General Fiction posted October 10, 2014 Chapters:  ...20 21 -22- 23... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Lucille has hospital visitors

A chapter in the book FRIDAYS

Friday, October 27th (Part Two.)

by Fridayauthor

Please see Author Notes below for the summary of this novel, to date. Thank you.
            Friday Number Eleven, October 27th  (Part Two.)
            “No, that's okay,” Mr. Anderson answered my sister. “You've travelled a long distance and I'm sure you have to return soon. I'll be staying right here. We'll have our time together.”
            I looked up at Mr. Anderson and smiled. “Thank you for getting my nightgown.”
            “No problem. If there's anything else, just whistle. I’ll be nearby.” He rose and walked toward the door. “I'll give you two sisters some time alone.” He left.
            “You've got HIM?” Emily screamed as soon as Mr. Anderson had left the room. “He's a hunk! You little fox! You never said a word! Tell me you're sleeping with him!”
            “We're just friends,” I answered with a smile.
            “A nun wouldn't be 'just friends' with a catch like that! Nobody's 'just friends' nowadays! Luce, what am I going to do with you? No one is giving out virginity awards. This isn't the nineteen-thirties!”
            I continued smiling at my outspoken sister. “Oh, I forgot,” she continued, “Good Catholic girls don't do it, do they? Only bad girls do that horrid stuff.”
            “It has nothing to do with that,” I answered defensively. “We just enjoy each other's company once in a while.” She rolled her eyes and sighed in exasperation.
            “Is he gay?”
            “Of course he’s not! He's a widower. He has two grown children.”
             She bent down and kissed me. “I love you like crazy Sis, but I don't know what to do with you!” She picked up the shoulder edges of my flannel nightgown.
            “Yuck! Where did you get this rag? The Salvation Army wouldn't take it! God, you look like the little old lady who lived in the shoe! And he's seeing you in this!” She moved to lift up the hem and peek. “Don't tell me you're still wearing those God-awful cotton drawers mother used to force on us, are you?”
            “Heavens no!” I said, yanking down my garment with a blush.
            She just laughed. “I've gone and embarrassed Lucy again!”
            She reached over and hugged me about the waist, her grasp tightening my nightgown against my chest.
            “God,” she said staring down at me, “if I had tits like you I'd have ruled the world!”
            “You do,” I answered, with a smile as I tried to squirm away.

            “Bull! You're twice as big. . . .”
            “No. I mean you rule the world. You do, you know.”
            She smiled back and released her grip. “I guess I do, don't I? I've got a great family and Fred is super and so are the kids. I've fallen in do-do face first and come out like a rose, haven't I little sister?”
            If anyone said half the things to me my sister Emily does, I'd run off in tears and hide beneath a rock, but I love her so dearly she can do no wrong.
            “Did I ever tell you what I did about my cotton drawers?” she said, laughing. “Some boy caught sight of them when I bent over and made a fool of me. I probably slapped him silly, but I ran home anyway and cleaned out my bureau drawer, rolled up every damn one of them in a ball and tossed them at ma. I told her I'd go to school bare-ass before I'd ever wear them again!”
            “What did she do?” I asked in amazement.
            “Bought me new ones, I guess. I don't remember.”
            “You didn't get a beating?”
            “Probably.” Her mood darkened at once.
            “The past is dead. Forget it, Luce.” She slammed the door on the conversation by changing the subject. She felt the nightgown again. “This rag has got to go, Luce. I'll get you something sexy, so flimsy Mr. Hunk will want to ravage you right here at Holy Angels! That's what you need, little sister, a good ravaging!”
            I told her my nightgown was just fine, but she wouldn't listen.
            “Look, you're a woman, a young woman, not some old bag lady. Dress like it!  Hell, I'm embarrassing you again! Good! You need to be embarrassed; maybe it'll shake some sense into you!” She hugged me again. “Poor Luce, you're as bashful as a church mouse and I love you!”
            Amy claims I became a woman in the front seat of Paul Croucher's Chevrolet twenty years ago, only to become an old lady a few months later in a university frat house. I can't argue with her; my womanhood was of short duration. But when Emily returned later with a beautiful pale blue negligee, I put it on. It did look nice, but I felt half-naked. I told Amy it was to appease my sister Emily, but she didn't believe me. Em and I had a tug of war with me trying to pull the sheets up to my chin while she jerked them back down.
            Others came to call on Saturday; Mr. Abelard, our principal and three or four teachers who traveled in a group, as if there was strength in numbers. No, that's a tacky thing to say! After all, their indifference toward me has been the result of my stand-off actions. They were considerate to stop by and I should try harder to be nicer to them. Two of the hens also came calling, but I believe the nurses told everyone to make their visit a short one as no one tarried more than a few minutes. I was grateful for the limited visit. I still felt poorly.
            I spent much of Saturday dozing, with intermittent conversation in between, mostly with Em. She hustled in one time, after speaking with Mr. Anderson.
            “Luce, I love him! But he's as shy as you are! When you two go out on a date do you bring along a third party for conversation?”
            “Em. . . .” I looked at her sternly.
            “No, I'm not going to mess it up for you; I'm on your side!”
            It was my turn to sigh. “We talk about lots of things. We both like to read . . . mysteries, history. . . .”
            “Screw history! Start talking about anatomy! If you're going to hook this guy. . . .”
            “I don't want to hook anyone. I like living alone.” But the words sounded hollow, even to me. Emily gave me a don’t-be-absurd look.
            “We discuss lots of things, really.” I mentioned Sarah's letters and how I'd found them in mother's dresser, and how Mr. Anderson and I were both enjoyed studying them. Then, happy to be on a new subject, I asked Emily if she'd ever seen them or heard of the letters.
            “God, no,” She said. “I never went into that tomb unless summoned and sure didn't stick around long enough to rummage through Ma’s bloomers.”
            When I tried to pursue the subject, it became apparent Emily exhibited little interest.
            “Why should I care about those people who have been dead a century?” she asked when I informed her of my desire to try and find if Sarah or Anne were relatives. She was soon off on another story about her children's escapades.
            In more than short visits Emily's sheer exuberance exhausts me. I'm overcome by her zest for life and her fear of nothing. And yet the perimeter of our affection has clearly staked out-of-bounds markers. The past is taboo except in the most peripheral fashion.
            I would love to have told Emily all my secrets, all my fears and dreams and in turn heard hers, but ours is not that kind of relationship. I know as little of her as she truly knows of me and yet we both feel deeply for one another.
            When I was young and Emily would send cards and presents I'd feel she was an angel from heaven, someone larger than life who for an unknown reason actually loved me! And in between when she'd be off in her perfect world and I'd be left in the emotional squalor of mine, I'd dream she'd contract some horribly fatal disease from which the only survival would be part of me, a lung, a liver, an arm or leg. I'd then march bravely forth and, by so giving, prove my unending love for her. Sometimes I still feel that way.
            Though I love her deeply, I have purposely stayed away from her home, now only a few hours away, in spite of her asking me a thousand times. She has her life, and I am loth to intrude into it for fear I'll consume her with my needs. Perhaps I'm frightened of intimacy, even from the sister I love so very much.

Earned A Seal Of Quality

Lucille, age thirty-seven, is a school teacher and a near-recluse. After her mother's death, she remodels her lifetime family home, to rid it of ghosts of the past. At the suggestion of her priest, she records her thoughts and feelings in a diary. She has developed a strong interest in old letters found in her mother's dresser. She has reluctantly agreed to weekly Friday evening dinners with a shy church acquaintance, Mr. Anderson. She had grown comfortable with his company, but recently she reacted abruptly when he kissed her. Part of her, whom she calls Amy, is pushing her to stop fighting any hint of intimacy. After being mugged, she is recuperating in the hospital.
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