In The Way

Girl with cat picture

I was always an awkward, clumsy child, with long, gangly limbs that delighted in incongruous angles, and eyes that stuck out like bulbs above my bony cheeks. We lived in a cramped trailer and I was constantly getting under my father’s feet. For a long time I thought my name should have been 'Jesus Christ!', but it ain't; it's just plain old Trudy.

My sister Marlene however was perfection, at least in the eyes of my parents. She was actually the devil incarnate and made my life miserable as heck, but like the devil, she hid it very well when it mattered. Oh, how I hated her, but then she got married and left. My parents spent a fortune on the wedding, money they didn't have, and gave her an almighty send off. We didn't see her much after that. I guess she felt her trailer past was beneath her. I stayed behind.

I didn't have any suitors, at least not the proper kind. Sure, there were lots of boys who wanted to get in between my legs – I guess they thought because I was ugly, I would be easy – but I didn't let them. My mother stopped nagging me after a while. I left school and got a job sticking on doll eyes at the toy factory. It didn't pay much, but then I didn't need much, and my parents were grateful I guess for the extra income. Not for me, mind you. No, I, as always, was in the way.

Then I got promoted at work, and managed to save enough to move away from home. I still gave my parents some of my pay check, so they didn't mind me leaving too much.

I have a cat now. He's called Henry. I like him, and he likes me, and we spend the long winter nights sitting contentedly before the fire.

Life ain't too bad when you're no longer in the way.