Life Ain’t Fair!

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                    June 25, 2014

 

                                           

 

   Today’s mini-story is part of WordPress.com’s Writing 101 challenge for the month of June. Today the writer is to take the view of a twelve year old boy watching Mrs. Pauley being evicted from her house across the street.

 

Mrs. Pauley baked me the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. She’d see me across the street and shout in that sweet high voice of hers- as sweet as her cookies, in fact- “William, I got too many cookies! Can you take a few off my hands?” She made me think I was doing her a favor.

Then Mr. Pauley died out of the blue. I could hear him coughing all hours of the day, and then he was gone. He was a hard-working hard-talking man who didn’t deserve Mrs. Pauley, but she was his anyway. He treated her poorly, and I could tell from my distant stoop on the other side of the street that she was afraid of him.

They had six sons…all grown up and gone. Three were wearing uniforms like my G.I. Joe play figures. One disappeared right after he got out of high school and had never been seen of again. One was a low-life living in jail, and the last one lived in a big city somewhere. I couldn’t figure out why none of them came home to check on the one who birthed them.

And then a Cadillac pulled up, followed by a police car, and I could hear Mrs. Pauley crying “Please…no! Please…no!”

I saw the man from the Cadillac, who was wearing a suit that looked all snug and proper on him, hand Mrs. Pauley a piece of paper and then her head dropped like she had been cursed or something.

I knew it wasn’t good, and I could tell God wasn’t in it either. My Sunday School teacher had taught me how to see what was good and what was of the devil. This was of the devil, and I watched…wishing I could do something, but I couldn’t. When you’re twelve it’s hard to help elderly women who have had their hearts broken.

I knew this was worse then bad. I crossed the street and went up the front sidewalk. I didn’t know what I was doing, or what words I might spit out of my mouth to make things all okay, but I quietly approached.

One of the policemen asked me what I wanted and I said I wanted to make sure Mrs. Pauley was okay. At that moment her eyes looked up from the depths and met mine and  she said, “William, I guess I won’t be baking you any more cookies.”

And then I knew she was leaving, that life isn’t fair even to those who deserve a double portion of blessing. The sweetest sometimes get handed the most bitter verdicts.

All I could say was “That’s okay, Mrs. Pauley!”, and we stared at each other for a long moment before the man in the suit started reading her more of his paper of bad news.

That day I lost some faith in mankind and became cautious and questioning just as I was entering adolescence.

Explore posts in the same categories: children, Faith, Story, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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