After a long day at work or school, what are your favorite ways to wind down and decompress?
At one time I lived 25 miles from work. I loved the drive. I found that it was a perfect way to wind down. Even to this day I find long drives are a good way to allow the mind to ease itself. I imagine two hundred hears ago the same outcome was realized with a horse or buggy ride or better yet a stroll. I suppose the point is that ambulating in some fashion get’s a flow of blood to the brain or at least our thoughts are directed elsewhere.
Here is the final episode of my short story The Match. I hope it was as enjoyable for you to read as it was for me to write.
The Match (Part 11)
A Long Hidden Story
“It is time you know,” Lucinda said, “both of you.”
“I don’t want to know,” Rusty said.
“Me neither,” Sam said.
“That’s two to one,” Rusty said.
“Sit,” she said calmly.
Rusty and Sam sat on the couch and Lucinda in her chair.
“It was a long time ago,” Lucinda said smiling gently. “It was a different time. My parents were very strict. As long as I can remember being chaste was not an option. There was no margin for error. Sam’s family was the same way. We were in the same faith, but he was from near Philadelphia. Sam was a few years older than me. He even went to school to be a minister in our church. He got to the point of being ordained, but didn’t. He moved to Pittsburgh and into our church. We were attracted to each other right off.”
“I became pregnant and there was a rush for Sam and I to get married. My parents knew and from that day on my family treated me different. My sisters were never allowed to be alone with me or Sam.”
“Sam went to work as a builder. There was a very wealthy and prominent man in our church.”
“Let me guess,” Rusty said. “His name was Conrad Billings.”
“Yes,” Lucinda said. “What else do you know about him?”
“That’s the man my dad killed,” Rusty said. “They were in business together and he was a well-thought of in the community. He was generous and religious. Everyone I ever talked to about him thought he was wonderful and my dad killed a great man.”
“Conrad Billings raped me,” Lucinda said. “Sam did not know about it. I went to Billings and told him I was going to the police. He laughed at me. He said the police would never believe me. I went to him a couple of months later. I was pregnant and I thought it was his child. He said he would tell everybody that I seduced him. Given my upbringing it was something I could not bear. I would have been completely ostracized. I was certain Sam would divorce me. I left thinking I was pregnant with another man’s child. All I could think about was the shame to Sam, you. And my family.”
“Don’t you think Dad would have forgiven you?” Rusty said.
“I know now he would have,” Lucinda said. “Five years later there was little doubt that Sam Junior was really my husband’s child. I contacted Sam Senior. He said it would not make any difference to him, but he was so angry. He told me to never return to Pittsburgh. That’s when he killed Conrad Billings and never revealed why.”
“The reason I never came for you is shame,” Lucinda sobbed. “I was so emotionally fragile and didn’t have the strength to do what was right. By the time I had the strength and will I thought it was too late.”
“You did the right thing,” Rusty said. “And I mean that with all my heart.”
The End – for now. It is obvious the story in not complete. Speculate if you like, but sometime in the future do not be surprised if another episode or so will arise.