(5) I was tight in the space, my knees drawn up to my chin. (6) The cord lay in a tangled heap. (7) I was talking to my first boyfriend. (8) From time to time he'd visit, riding from his house to mine on his bicycle. (9) My parents thought his hair was too long. (10) They would comment on his ripped jeans, too.
(11) At the time I was 14 years old, and I thought I was in love. (12) So when my mom picked up the phone down in the kitchen and told me to hang up, I was more than embarrassed. (13) I was mortified. (14) My boyfriend heard our whole fight. (15) My boyfriend waited on the other end of the phone while we argued. (16) "Mom, I only need a minute, " I said.
(17) "Okay, I will be off in a minute," I said.
(18) "I need the phone," my mom said sternly.
(19) This day wasn't like others. (20) She didn't just hang up the phone and wait for me to get off. (21) Instead, she replied, "No. (22) Hang up now. (23) I desperately need the phone, and precious time is being wasted."
(24) I sighed. (25) "I promise to hang up right now. (26) Just let me say goodbye."
(27) "Now." (28) She meant business. (29) I couldn't believe it. (30) I continued to argue. (31) Back and forth and back and forth, our voices rising and tears lodging in my throat. (32) She won. (33) Eventually I had to say goodbye to him with her listening. (34) To this day, I will never know how long we actually argued in front of him.
(35) It could have been ten seconds. (36) It could have been ten minutes. (37) I had no idea then. (38) I have no idea now.
(39) But I locked myself in my room. (40) As long as she was around, I didn't come out. (41) It lasted for three days. (42) It was a silent protest. (43) No matter how the dinner might smell, I persisted.
(44) On the third day, she came to my door and knocked three times. (45) I answered with silence. (46) Then she slid down the outside of the door and sat opposite me in surrender. (47) There we sat, and she began to cry. (48) It was the first time I'd heard her cry. (49) And eventually, I opened the door and cried myself.
(50) I would have to double the years of my life before I realized how wrong I had been, how much my mother loved me, and how little I would remember of the boy on the other end of the line.
(19) This day wasn't like others. (20) She didn't just hang up the phone and wait for me to get off. (21) Instead, she replied, "No. (22) Hang up now.
(39) But I locked myself in my room. (40) As long as she was around, I didn't come out.