So I’m practicing expanding a scene from 100 words to about 300 words. Maybe that’s a good number of words for a scene. Tomorrow’s goal is 500 words. Here goes:
There were three bundles of letters. One for each year we’d spent as pen pals and one from the year before he died. My mind had wandered as though there we were.
“Mimi isn’t it true that you and grandpa were pen pals before you married?” Irene, my always-having-to-know-something-private granddaughter, was as chipper as a New Orleans summer day is long.
Her mother, my daughter, Helen, cleared her throat. “It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, Irene. You listen to me now. Life was more respectable then. Wasn’t it, Mom?”
“No. It was 1964” I rolled my eyes.
“Oh good grief, Mom. That’s not helping matters.” Helen wrung her hands and sat down in a wing back chair near the fireplace. She pushed the poker into a log. The room crackled.
I looked at my granddaughter and we chuckled. “They’re going to meet here, Helen. It’s all perfectly respectable. Irene is a grown woman.”
“But you’re taking sides, Mom.”
“I’m not taking sides, Helen. You’re invited, too!”
One thing was for sure. The heart knows a distance differently than the mind. My daughter had met her husband in college. Her daughter wanted to meet a man she knew from the internet. And old respectable me had married my pen pal. I don’t know how my daughter thought she’d sway me.
“Well your father’s not too happy about this, Irene.”Helen made another feeble attempt for normalcy.
“Was your dad happy about you and grandpa meeting?” Irene gave me a pensive look much resembling her mother’s.
“But -” my daughter fumbled for words.
“But it didn’t stop us,” I finished.
Nothing could have stopped us. Everything tried. We just weren’t prepared. We just weren’t thinking that one of us would go off and die like that in some war far away. Even his last letter took years to sink in.
My dearest Peggy, I may not make it home to you and our little daughter, Helen. I hope this letter reaches you and that you will never forget how I love you so. Kevin