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Set in Steel

By , Shoreline, WA
Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 7 8 9

Chapter 9

elen Thistle died in those tenements because of how poor the living conditions were.  She was like my second mother, my rock during the hard times and challenges I faced.  It would take me three weeks to finish mourning Helen.  In the meantime, I moved in with Frank, since I didn’t care for living in a house where someone passed.
To keep myself busy, I found a passion that I didn’t even know I had inside me.  I volunteered for weeks until I was finally was made a board member of the National Women’s Studies Association.  My role was to attend events, recruit more members, attend club meetings, and participate in local civic and charity organizations, so my time was always occupied.  I also helped with campaigning for better living conditions in tenements, something that would’ve saved Mrs. Thistle’s life years and years before.
Frank and I stayed close friends, but nothing more.  I tried to keep in touch with Anne and John from the office but received a cold shoulder from both, which I didn’t mind as much, since I had become close to Mary after Mrs. Thistle’s passing.  Mary and I enjoyed quite a few laughs about Lawrence Baker’s dotty ways, and she became surprisingly empathetic towards me.  Things are going much better with her husband know that he’s kicked the old habit of going to the saloon each night.  Her husband, James, even offered to help my start my own architecture business but I declined.
What felt like years after my ‘resignation’ and Mrs. Thistle’s passing, I sat outside on the burning patch of dry, dead grass outside the tenement, hugging my cozy wool shawl to my bodice.  Streetcars zipped down the block, bursting with passengers, and their boisterous voices filled the street, mixed with the German and Irish accents spewing out of every window.  The ever-reeking tenements still bordered the sidewalk, with their red brick now more chipped and faded than before.  What I did next I do not regret.  I picked myself up and walked down the black, cracked street until I lost sight of ‘home’.

Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 7 8 9


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