Elizabeth Blake came from an old fashioned traditional home where there was usually a father who adored the mother…and kids who saw their parents as their heros.
A family where they were brought up in an environment where violence wasn’t an item on the table…but occasional scolding were carried out on the erring party..” their parents really listened to that part of the bible verse that read…
“Spare the rod and spoil the child”.
A family where love was the foundation…
Her father the love of her mother’s youth. She looked up to him and surrendered herself completely.
And her father…her mother’s provider and protector. Their love so strong that Elisabeth cant ever remember walking in on her mother being sad…or heard her father raise his voice on her or ever got violent. Her father wasn’t a angry man…not to his family. He was the most kind man she had grown to love and ever seen.
The children were their parents priced jewels and they protected them with all that they had.
Elizabeth blake was an only girl to her parents three kids…she had two brothers…The twins….Thomas and tammy….a striking resemblance to their father…equally handsome. She loved them to pieces.
All her life …she had known just love and brought up in one…a home of togetherness. ..trust…love and humble beginings.
She had a family that rested on that anchor of it…and she had always wanted to have one of her own..A reflection of her family right here….pouring and swimming with love.
That’s why she coudnt understand a man like Sam Michaels…who equated love with pain.
It makes her wonder what kind of man he was..or the kind of family he was brought up in.
Was he raised up to be that mean and heartless and unfeeling…or that’s entirely of his own making????…she wondered…
I sat reminiscing. …
Ever since I was a little girl …all I could remember was the round table filled with laughing faces of my family.
My brothers. ..Thomas and tammy would be running around with their toys ….Pa would be reading a newspaper. …Ma would be making breakfast and shouting on the boys to take their game outside. .instead of me to be playing with teacups and dolls like other girls…I would rather pick up a catapult to shoot the boys with.
Ma always had a smile on her face.. she was happy. Pa helped around in the house…never leaving her alone to do everything by herself.
Whenever Pa went out to work we always looked forward to him coming back because he always bore goodies…
On those days…we would run out to meet him before he reaches the porch…all three of us jumbing on him and he trying his possible best to hold on to the three of us…to the amusement of Ma…
He would stagger right and then left and pretend as though he was going to fall down which would have us screaming and holding on to him like our dear life depended on it…then he would make funny zombie sounds…until he would stagger with us…to the front porch and then we would all fall down laughing…He would hand each of us..a wide fruit…cookie…or anything worth it….we loved our play days.
But on days Pa got it rough at work…Most men would want to take it out on the family…but not Pa.
Pa doesn’t. .He had the saddest smile on…but would make it sparkle when we are there…on those days…ma would shuuu us away not to bug him so that he could rest….
When I would come back so I could check up on them…Ma had dad’s head on my bosom…and she would be wispering words of encouragement …or prayer….I love to think it gave him strenght for the next day.
By some sort of miracle… his next day would be great…He would come whistling some happy tone…call out to his family..ma rushes to the door…excitedly opens it up and stands on her toe to plant a kiss on his lips. He would kiss her back and sometimes he would hug and swing her around. She would squeal like a little girl.
She wound unhand him of his work bag..rush to run him a warm bath…by the time he was done…she would have had dinner set and her three little mouses seated…waiting on pa.
He would come down…rubbing our heads and giving each and everyone a kiss and Ma’s is usually the biggest and wettest….had me and my brothers ‘ewwing’ ….it would make them laugh…soon after we are delving into our foods and chattering nonstop.
It was a lovely memory…such happy moments in Ma’s kitchen with us five against the little town’s Glove.
I grew up in a farm. Yes…a farm. And I loved every bit of it.
Ours was at the far end of the little town we lived in..called the Little Grove town in Ohio….everyone knew everyone…their names and their history. It was a small town alright..
I just moved back aweek ago after completing my studies in new york…I had gone and become a doctor…Yes I did make my parents proud.
I got offered a spot in new york…but I wanted to get back home. To my root. I believed they needed someone like me to help around in that small town. They didnt have much experienced people..I could be a bonus…
Well ofcourse they couldnt pay me as much as new york would but…ama do it anyways…that would give me joy.
I had already contacted the town’s council management and spoke to Mr Ripley…He was delighted.. I sent him all my paper work…..He had replied telling me I would be working at the towns health care clinic….down at Brookes Glove…I start two weeks from today… The resident doctor was moving to another town…The previous had had a stroke. .I would take his place when he does…I had alot of work on my hands I was told. Well…always a first time for a challenge.
Moving back to Little Grove Town brought back so many memories…good and not so awesome too. I had been gone like…what?…six to eight years…but everything looked thesame just minor changes here and there….Gave me nostalgic feelings…
It was the town that somewhat defined me….I laughed….remembering my little beginings.
By age nine…i realised that I wasnt like every other girl. No girl wanted to be my friend..I had no sissies to hang with…why? I will tell you.
I was ugly.
Well…not monstrously ugly ….was just that…Every other girl was just beautiful..and I had the worst looks and baby fat….and had a little stutter. Which magically stopped a year later.
Two years earlier…I had braces on. Yes I went on a rampage with my brothers..and fell face Down..I cried for hours…I had to use the dreadful braces.
You could imagine the segregation. I tried everything to be in their tea plays…doll house parties…but I never got an invite…they gave an excuse I would scare the other kids..can you imagine? …Eventually by age eleven I stopped caring and embraced my isolation. Happy moments was only when I was at home in that little kitchen …with mother hen and her four ducklings.
My sweet brothers took me under their wings instead…I later realized that I preferred hanging with them more and their friends. I then developed the tomboyish characteristics. By age twelve the other guys thought I was cool. I wasn’t scared of heights…or squirrels. ..or going hunting with them…and I didnt care about my looks.
A first ma tried to pull me back to being a girl…to play dress up with petticoats…have hair days….or learn how to walk and sit like a lady…I didnt have love for that. I would trade my dresses for pants, boots, and a check shirt…all tucked in…I found grandpa’s cowboy ‘ s hat…and that completed my dressing.
I traded my dolls and doll houses, tea cups Ecetera for catapults, water guns, and play swords…and always looked forward to the boys time. She tried stopping me but eventually gave up…only of I promise to come back home unscathed. Which was usually the case…
I would go diving with the boys and dance under the rain…always shirtless. These made the boys like me more…The other girls wouldn’t dare but I would. These made ma usually rushing out to pull me in by the ears…and scold me.
“Don’t you know you are a girl lizzy?…she would ask scolding me.
“Well ….I look like a boy and act like one…maybe i am one”… I would retort back and rush up to my room …when I finally hear her footsteps recinding back I would climb out through my window and go back out to play.
When they played war games…everyone wanted me to be their sidekick..I was a mean side kick…I even played capt. Sparrow and Peter pan. ..I loved my one eyed- patch. ..and fake beard and capt. Hook character…I felt powerful. With them I could be myself…my brothers took me everywhere..never left me out.
I loved the farm..The trees..The animals and wide fruits..I loved the sounds of guns shooting down a bird from the sky. .or the chopping down of a tree with an axe…The sound of sawing a wood…and the cluck cluck of an hammer making its rounds on a nail. I loved the horses…I even had a pony named chuck. Pa got it for my fourteenth birthday. I already had a dog named buck…I was the luckiest girl…I bathed them myself.
I learned the horse race by age fifteen …I was on fire…they betted on me because I was the only girl who had the guts to participate. …and because i was the only girl. .I got more cheers from the crowd. ..I didnt win the first time…but on the second and third…and fourth. .then no one wanted to compete with me.
When all the other girls were all prettied up…makeup and hair done…had ball dresses…all out in the town’s social gathering hall…ready to come out on their debut…to dance with an equally dressed up boys..in sunday suits and smooth hairs while their parents watched…
I was on the other side of town..practicing my gun skills…on a deer…or a rabit. ..all dressed in my cowbow’s boot and hat…skinny jeans and a check shirt tucked in….eyes on my target.
I really didnt have much love for what was going on. I should’v been there but i didnt want to. Ma has since given up on trying to change me…I was a tomboy and nothing she could do to change that. ..atleast she was content enough that…I knew how to cook, clean, and do all girly domestics so she prided herself that she didn’t completely fail…
I was a woman alright and even when she was long gone she knew I could take care of myself…my own..and my man..If I decided to probably talk to a boy…like a girl would not like a boy to a boy…i could find myself and settled down when the time was right and i was old enough…but instead I sounded like my brothers and his friends most times…it worried her some.
I would wait..Once I had my kill i would rush home and make a mean rabbit stew with chocolate bread and spaghetti. ..then I would wait on the porch. Everyone was in the town’s hall..even Ma n Pa because Thomas and tommy were among the dressed up boys who would have to dance with a particular girl…on a cheoregragphed song…and the cheers and applause of the town members..as they usher the girls as ladies officially…and the boys as gentlemen….yes Ma told me that’s what usually happens at these balls…i felt bored and told her I wasn’t going to go.
I waited ontil I saw them come back…and climbed Into my Pa’s truck..and hid myself because I knew the boys would be going out as soon as they came back. See they were nineteen…Pa let’s them go out every now and then with the truck.
As usual once they have driven past our house a little far away..Thomas or tammy would call out my name…I would always feign shock….
‘How did you know I was there?…i would ask looking to both of them one to the other…
“Well because you have your giant toe sticking out from under the covers”…I would hit the talker…looking at my toe..wriggling it…
“I do not”…
” You do too”….Both of them would say laughing….
“Well actually because we always know you would be hiding there wether in the truck…or behind the trees or close to the dumpster just so you can sneak and hang with us without going through ma….and because we love you so. .we let you…no fun without our little bunny”…either of them would flick my nose or ruffle my hair. …I would try to kick them off…
“Yeah right”….sticking out tongue…”Atleast ma would think am sleeping”….I would smile content with myself….relaxing….I would catch them exchange a look and share a secret smile..
“What are you guys not telling me”..I would ask..hitting one and pinching the other. ..
Thomas always loved driving so he would yelp…”Damn liz am driving…you don’t want to end up in braces again do you…?
Tommy would dock abit far…and make funny faces at me…then winks to Thomas. ..and both of them would laugh.
“Well?….tammy was saying. ….”You don’t think Ma’s that dump and unconcerned?
“Or the fact that you never get scolded when in your mind you know she must have entered your room to check up on you like a gazillion times”?….Thomas would add…looking at me…
I didnt get it.
“Ma knows you are always with us…dumb dumb…”….they both laughed.
It dawned on me. Shit!!. And I thought I was fooling her…I laughed with them…
“And she didnt beat your asses to drop me?…i was asking now
“Well we promised to keep you from harm’s way…no alcohol. ..no boys…”…Thomas said…” and gee what else.?….He asked tammy…
“And no cigarette. …and come back…intact…she threatened to cut off our hands if anyone as much as touch you in any way unladylike…she said we should give them a black eye so she could identify him when she sees him..so she can do more damage.”….tammy said….”now that we won’t object to now brother would we”
“Hell na we won’t. “!! The both said in unison…giving themselves high fives
I rolled my eyes at both of them…sticking out my tongue and relaxed into the back seat.
“Ma is going to be a badass…If she was in a movie…she would rock and kick ass. Nice”…i would think to myself smiling.
Yes they kept to their promise…I couldnt have alcohol. .but ginger ale instead. I played poker and ignored the boys…unless the ones my brothers warned not to ask me anything stupid unless to play a game of chess…cards…and poker.
Yes…my brothers were awesomely principled..and a word keeper…they even tucked me in when we got back…they said i was still their little baby..and if they didn’t take care of me who would??
.I would laugh at this..and hug them goodnight…
I remember asking them how the ball went…they would laugh and tell me how all the girls…some of them had heavy makeup on….more revealing cleavages…and a few held on too tight to their neck….they couldn’t wait for it to be over but wished I had come…it would have been fun to dance with me instead of those girls….they ruffled my hair….I shook them off…and smiled.
They didnt understand….why I didnt want to go.
Apart from the part that I didn’t really truly care….If I had wanted to go…I would have looked awful in a dress…makeup and all…and there was a reason i was called…
” flat liz.”!!
……….to be continued.