I Need Your Help

Mystery

Mystery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read this to my Writers’ Group today and they liked it. I have a few ideas of where this is going–but if you want to give me any ideas I would more than appreciate it. Some of it is true, some of it is not. The part about the hairy legs is true.

 

Short Story 1

            She remembers the girl who wore knee socks and long denim shorts to hide her hairy legs. She remembers the girl her mother did not want to grow up.

            The mossy smelling countryside returned to her mind’s eye. Riding her bike down the road. Catching glimpses of the cows in the overgrown pastures, the creek full of brown water, the cars whizzing by her.  Her first freedom.  The wind blowing her long hair into tangles.

            She started riding a bike when she was twelve. Much older than most kids, but she had always been a late bloomer. There had been no bicycles to ride at her house before that. Her brothers had bikes but they were much older. Now teenagers they had given up their bikes long ago for fast cars.

            Her sister, three years younger, was far more adventurous than she was. At least in practice. She went on adventures in her head; her sister went on actual adventures. That her sister started riding “the” bike (they only had one and had to share) at nine was not surprising. A year later her sister would shave her legs, no matter what their mom said. And she would too—if a ten year old could do it—then certainly someone on the cusp of being a teenager should be able to.

            Today, as she sifted through her memories of decades ago, she remembered something that had always puzzled her. Something that had niggled at the back of her mind, but something she had shelved because questions about it had been met with icy silence. But now, she wanted to know.

            As a kid, she knew that things did not add up. But trying to make sense of certain things was stymied. It was like when she asked her dad where babies came from and he said ask your mother, knowing she would not ask her. She was very very old before she understood where babies came from—because no one at her house talked about things like that to her. Her older brothers were protective, her younger sister even more innocent than she.

            In fact, years later, her sister would complain that she had not told her about the “monthly miracle”. She refused to call it a curse—it was part of being a woman, and she often wondered why women did not embrace that part of themselves. She often heard that if men menstruated, they would brag about the pain, the duration, the amount of blood. But no, women tried to hide it, like it did not happen. Like it did not exist. Yet it was a big and important part of their lives.

          Her mind was wandering. She refocused. She remembered little pieces of conversations that would stop when she entered a room. She learned not to interrupt these conversations, she learned to stay where she was not noticed and listen. But not enough was ever said.

            Five decades later she had discovered a clue, one so big and obvious that she could no longer deny what she had felt since she was young. She was not one of them. Her family had always been loving in an uncloying way. They were not demonstrative. Hugs were few and far between.  She had always known she was loved, but there had always been a feeling of not quite fitting in.     

Published in: on May 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm  Comments (30)  
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