“So, now the money you give me is considered a ‘sacrifice’?” Chris’ mother whirled towards him.
“Of course it’s a sacrifice,” Chris answered angrily. “Do you think I give you money that I just have lying around? Stephanie is right she had no idea about the message you sent me, and genuinely did come here to make peace with you, but it looks like there is just no winning with you, mum nothing is ever good enough for you. I’m sorry you think of the money I give as ‘little’ but that is all I can afford to spare, and if it’s not enough for you, then that’s tough, because I’ve got a wife and child to look after as well. It’s not all about you!”
“Now you’re ganging up with her against me, your own mother! If she were so concerned about the pressure on your finances, then why doesn’t she get a job like all the other women these days? Gone are the times when a woman used to just sit at home waiting for the man to bring home money for the family. Today’s real woman works!” she practically spat at me as she span back to once again direct her attack at me.
I was about to ask her if she wanted me to work, so that Chris could spend on her rather than on me, but Chris once again leapt to my defence: “She works hard taking care of our son, and that is good enough for me, mum.”
“Then you shouldn’t be complaining about financial strains.”
“As far as I can recall, it was you who did that in your message, which, by the way, is why we’re even here in the first place,” Chris answered coldly and then reaching into his pocket, pulled out a couple of notes that he tossed onto the coffee table as he got to his feet. “There you go, there is the ‘little money’ you asked for. Stephanie, let’s go,” he said, his tone softening with a tinge of sadness as he bent down to pick up C.G’s travel bag.
“You take your money. I don’t want to put any more pressure on you to make sacrifices for me,” his mother hissed.
Without bothering to answer her, Chris ignored her and instead led the way out the door, as I got to my feet.
“Take your money,” she shouted after him, as she too got up as if to follow him, even though she made no move to hand back the money in question, which she had left lying on the table. After a moment’s hesitation, I turned back and picked up the money from the table: “Fine, we will.”
I then hurried on out to catch up with Chris, who was already getting into the car. I didn’t enlighten him on what I’d done, until we were already on the main road, and only then did I place the money in the space between our seats close to the gear lever.
“There’s your money,” I announced gently.
“What! What did you do that for?” Chris demanded, his tone a mixture of shock and anger.
“She didn’t want or appreciate it so, I figured it could be put to better use at home, where it actually is needed. I know she’s your mother and all, but money isn’t something that should just be tossed about, Chris. The truth of the matter is that we do need money at home, and while it is admirable that you were willing to give some to your mum, she didn’t appreciate the thought behind that, and I was so proud of you for standing up for C.G and I, and our needs as well,” I said my voice heavy with emotion, before leaning over and planting a kiss on his cheek.
For a few minutes, he didn’t respond, but then he eventually broke the silence with: “You didn’t somehow find out about the message she sent me, did you?”
“What message?” I asked with perfectly feigned ignorance.
That, apparently, was the right response, as briefly taking his eyes off the road, he leaned over and quickly pecked me as well “I love you Stephanie, and you’re absolutely right, we do need that money. I’m sorry I was throwing it away on mum, who clearly doesn’t appreciate it the way you do, but I promise you from now on, there won’t be any more secrets between us as far as money is concerned. You’ll always know what money comes in, and where it goes,” he vowed solemnly.
I simply smiled in response, as the jubilant thought “mission accomplished” flashed through my mind.
Source : The Observer