Hey everyone. I’ve been bouncing around some story ideas in my head and so far this one has stuck. Over the next couple weeks, I may just be adding on to this piece here. Please keep in mind, this is a rough draft. Some of the thoughts may wander, I’ll clean those up later!
Have a wonderful day
I sat in the cold office of the local therapist and sighed. I don’t need to be here, ain’t nothin’ wrong with my past that’s causin’ me such tizzies now. The therapist had to tend to something and decided to leave me by myself. “Thanks, Doc,” I murmured, half hoping to see him pop his head in the door.
We began covering my childhood, blurs of emotions and memories I’d just rather forget. The therapist said it’s good for me to conquer these demons I’m always carrying, I say he’s plain crazy himself. Oh well, no use fightin’ it now. I laid across the couch like I was at home. The cold leather made my skin tingle, and for a moment I was floating down the river on the raft my sister and I built. It was a wretched old thing, now that I think back on it, that could have damn near killed me. We strung together old planks that weren’t no good for nothing with very brittle twine. Paw said that twine been ’round longer than him, though I didn’t believe it. Boy was Paw mad when Mary came runnin’ up to him cuz I got caught on some rough waters. Thought he’d light her up some, lettin’ me do somethin’ stupid like that. But he knew we was kids then, and kids needed to be kids, ain’t no doubt about it. That’s a story for another time.
My childhood wasn’t always bad. For the first three years, it was as normal as everyone else’s. There was Maw and Paw, happy as the dickens and madly in love with each other. Maw was a pretty little thing, with her long, bone straight auburn hair dancing gracefully down the middle of her back. Paw said, that when he met her, her freckles sprinkled her face like stars sprinkle the sky. He told us that her eyes were the deepest blue known to God himself, and the sun had it’s time kissin’ her skin. Paw said that she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever laid eyes on.
Paw was a rough lookin’ man, even in his younger years. He was a rough six foot tall, and the lankiest boy in his classroom. Paw would chuckle and tell us how Granny would load his plate up at dinner, just to put some meat on his bones. It never stuck, and eventually Granny gave up. Looking at Paw now, you woulda never guessed he had jet black hair, but he swears it was. His green eyes danced when he talked about Maw, and how excited he was when his first born came into the world. Course, he was happy with me too, but I was just meant to be the farmhand child. Never ended up that way, why Maw leavin’ us as she did. Poor Paw was left to the fields by himself while Mary and I kept to ourselves. Mary spent her time being a girl, and I spent my time reading books. I could get lost in them for days, meanwhile, Mary planned out her future.
“Oh, can’t you imagine it, Bea? I’ll be wearin’ white while Paw is walkin’ me down the aisle. I’ll have a bouquet of sunflowers and baby’s breath an–”
“Why you gonna make babies breathe on your flowers, Mary? You’re a strange one indeed!” I’d cut her off. How was she gonna carry babies to breathe on those sunflowers anyway? Ain’t gonna have me carry those squirmy things, no how.
Mary giggled, “Ya know Bea, for all that time you spend readin’ you sure are dumb! Babie’s breath is a flower!” Mary smiled down at me from the top bunk. She sighed a little before voicing her thought. “Bea, do you think Maw will be there? To see her baby get married?”
I scoffed. “I don’t care what that wretched woman is doin’ or what her excuse is. She ain’t been there for me, and I don’t wanna be there near her.” I could see Mary’s wince out of the corner of my eye.
“Aw c’mon Bea, you don’t mean that. Maw’s just havin’ one of them crisises things that you always talk about.”
I sighed while closing my book. This was about to be a war. “Mary, this ain’t no mid-life crisis. Maw was twenty-eight when she abandoned us. I was three years old, screamin’ my head off when she slammed that door. You ‘member that? You had to take care of me at five, Mary. That’s too young. Maw done gave up and left us.” That’s it, I was beyond consoling. Mary just better drop it and move right along.
Mary looked out the window and bit her cheek, after what felt like an eternity, she spoke. “Whatever you say, Bea. I still have faith, and I’m entitled to it. She’ll be there.”
I rolled my eyes. “Ain’t no use in tellin’ ya facts, is there Mare? Maw left us. She di’nt want the life Paw was makin’ for her. She hungered for that city life.” The only reply from my sister was another sigh, but that told me all I needed to hear. There wasn’t a point in trying to change her mind. To her, Maw was a queen, and she was her princess. I tossed my book to the floor and headed outside. My old shack was calling my name.
From the outside of the shack, you’d think Ol’ man Jebbers lived in it. The sign I had hung long ago was teetering on one hook. The door and it’s makeshift hinges looked about as weathered as my Paw. To the left of the door, the shattered remains of a window stood proud, having almost survived a flying pebble from yours truly. I didn’t know it then, but I had a pretty mean swing. Paw was supposed to teach me more on playing catch and running, but he never had the time.
A fine bed of hay that was “no good for my pony” from the neighbors lay in one corner, used as a makeshift bed. I found an old metal bucket that Paw used to carry for the stray cats sitting in the opposite corner. At one point, I was saving all the money I could to fix myself a garden in the back. Paw said no, that he didn’t have the time to tend anymore land, and that no daughter of his was to go hole up in some rickety shack for the rest of her life. I’m pretty sure I spit at him that day.
I kept all my favorite things out there, from clippings of Paw and his award-winning pies, to Mary and her bout with a runt calf that was fixin’ on the slaughterhouse. She raised that calf til he was good and ready to feed us, as he was in no shape to breed with our Mama Cow. That runt fed us good, and brought in a nice spot of money. Mary didn’t talk for a month. I can’t say I blame her. Suppose I didn’t help when I told her that her ol’ Henry fattened up towards the end. Paw gave me some good smacks for that one. I don’t think I sat right for a week.
My shack was my domain, and even the old sign was barely hanging on, everyone knew. Do not bother Bea when she’s in that shack, she’s come out for food when she’s darn ready.