“This is a story about a girl who had everything she ever wanted; can you guess who she was?”
“ha-ha-h…you’ve got that rite, well actually this story is about the kings own daughter”
”she’s the princes!”
“Yes she is, now hush up and listen…although she had all a girl could ever wish for, and more, she was restless for wanting she knew not what.”
“well if you know the story so well I guess you have no further need of me”
“Yes! Now get to bed, it’s past your bed time”
“Oh nothing! Good night my sweet”
“Hhh…I love you too” ‘moowa’
A door slam, and again…
That was the last time I saw my mother. She died that night in her sleep, which I hope means she died in peace. I was five and half when it happened and for years I was convinced that it was her own fault, that if she had only finished reading me that story…
Things changed after this, I couldn’t walk down the street without seeing the pity-full looks on peoples faces, but the worst thing was not being able to take back, not words, but silence… no “love you too” no “good night”…only silence.
Until I was ten I made my dad read me that story every night, he had to finish it of course! No stopping in the middle – I just couldn’t allow it. You’d think I grew out of this silly habit but I sometimes catch myself going over the story in my head, I know it by heart of course.
I have three older brothers. We all live about two miles outside the ‘big city’, but you’d think we lived in the middle of no where the way our house looks. It’s a cross between a ranch and a tavern - it’s old and rickety, looks like it might just give up on you at any given moment and the front porch looks like an old time saloon from all the dust covered bottles of vodka, wine, beer and whatever else they sell at the nearest store. My dad has been in a drunken stupor for most of his waking hours for the past couple of years. After my mom died he drank a lot but eventually it got better so that he only drank at the days end, but when business took a turn for the worse he just plum gave up on life in its entirety.
My eldest brother Jean now runs dad’s business. My dad is – I mean he was, a farmer in his profession. He and mom set up an organic fruit and vegetable business. Theirs were the best agricultural produce in all the state. But my dad just didn’t have any heart left to put into it; his had died when mom’s stopped beating. I had become orphaned of both parents, one vanished instantly and one slowly faded away, leaving behind only the shell of his former self.
I and two of my brothers, Kelly and timothy, do most of the farming sine we can’t waste any money on hired help. I love spending time with them, even when it entails menial labor. Now that I’ve turned sixteen I’m expected to really pitch in. I’ve grown like a weed since last spring so my muscles don’t show as much on me as they do on my brothers but I’m sure their just as big by now.
It’s a good thing I like working with timothy and Kelly since that’s all I’ve been doing for the past two years, ever since Jean, my eldest brother, got married to some prim and proper southern bell who’d 'just die' if Jean wasn’t available at her every back and call . So I dropped out of school, towards which I harbored feelings of major dislike, so that wasn’t too bad, and I started working in the fields. Before I had only helped out with the washing and packing - indoor jobs seemed to my dad to be safer, but my dad doesn’t seem to notice what any of us do any more. The down side of quitting with school is having a whole lot of suddenly undesignated resentment. Luckily for me dad, jean and his little darl’n seem to me to be a perfect match for it. I can’t bare seeing dad waste away while Jean steals rite form under his very nose, and her ladyship just sits there smiling smugly at the world, like a queen on her stolen throne. I just can’t help but hate her.
I want to think she changed him, that before miss Adrianna Snow, better known now as misses Hill, barged into our lives Jean was different: kinder more considerate...but I’m only kidding myself , he was nothing of the sort . He has always been rude and inconsiderate. I guess I just wish he weren’t so but ‘wishes will only bring you tears, only actions get you places’ - not very poetic I know, Jean used this as his personal mantra. At least I’ve got two other great brothers to make up for it. They both took over parenting me ever since dad’s been too drunk to see or hear me. I just wish they weren’t so under Jean’s giant thumb, I can’t help but get frustrated with them, they only dismiss me when I point out the obvious. They just won’t listen, at least not when I tell them.
There is one more member of this household whom I have yet to mention, when in fact he is the only one who gives me his undivided attention (when there are no mise around that is). Yup, he’s a cat and his name is Wooly because when I found him, on my way home from school one day, he looked just like a musshed up ball of fuzzy yarn washed up on the side of the road. Ever since then Wooly has been my solid companion. He is the only one who doesn’t dismiss what I say because of my age or gender.
“Oh wooly, I missed you today. I got into another fight with Kelly - more like I tried to get into a fight with him but he silenced me before I could get that far”.
“Hhh…you are so cute! Sometimes I wish it were just me and you”
“Wouldn’t that be great, if we could run away to the ‘big city’? I could be whomever I wanted to be, someone people didn’t ‘hush’ “
“Hahahhhh…, maybe I just need a little break, Maybe Timothy will take me to town with him day after next.”