Here’s the first excerpt from a new short story:
Molly paced just outside the back doorway, waiting for Robert to show up. He often arrived a few minutes late but never this late. What should she do? Stay home? Keep waiting? Or what?
Maybe someone had learned about their night time strolls? And if that were true, Robert would try to protect her and he’d not come tonight.
Molly and Robert had first met three months previously at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Neither of them enjoyed dancing, and while the others did the shimmy-shake out on the floor, the two of them talked. That night, one story quickly led to another, and one dot connected to the next dot.
Molly felt the east wind blowing under her light-weight jacket and she looked again at her watch. Robert was now over an hour behind schedule. She needed to leave within the next fifteen minutes or she’d not make the bus. She had to catch it, with or without him.
Once the quarter hour had passed, she picked up her backpack and headed towards the gate of the one story brick home she shared with her blonde blue-eyed mother. Molly’s dark chocolate eyes shone brightly but her full lips quivered. She had no idea as to how she would get through the next few days, but she had no choice.
When she had been a little girl, Mamá told her time after time: “You take after your father.”
His portrait sat high up on the fireplace mantle. She could see that her skin tone matched his and that his hair was black and straight like hers. One afternoon her mother had gone out shopping, and Grandma had been left in charge. The old lady fell asleep and seven year-old Molly had the run of the house. She wanted to get a better look at the mythical Papá she’d never known; the brave soldier who had died in “The War.”
She climbed up on the hearth and took the picture down. She pried the yellowing image from its frame, but the words on the reverse side puzzled her. She couldn’t sound out all the letters, much less understand the text. Only one fact shone crystal clear: In her hands, she did not hold her deceased father’s portrait, she held a clipping from a magazine.
She could still feel how the fear had settled in her gut but she managed to get the fragile page back where it belonged and then put the silver framed piece of paper back where she’d found it. She never asked her mother about her discovery. In fact she buried it deep down in her subconscious with all the other fuzzy memories.
It hadn’t been until she met Robert that Molly had accepted the truth. Somehow it seemed possible to do so because he too had a questionable lineage. Had their respective mothers adopted them? Or were they illegitimate? Maybe they were the offspring of dead lover? She wanted to ask Mamá but that would be pointless. Her mother had told tales about her father so often; by now she surely believed them to be true.
Robert had come up with the only solution. They should go on a holiday together, to Merida, where he said there is a record of every birth in the state.
Molly told her mother that she wanted to attend a poetry workshop. After much arguing she received a full down-on-the-knees blessing. Mamá told her to go with God, but she wouldn’t watch her leave.
“Ay-ay-ay Mamá! The poets’ meeting will only last for 5 days,” Molly gave her mother a tight hug, “I’ll be on my best behavior,” she assured her.
- Part Two of this story will be published tomorrow.
To read more, visit www.writingfrommerida.wordpress.com