Prompt from Inspiration Monday: Waiting to be rescued
(200 – 500 words)


“Who was that?”

“Jonathon.”

“Do you like him?”

“Oh yes, I think he’s different from all the others. He has something special about him.”

Oh sure, Maddie thought to herself, as she watched Jonathon walk down the street toward the bus stop. That’s what she says about all of them.

The one that lasted the longest was Jim. Uncle Jim. Good Lord. Maddie was old enough to know that he weren’t no relative. Oh well, easier to just go along with it. It took about three months and then he started to hit Ma and steal money from her cookie jar. At least she had enough sense to send him packing.

“He wears too much cologne. It stinks.” Maddie could still smell him in the kitchen. In the bathroom earlier before he left, he smelled even worse. She crinkled up her nose at the thought of that.

Maddie sighed. Would things ever change? Father had stopped coming around early last year. He used to drop in unannounced once or twice a year. Ma always got her hopes up that he’d stay this time. Maddie knew Ma still loved him. After all this time, she just couldn’t get over him. That was probably why she had so many men around. She was looking for someone who lived up to her idea of Father. The longest he stayed was about a month. Then he’d be gone again. Father’s head was full of dreams, but he never stuck with anything more a short time. He’d get bored or frustrated or get into some kind of trouble and off he go the next grand scheme.

Maddie wondered what it would be like to have a real father. One that actually stuck around. She heard some of the girls in school talking about how wonderful their fathers were, but her own circle of friends had fathers kind of like hers, but nowhere as bad. When they started talking about  their parents, Maddie usually made some excuse to leave. She had to go to her locker or to the bathroom.

She wondered if Father got bored with them too or if he really had such important places to be. Maybe he had women in many towns. The last few times, he’d been dressed nicely in a drape-cut suit that was coming into fashion and a real felt fedora. Maddie knew they were in the middle of a depression and she wondered how he could afford the latest such styles.

Even at a young age, Maddie felt as though her mother was just waiting to be rescued. Her life had never been easy. Father typically left a few bucks on the table for them before he left, which was usually early in the morning before Maddie got up.

Maddie didn’t really miss him much anymore. She didn’t like the sadness in Ma’s eyes.

If she ever got married, she’d find someone the opposite of Father. This she knew for sure.

***

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6 thoughts on “Schemes and dreams

  1. So sad. The hope is not to be someone who continues the bad cycle started by your parents. Great story.

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