Sharpie Lovlie

You slink back home in shameful retreat and wait until your mom is busily prepping supper before you drag a chair over to the art cabinet and reach way way way high in the back where they keep all the good stuff. Man, you’re tall these days. Way to be awesome.

You sit down at the table and rock out a gorgeous rendition of Jan Gossaert’s Adoration of the Kings, and you make sure to give the Virgin Mary your mom’s haircut and a bright pink robe with a big red heart on the chest. Beautiful. Folding it up several times would be a nice touch, too. She’d like that. You lift the page to admire your handiwork. And that’s when you see the marker all over the table. You feel a little thrill of terror.

Oh yeah. That.

Maybe she won’t notice it among all the scribble marks from last year. And the year before. And Mother’s Day. And Easter. And-

“Honey?”

You slap the box of Sharpies backward off the table, but it’s too late. She’s seen them. Especially as they explode across the back wall, raining contraband markers all around the bottom of your seat. They clatter loudly across the linoleum as you stare up at her. Pretend nothing happened.

“Did you…?”

She trails off, horrified rage choking out her ability to speak, and you give her a blank stare. Act natural. Did I… what? Who, me? What?

Her knuckles turn white and she silently trudges her worn way back to the cleaning closet. Your cheeks hot with shame, you stare down at your rumpled art.

Bad call, kiddo. Maybe next year.

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