Archive for August 10th, 2011

10th August
written by amber

Modesty’s My Expertise

I don’t think I’m good at anything else. I’m good at making myself disappear. If people open a door for me, or ask my opinion, I’m shocked. I always consider myself to be invisible.

It’s the way I was raised, in the era of  ‘children shall be seen and not heard.’  More than that, as the eldest girl, I took on the role of secondary parent, caring for the younger ones as they came along, mother’s little helper and all that, staying home to care for my parents as they aged and the younger ones lit out on their own.

Oh, I had my schooling. I had no particular vocation for anything, but I studied secretarial. I had a job in a large corporation for several years, but resigned from it after Father had his first stroke. After that, he was virtually a shut-in and Mother seemed to suffer from the same reticence that plagues me, only more so. I was the one to go out and do the errands, deal with the tradespeople. I wasn’t comfortable with it, but I did it because I had to.

They lived long lives, my parents. After Father passed on, a younger cousin of my Mother’s invited us to stay with her. She seemed so vivacious, so unlike us, I was dubious, but Mother wanted to go. No one had ever mentioned cousin Rachel’s problems, the drink and the strangeness. After Mother passed on, I looked after Rachel until she had to be institutionalized. She died not long afterwards.

My manner of putting others before myself at last reaped a reward. I don’t believe that the meek will really inherit the earth, but Rachel rewarded me for those numerous nights that I would clench my teeth around the thin sheets in my little room and scream silently for all I’d endured during the day. No one had mentioned cousin Rachel’s trust fund, dribbled out over the years to feed her addiction, but largely intact. Now it’s mine.

Oh my, I’ve talked too much, haven’t I? It’s just so difficult for me to lie in this deck chair on this beautiful cruise ship and do nothing, to allow others to take such wonderful care of me. It makes me nervous, and when I’m nervous, I tend to babble. But I promise not to bore you for the entire circumnavigation.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This story was inspired by a song title from Alin Rogoz’ album, Omida.