She lives at the cliff's edge in a house miles from town. It's just a small house. Really not much more than a bunch of old boards hammered together. It seems to hunch over in the cold light of dawn like a girl with a too-meager shawl. Aside from the view, the only remarkable thing about this place she's called home for so long is the curtains. Lace. Beautiful lace. Those curtains always remind her of Mr. Dicken's description of the female Cratchits "brave in ribbons." Her house was brave in lace.
She was going to miss that lace. And the view. And the sound of the surf that is so much a part of her, she breathes in time to it. How can she leave?
How can she stay?
It's 1928. Her father is in jail for bootlegging. Each night her mother coughs blood into a lace-edged handkerchief. Her brother has taken over the family business and spends most of his time in the woods. Or on the run. The government men often come around, asking questions. A young, good looking one tried flirting with her the other evening. As though big brown eyes and a nice smile could make her forget herself. Forget what she owes her family.
... It was a nice smile, though. A little dimple at one corner. Never mind.
She has dreams. Big dreams. And no time to waste. She knows this is the moment. She knows that if she doesn't leave now, she never will. If she doesn't leave now, that editor will give her job to someone else. Her mama will grow weaker and she'll find more and more reasons to stay. She'll end up breaking the only promise her mama ever asked her to make. And so she must go.
She places her father's old fedora on her head. No jaunty angle - she's too nervous for that. But the old hat warms her and somehow lends a bit of courage. Her mother is sleeping peacefully for once. Better not to wake her. A gentle kiss on the brow and the goodbyes are finished. She closes the door quietly behind her.
Without looking back, she walks away.
Eric Vaughn called this painting "The Last Happy Painting." I wonder why?
This is my first time to participate in Gigi's Freewrite Fridays. I hope you'll join us. It's great fun.