Monday, June 19, 2017


The family uses Skype to get together on selected evenings since the mother and wife, Helen, is in Afghanistan on her national guard duty. Six-year-old Mark talks about happy events so does Michael, to avoid creating more anxiety for Helen then she needs. Michael, a seasoned police officer, sees a mask on Helen's face that makes him believe that she had a terrible day.

Helen's deployment ends. Michael uses his vacation days for the family to be reunited before she returns to her job at the hospital. A month after returning to her job, she begins to visit family on the other side of the state. It becomes a continuous visit every month then twice a month; she begins to take Mark on the visits. Mark believes something is going on but refuses to think about it. On the last visit, she calls Michael from an aunt's house. "I filed for a divorce; I met someone on my last deployment." Michael recalls the mask that he saw on her face; it was not the pressure of the job that she was hiding; it was someone else hiding in her room. "It just was one of those things that happens," she says. His anger strikes her, "You damn whore, I am faithful to you and you do this to us."

After the divorce is finalized, Helen says, "we can make arrangements for Mark to visit on school breaks since I'll be living on the other side of the state."
"No. I don't want to see you or him again," Michael says.
"Michael, please, Mark will be hurt."
"You got over me so can he."

One day Michael opens his front door. It is Helen's uncle who rung the doorbell. He hasn't seen him since a few days before the divorce. "Hi?"
"What's up?"
"Helen called me to get in touch with you to tell you that Mark is in serious health trouble because something in his system is not working right so the doctors say that you might have the right stuff in your blood to keep him alive."
"I have to get ready for work."
"Did you hear me?"
"Did you hear me?"
"This is your son that we're talking about."
"I lost my son eight years ago." Michael closes the door.

A week later in the supermarket parking lot, Helen's husband walks up to Michael, introduces himself. "How far did you kick your wife and kids to the dirt to get my family?" Michael asks.
"I never had a wife or kids before."
Michael vicious right uppercut knocks Husband unconscious to the ground. "Damn family snatcher," he snarls then walks away.

Helen calls Michael's captain for help. "Get a court order," he tells her.

Two years passes.
At the end of his shift, Michael sits in the locker room, preparing to leave the day's work behind  when a call for all officers to respond to an active robbery and shooting with officers down and injured civilian victims.
Later that evening, in their living room, Helen, Husband and Mark listens to the news announcer as they look at scenes from the event. An employment photograph of Michael appears."Police Officer Michael White bravely rescued an fellow officer and two civilians from danger but lost his life. He leaves behind a sole survivor, his brother." Mark stares at the television for a moment then stand, stroll to his room, closes the door in a manner that makes Helen and her Husband feel his barrier.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Circa 1850

In a mansion in the county, in the bedroom of Norman and his wife, Joan, they help each other to dress before breakfast; a ritual that they has done since the second day of their marriage.
"I believe him to be a scoundrel," Norman says. Their daughter, Jane, has confessed a love for man that she's known for two months.
"Jane believes him to be the love of her life," Joan says.
"There is something about him; I feel it," Norman says.
"You have not used your position to search into his past?" Joan asks.
Norman position is an attorney, and recently, administrator of his deceased father's landlord business in the county and city.
"No. I have not done that but it is a good idea," Norman says.

At the breakfast, the parents fill their plates from the cook's buffet then sit at the table with their daughters, Jane, Janis, Josie and Josephine, each already eats.
"Gregory has asked for an engagement," Jane says.
Taken-aback, parents and siblings stare at her.
"It is to soon; two months is to soon," Joan says.
"You mother and I courted for a year and three months before an engagement was announced," Noman says.
"I shall accept the engagement proposal," Jane says.
"Okay, but please consider us, your parents and do not marry until a year and three months from now," Norman says.
"If Gregory will agree then so will I," Jane says.
"No. This would be the only way that we will support your marriage," Norman says.
"Okay, we will wait," Jane says.
"Can we please finish our breakfast talking about me," Janis says.
The  butler enters the room with the morning mail and newspaper.

Jane and Gregory trot their horses after a gallop across the meadow. They stop to dismount and sit on the grass with a view of the creek.
"My father wants us to have a long engagement," Jane says.
"Does he just want us to test our love for each other," Gregory says.
"It is something that he and my mother did before they married," Jane says.
"We are not them," Gregory says.
"I know but I can not dismiss their wishes since father promises not to support our marriage efforts," Jane says.
In a disappointed manner Gregory says, "I see."
"Is there something the matter?" Jane asks.
"I was thinking that to wait for us to be happy together in our nest," Gregory says.
"Our love together will make time fly until we will be surprised that it our wedding day," Jane says.

In the attorney's cigar and brandy club, Norman's invited guest, president of the state's assembly and close of the state governor, Donald to the club.
"What is on your mind?" Donald asks.
"Why I asked you to meet me here?" Norman asks.
"Yes, it usually at the businessmen's club," Donald says.
"Oh, yes, well, I wanted to know why a young gentleman with the resources of wealth wants to hurry and marry some young woman who is wealthy," Norman says.
"Come again?" Donald asks.
"My oldest met a gentleman and already after two months he wants to be engaged to her with an early wedding with no whispered reason just love of one another," Norman says.
"Well, is not love the reason for marriage, mine is," Donald says.
"Most marriages but not all, you see there is marriage for the common law rule that a husband has the power of attorney over his wife's wealth once the wedding is blessed," Norman says.
"Well, this is true," Donald says.
"But, it is common law, an adopted tradition and nothing more," Normal says.
After a thought, Donald says, "that is true."
"It should be overridden by written law," Norman says.
"Why should it be?" Donald asks.
"When my wife and I married, I wanted a son but after my fourth daughter, the attaining doctor took me aside and told me that I should forget wanting a son because another child birth would kill my wife even if the child lived," Norman says.
"That was a very private conversation to tell me," Donald says.
"Yes it was but from my housekeeper's gossip, I learnt that your daughter's doctor told her husband a similar doctor's diagnoses but your son-in-law ignored it and your daughter died during childbirth," Norman says.
It is a sad memory for Donald. "That was a sad day but my son-in-law was just as grief stricken so much so that I believe that your housekeeper gossip is a rumor," he says.
"There is the doctor sitting over there so let's ask him if it is a rumor or not," Norman says.

"Why yes, I did tell your son-in-law that diagnoses," Doctor says.
"But why didn't you inform me?" Donald asks.
"You're not the husband," Doctor says.
"If only I had known," Donald says.

"Where is your ex son-in-law now?" Norman asks.
"He is living well in another county; he has re-married and the children are in boarding schools," Donald says.
"With your daughter's wealth as his," Norman says.
Donald ponders then says, "yes."
"My wife had a cousin whose husband claimed her wealth under that common law as it turned out if she wanted to buy a spring bonnet, she had to obtain his permission to spend her money and that among other things that he had done with her wealth that did not include her took away her spirit to live so she died way before old age should have taken her," Norman says.
"Why this conversation," Donald asks.

It took only three months for the state law to be enacted to disband that certain common law and give a woman control of her wealth and health in marriage however unless it is stipulated otherwise in a family will.

During breakfast, the butler gives the mail to each addressee and the newspaper to Norman. Jane reads her mail then in tears leaves the room. Joan reads the letter. "it seems that Gregory has liquidated all his wealth and gone to that place to search for gold and when he becomes rich then he will send for her," Joan says.
"If they had married I believe that he would have left our daughter penniless somewhere out there," Norman says.
"Do you think so?" The sisters asks.
"I agree with you father," Joan says.
Jane returns to the table. "I believe that I will invest the wealth that grandfather left me in his will in the family business and I will invest my energy also," she says.
"You will be welcomed with fatherly love," Norman says.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Monique and Eddie met during their second year at the prominent Black university; by the end of their third year, others tagged them as a couple before the engagement ring, until one evening. Monique with other students attends an interracial get together event, sponsored by the two universities. She meets Walter and a hush-hush romance happens until she sits with Eddie at their university.
Taken-aback, Eddie says, " I don't understand; I believed that we were happy with each other."
"We are but I just love someone else; he loves me," Monique says.
Eddie lets out a heavy sigh, then says, "okay, I understand."
"Thank you," Monique says.
"But, I thought we were happy together," Eddie says.
"Yes, but, this love happened," Monique says.
Eddie looks at her. "Okay, goodbye," he says then walks away.
Monique becomes teary eyed, looking at him.
The next day, someone tells her that Eddie dropped out of the university.

After their graduations, Monique and Walter marry. He begins his law career with the county's solicitors office and Monique uses her accounting degree to get employed with the local hospital. A house is purchased and children are born, first a boy then a girl. The children becomes junior high school students and Walter begins his self-employed civil law practice; the hospital promotes Monique. The children graduate to a senior high school and Walter receives a job offer from a prestigious Philadelphia law firm. It is the salary that convinces them to accept the offer, mainly because of the children approaching choices for college. They move so that Walter will be within a suburban train ride to center city Philadelphia and Monique accepts a position with a local public accounting office.

The children lives at their colleges, and one evening, Monique waits in the lobby for Walter, sitting on a bench. Many people passes by her but a man stops.
"Monique?" Eddie asks.
Monique looks at Eddie. "Eddie," she says then stands.
"Yes. I thought that was you," Eddie says the asks, "how are you?"
"I'm fine," Monique says then asks, "how are you?"
"I'm fine also," Eddie says.
"That's good," Monique says.
A second of silence, looking at each other.
"That fellow that you love," Eddie says.
"He's my husband; he's a lawyer with a law firm here," Monique says.
"So, you're married," Eddie asks.
"Yes, aren't you?" Monique asks.
"No. I never bothered," Eddie says.
Monique grins. "Not because of me?" she asks.
"Why yes," Eddie says.
Taken-aback, Monique looks at him and he looks at her.
"I'm one of the city's assistant district attorneys; I came here to give some papers to a slick defense lawyer," Eddie says.
"That's good, I mean your job; I'm here to meet my husband for dinner," Monique says.
"Oh, I see, well, I guess that I better get back to my office; I still have a lot of pages to go over," Eddie says.
They both says "goodbye," but Eddie takes a step then stop. "When we dated, were you happy to be with me?" He asks.
"Why, yes," Monique says.
"That's good to hear," Eddie says then he walk away.
The question woke a memory in Monique of a night with Eddie in an off campus eatery when he told her that his most happiest days in all of his life was one Christmas and a birthday but now his third is every day being with her. Back then, she thought those were his expressions of being happy to be with her; now, it comes to her what he really meant.
"Sorry, I was a little late," Walter says then looks at Monique in a concerned manner. "Why are you happy or sad?" He asks.
"What?" Monique asks.
"You're teary eyed," Walter says.
"Oh, I just got something in my eye," Monique says.

On a Saturday, in a college cafeteria, Monique with a meal on a tray, selects an unoccupied table; she sits, begins to eat and drink.
"May I sit with you?" Eddie asks.
After recognizing him, Monique says, "Eddie, why, yes, please do."
After placing his meal tray on the table, he sits.
"It been quite a while since seeing you last in that lobby," Monique says.
"Almost eight years," Eddie years.
"That long ago," Monique says.
"Yes," Eddie says.
They eat, sip.
"Are you still with the district attorney office?" Monique asks.
"No. I retired, now teaching criminal law here at my law school alumni," Eddie says.
"Thanks good," Monique says.
"Are you here to meet your husband?" Eddie asks.
"No. I just attended an informational symposium on genetic heart disease," Monique says.
"Oh, are you ill," Eddie asks.
"No but it is what made me a widow and it has me worried about my children since it is an inherited disease," Monique says.
"I am sorry to hear about your husband and I hope your children are not ill," Eddie says.
"Well, the disease just creeps up on you without warning and stops your heart beats," Monique says.
"That is a worry," Eddie says.
"Yes it is," Monique says.
"How are your children taking it?" Eddie asks.
"It is not slowing them down," Monique says.
"That is good," Eddie says.
"Yes it is," Monique says.
"How are you taking it?" Eddie asks.
"I  pray that I don't outlive my children," Monique says.
"How old was your husband when it happened?" Eddie asks.
"Fifty-one," Monique says.
"Well, medicine is always getting better about such things," Eddie says.
"Yes, that is true," Monique says.
Eddie studies Monique for a moment then asks her, "you didn't know?"
"I found out from a letter with his will," Monique says.
"He didn't want you to know, to worry," Eddie says.
It is a memory smile as Monique says, "yes, that was him."
They eat, drink.
"How long has it been since your husband's passing?" Eddie asks.
"Two years," Monique says.
"Are you in love with anyone now?" Eddie asks.
After a moment Monique says, "no I am not seeing anyone."
"That night on the bench if you had not told me that, would we be together today," Eddie says.
Monique looks at Eddie, remembers, ponders, then says, "yes, we would be."
"That is good to hear; then, can we begin to be together," Eddie says.
Tears moistens Monique's eyes. Eddie smiles.
"I will be happy to," Monique says.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


"Good morning, boss," his secretary says.
"And a good morning to you," Andrew says.
He enters his office, closes the door. An hour later Mary knocks on the door. "Come in, Mary."
She gives him a folder. "It's a priority from Her Majesty," Mary says.
"Okay," Andrew says.

"Hello Andrew," Her Majesty says.
"I don't want to handle this case," Andrew says.
"I want you to handle it," Her Majesty says.
"I don't give a damn," Andrew says.
Her Majesty snaps, "wait a minute, Andrew, I'm your boss."
"I'm sorry but I just can't deal with this one," Andrew says.
"Well, you have to," Her Majesty says.
"Anything but this one," Andrew says.
"Listen Andrew, this would be good for the firm because it would give the firm a reach across the Mason-Dixie line and that is why, I gave it to you," Her Majesty says.
He sighs, sadness, anger.
"What is the problem with it, any way?" Her Majesty asks.
"Okay, okay, I'll do it," Andrew says.
"You damn right that you will do it; now, your second will be Martin and Alice will do the foot work, and the client will be here for a face to face in two days, so be ready for him," Her Majesty says.

Mary opens the door. "This is mister Peter Jenkins," she says then ushers him into the conference room. He enters then she walks away. Andrew stares at him while Martin and Alice looks at him. Not understanding Andrew's lack of courtesy, Martin stands and introduces the team then points to a chair for Peter Jenkins to sit. As he does, Andrew stands. "I'm not feeling well; my assistants knows what information I will need to handle the case," he says as he walks to the door.
Taken-aback, Martin says, "yes of course, I can do that mister Jenkins."
"I hope you feel better," Alice says.
"Wait a minute, I was informed that the best would be assigned to my case," Peter Jenkins says.
"That happened," Andrew says.
"I need this win because if I don't I'll be in the red for a long time, maybe even bankruptcy," Peter Jenkins says.
"I work primarily for the firm good reputation," Andrew says.
"I understand that but these faggots suing my family business for unfair employment practices."
Andrew interrupts Peter Jenkins. "I know the case and any further information needed, my team will gather it for me," he says then walks out of the room.

Alice stops Andrew outside of the courthouse.
"What are you doing?" Alice asks.
"What do you mean?" Andrew asks.
"Your lackadaisical bullshit in the courtroom for the past few days," Alice says.
"Listen, damn-it, I'm the attorney, okay," Andrew says.
"I'm a retired police investigator after twenty-five years and I've been with the firm for five years and in all those years my notes won cases and you're throwing this case away," Alice says.
"Go to hell," Andrew says.
"I'll go to Her Majesty, ass hole; I work for the good reputation of the firm too," Alice says.

The case goes to the jury and two days later they reach a decision that the judge decides to read the next day.

Andrew and his team wait in the corridor for Peter Jenkins. "Here he comes," Alice says.
"Looks like he has his wife with him," Martin says.
Andrew looks at Jean, after ten years, she's still pretty, shapely. The couple stops in front of the team. Jean shows her surprise to see Andrew. "Andrew, I didn't realize that it was you Peter was talking about; when did you leave Baltimore for Philly," Jean says.
"You two know each other?" Peter Jenkins asks.
"Yes, in college," Jean says.
Smiling, Jean holds out a hand for a handshake. Andrew ignores the gesture, leaves them. Stun, they all watch him go into the courtroom. Martin replaces the lost professional courtesy and escorts the couple into the courtroom; Alice follows.
The jury favored Andrew's summation. Peter Jenkins and Jean celebrate with hugs and kisses. Martin and Alice joins them with congratulation handshakes. Andrew walks out of the courtroom. Jean sees him.
Andrew stands outside of the courtroom, looking out onto the streets through a large window.
"Andrew," Jean says.
He turns, looks at her with teary eyes.
"I'm sorry; I didn't think that it would hurt you that much," Jean says.
Andrew looks at her then sees Peter Jenkins approaching, he walks away. Jean and Peter Jenkins walk out of the courthouse. From a doorway, Andrew watches them wait at a taxi stand. Alice pats Andrew's back. He looks at her.
"How long were you two together?" Alice asks.
"First year senior high school to third year of college and that's when I got the letter," Andrew says.
"How long was it since you last seen her?" Alice asks.
"Ten years," Andrew says.
"There must have been other women?" Alice asks.
"There was but they all came back to her so I just stopped," Andrew says.

In his office, Andrew studies legal papers. The door opens; he looks at Mary.
"What's up?' Andrew asks.
"Remember that case about a year ago from Atlanta, Georgia?" Mary asks.
"Yes," Andrew says.
"The wife is on the line asking for you, sounds like she's crying," Mary says.
"Put it through," Andrew says.
"Hello," Andrew says.
"Andrew?" Jean asks.
"Yes," Andrew says.
"He selected me," Jean says.
"What? Who?" Andrew asks.
"A proxy, I was a stand in," Jean says.
"I don't understand," Andrew says.
"Peter's father despised homosexuals and when he died, Peter dropped me to celebrate by dancing with his queer boyfriend that he kept secret. He never loved me back all those years." Jean says then remembers her reason why she called Andrew. "I hurt you; I hurt you bad," she cries, "I'm so sorry, forgive me, please forgive me, do that, please."
"Please, come back to me," Andrew says.
There is a moment of silence.
"Okay, I will," Jean says.

Saturday, March 18, 2017


As Michelle hurries up the stoop, she retrieves a door key that she keeps in secret. On the porch, she opens the door and sees her father flat out, motionless on the living room floor. "Dad," she screams and rushes to him. He moves and looks up at her, grumbles, "what the hell are you doing here?"
"I couldn't get in touch with you over the telephone," Michelle says.
"Damn thing broke and what the shit?" Dad asks.
"What do you mean by that?" Michele asks.
"A son would have shook me to see if I was till alive," Dad says.
"Please, not now Dad and how did you fall out of your wheelchair," Michelle says.
"I was reaching for something and the thing tilted; after I couldn't get up, I yelled for help, " Dad says.
"You know that these old houses are as close to sound proof as can be, and the breeze way between the houses helps muffle noise," Michelle says.
"I forgot about that," Dad says.
She stands the wheel chair upright.
"Wait a minute, how did you get in here?" Dad asks.
"Let's get you in the wheelchair and off the floor okay," Michelle says.
"Think you have enough man muscles to lift me?" Dad asks.
"Yes I do, Dad," Michelle says. She stands behind Dad then bends at her knees, places her forearms under his arm pits then stands, lifting him.
"Did you put the lock on?" Dad asks.
"First thing," Michelle says as she maneuvers Dad onto the chair.
He makes himself comfortable.
"Nope, don't do that because you have to take a bath to get rid of that awful smell," Michelle says.
"A man would have said that I smell like the back alley of a wino's street," Dad says.
"You stink Dad, please take a bath," Michelle says.
He takes off the brakes then wheel himself into the bathroom. She goes to the closet, gets the broom, mop and bucket , begins to cleanup. She finds Dad's telephone and discovers that he let the batteries run down.
"I don't hear no water running," Michelle shouts.
"You will as soon as I flush," Dad shouts.
She continues cleaning then hears the toilet flush and the bath water running. "Need help getting in," Michelle shouts.
"Oh no, hell no, not from you anyway," Dad shouts.
She finishes cleaning then prepares bacon and eggs to cook.

Michelle puts a plate of food before Dad then set a plate for her and sit opposite him. After he blesses their meal, they eat.
"There not much food left in the frig or cabinet so we could go shopping just like mom would," Michelle says.
Dad snaps. "Don't you mention my wife, damn-it; she would turn over in her grave if I told her what you did to yourself, my son a woman."
"Dad, mom understood it before I did," Michelle says.
"Don't you say that, she would have never encourage you to do that to yourself, never," Dad snaps.
"She didn't and you're right that she wouldn't have because it was my choice to make and I made it," Michelle says.
"My son, a woman," Dad snorts.
"That's right," Michelle says.
"Damn you Michael, Damn you," Dad says with anger.
"My name in Michelle," Michelle says.
"Not to me it isn't, I don't give a shit about everybody else, to me your name is Michael," Dad says.
Michelle looks at Dad. "You got that one," she says.
"Damn right, I do," Dad says.
"You should buy one of those wheelchairs with a motor," she says.
"In case you haven't noticed, I am the only he-man in the family now," he says then displays his arm muscles and says to mock, "not a damn she-man."
"This she-man picked your ass up off the floor," she says.
"Don't you curse at me," he says.
"I wasn't cursing," she says.
"You said ass to me about me," he says.
"I was talking about that particular part of your body and not your behavior," she says.
"You've become a wise guy," he says.
"Haven't you noticed, I changed," she says.

They finish their meal.
"Your phone should be powered up in a little while," she say.
"I glad you came over and help me off the floor," he says.
"Well, when I didn't hear your grumpiness after my third call, I thought something was wrong," she says.
Dad laughs as he recalls, "I was reaching for something, I can't remember now, anyway, my chair tilted and I must have knocked myself out hitting my head against the floor." He laughs louder that draws her to laugh with him. After a moment, he sighs. "I guess that I need you now more than ever," he says.
"If you say so," she says.
He tells her. "You are my only child and that is it, you are my child. I'll point out to anyone who asks that you are my child and if they asks what is your name, I will tell that you are my child and that is it."
"Okay Dad," Michelle says.
"Damn right, you are my child," Dad says.

Monday, March 13, 2017


She drives along the roads of Amish country until she stops at the farm that she seeks and parks on the side of the road. As she steps to the house, a tall man appears from the side of the house.
"Are you lost?" He asks.
She doesn't speak, just stares at him.
He walks closer to her. "Do you need directions?" He asks.
"I'm looking for Chester," she says.
"My name is Chester," he says.
"I am your granddaughter, Rebecca; my mother is your daughter, Kate," Rebecca says.
Chester displays no emotion, keeping his long lost grief in him. "I remember what I had to do," he says.
"Does that mean me too?" Rebecca asks.
Chester inhales deep then exhale. "No," he says.
"Thank you," Rebecca says.

In the kitchen, they eat a snack Chester prepared and he listens to Rebecca's recollection of her life with her mother. She asks about her grandmother. He talks about his wife from their marriage to the birth of Kate and then their mother, daughter relationship until his wife's death and how he began both parents until that day when she left him. Rebecca peeks at her wristwatch. "Oh, wow, time just flew by." Chester pulls out his pocket-watch. "Yes, it did," he says in a manner to announce to himself that he forgot to do his chores. She stands. "I have the summer off before college," she says.
"That's good," he says.
"I wonder if I can spend it here," she says.
"What will your mother say?" H e asks.
"It's just a summer vacation," she says.
After a thought, he says, "well, if, your mother approves."
They stand on the porch. He watches her walk to her car then stop.
"I didn't say a word about my father," she says.
"That was good," he says.

"Rebecca where have you been all day?" Kate asks.
"Up state, in Amish country," Rebecca says.
Kate's heart misses a beat. "What on earth for?" she asks.
"To find my grandfather," Rebecca says.
"Did you find him?" Kate asks.
"Sure did and we talked for hours," Rebecca says.
"You should not have gone there without letting me know," Kate says.
"If I told you would you have let me go?" Rebecca asks.
"I always wanted you to meet him but," Kate says.
"Well, at least that problem has been solved," Rebecca says.
"How did you fine him?" Kate asks.
"A year ago, grand-mommy mentioned him and I just started going to Amish markets and asking around and one day, I just got lucky," Rebecca says.
"And, you found my father from that?" Kate asks.
"Yes, and I also found out that Jeb got married to a fine wife and they have a son and daughter, and he took over his family farm," Rebecca says.
Kate has not thought of her Amish suitor in years. He promised to welcome and care for a not yet born Rebecca as his daughter but John was her father so she left the Amish world for his.

During dinner, John learns of his daughter's trip to the Amish country and meeting her grandfather without a display of concern; then, she mentions that she wanted to spend her summer vacation with her Amish grandfather.
"Out of the question," John snaps.
"Why not? She should get to know the other branch of her family tree," Kate says.
"I don't like it; remember what they did to you," John says.
Before Kate can say a word, John says, "we can't visit you."
"Did you pass a road side diner with a blue front," Kate asks Rebecca.
"Yes, I did," Rebecca says.
"We can meet her there," Kate says.
"Your father doesn't have a telephone or a computer; did you see any of that there, Rebecca?" John asks.
"No, but there was a mailbox," Rebecca says.

Rebecca arrives at Chester's egg and poultry farm; during dinner, Chester explains the operations of his free range chicken and turkey farm, growing and storing feed corn and selling eggs to nearby stores.
"You need to get out of those clothes. Your room was once your mother's and I never got around to tossing her clothes. Now, the work day starts early here so I'll wake you until your natural clock begins to go off," Chester says.
It takes a couple of weeks for Rebecca's natural clock to set and her muscle memory to become in the habit of the routine; so much so that by the close of summer, she is an old hand at it and she wants to stay.

In the diner, John keeps his anger in check. "You said, just for the summer," he says.
"I changed my mind," Rebecca says.
"What about college?" Kate asks.
"It doesn't interest me no more," Rebecca says.
"Let her go you said, it will be good for her," John tells Kate.
"I didn't think that this would happen; Did you meet a suitor," Kaye says.
"No, I didn't meet anyone. I'm just happy here," Rebecca says.
"He brainwashed you," John says.
"The life did that," Rebecca says.
"Just like the life of the outside world did for me," Kate says.

Chester sits in the one horse drawn buggy; he follows the ritual, however, he moves the side mirror to see Kate with John saying goodbye to Rebecca. As they walk to their car, Chester moves the mirror to keep Kate image on it; she stops, looks in his direction, wave then blows him a kiss that he catches, presses against his cheek; tears brightens father and daughter eyes. Rebecca climbs into the buggy.
"Ready grandfather?" She asks.
"Ready granddaughter," he says.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Lucy and her six-year old son Manny are asleep in the bedroom when the flame in the kitchen erupts and wakes the family dog, a black Chihuahua; he barks at the flames as if it were an intruder and that wakes Lucy.
After the fire department declares the fire extinguished, the Fire Marshal prepares to conduct her investigation. Lucy stands with the fire battalion Captain.
"What happens now?" Lucy asks.
"The fire marshal is going to make an investigation for the cause of the fire," Captain says.
"Will I be able to go back into my house when he finishes?" Lucy asks.
"Oh no, not tonight, a city inspector will have to clear it as safe to occupy and that may not happen until morning," Captain says.
Disappointed. "Oh man," Lucy says.
"Do you have a place to stay tonight?" Captain asks.
"Maybe my boyfriend," Lucy says.
"Well, just in case you don't, come with me and I'll contact the red cross for you to help you solve that problem," Captain says.
"Thanks, but I'll call my boyfriend," Lucy says.
"I'll give you the red cross number anyway," Captain says.

The Fire Marshal stands at the bottom of the stoop of the duplex getting ready to enter. Manny runs up to her. "What are you doing?" He asks. The Fire Marshal does not hear him so he tugs on her trousers. "What is it little fellow?" Fire Marshal asks.
"What are you doing?" Manny asks.
"I'm going into the apartment to check and find out how the fire started," Fire Marshal says.
"I know how it happened," Manny says.
"You weren't playing with matches. were you?" Fire Marshal asks.
Manny shakes his head. "No, no, I was asleep and Chitty woke us up barking," he says.
"Where is your mother?" Fire Marshal asks.
Manny points; "over there," he says.
"Better go and be with her," Fire Marshal says.
"But, I want to tell you who put the fire in my mommy's kitchen," Manny says.
Annoyed, Fire Marshal asks. "Who was it?"
"That man who is my mommy's boyfriend," Manny says.
"Did you see him do it?" Fire Marshal asks.
"No, I was asleep; I told you before," Manny says.
"Well, how do you know that he did it?" Fire marshal asks.
Manny uses both pointing fingers to emphasize, "he and my mommy stopped being boyfriend and girlfriend because he wants to fuss and cuss all the time my mommy said and he said one day that he's going to burn the do-do out of my mommy's house with a fire bottle," he says.
Lucy calls Manny over to her. He hurries to her then he tells her what he told the Fire Marshal. "Oh shit, why did you tell her that?" Lucy asks.
"She wants to know how the fire happened," Manny says.
"You shouldn't have told her that," Lucy says.

Fire Marshal's investigation determines that the fire was caused by a faulty microwave oven wiring. She leaves the apartment after she completed her investigation. Manny rushes to her; "did I tell the truth?" He asks. Fire Marshal does not answer instead she walks to Lucy. Manny wants to know if he told the truth, until Lucy tells him to be quiet. Embarrassed of what Manny said about her boyfriend, Lucy tells Fire Marshal, "my boyfriend and I did have a fight but that was a couple of weeks ago; we made up since then. He even bought me a microwave oven."