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Posts Tagged ‘youth’

Thank you to Indigo Spider for Sunday Picture Press and the picture prompts this week. I decided to go sappy and romantic with this one. But, I couldn’t help throwing in sadness, too. The picture I chose to write about is prompt #3, title unknown by Diane Arbus.

Visual Prompt 3 — Title Unknown, Diane Arbus

SHADOW

Laurie studied the handwriting on the package. It was not familiar to her. The return address didn’t include a name, just 1465 Gibbons Drive. No city, no state, no zip code. She glanced at the postmark, Fieldcrest, and sucked in too much air. She started to cough. It couldn’t be.

Her hands shook, and her heart raced as she gently opened the package. Inside was a small wooden box, exquisitely and painstakingly hand carved. At the center, was the sun, raised above all else, warm and inviting. Its rays emanated to all areas of the box. On the right was a single rose bud burnished into the rays. The bud wasn’t in full bloom yet, but it looked hopeful. On the left side were two hands, intertwined, fingers gently and intimately holding each other. The sun’s rays surrounded and caressed both hands. Brass hinges on the back of the box kept the cover intact as Laurie opened it. On the inside cover, engraved simply, were three lines.

My promise to you
1962
Never forgotten

The inside bottom and sides of the box were padded and covered in fine silk, mostly the color of rose buds, with a delicate pattern set in, branches, laced in green and brown, like the limbs of a cherry tree.  On top of the silk, in crinkled, meticulously folded tissue paper, was a picture. Laurie teared up when she saw it. She remembered that very night. She had begged her sister to come along. She needed her near, for courage, to get through. Her sister had snapped the photo and Laurie always wondered where it had gone. It was the last night she spent with Bob, the night she learned he would be leaving to do the ‘right’ thing…marry someone else, someone who was carrying his child. Someone she knew he didn’t love, a brief encounter that happened before they met.

Underneath, below where the picture had been placed, Laurie saw an envelope. Her name was written in the unfamiliar handwriting. Carefully, she put the picture down and lifted the envelope from the box, opening it. Inside, was an obituary, cut out from the newspaper. She read it and let her fingers slide over the name…Robert Gordon, 69, of Fieldcrest.  Then, she opened the letter, stuffed in the same envelope, in the same unknown handwriting.

Laurie:
As I was going through my husband’s things recently, I came across this box he had hand carved and hidden in his garage. He promised me he would never see you again when we married and I know he kept his promise. He was that kind of man. I also know he didn’t loved me at the time and was being gallant since I was carrying his child. I thought time would take care of that and you would fade from his mind.  How wrong I was. I competed with your memory all my married life. He never mentioned your name to me, ever, but you were always there. He was a good man, good to me and good to our children. I’m not sure if sending this to you is the right thing to do and I may regret it, but since he gave up something he wanted badly for me, I feel I must do this last thing for him. Maybe doing this will help me to overcome the sadness I have felt all these years, living in a marriage under your shadow.
Best – Eve

Laurie fell back into a chair, staring.  A few minutes later, she stood up, holding the picture, the obituary, and the letter tightly in her hand. She walked to the mirror above the fireplace, looked at herself, 69 years old, soft delicate wrinkles, wrinkles of a life lived, and watched her eyes as tears slowly slid down her cheeks.

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Thank you to BeKindRewrite for this weeks prompts. I have chosen ” What they Wanted me to Be’ as my prompt. Again, thank you, Stephanie!

WHAT THEY WANTED ME TO BE

The cocktail glass reflected the deep claret color of wine Mother was drinking. Her perfectly French manicured fingernails enhanced the thin elegant stem while her dainty protruding pinkie gave proof of her status in life.

“I mention this, darling, because we want the very best for you. After all, your great-grandfather worked extremely hard to establish his legacy.  His trust is not one to be mocked. Your life would have been significantly different had he not been diligent.”

I glanced down at my t-shirt with the large chartreuse fluorescent letters and the blaring motto “Teabaggers gave America a Boehner”, then looked up at my mother and wondered if we were truly related.

“Don’t worry about it, Mom. I am not doing anything great-grandfather would have been upset with, okay?”

“Sweetie, the fact that you didn’t attend the fund-raiser I sent you a ticket for, well, darling, it sends a message that can’t be ignored.”

“Thanks for the visit, Mom. I am NOT getting into another political/philosophical discussion with you. The semester ends in just a few weeks, and, I will be back soon..”  A quick touch of a kiss on her own index finger and then a touch of her finger to Mom’s lips and she was gone, out the door, off to bigger and better things.

After a significant sigh, Dianah, climbed the massive granite staircase and entered her bedroom suite. Walking over to a dresser in the far corner, she pulled the large drawer open. Gently, she unfolded a t-shirt and looked at the message…”Haight-Ashbury…Summer of Love – 1967″. Her mind wandered back to what her life had been while she had attended the University of California, Berkeley.

Dianah’s lips smiled while her long fingernails helped her fold this t-shirt she had never been able to let go. She reflected on ‘what they wanted me to be’ back then, long ago in 1967,  to what she was now.

Her tongue wet her lips, those same lips her daughter recently kissed by proxy finger, and she thought “Ah, yes, what goes around, comes around!”

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