General Fiction posted September 9, 2014 Chapters: 1 2 -3- 4... 


Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Lucille indulges in a little self pity

A chapter in the book FRIDAYS

Friday Number Three, Sept 1st

by Fridayauthor




Background
Reclusive Lucille Peabody is freed from caring for an ailing mother. She is maneuvered into a relationship she is unable to politely escape as she accounts her thoughts and feelings in a journal.
     Friday Number Three, September 1st
    
     I find my life governed by habits of late, collections of remembered little functions performed with brainless automation; it's Monday, do a wash; Sunday, go to church; bedtime, brush your teeth. Perhaps these movements are dictated by the basic order of my existence; everything in its place. Routine; it’s like the Dewey decimal system of the library of my life. Habit is beginning to play a part in my recordings in this journal as well. While I commenced this chore to appease the solicitations of a well-meaning priest, I find myself adding words not so much as an annoying task as an automatic weekly function, filed on Friday nights.

     It is the Friday of Labor day weekend and Mr. Anderson and I have just finished our second Friday get together. While I approached the evening with far less trepidation than last week, I now sit in my sofa-nest feeling very melancholy. There is no reason for it; our evening was quite pleasant. Our outing mirrored last week, dinner and a movie and some casual conversation. In fact, my mood has nothing to do with Mr. Anderson, though my seeing him seems to have brought it to light. Old memories, few of them pleasant, are beginning to claw their way up from the cellars of my yesterdays.
 
     I suppose most people endure swings of mood and temperament, often unobserved except by those closest to them. Those of us who choose to live a solitary existence must abide them alone, like the tide on some desert island, as tumultuous as in a populated area, but witnessed by no one.
 
     Perhaps the fact that my classes begin on Tuesday has me on edge. I've spent half-days at Cyrus P. Whitcomb Elementary School all week preparing for opening day. But no, that's not what has me so moody. I'm afraid it's Amy. I wasn't entirely truthful to this journal concerning my make believe friend. At times, she plays a far more important part in my life than she should.
 
     One of those ancient Greeks, adept at insight said, “Know thyself.” I suppose I do, at least fairly well, especially if Amy is nothing more than the alter me through whom I gain wisdom and answers. Knowing Lucy Peabody helps me to take pretty good care of her, not place her in spots uncomfortable, painful or awkward. I pretty much give her what she wants. After all, she's a fairly good girl and we get along just fine, with Amy often pointing the way.
 
     I have a creeping feeling of impending danger in my secure little world and it frightens me like a dark cellar to a child. Amy continues to decry what she calls my obsession with my parents, more acute since my mother’s passing. I suppose it's brought about by my Friday evenings with Mr. Anderson. Seeing him only serves to highlight my gross social shortcomings, and cause me to conduct a personal search for the reasons I came to be as I am. Amy is forever trying to get me to dig a hole and bury the past like a bulb for a plant in my garden. My other self seems to dwell upon happenings of long ago, dragging them to light until they are as clear as today as a fresh bloom. Remembrances, scary dreams I haven't thought of in decades, crowd my mind, looking for reasons and analysis. Amy strives to turn me away from them but I, in turn, continue to resurrect visions I truly don't want to remember.
 
     I was on the pretty side of average growing up. I believe, if I had a modicum of personality, self-confidence or know-how, I'd have been reasonably popular. My knowledge of what girls of that age should know was zero. Mother had always been uninformative, and when, petrified, I first had my period, she responded to soiled under things with a box of napkins in my drawer. These were delivered absent either explanations or directions. That, together with the oft repeated statement “Good girls don't do it” was the sum of my at-home facts of life education. Nor did I have any close friends to whom I might whisper a cry for help.
 
     I wore tee shirts long after I needed support and when mother finally broke down and bought me my first bra, to her surprise, it was a size or two too small. While my flat-chested classmates padded and stuffed their way after the boys, little Lucille grew rather bountiful; no pin-up girl, but months ahead of my contemporaries in bosom growth. I was thrilled when I first caught boys actually looking at me and I became sufficiently bold to loosen a button, a time or two. One now-unremembered boy, actually asked me out! I ran home to mother who answered my excitement with a flat “no”. Neither an explanation nor any alternatives were offered. I assumed it was because my sixteenth birthday was a month away but when that date passed and another boy tried to date me, the answer remained the same.
 
     All during those years I was dressed in dowdy fashion, subject to the torments of my fellow classmates. Underwear became a particular obsession with me; why I don't know. At least that part of my attire was hidden from the jeering eyes of others but it mattered not; I knew what I was forced to wear. Cotton was the only practical fabric in our house and what I wore was usually stained and patched. In colder weather my privates were covered by a monstrosity that came part way down my thighs, a half-union suit, and a throwback to the nineteen-thirties! Unless I sat with skirt wrapped tightly and uncomfortably about my thighs, the damned things might be visible! How I longed to wear what the magazine pictures displayed; things totally alien to what covered my blossoming backside. I suppose I thought some handsome knight might someday carry me away and debauch my innocence, whatever that meant to this newly arrived and confused teenager. Debauching didn't happen to girls in cotton drawers.
 
     Cleverly squirreling away my coins, I finally accumulated enough money to purchase a pair of real panties! I secreted them home and feeling deliciously evil, covered my innocence with flowered nylon! For two days I washed them nightly, dried them beneath my bed while I slept, and wore them in public, alone, except for Amy, in my knowledge of the cool and sexy clothing beneath my frumpy dress. On the third day, in hopes of fooling the washer-lady mother, I wore my tacky old underwear, hiding my treasure beneath my out of season things in a bottom drawer. My treasure was summarily confiscated and I was heartbroken. I should have known better. Privacy was a dictionary word, not a right to which I held title, as my room was periodically ravaged for secrets. No word was ever said of the captured garment but I received a cold you're-a-bad-girl look. And it made me cry, as I am doing now, as I remember.
 
     Silly, aren't I? The incident happened years ago and as Amy says, let history rest in its loathsome grave. She insists I stoke the fire of a grudge against my parents for what I am. Instead, I should get on the stick and fix my own wagon, which is in dire need of repair. I keep telling her my wagon rolls along smoothly, but she shakes her head in disbelief. Sometimes, like now, I too have my doubts.
 
     I forgave my parents nearly everything, I only hold back on one demon nightmare I'm not ready to share, even with this rapidly filling volume. I forgive my father for the use of his belt and the hours and days of silence. I pardon them both for not explaining to a little girl how the world operates, what's right and wrong, accepted and unacceptable.
 
     I still reserve the right to question why neither of them showed me how to act in public, face danger, fight, talk to people, or be with boys. I never knew my own body, what it was for, what it could do, much less the workings of the opposite sex. Perhaps it was because my parent's lives were far worse and they carried the cross of their parent-demons who molded them into what they became. I even forgive my father for what he did to my mother and her for letting him, even within the earshot of a child.
 
     I'd lie awake at night, trying to block my ears to the sounds through the paper-thin walls of my mother's muffled cries as my father did lord knows what to her after a night on the town. I never saw him hit her and don't for sure know he ever did, though I seem to recall unexplained marks on her body and days in bed. I do know for sure he beat her mind to submission in a thousand brutal ways though she never said an ill word against him as long as she lived.
 
     While I was allotted no privacy, my parent's quarters were a private domain where I was only allowed to enter for servile chores, performed hastily, under a supervising eye, or to suffer the consequences of some perceived sin or omission. The room became a forbidden place, one I had no desire to enter or violate. I wanted no part of the room nor anything of what took place within its walls. This sanctity continued long after my father was a tenant at Holy Saints cemetery, even when mother was unable to care for herself and I was forced to spend long hours in that room caring for her. Even then, I trespassed only in those parts of her domain where absolutely necessary. Her privacy remained intact long past the time when she either knew or cared. Perhaps that is why I am now timid to violate the premises by condemning the last remains of her world to the trash heap.
 
     The upholsterer, Mr. Gold, to whom I had donated my unwanted sofa, hesitantly asked me if I had any other furniture I “wanted him to dump.” I pointed out my parents sagging double bed, where mother had breathed her last. He looked disappointed, no doubt having had designs on my grandmother's china closet and other obviously valuable antiques. I tossed in a scarred dresser and mirror as teasers and he agreed to cart them away. The box spring and mattress were useless to anyone and he started to balk at taking them but decided not to push his luck, lest he lose out on other future treasures. I tossed in an overstuffed chair and, as an afterthought, a table that always seemed to bear a scraggly geranium, living out the winter as if reluctant to go the way of its friends. Mr. Gold will pick up the whole collection tomorrow morning. With the room about to be vacated I have no further excuse not to begin sorting through the previously forbidden sanctum though I relish not the chore, as foolish as my reluctance may seem.
  
     Maybe this Lucille Peabody who sits here in tears has nothing to do with those people who spent much of their lifetime behind those walls; it's simply the me my God created. Perhaps some warped gene has made me into this reclusive fraidy cat who clings to her sofa-nest like a frightened child and cries after a happy evening, for no sane reason at all. Be it as it may, I still love that person, even if almost no others do. And I'll protect her with all my strength.
 


Earned A Seal Of Quality


This chapter is longer than I like to post but it didn't have a clear point to break. I appreciate all of you who have stuck with it. Lucille just had to get this stuff off her chest.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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