Thursday photo prompt: Avenue #writephoto

If you want to participate, here’s the link:


My mother never surprises me.  If she did, there might be one visit where I wouldn’t be outraged.  Dear lord, I’m 34, not 14!  I don’t need to be told, “Clean your room.”  Better yet, “Don’t cook in my kitchen, you’ll ruin the food!”   

True, I excel at cooking microwave dinners and suck at making pastries, but I can still put bread in a toaster. 

It’s hard being an auditor for a fast-food empire with restaurants world-wide.  I have little time to eat, sleep, work, and look for the next crook trying to steal from General Joe’s Fast Finery, Inc.

Mom lives on my father’s pension in a quaint English cottage, which is strange. Why would a woman from New York City want to live in a place that hadn’t made it out of the 18th century?  I can stand to stay with her about two days, and then I’m off to France, Spain or Switzerland doing my job.

Today’s outrage had nothing to do with my abysmal lack of “women’s skills,” as my mother calls them, nor her non-stop questions like, “How can you learn French and Spanish but fail to learn how to cook a roast?”  I finished off the last of my mother’s Coq au vin and, frankly, pouring red wine over fowl is a waste.   I prefer my chicken fried and my red wine in a glass next to a fine cut of prime rib.

Did I mention I was being stared at by some guy in a $2000 suit sitting across from me?  He looked so familiar…

“You two…get some exercise while I clean up the dishes,” my mother said.

“Shall we walk along the avenue?” he asked with an upper New York accent.

I sighed.  “Why would I want to do that?”

“It’s lovely.”

“I lived on an avenue as a child.  It was eight lanes wide and noisy as hell during rush hour.”

I swear his nose was stuck 20 feet into the air.  “How uncivilized.”

“All right.  I’ll walk along your civilized avenue,” I chuckled at him.

As expected, he scoffed at me.  No matter, I enjoyed walking by vine-covered cottages and into a park, perfectly cut grass looking like velvet under trees bent to form a canopy.  

“I don’t know where you went to school, but where I come from this isn’t an avenue, it’s paradise,” I said.

I threw off my shoes, running through the trees, twirling in the a-line knee-length dress I kept at her house to wear during my visits.  A glance…he was smiling at me and holding my shoes! 

“You are delightful,” he chuckled.  “Your mother said you were looking for a husband…”

“I stay at my mother’s house to save the company money,”  I said.  “Hotels are expensive. She sends a car for me.  Staying with her helps to remember why I never want to live in the same house with her again.  This moment is a good example.”

“That explains the bill,” he said, laughing heartily. 


“She sent me a bill for $5837, stating I owed her compensation for your transportation to her bed and breakfast,” He said.  “I’m Joe Johnson.”

“So?”  I asked.

“….founder of General Joe’s?”

“You’re hard to recognize when you’re not dressed in civil war military,” I said.  “Are you here to fire me?”

“You have singlehandedly saved my company over a hundred million dollars.”

“That’s my job.”

“You can afford a better apartment, and you don’t spend needlessly.” 

“I don’t like where this is going,” I said. “If you propose marriage, I’m going to puke.”

I rarely see a man laugh so hard he doubles over.  “My dear, I’m gay!”

“Thank God!”  I replied.  “Why did you come to my mother’s house for dinner, then?”

“To see if it was worth paying her bill, and it was.  She verified that you don’t come here to sightsee.  I’m offering you a job in the corporate office next to mine as CFO!” He said, as we began to walk through the remainder of the park to discuss the details of my promotion.



©Joelle LeGendre