December 1, 2014


Jennifer Lachenauer received a bachelor's degree in English from Kean University where she earned an academic award for excellence in essay writing for her capstone course. While actively involved in various forms of writing, her particular passion is short fiction because of how it combines the snap-shot like quality of a photograph with the written word. 


“I can take care of them, you know,” he looks in the mirror and observes his reflection while adjusting his tie and admiring his auburn hair, “I did raise three of my own after all.”
She balances a bundle of porcelain flesh on her lap and smooths the sleeve on its cherubic arm. “Three?” she asks with interest.
“Yep, all grown up now. Well, almost. They’re teenagers,” he rolls his eyes with a look of exasperation. “They can be quite a handful. Especially the girl. Always has been. She just asked me to buy her a motorbike. Not a bike, mind you, but a motorbike,” he shakes his head. “A girl on a motorbike. Can you imagine it? But I can remember taking care of them when they were that age,” he looks at her through the mirror and his eyes focus on the bundle in her arms. “I used to think that was the tough age.”
She smiles politely.
“But now they’re children. They’re not babies anymore.”
“Yep. The youngest, Michael, is five. Steven’s seven. The girl is eight. And nothing means more to her than her paint set. She keeps telling me she’s going to be a famous artist one day. She’s good too. She just painted me this picture of our backyard. Just beautiful. Nope, not babies anymore. But I remember how to take care of one.”
“I’m sure you do. But babies are a lot of work to look after.”
“Of course they are,” a momentary look of confusion washes over his face. “I have one myself. A lot of work.”
He turns away from the mirror to face her directly. His gray eyes, clouded with age, show flickers of recognition but nothing lasting. It’s been this way for the past two years now. She visits daily and listens to his stories. It’s a way to reminisce even if only in a detached way. She remembers the motorbike as well as the paint set and begins to consider the possibility that if he goes back any further she may no longer exist at all. 

 ~Jennifer Lachenauer

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