Freekly Fiction Presents: Familiar Scenery

Apartment living was a pet peeve of Marjorie’s. How had she gotten into it? It had been like stepping into quicksand physically and mentally. That was for sure. She guessed it was just better than a home for unwed mothers or being a nomad or sponging off of the family. She could barely remember the initial process now as her memory wasn’t as good as it used to be. She hoped it wasn’t a debilitating illness of some kind. She had lived through a serious nervous breakdown, but you never knew. Not being able to hold down a job had been the least of her worries.

“I’m going to get a Section 8 apartment,” she had told herself, adding, “Maybe someday I’ll be able to get myself and the child into a house. That would be nice.”

Talking to herself had been a bad habit she had acquired soon after her breakdown, which had occurred when her boyfriend and the baby’s father had disappeared off the face of the earth as far as she knew.

Now she was as attractive as she had always been with her blond hair, blue eyes, and slender figure. She was not very tall, but her long, straight hair always looked shining and healthy, and her smile was genuine and friendly. That smile had gotten hold of Fred in a big way. He was the mailman at her parents’ house where she lived at the time. The friendship they struck up came quickly and took both of them by surprise. They were soon going out and then spending time alone at his apartment. He hadn’t even been on their route a month. They were very infatuated with one another, but marriage wasn’t even in the picture initially. They just wanted to be together come what may as often as they could be. Fred’s job as a mailman and Marjorie’s volunteer work here and there and now and then left ample opportunity for the lovers to find time to be together. She never wondered if she was letting things get entirely out of hand.

“Fred, do you really love me? Like I love you?” she’d ask him.

Her brown-haired, brown-eyed, fit and handsome paramour would assure her, “I’ve never loved anyone like I love you, and you can take that to the bank.”

Of course, at that time her parents thought them both completely trustworthy. They knew their daughter had a personal relationship with the mailman but how personal it was eluded them all. It was obvious to them that they appeared happy. That was what was important. They never dreamed that she would come up pregnant, alone, and unmarried until it happened. Then they all knew things were going to change, and they did radically.

Marjorie had a breakdown, was hospitalized, became disabled, and moved into her own place to raise the baby as best she could. It was an adorable girl who was dearly loved by mother and grandparents.

Tragically the child was never to know her father as Fred had simply disappeared completely, and they were unable to locate him as he never contacted them about his child. Little Leslie was raised by a single parent as Marjorie never found another man she truly loved. Instead she simply built her life around the child. She often cursed the fact that circumstances never allowed them to have a house. She took her medication and prayed that Leslie would have better judgment than she had apparently exhibited.

For the most part, Leslie did exhibit excellent judgment as an adult. After she graduated high school she went to business college where she learned secretarial skills. She got a job with a law firm, got a car and her own apartment. Then and only then did she allow herself to fall in love.

He was a lawyer at the firm where she worked. He was in corporate law and a bit older and more sophisticated than anyone of the opposite sex that Leslie had ever known before. That only added to his charm. She was absolutely on cloud nine, had the world on a string, and was sleeping on a bed of roses. This man had always been obsessed with his career. Leslie became a part of that obsession, and the man’s wife and children faded into a background of too familiar scenery.

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