“And this year my little Monique will place first in her class.” Mother rubbed my shoulders as she continued to brag about me to her friends. “Yup! She got it all from me! The brains… the beauty…” She pinched my cheek. “She’s just like I was at her age.”
“Well, my Rebecca is a just a peach! That’s what all her teachers say!” Mary Kate boasted.
“All the teachers, or just the one she slept with?” I teased.
While Mother gave me a silent kick to the shin, I kept my eyes peeled for a chance to flee. The dress she had forced me to wear at this cocktail party was starting to itch in all the wrong places. Of course Mother still appeared as graceful as a goddess in her black silk.
“And that’s not all!” Mother went on. “Monique got accepted into Stanford! Just like me!” She squeezed me so tightly all breath escaped my lungs. “Oh! My little baby is going to be a legacy!”
“Umm, Mother if you don’t mind, I have some homework that I need to do that’s due tomorrow.”
She released her grip and glared at me. “You procrastinated this long to do it?”
I sucked in my breath, realizing the mistake in my lie. “It’s not much. Just a few final details on an end of the year project.”
Mother brushed the hair off my shoulders. “Right, right. You should go. We still have plenty to drink, don’t we gals?”
Her friends nodded as they took more pleasurable sips of champagne. “Oh, don’t worry about it too much, sweetie. You’ll be able to have some when you’re older.”
“Of course,” I agreed before disappearing up the stairwell.
“Ugh!” Wiggling my way out of my dress finally allowed me to breath again.
I pulled out a new pair of high-calf boots from my closet. “And now for some real fun.”
After changing into some comfortable threads, I dipped my hand into my ‘everything’ drawer and pulled out my wallet, double checking to see my fake ID inside. “Hey there, beautiful.” I bopped my picture on the nose.
Then, I cranked open my bedroom window and slide out unnoticed as I had a million times before.
What hadn’t happened a million times before, was me actually getting caught. A police officer—whom I’ve dubbed Officer Stick-In-Their-Ass—dragged me up the front porch of my house with my arm in one hand and my fake ID in the other. He knocked three times.
“Hello? Oh! Good evening, Officer, and… Monique!” Mother gasped.
“Even in’ Madam.” The officer tipped his hat at her. “Caught your daughter using this fake ID,” that he then flashed at her like I did with the bouncer. Should have used my breast to get in instead. Rookie mistake! “to get into and 18+ club called the…” He cleared his throat. “Dizzle Hizzle?”
I snickered. Oh my god, this guy was such a doofus. “Monique!” My mother snapped. “Thank you, Officer, I will properly deal with her myself.”
“Oh, I still have to take her down to the station for processing. I just wanted to see the famous Minshaw Mansion for myself.”
“Thank you, Officer,” My mother repeated as she took my hand and pulled me inside. Hiding my figure behind her own. “That will be all.”
“But Madam—“ Mother slammed the door in his face.
“Madam!” He shouted from the outside.
“Don’t make me call the guards!”
Rubbing her temples, Mother ordered. “Monique, go to your room. I will be there in a minute to talk to you.”
Silently, I abided, dread filling up in my stomach. Might as well start writing my will because I’m dead.
“Monique, you can stop brainstorming escape plans.” My mother appeared at my door.
“Listen, Mother, I’m sure you’re mad, but you have to let me explain. I’m just really—“
“Stressed because of finals and college.”
My mouth hung open. “How did you know?”
She strolled over and picked up a framed picture of the two of us. “I’ve always told you how similar you are to me when I was younger.”
Mother set down the picture and retrieved a small rectangular object from her pocket. She took one final look at it, smiled, then handed it to me. “This is… a fake ID? Your fake ID?”
“From when I was your age.”
“Wow.” I stared at it. “You look, exactly like me.”
She plopped down beside me. “Acted like you too. Maybe even a little worse.” She chuckled. “Why, there was this one guy I hooked up with and…” She glanced over at me. “Well, maybe you’re a little too young for that story.”
“You know, that’s the first time you’ve called me ‘Mom’.”
“Yeah,” she leaned backed, relaxed. “I suppose it’s because I act so much like my mother now. She was so strict and stringent. All the time. Stressed me out so much I retreated towards any club or bar that would let me in just to blow off some steam.”
“If that’s how it was, why do you act like her now?
“Because, the way she raised me, shaped me into the person I am now. And that lead to me going to a good school, getting a good job, a good husband, a good home…” She turned to me. “And a good daughter. My mother may have been stressful as all hell, but that all lead to the one thing I treasure most in my life: you.”
“Mom that’s so cheesy!”
Laughing, she said. “Yes, I suppose so.” She kissed me on the forehead. “But I'm allowed to say it because it’s true and I’m your mother.”
Mom pointed at the fake ID. “That’s yours now, by the way. Use it to get into a few clubs and have some fun.” She winked and headed out of my room.“Just don’t get caught this time. And don’t worry about that police officer. I’ll take care of it.”
I fumbled with the ID in my hand, a faint grin on my lips. “Wait, the birthday is too old on this!”
“Have fun, sweetie!”