Flumes Volume 2: Issue 1, Summer 2017 - Page 111

The Legacy

by Lara Gularte

The year she turned seven Mena stayed home from school with a bronchial condition. During the day her father worked and her mother cleaned house or crocheted squares for an afghan in shades of blue. Mena spent most of her time looking out her bedroom window at the old house across the street. Her father told her the house was over a hundred years old.

Mena and her family lived in the new subdivision; a home beside other gray or brown, smooth-sided houses, that sat side by side in rows. For a while no one had lawns or fences. Kids could walk behind a whole block of houses and be in everyone’s backyard. Her father bought their new house from the GI Bill; money the government gave him for being a soldier in the war. They lived in the house for only one year and it still smelled of new plaster and sawdust.

The old pink and green house across the street trimmed in what her mother called, "gingerbread” looked out of place. Her father called it an "eyesore." It sat among sycamores and a huge California palm with a jungle of bushes and vines surrounding it. A roughly built little shed leaned toward the house and a few chickens pecked around in the front yard. An accumulation of tubs, mops, and stacks of newspapers and magazines crowded the large, screened-in front porch. With its peeling paint and its shutters falling off, her mother said it needed to be torn down. When Mena looked at the old house with its cracks and bare spots where siding had fallen off, she could imagine how the street once looked in olden times. She found the house worth looking at and dreaming about.

Mrs. Sousa, a widow, lived in the house alone. A funny looking lady with a cap of frizzy white hair she always wore white uniforms with pink smocks. Mena's mom told her that as a young woman Mrs. Sousa dreamed of being a nurse but got married instead. In her later years, after Mr. Sousa died, she did volunteer work at the hospital as a nurse's helper. When she got too old to move around fast and needed a cane, the hospital let her go.

One day her mother sent her across the street with fifty cents to buy some eggs from Mrs. Sousa. Her mother ran out of eggs while making cakes for St. Joseph’s annual bake sale and needed them right away. When Mena arrived

sale

sale

sale and needed them right

sale and needed them right

sale and needed them

sale and needed them right

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