Author Topic: Guilt seldom troubled Gwedolyn. ( Short story 1700 words)  (Read 1465 times)

Offline pastrami

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Guilt seldom troubled Gwedolyn. ( Short story 1700 words)
« on: May 11, 2008, 05:14:23 PM »


Guilt seldom troubled Gwendolyn


For someone of her age, Gwen had faced some difficult decisions.

“If you are sixteen and a half and an unmarried mother, You need to believe it will all work out.” She would say.

It was November and the beginning of winter. The morning chill had eased, helped by the appearance of a misty sun, when Gwen pushed Toby in his buggy across the wet grass.  Gwen wasn’t too confident the sun would lift the early morning dew from the playground. Having walked across the grass, the dew had penetrated her skimpy flat shoes.  She impatiently kicked at the stiff brake of the buggy with a drenched foot.

At first, Toby sat quietly but soon became impatient and whinged and tugged at his harness. He wanted to get to the swings and slide.
“Patience love, I’ll soon release you.”
Once free. Toby rushed to the swings, but being an eager beaver, he tripped and fell forward, taking in a mouthful of sand.
 “Spit it out Toby.” She told him.
He did so, but kept on spitting until Gwen told him,” Enough Toby, no more.”

As Toby played on the slide, Gwen checked the swings. Still damp, she soaked up the remaining dew with a tissue from McDonalds. She could not see a bin close by so placed the tissue in the pocket of her denim jacket.

Gwen appeared to be a teenager with no ties and little responsibilities. But looks can be deceptive for she was the mother of Toby, aged two.

There were  no give away signs of a past pregnancy. Her trim waist and inherited petite figure meant she had often been mistaken for Toby’s big sister. Her long blond hair appeared to annoy her, for she continued to flick it behind her ears, away from her pale face.

 Under her denim jacket she wore a Billabong T-shirt. Not ideal winter wear, but that’s all she had.  Her mini skirt revealed legs that were kept warm by stripped tights.

 From an early age she dreamed of having a husband, a house and three children, in that order. Unfortunately her dream maker had become a little confused or new to the job, for Toby arrived a little early. Gwen hoped her guides realised their mistake, and sent the husband and house on soon.

Her mobile bleeped and Gwen rummaged in the pocket of her buggy to retrieve the mobile.

Can  u get out 2nite @ 8? Sue

Gwen sighed. How to get out? A problem she often faced.

Her mother could baby-sit, but the aggravation it caused Gwen put her off asking.
 He mother disapproved of Gwen’s decision to have Toby. She had tried to persuade her to have a termination, but Gwen became adamant Toby would happen. This caused many violent arguments. Memories of them had faded except for two comments her mother had made.

 “Having a child at your age is ridiculous,” her mother would shout and, “Don’t expect me to be at your beck and call if you go ahead with this stupid idea.”

Gwen’s fingers deftly sent a reply to Sue – she would try to be there.

Toby tripped again and Gwen’s rushed to him, but her pace over the sand slowed her down.
“My poor babe, are you OK? Here let Mummy give it a rub.”

Having dried his tears, Toby set off again and Gwen returned to the bench.
Guilt seldom troubled Gwen for having Toby, she loved the sensitive boy but the constant attention left Gwen exhausted and continually tired.

The mobile bleeped again.

Party this Sat @ Dens. Can u com?

Gwen’s determination to be a good Mum conflicted with her need to socialise. If she managed to get away for a few hours she felt tired and exhausted. Sitting amongst her friends, who were lively and full of gossip, she somehow felt out of place. All she could contribute was talk of Toby, and she became aware her friends were not that interested.

Each day was filled with looking after Toby, helping with the housework, and doing the shopping. She looked forward to the trip to the supermarket. It meant she managed to get out of the house and away from her mother, whom she called Hawkeye, but never to her face.

 Then there were the arguments. One was fast approaching from around the bend of resentment; asking her mother to look after Toby for a few hours.
 This would lead to a major quarrel, her mother would groan and moan and repeat the many things Gwen had heard before, until Gwen gave some concession.

“Do you want a push on the swing love?” She asked Toby.
Toby gripped the chain of the swing and tried to lift his leg onto the seat.
“Here, let me help you.”
Gwen settled him, made him comfy and pushed him gently as she sang.

“ See saw Marjory Daw, Jenny shall have a new master.”

She wondered how she could get away when her mobile bleeped again.

Kim dumped P 2day – he’s well gutted.

Pushing Toby and keeping him going with one hand, she text  back.

Wot appened?

Thirty-five pushes later came the reply.

P took Mel out.

Toby decided he’d had enough and launched himself off the swing. Luckily Gwen happened to be close by and managed to break his fall by grabbing the back of his coat.
“Silly boy, you’ll get hurt doing that.”

Toby oblivious to danger wriggled and kicked to escape and ran to the slide.
Gwen enjoyed watching Toby climb and play. These moments were hers alone. Just watching Toby as he released his toy cars down the slide and then followed; sometimes feet first but invariably head first. They were magic.

Toby was too young to remember these times but Gwen would, and remind him of how happy he had been. 

Movement amongst the trees behind the playground caught Gwen’s attention. A young man she recognised as Jason appeared to be heading her way. Last week they had briefly chatted for the first time, in between both receiving text messages, and they appeared to get on well. However, a hot flush of embarrassment overcame her, and she felt nauseous and memories of morning sickness returned.

Gwen recalled the lie.

“ Toby’s my younger brother.” She told Justin.

She did not mean to do it. It just slipped out.

For many days after the incident, Gwen’s shame returned whenever she recalled the lie. She convinced herself they would never meet again, so it didn’t matter.
 But as the memory of the lie receded, thoughts of him increased. He was often in her mind.

Perhaps I fancy him, she wondered?

Jason met two of the needs listed in last week’s girl’s magazine – tall and slim. In addition, and not mentioned in the article, was his voice. A deep dark brown voice, just like the colour of his hair.
She also found his manner and the way he spoke to her attractive. His constant eye contact made her feel important, which resulted in a warm glow she had never experienced before. Not like some boys she knew, who would look away when talking to her. As though they were talking to someone sitting on her shoulder.

Being too late for Gwen to walk away, she turned and concentrated on Toby, hoping Jason would pass by.

Bur he didn’t.
“Hi Gwen.” He called.
She turned and faced him with a surprised look on her face, “Hi,” she said.
“The name’s Jason, if you’ve  forgot? We talked last week.”

Gwen felt her confidence failing for trying to be cool wasn’t working. She cursed and told herself,” just be yourself and tell him the truth.”
But she couldn’t.

Out of her eye, Toby had moved to the swing and lay face down on the seat, pushed himself too hard and lost his balance and fell head first onto the sand.

Gwen saw Toby fall and immediately knew he was hurt.

As she picked him up and cuddled him and said,” Are you OK darling?”
Toby, with his mouth wide open did not emit a sound. The shock made Toby hold his breath. Gwen knew he would regain his breath in a second and howl.
He did as expected.

“ Mummy.” He cried.
 Tear erupted from his tightly held eyes, some flowed down his rounded cheeks and other collected on his long lashes.
“Where does it hurt baby. You OK?”

She held his hands and said, “ Look at your hands Toby, look no cuts, you’re fine.”
Gwen found Toby heavy to lift, but managed to pick him up and hold him tight.
Normally, he would complain because he felt suffocated. But a serious fall needs a special cuddle she told Toby.
When his sobbing had subsided, Gwen turned to Jason.

But he had gone.

Gwen looked about her, and saw a lone figure walking toward the park gates. Her stomach churned knowing the reason Jason had left.

Hugging Toby she pushed her face into his small shoulder to hide her tears. But Toby felt his mother’s emotion and began to cry too.

Toby returned to the slide as Gwen sat on the bench. Her thoughts roamed the many corridors of darkness she had visited in her short life, where doors had been locked or difficult to open.
 For the time being she realised the future only contained one love – Toby, but she hoped, no she prayed her guides would come to her aid. And hopefully make life a little better for her. There was time, she told herself.

Her mobile bleeped several times, but she ignored it as she searched the buggy for more of the used McDonald tissues to dry her tears.

Having Toby was all she needed.
.
Toby had recovered from his fall and climbed the steps of the slide. At the top he saw his mother and smiled, waved and shouted,” Look at me Mummy?”

Though tears remained in her eyes she smiled back and waved.
Gwen was certain her life would improve and Toby’s childhood would be perfect.

It must get better, she thought?
 

Dirty shoes mean dirty knickers.

pastrami 1960

Offline ma100

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Re: Guilt seldom troubled Gwedolyn. ( Short story 1700 words)
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 08:29:30 PM »
Flippin' heck! Pas where did that come from? I have
never seen you write anything like that before. Great
stuff.

The descriptions and emotion you brought in was lovely.
I was waiting for the funny to appear and was to far
into the story to care that it didn't come. You
captured how she honestly felt and realistically too.

Nits. I don't know, I was to busy reading.

Well done mate. I enjoyed it.
Mairi :)
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 08:34:00 PM by ma100 »

Offline pastrami

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Re: Guilt seldom troubled Gwedolyn. ( Short story 1700 words)
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 11:53:19 PM »
Gee Thanks Ma, :-*

I did submit it with some trepidation.  :-\

One it was not my usual kind of posting.

Two, I wondered if I managed to put over the emotion ( I tried hard to delve into the emotion of Gwen, but I had a sneaky feeling a female writer would go deeper than I could.)

I was pleased I managed to write the piece , I did have some doubts.

The piece was a standard text book senario i.e. Be aware of what's around you.

I sat in the park watching my grandson on the swings when I noticed this young girl and her two year old. I could not make up my mind if she was the mother, au pair or older sister.

Later, I thought for a long time before deciding it was the mother and then it all fell into place.

I'm pleased you liked it and I shall sleep well tonight.

Best wishes

pas   :)
 
Dirty shoes mean dirty knickers.

pastrami 1960