A Beauty.

It is Friday once again and so, time for another serious fiction piece.

stock photo : Woman holding a large valentine

In her day she was a beauty. Her smile had broken the hearts of many young men.

Not that she was the type who went looking to break men’s hearts, she didn’t like to hurt anyone. She was completely natural and completely unaware of the effect she was having.

She didn’t need to parade herself; her radiant smile, natural attractions, and unaffected style drew them in. And that laugh, few who had heard that laugh ever forgot it. Her whole face lit up and her green eyes sparkled. What fella could resist that? Not many.

Yes, she had been a beauty in her day. For all the attention she drew to herself, she dated little. A combination of  her being particular and shy lads thinking they had no chance with her.

She had a steady in high school, Mitch, but when they went their separate ways after graduation, they separated for good. Not one to talk about her private affairs, her family never quite knew why she had stop seeing him. They had all liked Mitch.

stock photo : Central Bulgaria, BULGARIA, CIRCA 1945 - young man portrait - circa 1945

In college she met her next steady and he had stayed her steady for the next 53 years until death separated them. She never got over the death of  Steve and she knew she never would.

He used to call her Beauty bee, a corruption of her name, Beatrice, which she never liked.  They never had any children and she felt the want of them after Steve had past.

It was her nephew, Darren, who drove her to the hospital the night she fell and broke her hip, that was 5 years ago. She had seen Darren exactly twice afterward, once when he visited the hospital and once when she was placed in the Oakdale Nursing Home.

Her friends had visited more often, than her relations, but they where old too and came but seldom. She had made a couple of friends at the nursing home, but the sad fact was she knew they where all just waiting to die.

The staff was a roulette, some where kind, patient, and giving and there was those who were not. Coming here had been bewildering at first. Being used to being so independent it was hard to adjust.

“Hell,” she thought, “I still haven’t adjusted.”

The unfamiliar noises, smells, and routines had disoriented her and the staff on duty that first night were impatient and rushed. No time for an old lady.

stock photo : Elderly 80 plus year old woman with Alzheimer in a medical office setting.

She missed her house, her flower gardens, and her big bay window where she had spent many happy hours looking out at life as it went by. This life she lived now, was not living, it was only a pathetic excuse of a life.

The photograph that Steve had taken on their first wedding anniversary, hung on the wall in her room.

It was hot in their apartment building and he talked her into posing on the roof with the big goofy paper red heart he had given her. She had been a good sport about it.  Let old Mrs. Anderson, the prude, flap her gums if she wanted to.

A pretty little red-haired aide, the new girl, came into to get her vitals, they where always doing that. She was a nice little thing always smiling.

“Hello, Mrs. Warner, how are you today?’

“Okay”, she mumbled back.

“That photo on the wall, is that you, if I may ask?’

“Yes, my husband took it.”

“What a beauty you were!”

“Yes,” she answered slowly, ” I was a beauty. Then.”

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Author:

I am me and nobody else. One of a kind just like the rest of the world.

10 thoughts on “A Beauty.

  1. Awww….sad story. I’m nearing old age, and it’s always sad to think that, one day, I’ll reach the age of nothing but sweet memories. Good story, Rachael. It stirred my emotions. 🙂

  2. Failing eyesight, as we age, can be a blessing.

    When i was about 6 years old, one of my great-grandmothers told me that I was her favorite of all her grandchildren, because I looked just the way she had when she was a girl!.

    What a terrible fright she gave me, when she told me that! Her wrinkles had wrinkles. She was fat and flabby and hump-backed, and her ears and nose were HUGE. One’s ears and nose never stops growing, did you know that? YiKeS!

    Now that I am a great-grandmother, I have made a mental note to never scare a child like my great-grandmother scared me!

    1. I am sure she never meant to scare you. 😉
      I cannot recall anyone saying I looked just like them, although in old family photos, I can see that I look like certain sisters at certain ages, but I see them all as beautiful, so it is all good.

      1. Oh no, she meant it as a compliment! She told me that when she married at the age of 13, she had already had several proposals, and that everyone said she was the prettiest girl in 6 counties. Of course, she added, there weren’t that many people living in those counties back in those days, meaning the late 1800s.

        Funny thing is, when I look at the old pictures I have of her that were taken when I was a girl, she didn’t look nearly as old or awful as I remembered. But it really scared me, when I was 6 years old, to have the oldest woman I had ever seen tell me that I looked just like she did as a girl!

        I was actually a very plain looking little girl, and my appearance didn’t even start to matter to m until I was a teenager. My mother was always having to remind me to comb my hair. I just didn’t care, I was a tom boy. But even so, I didn’t want to look like my ancient great-grandmother, either. But now, I just hope I get to live as long as she did.

      2. I was a little bit of a tom-boy myself. I didn’t begin to care at all until I was almost 15, late bloomer, I guess!
        You are beautiful inside and out.

  3. The Nursing Home beauty……ok, my eyes are tearing up. When I picture this through that woman’s eyes, I remember my mother……but I thank God for the wonderful family and friends who were with her, in a private hospice, when she was ill. So many are not that fortunate, gotten old, no family , fewer friends, and left to be discarded, just waiting for their time to die, when will people realize that our elderly are just as important to us as the newborns. Thanks for this story, it made me think.
    M

    1. Thank you so much, this means a lot! I try very hard to not hold back on the emotional aspect, always happy to hear it worked. 🙂

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