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How His Grandparents Met, Part III

...Harold was gob-smacked by all that he heard, he struggle hard to find something to say, his grandfather smirked, and then clear his throat, “Now your grandma I didn’t meet that way. “I first learned of her from your Aunt Marie, back when she worked down at the bawdy-house, after a poke she told me of her sister, who was pretty, but quite easy to cow. “‘Dumb as a rock,’ that was what Marie said, ‘Just dreams of children and being a wife.’ Now I’d had my share of worldly women, Ffgured a dumb one might do the job right. “So I went to your great grandfather’s farm, asking if I could court your grandmother Sue, me being right, he was aboard for it, and you grandma was quite excited too. “She was submissive, obeyed when I spoke, too damn simple to betray or cheat, she kept the house for me and warmed my bed, for a housewife that made her hard to beat. “Honestly, it was much simpler than love, and I would still have my fun with others, in fact I’m sure your Aunt Marie’s children are all of them your father’s half-brothers. “Now I know this is not what you want to hear, you’re all besotted with that lovely young girl, but women aren't the things we dream them to be, the wrong one can ruin all of your world. “Make sure that she ain’t the kind who runs off, you cannot expect from them loyalty, the simpler kind are easier to break, and you’ve got to stamp your authority. “Now I know you may want to tell people, say that I’ve never been what I appear, but just remember, I’m a sick, old man, and ‘do not have all that much time left here.’” With that he learned back and lit a cigar, Harold wasn’t sure what he should do next, he wandered the feast, lost in a gray fog, his whole image of his family wrecked. He couldn’t look at his great aunt Marie, trying to forget what he’d heard was in vain, and even when he found his dear Sandra he found he couldn’t look at her the same. Hard that been the point of grandpa’s whole speech? To rid him of his childish outlook? Or maybe it all had just been made up, the last laugh of an old and dying crook. All he could be sure of in months to come was that the world seemed deprived of some care, even his weeding day felt somehow less with his grandfather watching from his chair. Was this what it meant to be an adult to have your innocence destroyed in full? Harold couldn’t say, but when his grandpa died, he didn’t bother with the funeral.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020

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