Day 2–Memory

May 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My laptop caught a virus yesterday, so I didn’t get a chance to post a story for yesterday. I liked the prompt and had the story mostly written in m head, so here goes!

Ruth looked through the window of the kitchen in the parsonage. No one else in her husband’s clerical had wanted a posting in this poverty-stricken small town. So far, she liked most of the congregation members, but there were some other really nasty people in town. One of them lived right behind the parsonage, and Ruth had caught her staring in their window more than once already.

She could see the mostly dry creek bed from the window while she did the dishes. Many of the local children liked to play there after school. There were only a couple of girls there at the moment. She squinted and recognized one as the daughter of a congregation member, Alexis. The other girl wasn’t one she recognized.

They were about 11 years old, and their skinny legs stuck out under their shorts. She wasn’t sure if their legs were dirty or bruised. She remembered her legs being bruised up and down at that age from climbing trees, riding bikes, and other running around she did with her friends. She’d grown up in a town very similar to this one.

Caught in her musings, she was startled by the knock at the door. Opening it up, there was Alexis from the creek bed.

“Mrs. Miller, my friend Amy stepped on a piece of glass, and she’s bleeding real bad. Can you help her?”

“Sure Alexis! Let me get a towel and I’ll go help her in.” She kept a few old dishcloths under the sink, clean but worn out. She grabbed one of those and headed out the door. Alexis and Amy weren’t far from her front door. Amy’s foot was bleeding, but not too much.

“Hi Amy, I’m Ruth Miller. My husband’s the pastor at the church over here. I’ve got a dish towel for your foot.” She bent to wrap it around the injured foot.

“Thank you, Mrs. Miller,” the girl said shyly.

Between the two of them, Alexis and Ruth managed to get Amy awkwardly into the house. She got the two of them seated on the couch, with the injured foot propped up on an ottoman, and went for her first aid kit.

“Don’t the two of you have any shoes?” She asked.

“Can’t stand ’em!” Alexis said. Amy nodded.

“There’s a lot of broken glass down there in that creek bed. Y’all better be more careful from now on!”

“Yes, ma’am,” they chorused.

The cut wasn’t very deep, just bloody in the way of foot wounds. Amy flinched as she cleaned the cut with alcohol, dried it off and applied a thick bandage.

“Now, I know you don’t live very far, but I want to call your mommas and give you both a drive home, all right? Alexis, what’s your phone number?”

“555-3790.” She told Ruth politely.

Ruth dialed the number and told Alexis’ mother what was going on. The woman agreed quickly to the plan.

“What about yours, Amy?”

“My momma’s dead, miss. My daddy won’t care.”

“Tell me anyway,” she pressed.

“555-3814.” Amy recited.

She dialed the number, but no one answered like Amy predicted. She loaded both girls into the car anyway. The two of them both fit in the front seat with their gangly legs and bare feet hanging over the edge. They giggled and whispered the whole trip, and Ruth smiled indulgently, remembering a similar experience from her own childhood.

They pulled up to Alexis’ house in less than 5 minutes.

“Thank you, Mrs. Miller,” she said with a smile as she slid out of the car.

“Now, where’s your house?” She asked Amy.

“It’s up the street here, and turn right at 3rd Street,” Amy pointed.

Shortly afterward, Ruth stopped her Honda in front of a rundown house with a dirt yard. There were two vicious-looking dogs chained out front, and several men with beer bottles sitting on the porch in chairs that had seen better days.

“Thank you, miss.” Amy said again as she slid out of the car. Ruth got the impression that the girl wanted her to leave as quickly as possible.

She opened her door and stood up to look at the group of men over the roof of her car in case Amy’s father wanted to know why his daughter was in some stranger’s car. She didn’t get any response from any of the men other than one of them who leaned off the porch to spit tobacco. Ruth watched until Amy made it up the stairs and into the house before she got back into her car to drive home.

Ruth told her husband about the incident when he got home, then forget about it until Sunday morning. After the church service, Alexis’ mother came up to her.

“I’m sure you heard about what happened to Amy after you drove her home this week?” She asked.

“No! What happened?”

“Amy’s in the hospital, has been since that night. Her daddy beat her for something or other. She’s in a coma, hasn’t woken up since that night.”

“Oh, no! You don’t think it had anything to do with me driving her home, do you?” Ruth’s hands flew to her mouth.

“No, that man’s mean as a snake. He’s been looking for a reason to beat her ever since her momma died.” Alexis’ mother replied.

“How’s Alexis holding up?”

“She’s had a hard week. I want to take her to the hospital to see Amy, but I’m not sure if she can handle it.”

“I can understand that,” Ruth told her sympathetically. “We’ll be praying for both the girls.

Usually, some of the congregation members cooked lunch for Ruth and her husband, but she asked him to make their excuses this afternoon. The two of them drove to the hospital where Ruth spent the afternoon sitting with the little girl and her husband visited the hospitalized congregation members. No one else came anywhere near the room the whole time the couple were there.

“What a pity there is no one else to stay with this beautiful little girl,” she remarked to her husband as they left the hospital. She had plans to go back each day to sit with Amy again, but daily chores and errands kept her from getting back to the hospital.

Three days later, she read Amy’s obituary in the newspaper.

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