Milanda

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Malinda 

By Kathy Wilson

 

Malinda slowly opened one of the large double oak doors to Mr. Manley’s bedroom. She tiptoed in although the two-inch Persian rug would have rendered any footsteps silent. 

The room was hot and dark as the rain fell heavily against the windows. Mr. Manley loved to hear the birds chipping in the morning but today the birds were silent. Oh, how Malinda wished it were otherwise, the birds chirping, always put a smile on Mr. Manley’s kind face.

Malinda stood looking at Mr. Manley who lay on his huge four-poster mahogany bed covered in his blue and yellow patchwork quilt. Mrs. Manley had sewn that quilt for him. Many of the squares were now threadbare but Mr. Manly refused to get a new one. He said this quilt made him feel close to his deceased wife.

Malinda had been his maid for thirty-five years. She had watched while he grieved over the death of his son Joel and then his wife Emily. “You should never have to bury your children,” he wept. His son Joel was only forty when he died suddenly in an auto accident. “Of course, he was drunk as usual,” thought Malinda. He gave Mr. Manley nothing but constant heartache. Thethe good Manley name had been smeared over Boston’s newspapers since he was often picked up drunk during probation. 

Malinda wiped a tear from her eye with her index finger, as she thought of Mrs. Manley. Poor dear lady, she was never well after her son’s accident and only a year after Mr. Manleyput her in her grave. 

Now there is just me, the maid, Malinda sighed, no living relatives, they all predeceased Mr. Manley by many years since he was one week away from his hundredth birthday on October 25th

It had pretty much been just her and Mr. Manley in this large house for the last twenty-nine years. What will she do when he passes on? Fifty-five is not old, but to start all over again. This is the only life she’d known since at age twenty, she came straight from an orphanage. 

Malinda wiped more tears from her face and now had to reach into her starched white apron pocket for a tissue to blow her running nose. She blew into the tissue as quietly as possible.

“Malinda is that you?” His voice was but a strained whisper. 

“Yes sir, can I get you something? “ 

Barely audible he said,” No thank you Malinda.” He tried to lift his head but managed to reach out his hand. She gently took his hand in hers; it was so cold; he gave hers a light squeeze and whispered,

“Thank you for everything, Malinda.”

He coughed and then a final cough exploded from his lungs. He sucked in his breath and then let out a loud gasp and was still. His hand had fallen from hers and hung at the side of the bed. Malinda knew he was gone. She took his hand in both of hers and held it for a few minutes before she raised it to join his other hand on his chest. She lowed her ear to his heart. She then took the quilt with both her hands and gently tucked it up around his neck.Stepping back from the bed, she found herself bowing from the waist.

 

Malinda now let herself sob openly.

 


Submitted: June 21, 2022

© Copyright 2022 kathywilson6c. All rights reserved.

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HOUDINI

Not a bad story...couple edits needed. Good work!

Wed, June 22nd, 2022 12:03am

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