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Home At Last
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Home At Last
A short story about a woman's strugle with the transition from single college girl to married mother.
[1,281 words]
Krista Weiss
Hi! I am a young mother of two adorable children, Alex and Maggie. My 3rd child is expected this winter. Besides being a mother, I am a teacher of 2nd grade. I live in rural Ohio on a small farm.
[July 2004]
Home At Last
Krista Weiss

Sonja released her long ebony locks from the curlers, one by one. As she
shook her head, vibrant curls cascaded down her back. She chose a dark red for
her luscious lips and heavy black eyeliner to shape her eyes. One glance
through the closet and she settled on her favorite club outfit, a daring black
miniskirt and a sparkly red shirt that plunged to reveal an ample view of her

“Damn, I look good,” she thought as she assessed herself in the mirror.
By this time her friends had finished the last of their vodka and were anxious to
leave. As they walked into the nightclub the beat of their hearts began to match
the bass vibrating in the air.

“Hey, Sonja!” called the bartender, “Let me buy you a drink.” As she
sipped her beer, she pulled out a cigarette and leaned against the bar. The
place was packed tonight. Sonja knew most of the regulars, but she spied a
group of cute guys on the dance floor that she didn’t recognize. She grabbed her
friends and shimmied up to them.

Suddenly she felt something tug at her leg. She tried to shake it off, but
the tugging became more persistent.

“Mama, book. Mamma, up.” Her daughter, Natalie, insisted.

Sonja absentmindedly picked up the little girl and tried to recapture her memory.

“Sonja, what’s for supper?” Jeremy called from the living room.

She sighed and padded in to the kitchen. She caught sight of herself in
the hall mirror, but quickly walked on. With her husband’s boxers and tee shirt,
hair that was barely combed, and no makeup she looked decidedly less than

“Jeremy, I am going out Saturday night,” Sonja announced over meatloaf.

“Out where?”

“Out. With the girls.”

Jeremy raised an eyebrow but shrugged his shoulders and said, “OK.”
Sonja ignored the questions in his eyes and forged ahead with her plans.
A few phone calls and it was set. She and her friends from college would
be back on campus at their old stomping ground. She could barely get through
the humdrum of ordinary life that followed the next several days as she thought
about the adventure they would have. They all had families now and rarely got
together anymore.

When Saturday arrived, Sonja ran her usual errands, but her mind was
swimming with thoughts of the night ahead. She impatiently observed Jeremy
mowing grass when she got home. She tried to settle down and play with
Natalie, but her gaze kept returning to the clock. When Jeremy finally came into
the house, Sonja thrust Natalie into his arms and rushed to take a shower.
Afterwards, she wrapped her hair in a towel and looked into her closet. There it
was, in the very back, her favorite club outfit. She couldn’t hold back the smile as
she fingered the silky material. She pulled the red shirt over her head and
slipped on the familiar skirt. One glance in the mirror and her grin melted away.
Where did this roll across her tummy come from? The once sexy, plunging
neckline now only revealed sagging breasts. As she turned to study her
backside she realized that the skirt barely covered her and exposed her cellulite
for the world to see. She quickly disrobed and pulled on a blouse and khaki

The clock told her she needed to hurry. She pulled the towel off her head
and plugged in the curlers. As she turned on the hair dryer, Natalie, who had
followed her into the bathroom, started to scream. Sonja plopped Natalie in the
living room where Jeremy was watching TV. She trudged back to the bathroom.
Of course Natalie toddled after her. After several more attempts at privacy,
Sonja gave up and quickly dried her hair, trying to ignore Natalie’s wails. When
she was finished, she realized that she had forgotten to turn the curlers on.
Closing her eyes and slightly shaking her head, she wished she could change
the circumstances. She sighed, no time now. She threw her hair back into a
ponytail and applied her makeup a little heavier than usual hoping to get a
dramatic look. She put on the dark red lipstick she hadn’t worn in ages.

Raising an eyebrow and frowning, she studied her reflection. She looked
like a clown. She blotted most of the lipstick off with a piece of toilet paper and
added a little lip gloss. She wiped away some of the blush and eye makeup.
Much better.

She strapped on a pair of high heels and walked over to her purse. As
bent to rub her calves, she realized that there was no way she could wear these
things all night. Her worn sandals found their way onto her feet.

She gave Natalie a hug and Jeremy a kiss, then walked out the door.
Before she reached the car, she heard Natalie screaming. Pausing and looking
back at the house, she saw Jeremy standing on the porch, holding Natalie, trying
to get her to wave good-bye. Natalie lunged toward her mother.

“Go on, we’ll be fine,” Jeremy called reassuringly.

Sonja reluctantly got into the car and waved to her little family almost
ready to call the whole thing off. Wait, she told herself, I deserve this, I need this.
She quickly sped off toward town, almost afraid that if she slowed down, she
might turn the car around.

She pulled into the parking lot and nostalgia filled her as she admired the
familiar lights flashing from the sign. She sat for a minute unsure of what to do.
Her eyes searched the parking lot for a familiar face. Several years ago she
would have walked in alone, but now. . .it had been too long.

Finally, her friends arrived. The group feigned confidence as they walked
toward the club. As Sonja pulled open the door, the blast of bass almost
knocked her down. They walked to the bar and Sonja ordered a beer. After
finding a table, Sonja surveyed the room. She didn’t know a single person here.
God, they all looked so young.

One of her friends offered her a cigarette.

“No, thanks, I gave that up when I was pregnant.”

As she sipped her beer she remembered why she used to have a few
shots first. She wasn’t sure how much of this she could drink. At least
she had an excuse. She had to drive home. She glanced at her watch. Jeremy
was probably rocking Natalie to sleep right now. Without warning, her arms
ached to hold her daughter and she felt the tears sting the back of her eyes.

“Come on, girls, let’s dance,” Sonja said with much more enthusiasm than
she felt. On the dance floor she tried to get into the rhythm, but her heart wasn’t
in it. She wondered if the younger crowd was laughing behind her back, thinking
she was too old to be here. She certainly didn’t recognize any of the songs or
dance moves that everyone else was doing. Her arms and legs felt heavy, but
she plastered a smile on her face and forced her body to move. After a few
songs, and a headache developing, she was desperate to leave the floor. She
excused herself to the ladies room, but her friends all abruptly followed. For the
first time, she realized they didn’t appear to be having much fun either.

“You wanna just go to Friendly’s and get some ice cream?” She asked.
Relief flooded the group and escaped as giggles and nods.

After a scoop of double fudge, she headed back home. Even though it
was early by nightclub standards, she was worn out. The house was dark when
she pulled into the driveway. She stopped at her bedroom and gave Jeremy a
kiss on the cheek. Then she crept into Natalie’s nursery and picked up her
sleeping baby. She sat in the rocker and brushed Natalie’s hair back from her
forehead and placed her lips against the baby’s temple. Then she began to rock,
home at last.



"What an interesting shory story! It is realistic and it's definitely a situation women can relate to. " -- Adelma, Chicago, IL, USA.


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© 2004 Krista Weiss
July 2004

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