• Mathura Hawley

uno

Updated: Aug 2, 2021


“Would it upset you to know that your father was married before?“ I was 17 and had never had a moment like this with her. "

My mother and I were playing Uno at our kitchen table when she suddenly put down her cards and asked, “Would it upset you to know that your father was married before?“ I was 17 and had never had a moment like this with her. I felt a blush of awkwardness as I was tripped into adulthood. I stammered "Um, well…” as she launched into the story of Verna Stone, the woman who married my father in 1945, then told him she didn’t want children and had an illegal abortion. To divorce her, my father had to sign a document saying he cheated on her and that he would never marry again. It was like an episode of Dynasty starring my father, the last man you would ever think of as the face of a scandal. “I heard about your dad because every girl at the Pavilion wanted to dance with him.” “Um, wow,” was all I could muster, wanting to crawl under the table. She paused, scanning the cards in her hand. “And he was quite a dancer. When I married him, I didn’t think he was that handsome, but I knew he’d be a great father.” She threw her last card down. “Uno!”


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