A Mother's Rival

by Rebecca Jane

Once upon a time Rockell lived in New York City and frequented pleasure spots where writers and artists engaged in noisy conversation; now she is a lactating mother living in San Diego with her in-laws who recently immigrated from China. Every day Rockell's husband nags her to get a job, but Rockell can't find the motivation after repeated rejections and failures on her former career paths; so, she insists she wants to stay home to nurture her child. One night Rockell's husband invited his colleague, Ms. Clout, for dinner; they nibbled English sweet peas while Rockell admired the attorney's sexy legs and lilting Eastern European accent. Ms. Clout gave Rockell advice: "Don't let low LSAT scores deter you; if you want to be a lawyer, go for it!" All Rockell really wanted to do was talk about how fulfilled she felt nursing her infant while singing old rhymes and whispering to wind nymphs and water fairies about cows jumping through the blazing night sky. But motherhood doesn't bring in an income, and Rockell's cocktail party conversation bored her guest; besides, she couldn't compete with Ms. Clout, who continued her dainty nibbling while she boasted about how liberated she felt with her book coming out soon and her multilingual, six-year-old daughter on a plane this very moment — an unaccompanied minor — on her way to stay with grandparents in Europe for the summer.


Rebecca Jane, whose full catalog is here, writes fiction.