Packing for Tomorrow

August 4, 1896
Penelope Sumter

As I packed my things for a return to Primrose, I realized I had never really came home at all. The last time I did this chore, I had been weeping over every little thing I could not take with me, including my father and brothers. Now, I feel no attachment here. I will leave tomorrow with Wilbur and instead of looking back, I will only be looking forward.

James seems completely oblivious to my existence. I understand he has other matters to occupy his time but I remember better times, when family at least rated courtesy if not attention. My father was surprised at first, that Wilbur wished to leave so soon, but he required little convincing from my brother. Wilbur is eager to set out on his own.

“Are you packed?” Wilbur asked from behind me.

“Almost. I have not collected any new school supplies yet, though.” I replied.

I kept working to get my clothing case packed with as many of my garments as would fit plus three more that I just could not leave behind.

“We can collect those things, when we arrive in Providence.”

“I know. I just don’t understand what I am going to do being there so early.”

“You can help me decorate my apartment for one thing.” He chuckled.

“I don’t imagine there will be much ‘help’ to it. I‘m sure I‘ll be doing all of it.” I replied.

“Probably, but it sounds better that way.”

“Maybe to you…” I trailed off.

I was trying to close my case and it was not cooperating.

“Would you like some help?” He asked.

“Yes.” I said.

“Not that you’ll be helping much.” He replied.

He cast me a playful, knowing look. I smiled and fluttered my eyelids at him. He just shook his head in mock annoyance, but managed to close my case on his first try.

“Thank you.” I said.

“Nothing to it. Beside, I spoke with your Mrs. Carrington. She said it would be no problem for you to arrive early and that they have plenty of chores you can help with in preparing the house for the arrival of the rest of the girls.”

“Oh great. You know, if I had wanted a summer job, I would not have come back here in the first place.”

“Don’t be so grumpy, we can have a good time of it. There is nothing to say we can’t make a few stops on our way up.”

“You suddenly get an a much larger allowance?” I asked.

“We are taking the automobile, so we can damn well go wherever I want to go.” He said.

“Really? I didn’t think father would let you… That’s great. You know there are a few places I wouldn’t mind passing through.”

“Well now, if I take you through them, what will I get out of it?”

“Let me think about it.”

I could not help the big smile on my face. It would be an adventurous trip by automobile. No wonder he wanted to go now. Thus far, the summer had been short on fun for the both of us. This was an opportunity to make up for that.

“Don’t think too hard, I wouldn’t want you to wear your brain out before school even starts.” He replied.

I slapped his arm in mock anger.

“Maybe I’ll let you drive.” I said at last.

“You’ll let me?” He asked.

“Nah, you’ll get us lost.” I said.

“If I do it will only be because you can’t read a map.”

“Covering your tracks all ready?”

“Yep, I can’t risk an argument on the road. We will just have to settle it right now. Anything bad happens while we’re driving up and it’s all your fault. Agreed?”


Wilbur picked up my hairbrush from my dresser. Something I had set aside to pack in the morning just before we leave. He waved it menacingly at me.

“Oh, really? I think I can change your mind.” He said.

“You wouldn’t dare!” I shouted.

I of course knew he would, but is that not half the fun?

1 comment:

Paul said...

Melanie, yep, always was.
Warm hugs,