Holding the phone against her ear with her shoulder, she peeled the top off from a tiny tuna salad can and scooped a heap of the runny glop onto the only one of six pre-packaged butter crackers that hadn’t crumbled into oblivion. 

As she crunched on what was simultaneously the healthiest and most repugnant dinner option available from the hotel commissary, she continued to endure another infamous audible torture session. 

“You haven’t been home in almost a year. A YEAR! Did you know that, Naynay?”

“Mom, you know I hate it when you call me that.”

“Oh, Jesus Christ Naomi. Why do you have to be so uppity about everything? You’re just trying to change the subject. FO-cus on what I am SAY-ing. It has been three hundred and fifty two days since you last came home to see your family. I thought I’d taught you how important it is to keep family first. I just don’t know where I went wrong.”

“Mom, you know I’m busy with work.”

“You’ve been busy at work for ten years, Naomi! SOME people know how to talk balance their life and work. You’re all work, no life! Where are you right now?”


“Ooh, glamorous Ms Hollywood. Jet-setting on the West coast.”

Naomi looked around her cheap, nowheresville hotel room as her mother continued stabbing her ear with insults. If her mother could see the bedsheets covered in the previous guests’ hair and bodily fluids, she certainly wouldn’t call it glamorous. But it was still better than going home.


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