Nellie--Torn

Having just finished feeding the livestock, I plumped myself down wearily on an extra bale of hay, covered my face with my hands, and let out everything I'd been holding in in one bug rush of tears, washing away some of the frustration in my mind as well as some of the dirt on my face.

Father was gone. I had always sort of been what you might call a 'daddy's-girl' so it felt as if a part of me was gone with him. What was worse, it wasn't even from the actual war. Just a flying of a fist or two over probably something of little concequence which, knowing Father, he probably tried to break up--but to an obvious no avail. That brought another rush.

I began to understand Mother's feelings of helplessness. My entire family had a tendancy to look to me as their pillar of strength as of late, but I feared a hard blow like this just might crumble me into rubble of weakness. Afterall, here I was hiding in a corner bawling my eyes out.

But I couldn't let that happen, I couldn't crumble. As a whole, we were already falling apart as it was. In fact William, only months too young to be in the war himself, had run off and we still hadn't seen any sign of him. Susie had lost her appetite and my mother hadn't left her room this morning. I almost didn't blame William for leaving.

But, I concluded as I wiped my eyes, what was done was done and there wasn't much I could do to change it so I might as well make the most of it. As once heard someone say, "the past is done; learn from it. The future is ahead; prepare for it. The present is here; live in it."

***

The fever had broken. Yes. It didn't surprise me that such a strong young man had pulled through. I hugged Katrina, Mrs. Elliot hugged me, Jacob gave me a winning grin, which I attempted at returning, and even Jon's usually busy mind seemed to relax a little. Having felt the sorrow I had felt, it came as an immeaserable relief that the Elliots didn't have to suffer the same.

I left with a deliciously full stomach and even some leftover icecream 'for the family'. I only hoped the mold didn't reach it before they did.

The End

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