The Passion of Mary-Margaret

The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson

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Authors: Lisa Samson
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board? I searched the kitchen drawers and of course found nothing but some dead bugs. The cupboards extended as much help.
    I dug into my khakis for my keys, knelt down on the floor, and gently inserted the key to our cottage in between the boards. I pressed, prying up the wood, then popped it free. It clattered on the boards next to it.
    Several papers, rolled up and secured with a rubber band, rested between the supports. My fingers encircled the yellowed onionskin, and the band snapped halfheartedly. Dry rot. The papers fell from my grasp, separated, and glided fanlike at my knees. The small courier type from Jude’s old Royal manual blared words I knew would change me.
    Lord, how I need some changing. I guess I’ve just become stuck in a rut and for some reason ruts don’t lead you down the wild pathways where you trust God in ways you don’t on the beaten path.

    All right, so now, if you who are reading this must know, I’m no longer writing this on the exact day I took Gerald to the light. In fact, it’s several months later. I’m probably making up half the dialogue at this point, but the gist is there, let me assure you, and Angie told me to make sure it feels like a story. So I’m trying that now. She said she’d go back over it for typos too. I should never have told her about this! I don’t know why I did. I can’t have her learning about my conversations with the Lord either. I’m definitely going to hide this when I’m finished. I did tell her I’m trying to weave the past in with the present, and Angie, who’s always reading prizewinning fiction, said, “How very postmodern of you, Mary.”
    She can be such a snot.
    Anyway, Gerald called to me from the parlor of the lighthouse.
    â€œWhat is it?” I yelled back.
    â€œI’m coming into the kitchen now. Is that okay?”
    â€œOf course!”
    He peered in through the door, his color better than it had been in years. He pointed to the papers. “See you’ve found Hattie’s stash. Any money in there perchance?”
    â€œNot a dime that I can see.” I dug in and removed the recipe book she talked about.
    â€œFigures. Here’s to hoping anyway.”
    â€œExactly.” Dust swirled in the air as I blew it off the book.
    I could see why Gerald annoyed Jude. Gerald found hope close to home. It was never right around the corner or coming next year. Those kind of people can be annoying to the one born with a furnace for a belly and no vents whereby to dispel the heat.
    Gerald, seeming a bit more limber, knelt down next to me, then sat on the kitchen floor with his legs out in front of him. He reached out for the bundle. “Can I see?”
    â€œSure.” I turned to the first page. “It’s Jude’s typewriter. For me. But you look first if you don’t mind. I’m a little nervous.”
    My nerves stood up straight, in fact.
    He pulled off his glasses and held the paper close to his eyes. I watched the light blue irises, faded after so many years in the sun, skitter over the words and down the lines. Finally he turned the page and I saw,
    I Will Always Love You,
    Jude
    written somewhere in the middle. Gerald looked up at me with a whistle.
    â€œI don’t know if you want to see this, MM. You might get upset with him for having Hattie hide this for so long. Here.” He handed me the papers. “Read for yourself.”
    I grasped the paper and set it beside me, then gathered up the remaining sheets. Poems, at least thirty of them, and all of them about me during the days he refused to see me.
    â€œI’m going to read these first.”
    â€œAll right. I’ll go back outside.”
    I sat cross-legged in the empty room and realized afresh how much Jude loved me.
    â€œYou done yet?” Gerald came back into the kitchen awhile later and sat down next to me.
    â€œI haven’t read the letter yet.”
    The poems, even

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