Waif

Elizabeth was trembling as she took off her jacket.
I could see the marginal swelling of her belly. She
was still with child. Elizabeth hadn’t had the
termination. In a shaky voice, she explained how
galled her Father was. Dan had disowned his
daughter. This, I thought, was a selfish, radical
move. Elizabeth was effectively homeless, she
had nowhere to go. She pleaded to stay with me.
I was appalled at what my Father would think.
We did have a spare room, but no friend of mine
had ever come to stay. Inviting this strange girl
into our house might rattle Father. Nevertheless
I saw Elizabeth’s urgency. I would ask. I wondered
what Clarissa would think. Having a pregnant
friend to stay might tip even her into jealousy.
I cast aside these thoughts. I told Elizabeth to sit.
I took a huge breath. I assured Elizabeth that
everything would be swell. My voice sounded thin
and hollow. It was time to spill the news to Father.

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Author: Robert James Berry

Poet & Novelist