My novel, Everywhere She’s Not, is in large part about the relationship between a man, David, and his mother, whom, when David was ten years old, disappeared for two years. Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Back inside room 101, David sat down on the edge of his bed, and got lost in remembering a moment from his childhood.
* * *
He was sitting on the edge of his parents’ thrillingly gigantic bed. His mom was standing at her closet hanging up some of her clothes.
He is planning to crack his mom up—with a joke he thought of.
He starts off with an innocent, “Hey, Mom, guess what?”
“During recess at school today, I hit a home run.”
Busy with her clothes, his mother remains silent. But he has prepared for this very contingency.
“Do you believe me?” he says.
“Of course I believe you. Why wouldn’t I believe you?”
Nonchalantly, he says, “Oh, just checking.”
He kicks off his shoes, and scoots backwards on the brown and gold paisley bedspread. Once in the middle of the bed, he flops down onto his back.
“What am I doing right now?” he says to the ceiling.
“You’re lying on the bed,” says his mother.
Lifting his head, so as not to miss her reaction, he delivers his payload. “I thought you said you believed me!”
He wasn’t really expecting his mom to laugh; the most he usually got out of her was a smile. But that never kept him from trying another joke later.
More than just about anything else in the world, David wanted to crack up his mother.
And this time it worked.
While looking right at him, Georgia let out a loud and deep laugh. The power, the volume—the bass of it—took David by such surprise that his own laughter was snatched right out of his mouth.
He sat up on the bed and stared at his mother, as if her laughter was a sound he’d never heard before. Then, laughing harder than he’d ever laughed in his life, he fell backwards on the bed, his hands on his stomach, his feet kicking the air. His laughter blended so completely with hers that, for a fleeing moment, it sounded to him like they weren’t two different people laughing, but one.
See also: Mother’s Day for the Rest of Us