The classified ad was very succinct. It didn’t use the word employee, it specifically used the word companion. I wasn’t in the position to be picky about my job prospects or possible accommodation so I made the call.
I rang the bell and could hear the shuffling beyond the door frame. It took her several minutes to reach the entrance and when the door swung open I was shocked by the state of her physical being. She stood all of four feet tall, hunched and emaciated, and her skin could pass for a road map. An oxygen tank hung haphazardly from a metal pole and she spun the wheels around to move it out of my path so I could enter the house.
Unsure of what I was about to face, I stepped across the threshold and closed the door. The house was warm and smelled of cinnamon – nothing at all what I expected. The walls were adorned with black and white photos and an old phonograph was scratching out “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller. Her demeanor was welcoming and she ushered me into the living room where the smiling faces of Clark Gable, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Joan Crawford watched as I took my place on the settee. I felt like I had gone back in time.
The service required of me was simple. I was to transcribe her life as an understudy in the 1930’s and make sure the world read her story and, not only knew her but, remembered her.
The official age on her death certificate was 106 years. She had lived over a century and only through her words did I understand the vast world she had seen change over her lifetime. As I write this preface to her story, I am reminded of her spirit and her failure to relinquish her dream of fame. It came too late but she finally got her wish.
Word count -323. Image Credit – health.howstuffworks.com
Written for the Trifecta Challenge: On to the weekly prompt.
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