Chapter 11 - The mother from hell

The Mother from Hell

Language level: lower-intermediate


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While I was at work my mother showed Concettina photographs of me when I was a child.
 Conci was so shocked that she almost lost our baby. Why? Because my mother had lost her glasses and so she didn’t see that in reality she was showing Conci photographs of my sister Katie.

A magic moment?

This morning my mother insisted on coming to the pre-natal scan with us.
 It was a very special moment.

On a monitor we could see our baby. It was really only a small fetus, but we  could see it!
 The head was enormous and the body tiny, and only half-formed.
 “He looks exactly like his father!” Mom said.

When Conci saw the images of our baby she cried.
 Mom saw her tears and said: “It’s too late to cry! You’ve done it now and there is the evidence!”
 The doctor put a hand on Conci’s belly. 
“How do you feel?” he asked.

Incredibly, my mother answered him!
“Not very well, doctor,” she said, “the food is very strange over here and it’s doing something to my stomach, but I’ll be OK, but thanks for asking.”

The last straw

This afternoon was the last straw. My mother came to my workplace, uninvited.
 Carolina Visconti, my secretary, came into the office in a terrible panic. 
“John, where is the Saturn project file? I have to do it now!”

I thought for a moment: 
“No, you don’t!” I said, “you can do it tomorrow.” 
“No, you don’t understand!” She said, “your Mother wants it done now!”
 I couldn’t believe my ears.
 “Carolina! I am your boss, not my mother! Where is she now?” 
Carolina was afraid to answer.
 “Where is she?!” I shouted. 
“She’s in a meeting with the security people.”
 “What?! Go and tell her to come here now!”

I sat in my office in pure disbelief. My mother has always interfered in my life, but this was crazy. 
Carolina came back without my mother.
 “Where is she?” I asked, trying to stay calm.

“She said she can’t see you now, but you can make an appointment for tomorrow  morning with her, if you want.”

Go home!

This evening I had a frank talk with my mother:
 “I want you to go home,” I said.
 “Why? I’m trying to help you!”

“Because all you do is embarrass me and interfere with my things. I want you to go tomorrow.” 
My mother looked hurt.
“You have a short memory!” She said, “do you remember when you were a child and you almost died in that river? Who pulled you out and saved your life?” 
“You were the one who pushed me in!” I shouted.

“Stop changing the subject!” She protested.
 My mother returned to England this evening. 
It was wonderful to be alone with Conci again.
“Why is she like that?” Conci asked.
“Oh she’s just an English mother,” I answered, and then the phone rang.

A new low

It was Carolina.
“Sorry to disturb you,” she said, “but I can’t process the order you requested because of the new regulations.”
 “What new regulations?” I asked. 
“The new security regulations approved by management in the meeting this morning. Now all orders must be countersigned by your mother.”

I counted to three, then spoke: “OK,” I said, “call my mother and ask her to countersign it, then tomorrow morning we will discuss these new regulations.” 
“I already called her,” Carolina said, “and she says she won’t countersign until she has seen the order.” 
I put the phone down, walked to the window, opened it and then screamed.

“Everything OK?”  Conci asked. 
I looked at her beautiful face. “Couldn’t be better,” I told her and dreamed about our future with a smile.


Glossary

scan - ecografia
tiny - minuscolo
belly - pancia
straw - pagliuzza (dal modo di dire the straw that breaks the camel’s back, equivalente a ‘la goccia che fa traboccare il vaso’)
workplace - ufficio
in pure disbelief - in totale incredulità
looked hurt - sembrava offesa
countersigned - controfirmati
screamed - lanciai un urlo


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