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Melthucelha Smith
Melthucelha Smith

_ Hottie Girl Alone At Home



This really hit home for me as someone who got vaccinated in April and tried to resume what was considered a "normal" life - bars and parties etc. Everything felt empty and fake and wrong. Instead of hot girl summer I am now dealing with the emotional repercussions of the collective trauma we experienced since March 2020. It is comforting to know I am not alone. Thank you for this.




_ Hottie Girl Alone At Home



And walk Margaret did, in spite of the weather. She was so happy out ofdoors, at her father's side, that she almost danced; and with the softviolence of the west wind behind her, as she crossed some heath, sheseemed to be borne onwards, as lightly and easily as the fallen leafthat was wafted along by the autumnal breeze. But the evenings wererather difficult to fill up agreeably. Immediately after tea her fatherwithdrew into his small library, and she and her mother were left alone.Mrs. Hale had never cared much for books, and had discouraged herhusband, very early in their married life, in his desire of readingaloud to her, while she worked. At one time they had tried backgammon asa resource; but as Mr. Hale grew to take an increasing interest in hisschool and his parishioners, he found that the interruptions which aroseout of these duties were regarded as hardships by his wife, not to beaccepted as the natural conditions of his profession, but to beregretted and struggled against by her as they severally arose. So hewithdrew, while the children were yet young, into his library, to spendhis evenings (if he were at home), in reading the speculative andmetaphysical books which were his delight.


Margaret accordingly went up and down to butchers and grocers, seekingfor a nonpareil of a girl; and lowering her hopes and expectations everyweek, as she found the difficulty of meeting with any one in amanufacturing town who did not prefer the better wages and greaterindependence of working in a mill. It was something of a trial toMargaret to go out by herself in this busy bustling place. Mrs. Shaw'sideas of propriety and her own helpless dependence on others, had alwaysmade her insist that a footman should accompany Edith and Margaret, ifthey went beyond Harley Street or the immediate neighbourhood. Thelimits by which this rule of her aunt's had circumscribed Margaret'sindependence had been silently rebelled against at the time: and she haddoubly enjoyed the free walks and rambles of her forest life, from thecontrast which they presented. She went along there with a boundingfearless step, that occasionally broke out into a run, if she were in ahurry, and occasionally was stilled into perfect repose, as she stoodlistening to, or watching any of the wild creatures who sang in theleafy courts, or glanced out with their keen bright eyes from the lowbrushwood or tangled furze. It was a trial to come down from such motionor such stillness, only guided by her own sweet will, to the even anddecorous pace necessary in streets. But she could have laughed atherself for minding this change, if it had not been accompanied by whatwas a more serious annoyance. The side of the town on which Crampton laywas especially a thoroughfare for the factory people. In the backstreets around them there were many mills, out of which poured streamsof men and women two or three times a day. Until Margaret had learnt thetimes of their ingress and egress, she was very unfortunate inconstantly falling in with them. They came rushing along, with bold,fearless faces, and loud laughs and jests, particularly aimed at allthose who appeared to be above them in rank or station. The tones oftheir unrestrained voices, and their carelessness of all common rules ofstreet politeness, frightened Margaret a little at first. The girls,with their rough, but not unfriendly freedom, would comment on herdress, even touch her shawl or gown to ascertain the exact material;nay, once or twice she was asked questions relative to some articlewhich they particularly admired. There was such a simple reliance on herwomanly sympathy with their love of dress, and on her kindliness, thatshe gladly replied to these inquiries, as soon as she understood them;and half smiled back at their remarks. She did not mind meeting anynumber of girls, loud spoken and boisterous though they might be. Butshe alternately dreaded and fired up against the workmen, who commentednot on her dress, but on her looks, in the same open fearless manner.She, who had hitherto felt that even the most refined remark on herpersonal appearance was an impertinence, had to endure undisguisedadmiration from these outspoken men. But the very out-spokenness markedtheir innocence of any intention to hurt her delicacy, as she would haveperceived if she had been less frightened by the disorderly tumult. Outof her fright came a flash of indignation which made her face scarlet,and her dark eyes gather flame, as she heard some of their speeches. Yetthere were other sayings of theirs, which, when she reached the quietsafety of home, amused her even while they irritated her.


One day Margaret and her father had been as far as the fields that layaround the town; it was early spring, and she had gathered some of thehedge and ditch flowers, dog-violets, lesser celandines, and the like,with an unspoken lament in her heart for the sweet profusion of theSouth. Her father had left her to go into Milton upon some business; andon the road home she met her humble friends. The girl looked wistfullyat the flowers, and, acting on a sudden impulse, Margaret offered themto her. Her pale blue eyes lightened up as she took them, and her fatherspoke for her.


'I'm better in not being torn to pieces by coughing o'nights, but I'mweary and tired o' Milton, and longing to get away to the land o'Beulah; and when I think I'm farther and farther off, my heart sinks,and I'm no better; I'm worse.' Margaret turned round to walk alongsideof the girl in her feeble progress homeward. But for a minute or two shedid not speak. At last she said in a low voice,


But Nicholas was not at home when they entered. A great slatternly girl,not so old as Bessy, but taller and stronger, was busy at the wash-tub,knocking about the furniture in a rough capable way, but altogethermaking so much noise that Margaret shrunk, out of sympathy with poorBessy, who had sat down on the first chair, as if completely tired outwith her walk. Margaret asked the sister for a cup of water, and whileshe ran to fetch it (knocking down the fire-irons, and tumbling over achair in her way), she unloosed Bessy's bonnet strings, to relieve hercatching breath.


Margaret read in her soft low voice. Though Bessy's eyes were shut, shewas listening for some time, for the moisture of tears gathered heavy onher eyelashes. At last she slept; with many starts, and mutteredpleadings. Margaret covered her up, and left her, for she had an uneasyconsciousness that she might be wanted at home, and yet, until now, itseemed cruel to leave the dying girl. Mrs. Hale was in the drawing-roomon her daughter's return. It was one of her better days, and she wasfull of praises of the water-bed. It had been more like the beds at SirJohn Beresford's than anything she had slept on since. She did not knowhow it was, but people seemed to have lost the art of making the samekind of beds as they used to do in her youth. One would think it waseasy enough; there was the same kind of feathers to be had, and yetsomehow, till this last night she did not know when she had had a goodsound resting sleep. Mr. Hale suggested, that something of the merits ofthe featherbeds of former days might be attributed to the activity ofyouth, which gave a relish to rest; but this idea was not kindlyreceived by his wife.


'Dixon is sure to remind us of that. I was thinking that, if we wantedany help in the house while he is here, we could perhaps get MaryHiggins. She is very slack of work, and is a good girl, and would takepains to do her best, I am sure, and would sleep at home, and need nevercome upstairs, so as to know who is in the house.'


She looked forward with longing, though unspoken interest to the homelyobject of Dixon's return from Milton; where, until now, the old servanthad been busily engaged in winding up all the affairs of the Halefamily. It had appeared a sudden famine to her heart, this entirecessation of any news respecting the people amongst whom she had livedso long. It was true, that Dixon, in her business-letters, quoted, everynow and then, an opinion of Mr. Thornton's as to what she had better doabout the furniture, or how act in regard to the landlord of theCrampton Terrace house. But it was only here and there that the namecame in, or any Milton name, indeed; and Margaret was sitting oneevening, all alone in the Lennoxes's drawing-room, not reading Dixon'sletters, which yet she held in her hand, but thinking over them, andrecalling the days which had been, and picturing the busy life out ofwhich her own had been taken and never missed; wondering if all went onin that whirl just as if she and her father had never been; questioningwithin herself, if no one in all the crowd missed her, (not Higgins, shewas not thinking of him,) when, suddenly, Mr. Bell was announced; andMargaret hurried the letters into her work-basket, and started up,blushing as if she had been doing some guilty thing.


When I awoke after sleeping alone for the first time in almost two years, I hoped I was wrong about the cold. I was pretty sure it had made itself right at home behind my eyes and deep in my throat, but I still wanted to fight it. I was too busy for a cold, it was just that simple.


And wasn't my house alone sufficiently burdensome? I was determined to raise Abby in the only home she'd ever known, a century-old farmhouse I'd purchased with Elizabeth in East Bartlett--a small collection of houses, a church, and a general store in the hills six miles east of the main village itself. It was on a paved road and it had a paved driveway, but otherwise a realtor would have been hard put to call it convenient--especially for a single father working almost twenty miles away. 041b061a72


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