I am pleased to share an entry in to this month’s competition from chichlee, a previous contributor to the mini monthly competitions. Welcome back chichlee and thank you for giving us another interesting piece.
This month’s topic has been a good illustration of the diverse styles and interpretations different people can apply to the same writing prompt so thank you again to Tom for sparking the imagination of all the contributors. 🙂
January 22, 2014 at 10:29 pm
I’m old now. I had two sisters. My mom died young. A stepmother with step-sibs followed, younger than my sisters and me.
My family looked down on me. I’d gotten pregnant by a good-for-nothing, but I thought I loved him. Truth to tell, I got pregnant so’s he’d marry me. But he didn’t.
My daughter ran all over me, I felt so guilty. She followed in my footsteps, although she was more courageous. She finally moved out and got married and I was still lonely.
Always lonely. I just needed someone to care for – someone who needed me. That’s not so much to ask, is it?
I found someone. But he was peculiar. Frank didn’t eat nothing but beef and potatoes. I really love to cook, but I couldn’t go too far because he wouldn’t eat it. As we built our life, turned out that Frank said who I could be friends with, who we went to see and for how long. I can count on one hand how many times anyone came to our house.
I knitted. Aside from working, that is. He was disabled and couldn’t work, so I worked, and when I wasn’t working I knitted.
By the time my dad got sick, I wasn’t really very close to my family any more. Frank had good reasons not to visit my family. His legs pained him. He knew he wouldn’t like what they were serving for dinner. He had to see the game on TV. It was too far to drive.
But they never came here, neither.
I got a good letter from my stepsister, though. It was weird – she said that I had a place to come if I ever wanted to leave Frank. She told me of her cousin who had left her husband because he’d been controlling her every movement for years. I didn’t understand any of that part. I asked my sisters, “Is she telling me to leave Frank?” They just shrugged.
But the good part of the letter was that she encouraged me to speak my mind and clear the air – between me and my dad, I mean – because she said he didn’t have much time left.
And I told him, too. Him and his wife, both. Years ago, a big wedding for my sister in their home, but nothing for me. Always overlooked. Always looked down on. Never calling unless they wanted something from us. From me.
Of course, he did die, and I didn’t even go the to memorial.
I wish I’d gone. Sure, I’d cleared the air, but I never got an “I’m sorry.” Nor either, a chance to forgive him. Now he’s gone and so’s Frank. I hear from my sisters rarely. Never from the step-family.
Turns out they loved my dad for who he was. Who did I love?
So now I knit, and visit down the hall, and wonder how my life could have been if things had been different.