Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Agreement/Disagreement (01/19/12)
TITLE: The Last Straw
By Kathy Stevens
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She was torn by her love for Charlie. She wanted to agree with him, but she knew his brother had asked, yet another time, for money. That was bad enough when money was so scarce, but this time he had asked for a co-signature to buy a bar.
This was the last straw. She could not even think of her name being involved with a bar. In addition, she knew the brother was a bad risk because he had never returned any of the money he had borrowed in the past.
The years following WWII were a time of healing for many and for others more pain than anyone could imagine. One thing they all had in common was that jobs were scarce and no one had much money. Jenny Lynn, Charlie and their two-year-old daughter were struggling financially, but they had a job and a roof over their heads. This was more than many people had.
Following the tempest swelling discussion this evening, they go to bed without resolution. Would he take her feelings into account? She did not know.
Lying in the small full sized bed, she could not sleep. Her eyes would not even think of closing, and all she could see was the ceiling. The conversation played over in her mind like an old news reel. Every time it ran, she became more upset. She looked over at him, and he was snoring peacefully. How could he sleep so calmly when she was upset?
When she could take it no longer, she got up, dressed, took the baby and got into the car. She drove to the other side of town to her mother’s house. Pulling into the driveway, she noticed the wind had picked up and angry threatening clouds were beginning to boom overhead. Fear was quickly replacing anger, fear for the safety of her and her baby. It was a good thing Mom had given her a key.
Inside, it was discovered that her parents had left to go out of town and they were there alone. Expecting comfort, she found only empty walls.
She tried to settle in, but had no one to tell about her disagreement with Charlie. The wind picked up even more and drops of rain began to fall heavily. Lighting flashed and bushes scratched against the sides of the house and windows.
Another hour went by and she could take it no more. Deciding to run to Charlie’s safe arms, she started to back the car out, but soon found that she had completely forgotten a little utility trailer on the back of the car. It jackknifed, trapping her on the driveway.
By now, panic had set in. Grabbing the baby, she ran back into the house and called Charlie. Letting the phone ring over and over, no one answered. It was 3:00 AM, and he was sleeping peacefully. The screaming phone continued until he finally answered.
“Charlie, its me, Jenny Lynn. I’m at Mama’s house, but I jackknifed the trailer in the driveway and can’t get back home. Come and get me.”
“Huh? Who is this? You can’t be Jenny Lynn, she’s asleep in bed.”
“No, I’m not! I’m at Mama’s house!”
He is now seeing stars from rubbing his eyes.
“Hold the line a minute, please.”
Checking the bed and the house, sure enough she was not home.
“Jenny Lynn, you’re not here.”
“I told you, Charlie, I’m at Mama’s house. Come and get me!”
“But . . . but how? You have the car.”
“I don’t care how you do it -- get a taxi, but come and get me!”
“Oh, okay, I’ll be there in a minute.”
My aunt is now 87 and Uncle Charlie is 89, and the story is still told of the only time she ever left him.
“It didn’t last long, and he did come and get us. We never mentioned the incident on the way home or ever again, and he didn’t co-sign the note for his brother.”
This may not have been their last disagreement, but as far as I know, they have always found a way to come into agreement with any problem that has come along.
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