Short Story #29

One more story, but it won’t be my last. I might not post a story on my blog every day, but I intend to write my poetry and something else every day. Even if it is only 100 words some days. Has the exercise worked? Writing doesn’t seem as daunting a task anymore and I have learned to jump out of the way when a story idea comes barrelling in and follow it. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but you only know if you remain in hot pursuit and say yes to everything – at least for a little while. This story is a prime example. That inner voice was saying, no that is too sad, where is it going, it isn’t a story, just a simple scene and it continued. I almost listened, but then I remembered the point of the exercise – to get my writing going. The Universe sent me an idea and I know I can do something with it. Let’s go. Stay safe and healthy and have a blessed day.


The Difference in Our Difficulties
 
A crumpled tissue which looked like it might have been used was put under my nose, my head bent down staring at the ground. My blurry vision saw a dirty little hand that looked as rough as sandpaper raise it closer to my face, in a ‘take me’ gesture.
 
I looked up ready to scold some impertinent child for bothering me and was met with soulful blue eyes filled with concern.
 
“It isn’t used, I promise,” came the soft voice. “It was just crumpled in my pocket.” She pulled the empty pocket of her threadbare too-small jeans to show me.
 
I took the offered gift and blew my nose. “Thank you. Where’s your mommy?” Thinking this angel of maybe eight or nine should not be out alone in the park.
 
“She’s going through the bins over there looking for plastics that she can sell to the recycling centre so she can buy us some food,” the little girl said, not skipping a beat.
 
“Where do you live?”
 
“Under the bridge on 9th Street. We have a mattress there. Are you okay?” she asked of the tears that I now felt ashamed of.
 
“I am now, thanks to you.”
 
“Did somebody make you cry? My daddy made my mommy cry once.”
 
“And where is your daddy now?”
 
“I don’t know. When I found mommy crying, she said that he left and is never coming back. That was when we had to move out of our house.”
 
“And what work did your mommy do before now?” I asked, looking around to see if the woman was nearby.
 
“She was daddy’s PA. I don’t know what that is, but she would do his shopping, get his dry cleaning, sort out his things and make meetings for him. She made sure everything was right so he could do his important work. Mommy couldn’t find a job when he went because he didn’t give her a letter.”
 
“Oh, she didn’t have a reference,” I said piecing the story together. I grabbed hold of the little girl and hugged her for dear life. After a moment to recover from the surprise, her arms found their way around my neck and I felt like I was being given a deep healing. An energy settled into my bones, and I understood why I found myself sitting on the edge of this cement flower box in the park at this precise moment, selfishly feeling sorry for myself.
 
I might have to wait ten years before I can access my enormous inheritance, but until then I had some starting capital, a fully paid four bedroom house to myself, with office space and an ivy league education that I had squandered up to now. My father knew what he was doing when he dictated these terms. I couldn’t waste his millions until I had learned to work with a little.
 
“Let’s go find your mommy,” I said releasing the precious child and taking her hand. “I’ve got a job for her, and a better home.” Anyone that raised such a kind and thoughtful child was worthy of a break in life I thought, as a rake-thin woman in a tattered t-shirt and skirt headed in our direction. I knew how to organise, and with her help we would streamline the lives of the wealthy contacts I had. I knew where to buy everything and anything high society wanted or needed, with all the discretion required. A personal concierge service if you will, and I would still be able to shop, with other people’s money.

by Debbie Gravett © 2020.12.23

Image by joseph_Berardi from Pixabay

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