The attack lasted seconds. Silverware lay askew across the table and Chandra’s water had spilled in her lap. Mother was still standing, hunched forward and baring her teeth.
“Mom. Sit. Down.” I pleaded. My voice cut through the silence that’d befallen the restaurant..
Spittle flew from her mouth as she exhaled. “No. This, this bitch is not good enough for you Tommy.” She reached for my hand. I pulled back and laid the other over Chandra’s whose face had gone red; well the part I could see anyway. She’d let her hair tumble over her face– a shield against tears. “I’ve always wanted the best for my baby. And this hooer isn’t it.” A bony finger sprang up and hovered extended a foot away from Chandra’s face.
I stood and pulled on Chandra’s arm. “C’mon, Chan. You don’t deserve this.” I glared at my mother and her outstretched accusatory finger. A look of disgust still burned hot across her wrinkled face. “Don’t call me again mother. If this is how you’re going to act, well then, I just don’t want you around.”
Mother’s features softened as she turned to me. She wheezed a smoker’s wheeze and cursed me for a bastard. “Do you know how much I gave up for you? You don’t want me in your life? Fine. Leave.”
I turned and wrapped Chandra’s small shoulders. They recoiled with each sob.
“I’m so, so sorry Chan. I didn’t think she was going to be like this tonight.” I turned and looked back one last time. Mother was digging through her purse, pulling out her pack of 99’s. “I think she might be off her meds. She’s usually more… stable.”
Her puffy eyes peered through her tumbling hair. “Tommy, it’s fine. I just want to go home and change out of this.”
I nodded and we marched away into the parking lot.