General Fiction posted November 3, 2014 Chapters:  ...31 32 -33- 34... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Lucille walks the beach to sort her mind

A chapter in the book FRIDAYS

Friday Nov. 24th (Part One.)

by Fridayauthor

Please see Author Notes for a summary. Thank you.
            Friday Number Fifteen, November 24th (Part One.)
            It is a good thing Friday was not a school day or else I'd have surely lost my perfect attendance pin. I slept in late and by the looks of my jumbled covers fought madly with my dreams, and perhaps nightmares, though none remained in my mind long enough to be remembered. A cup of coffee and some toast helped to wake me, but I needed far more than caffeine to calm the unsettled feeling that persisted throughout the morning. Yesterday had offered more than my humble mind could digest without time and seaside reflection. Even filling the pages of this journal failed to offer the usual solace, or chase away the confusion in my muddled mind.
            So much has passed since Father Hammond first presented this book to me and I vowed to accommodate his wishes. I resolved to then burn the result with the rest of my past. The book is nearly complete with words and thoughts most personal, but they are empty words for no one else to ponder and the thought of setting a match to my finished work offers no comfort. The phrases sound hollow and pointless, like a play presented with all the emotions a heart can render, but to an empty theater.
            It was a cold day, with a chill, damp wind blowing in from the sea, but I knew what my soul needed, in spite of the harsh weather. I set my pen aside and bundling up, took Amy for a long walk along the beach. We had much to discuss and I needed the openness of the ocean; not the stuffy confines of my house.
            What my sister had told me shouldn't have been a surprise and perhaps it wasn't, but just hearing the words, especially in front of Mr. Anderson, was exceedingly painful. And yet, I was somehow comforted he'd heard a hint of what I feared I'd never have the courage to tell him myself. Part of me longs for this man to know me beyond the surface; the surface I so carefully present to him. Yet part of Lucille is frightened beyond reason of what he will learn that will cause him to depart my life forever.
            Sarah is on my mind too. It was she who led me to examine my heritage in the off chance that kind and loving blood coursed through my veins in however minute quantities. I longed for her blood, possessed of so many fine qualities I admired, a loving heart, and a character willing to give up all that is safe and secure for the chance of a better world. Is there enough of Sarah's and Anne's blood to dilute that passed on to me at birth by my parents with all their petty hates and fears and cruelties? I long to tear them from me and in the void resurrect a Lucille I know is buried deep beneath. But the grave they dug has buried Lucille oh so deeply.
            I strolled along the sand, immersed in so many questions, with so few answers. Are we in any part our parents? Do we possess any of their disagreeable traits and cruelties? How can we ever trust anyone when those whom we most trusted betrayed us so harshly? Can we recover from what has been done to us in the name of love? Even Amy is challenged by so lofty the questions. She is pensive, offering no solutions to those things unanswered that plague us as we watch the sea gulls circle overhead in the dark and windy sky. Are Amy and I, at long last merging into a single mind?
            What must poor Mr. Anderson think of so damaged a family? What should I say to him? Should I answer his questions, those asked or unasked? I'm embarrassed by what he has heard. Why does it matter so very much what he thinks? I know the answer though I'm loath to admit it, even to myself, or to Amy. People in the past have never mattered to Lucille Peabody; I've made certain of that by the walls I’ve constructed. But this time it is different; it pains me to say the words but I really care. I've built my defenses carefully and now they crumble before me. I care for Mr. Anderson in a way I've never cared for another person in my long and dismal life.
            It's not just Mr. Anderson, though my feelings for him are very special indeed. It's Emily too, and Anne, Joey, Billy and even Fred. I find myself caring for others far more deeply than I've ever imagined I would be capable. Yes, I've always loved my family, in my own strange way, but the intensity of my love keeps increasing in spite of all I've done to limit those feelings. I fear the hurt that surely hides beneath, waiting to pounce at any minute and bury me in its depression. I'm not supposed to hurt anymore, but I do, so very badly, just thinking about it.
            What plagues me the most is this nail-biting uncertainty. My life, so structured and orderly in the past is now in chaos. Yes, Amy, the uncertainty regarding Mr. Anderson. I now know in my heart with each passing Friday our relationship cannot continue unchanged, this spinning carousel ride of Fridays I've grown to love is spiraling toward the end as he learns more and more about me. I know I should step away, turn my back and end our friendship, accepting the pain that will surely follow. At least then it will be over and I'll be able to breathe without my heart pounding and my chest-aching and my mind twisting in dizzy circles. Amy cries “no” at the mere suggestion of running away again, but I tell her it's destined to happen. Why tease ourselves into thinking otherwise? She should know that. We can't grow closer together, this kindly man and I, the impasse is staring us in the face like a prison wall. Lucille won't let go of the past and let the future happen so she should bite her lip, say the words that will send Mr. Anderson in search of another who is able to offer the love he dearly deserves while we, Amy and I, crawl back to the shambles of an empty life. Now, I've said it. Are you satisfied, Amy? At least then the pretending and the waiting will stop. Go back to your pillows Lucille, and your tears and your books and your empty house, all fancied up for no one to see. There you'll be safe from hurt.

Earned A Seal Of Quality

Lucille, age thirty-seven, is a school teacher and a near-recluse. After her mother's death, she is trying to rid her life-time home of past ghosts. At the behest of her priest she records her thoughts and feelings in a diary. She has a strong interest in old letters found in her mother's dresser. She is having weekly Friday evening dinners with a shy church acquaintance, Mr. Anderson but shuns a more serious attachment. Part of her, a make-believe friend from childhood whom she calls Amy, is pushing her to stop fighting any hint of intimacy. After being mugged, she is sympathetic toward her young assailant and helps him. She enjoyed Thanksgiving at her sister�¢??s home in New York State where she learns her sister was molested by their father.
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