woke early this morning, and helped them with their final preparations in order to speed up their departure. And I can’t describe the joy I felt when my father said, “Nsor, you’re in charge now, don’t run things into the ground before we return.”

Today is Friday, and they’d be gone the whole weekend.

It was easy for me to call Hover and invite him. He in turn invited our mutual friend Glory. Both of them arrived together at my house thirty minutes after I’d made the first call, with a knapsack that contained four bottles of cough syrup. I gave both of them hugs, and we went into my bedroom where we were soon joined by Minka, who walked in holding a packet of fruit juice, and four plastic cups.

“Let’s do justice to these products,” Hover said as he unsealed one of the cough syrup bottles, and turned the contents into the packet of juice. He shook this new mixture, then filled each person’s cup. “Round one,” he said.

We drank the concoction while making small talk about pop songs and celebrities. We began to feel the juvenile effects of the brew in ten minutes, this later matured into a full blown struggle with drowsiness and lethargy, and I looked at everyone’s droopy faces, bemused.

“This is dense,” Minka said.

“Very good stuff,” Hover said.

“Where did you get it?”

“Trade secret.”

“Are you afraid that if you tell me where you get your supplies, I’d tell your parents, and they’d lead a delegation to shut down the place?”

It was meant to be a joke, but Hover had trouble coping with it. We were all sitting on the floor, and he leaned back until he almost lost balance then sprang back upright.

“I hate my parents.”

Minka laughed, and Glory asked him, “What did they ever do to you?”

“Is that a legitimate question?”

“Yes. I mean, they didn’t name you something as stupid as Glory. Who does that? It sounds like the name of a dog.”

“I don’t think many people would name their dog Glory,” Minka said. Glory widened her eyes at her.

“Yesterday I decided to take an afternoon nap. Do you know what my father said to me because of that?” Hover stared at Glory as he spoke, but it wasn’t a real question. “He said that I’d become a weakling, and get trodden on by society.”

“What does ‘trodden’ mean?” Glory asked, squeezing her face.

“That was the exact word he used.”

“You think your dad is mean because he called you a weakling? Mine said I spend so much time on my back resting that I’d have no problem adapting to a whore’s life.”

What We Talk About When We Talk About Our Parents continues...
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About R. B Ejue

I've got you, whatever your literary predilections.
  6 months ago · in response to Aurelia Lorca

    That's awesome!
  6 months ago
!!!!!!! I think I am going to use this one next semester in my Expository Writing class, and resurrect the Tiger Mom essay prompt I assigned a few years ago. It will yield some great discussion!! Thank you so much. This is so well done!!
  13 months ago · in response to Leopold McGinnis

    Thanks a lot Captain, means a lot to me that you feel this way. The narrator and his friends don't like the way their parents talk to them. Classic childish behaviour LOL
  13 months ago · in response to Fernando I

    Gee, i'm really flattered. What can I say? Thanks a lot!
  13 months ago
You're a good writer Ejue. This pulls me in without having anything gimmicky or actiony going on, which is a testament to good writing. I don't fully understand the narrator's reasons for the great dislike of his parents - but I think we are only meant to get glances. Overall, it's...read more a good treatise on kid's thoughts on their parents. Thanks!
  13 months ago
This is a wonderful story. It reminds me of Raymond Carver's short story entitled "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love." Great work R.B. I really enjoyed it!

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