The Bootlegger's Daughter

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Suits for Ladies

Again in the interest of time I am going to summarize a few events. Nothing happened at supper and frankly even with my good memory I can’t remember what we even talked about. I’m sure it did happen but I can’t even remember Robert getting yelled at for something.

After dinner I put on my coat and hat and followed Father outside. We got in his car and we drove away. A few minutes later we ended up at the tailor shop called Alling Tailoring. Father parked the car on the side of the street and we went inside.

“Edward, is that you?” A man asked while he leaned over a desk to see who came in the store. He had big round cheaters and was dressed in a formal suit. Then again he was a tailor, of course he had a nice suit. Father walked over to the desk and shook the man’s hand.

“It’s been a while hasn’t it, Richard?” Father said. Richard Alling nodded.

“I heard about your father. Such a shame.” Mr. Alling said in a somber voice.

“It’s in the past.” Father replied. Mr. Alling obviously didn’t know how little in the past Grandfather’s death was. “Now I would like to introduce you to my daughter, Lucille.”

“Nice to meet you, Miss.” Mr. Alling said.

“Which brings me to why I’m here. I need a suit for Lucy. Preferably one that will make her look more like a man, but if that’s not possible then I understand.” Father said.

“You want a suit for your daughter?”

“Yes. Will you do it, or do I need to find some place else even though we’re friends?”

“Well, I don’t know. It’s a bit unorthodox…”

“Aw come on Richard. You know you’ll get paid well.”

“Fine. If you’ll follow me Miss, I’ll get you measured.” Mr. Alling said as he walked around his desk. I followed him to a small platform where he started to take my measurements while some other man recorded them. Mr. Alling and I made small talk. He asked me about school and my family. Not very exciting things. Once they were done we walked back to Father who was waiting for us at the desk.

“Well, how quickly can you get it done?” Father asked. Mr. Alling sat down at his desk and flipped through a book that I’m sure was filled with appointments.

“We haven’t even discussed what material the suit would be made out of, I can’t just tell you how long it will take.” Mr. Alling said. Father sighed while Mr. Alling pushed his cheaters up his face, even though they weren’t falling down.

“Make it out of whatever looks nice. I just need this done as soon as possible!” Father was getting inpatient. Frankly I was too but I didn’t show it.

“Can I get it in wool tweed, Father? I’ve always liked the way that looks.” I asked.

“I can do that. In fact a shipment of that in gray came in today. Is that alright Edward?” Mr. Alling asked, then looked at me. “And Miss?”

“Yes that’s fine. When can it be done?” Father said.

“I can have it done by Saturday if I make it a priority, which I will for my old friend.”

“But it’s Tuesday.” Father said. Mr. Alling nodded. “What if I pay you extra for you to put full priority on the suit. Could you get it done by Friday?”

“Well the boys would hate me, but yes it could be done.”

“Great, it’s settled then. Someone will stop by Friday afternoon to get the suit, then you will be paid.” Father said as he walked out the door. I followed close behind him.

“Edward wait! I don’t even know what style to do.”

“You’re the expert, whatever is handsome and popular.” Father said as he left the shop for good this time. We got in his car and Father drove away. We sat in silence for a while until Father finally spoke.

“I’m sorry Lucy. I really did want to get this done tonight. And now we have to push it back until Friday.” There was a short pause where I opened my mouth to speak but Father bet me to it. “I know you were looking forward to going.”

“Aw it’s jake. You’re the one planning it all, I’m just doing what I’m told.” I said. After a minute’s silence I spoke again. “Father do you… do you miss Mother?” The question startled Father, I could tell. I was never one to ask those types of things. It was David who asked personal questions, not me. Yet here I was asking about my mother.

“Why do you ask?” Father replied. I just shrugged my shoulders and looked out the window. I was regretting asking the question. “I miss your mother very much. She was the light of my life. I never thought I could love a person more. That’s not to say that I don’t love you and David. It’s just different because I always knew I would love my children.”

“I think David misses her. He could use a mother.” I said quietly.

“I’m sure he does. But are you sure you don’t need one too? David’s practically gone all his life without one, but I’m sure you can remember her a bit.”

“No, I don’t need any mother. I can handle the world on my own.”

“I’m sure you can.” Father said.

How funny is that? ‘I’m sure you can.’ Father never believed me when I said I was fine on my own. I can handle the world on my own. I’ve seen people do terrible, terrible things and I’m sure I can handle whatever is thrown at me. I’m Lucille Amelia Sweet for goodness sake. I have gone through the worst day of my life. I’ve watched someone die right in front of my eyes. And I’ve watched someone be born in front of my eyes too. I can handle anything.

I hope you don’t find me odd for saying all those things. Sometimes I just need to get my thoughts out in the open. I hope I didn’t come off as cocky to you because I’m really not. I used to be much more cavalier in my ways, but I’m not anymore. But sometimes my old self just sneaks out when I’m writing these pages. I’ll try to stop it from happening again, but I don’t want to delete it so you can know how I actually feel sometimes.

I will get back to my point now. I went home and went straight up to my bedroom. There I took out a bottle that I had been keeping hidden in case of emergencies and I drank the night away. I drank because I didn’t feel right. I wasn’t sad per se, but I wasn’t happy either. I felt empty inside, something that I usually didn’t feel. I think I drank to feel something that night. Going to the tailor shop just took all the excitement out of me. And the car ride home didn’t help either.

So I drank. I drank like Mary does when she thinks people won’t notice in the morning. I always notice though. Consequently I went to bed late and fell asleep holding an empty bottle. And no, before you worry too much, it wasn’t a full bottle when I started that night.

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