August 6, 1896
Sarah Waters

Not much doubt about it, I am the black sheep. It was not always this way but things have changed and I do not see them going back to the way they were before. I should probably care about that, maybe even try to change myself but I cannot bring myself to the act. Mother is of course still furious with me. She threatened to spank me and for the first time in my life, I refused to submit.

I have discovered there is strength in the right. When we are victims of circumstances or even of men, it falls on us to find that strength and wield it to our advantage. My father would not approve of my attitude but he is not here to correct it and I will not be corrected by one who wields as unworthy of an attitude as my mother.

Sam tried to convince me I was in the wrong.

“Have you gone mad?” He asked me.

His expression was serious. His hands rested on his hips as he stood in my doorway. He expected an answer to his ludicrous question.

“You knew about this?” I responded in kind.

“What I knew and when I knew it is irrelevant. What did you think you were doing and what possessed you to think you had the right?”

“That man is responsible not only for the death of our father but of a lot of other good men. He is also responsible for holding me against my will and mutilating my best friend. I will not tolerate his presence under any circumstances.”

“Your feelings toward the man are no mystery to me. This however is my home and I alone will decide who is allowed in it and who is not.”

“And now your feeling are no longer a mystery to me. I will pack my things and be gone tonight.”

“Don’t overreact and stop being ridiculous. He came to offer condolences and money for mother. Whether any of us like the man or not is irrelevant, the money is something we need.”

“Condolences can be sent in a letter and money can be sent through the bank. There was no need for him to be sitting in your living room, caressing our mother’s hand.”

“You misinterpreted what you saw.”

“Of course I did, just like I misinterpreted being sent out for errands. How silly of me not to realize what you really wanted was to keep me out of the way. You may need his money but it does not change the fact that money is stained with the blood of men, including our father’s.”

“Sarah, you will not dictate to me in my house. I will do what I think is best for our family and I ask, no I expect, you to give me the same respect you gave our father.”

“Respect is earned and bargaining with the man who killed our father is not something I will ever respect or accept.”


“No, don’t bother, you will not change my mind. You are right, I cannot dictate to you in your home. You can do whatever it is you want to do but don’t try to tell me what is right and what is wrong. Between us, I clearly no it better.”

“These matters are not as black and white as you want them to be. I have responsibilities to everyone here and I cannot ignore what Mr. Parker is offering us.”

“You have a responsibility to our father as well. It is in your hands to carry on his good name. Is it worth so little that a few dollars can persuade you to sully it? If so, father was right about you. You aren’t a man.”

“I’m warning you Sarah.”

“You can’t do anything worse to me than what you’ve all ready planned.”

I ended my statement standing toe to toe with him. He was as angry as I but there was also shame in his eyes. He knew I was right. Admitting it was another matter though. So, he turned and walked away. I watched his descend the stairs until he was out of sight.

Carefully I closed the door and pulled my cases from beneath my bed. Slowly I began to pack my things. Not everything would fit but that just means there will be room for new things in my life when I find a place to call home.

I counted my money that I had saved from over the last two years. It was not much but it should be enough to get me to Primrose College. From there I will have to find work. Father used to tell Sam there was nothing like a little hard work to make a boy into a man. Maybe it will hold true for a girl like me.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Melanie, nice one girl.
Warm hugs,