The Green Dress
They wouldn't go in. Might be contagious, death. Hospital room with smells of unpleasant, person for rent, no one home eyes. Darling Fred with his tweedy pipe jacket rescued fresh. Of course he would. Philosophical guy. No white picket fence. He stayed with him, she slept. Tried. Hand holding, brow stroking, silly stories. They laughed at dinner while the hand holding went on. Lots of color for the fearful ones. After, she and the green watered silk went away and came back later for the philosophical one, to sleep on the floor of his room, hold his hand, stroke his brow.
The Good Girl
She walked the long walk. Today, everyday. A ping of pleasure, the anticipation. Arms clacking against her thighs each step, wind blown hair leading the way, a bonnet, her cheeks, the breeze. Things he would whisper, confide. Make plans and his life inside. The mailman knew her by name: “Nothing today, Christine. Try tomorrow.” The hopeful girl turned and started the walk back towards the house. A soft quieting song, lips barely moving, hands clacking, whacking holding down the mounting. Secret thoughts, new life, kept as long as he left not knowing when, until then.
A taut, stringy man, her dad, his head filled with important things like how long would the rains stay away, when he would be able to bring in the crops, ride tall in the saddle, round up all the herd for slaughter until then. No time for such as a daughter’s long wait, getting bigger. A frugal man, wasting life wondering what the next day would bring. Missing today, his wife, her. Nose buried in nothing for her, only the next day, what it will bring for him. Him.
Mom, a good dish washing woman and floor sweeping person, kept in the dark in the daylight, took care of the baking of bread of chocolate and raspberry creme cakes and berry pies picked by the roadside on her own summer walks. The tall stringy man who loved her hard, no soft ways, she tolerated, fed and kept clean. Shared only a daughter who kept herself quietly and took long walks to the mailbox and others, barely home to help and be seen. The mother, a life time rage and hands in lap wanting to slap. Someone. To talk and share and be coddled, held and touched and told she was pretty, no more. He wouldn’t.
He, the one who stayed away, dodging questions and bullets and early love and it’s penance, who loved her but not in a lifelong way. She waited, he knew. A good girl. Compliant when he said prove it, not long before she did. Even though good, a good girl. Bigger things for him; no time to be out of reach for the world, tied to a man job, no thoughts his own, drunk dry. Time biding, avoid her daddy’s shotgun. She will make it go away, not before, he thought.
One day she walked past it, didn’t look inside even, she knew it now. He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. Make plans. Turned tail. She knew he didn’t want to have what was hers and his inside. She walked far past this time, the old schoolhouse, church, Robin’s Egg tree, out to the cool brook, no eyes. She lay down on the soft green and gently lifted her skirts and closely guarded secret. Didn’t hurt much, she knew it was the right thing and then. No later. Now. She made plans. She sang softly to herself as she walked back to the house.
One time dancer/choreographer turned painter/writer, Neila Mezynski has fiction and poetry published in Snow Monkey, Word Riot, elimae, Mud Luscious, Northville Review and several other journals and reviews.