In early October Isaac’s first-day-of-school picture was developed and
Delia wrote to her mama.
“I’m so proud of my little man,” she wrote. “I’d give anything in the
world if you could see him.” She told how Isaac already knew his letters
and numbers but said nothing about the makeshift school he attended.
“If you could slip away from Daddy and meet me in town,” she
suggested, “we could have lunch and you could get to know this fine little
grandson of yours.” She went on to say Benjamin would drive them to
Twin Pines and then do errands while they were having lunch. At the end
of the letter she wrote, “Please say yes, Mama.” Delia slid the school
picture into the envelope and sealed it.
Passing through Perfect – Friday Fiction
It wasn’t unusual for a week or two to go by before a letter was
answered, but when it became a whole month Delia started to worry.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have asked Mama to come for lunch,” she said.
“Maybe I should’ve left well enough alone.”
“Inviting your mama to lunch ain’t a bad thing,” Benjamin said.
“Could be she’s just been busy. Give it time.”
Another week passed and there was still no answer, so Delia sat down
and wrote a second letter.
“I’m sorry if my asking you to lunch put you in a bad spot,” she wrote.
“I’d be willing to just forget about that. Please write me back soon.”
The days dragged as Delia watched and waited for an answer. After
two weeks she began to believe none was coming. Trying to make amends
for whatever wrong she’d done, she started sending a new letter almost
every day. In one she begged for forgiveness, in another she promised to
never again suggest meeting, and in one she even apologized for her sloppy
handwriting. Still there was no response.
Delia’s garden became overgrown with weeds and tomatoes waiting to
be picked; still she did nothing but pace the floor cursing herself for
alienating her mama as well as her daddy. “Why’d I do it?” she’d sob.
On the day that marked the second month without a letter, Benjamin
came in from the field to find her red-eyed and weepy.