The Bootlegger's Daughter

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The Morning After Nothing Happened

I woke up early in the morning. I could hear Timothy cooking in the other room. It confused me because I forgot where I was. But once I remembered that this was not in fact my bedroom I got up quickly and dressed. I unlocked and opened the door and said hello to Timothy.

“Did you sleep alright?” He asked. I nodded. “Would you like some breakfast?”

“No. I’ve got to get back home. I should have been home yesterday.” I said. Timothy shrugged his shoulders “Thanks for letting me stay though. I know that was probably a bit odd. I won’t do it again.”

“It’s alright. It was nice having some company.”

“’Well goodbye then.”

“Have a nice day.” Timothy said. I left his apartment and walked home. I don’t know why there was this odd tension between the two of us.

But once I left and started walking home a wave of embarrassment hit me. I realized just how bad it looked that I spent the night at Timothy’s house. It wasn’t just unorthodox, it was a huge scandal. I had made a terrible mistake. I thought that Father might have killed me and Mary would bother me none stop to wonder what happened. I should have gone home. But I didn’t and I would have to pay for my mistakes.

When I walked home I had an urge to just forget going back to the house and my family and just go to the speakeasy instead. But that would just be delaying the inevitable. Then when I got to the doorstep I didn’t want to go into the house. Nothing happened that night between Timothy and I but I knew no one would believe me, especially Mary.

Nevertheless I went in. I barely got through the door before Aunt Bertha saw me. I don’t know if she was waiting for me or was just watching over the door. Neither option surprises me.

“Lucy!” She called to me. I stopped and looked at her. “Thank goodness you’re alright. Timothy said you were and just was too exhausted to come home but I didn’t believe him.” I rolled my eyes but she didn’t notice. “Oh you have breakfast in the kitchen if you want it. Also your father wanted to speak to you. He’s in his office.”

“I’m not hungry but thanks for telling me about Father.” I said. I knew that if I made Aunt Bertha mad and just completely ignored her she would complain and then I would be in even more trouble. I’m not one to shy away from being in trouble but this was different. Hitting a girl at school and staying overnight at a man’s house are not the same thing.

I meekly went to Father’s office. Just like going into the house I froze before walking into the room. But I would have to deal with Father anyway. So I walked into the room. Father was sitting at his desk writing something.

“How did it go last night?” He asked without looking at me.

“The girl invited me to dinner. I wasn’t allowed inside but I talked to her. Everything went as planned.” I said, purposely forgetting to mention anything involving Timothy.

“Any information about the family?” Father seemed quite uninterested. I thought that the first thing he would ask would be about why I didn’t come home. But he just wanted to know about the McKays.

“Um, yeah. Her brother, Sean was out of town but is coming back. They think that things with us are ending, probably because we haven’t made a move against them. I also learned a bit about her sister but that was more so personal drama.” Father nodded his head. He wasn’t even looking at me but I could tell that he was thinking.

“Did you tell her when you’ll be coming back again?”

“No. Her sister came into the room and I had to leave. I did not have a chance to tell her when I would come back.”

“You will go back in a week. I want you to find her again like you did yesterday and tell her that you look forward to seeing her next week but can’t because of a job.”

“Alright. Anything else? I’m more than willing to do a job over the weekend or during the week. I do not mind going back to her house.”

“No. I want you to focus on this one job. We want her to look forward to seeing you. Going only once a week will make it seem special and she won’t grow bored of you. Now go, I have work to do.” Father said in a short voice. I don’t know why he sounded almost frustrated with me that day. It was probably because of me not coming home.

I left his office and started to head towards the stairs to go up into my room when I remembered that I wanted to talk to Father about John and see if he was doing alright. But I never did end up going back to his office because I didn’t want to make him mad. So instead I walked to John’s room. Might as well ask the source.

Robert and John’s room was big. It had two beds, two desks, and two dressers. Basically two of everything because it’s a shared room. The room was dark and completely empty, save for John who was laying in his bed. I thought that he was asleep so I was about to leave until John spoke.

“You don’t have to leave.” He said in a quiet voice. “I like the company.” I went over to one of the desks and pulled the chair from it up to his bedside. He didn’t look very well. His face had lost some color and it looked like he was in pain. The color was probably because of him throwing up. Almost everyone in my family does the same thing when they get sick.

“How are you feeling?” I asked. John shrugged his shoulders.

“I could be a lot better. I feel nauseous and my side really hurts. Mother is having the doctor come over around noon. I’m fairly certain that Aunt Bertha thinks I’m dying. She had that brother that died from cancer so naturally that’s what I have too.” John said with a smile. I laughed a little bit. Joking about having cancer isn’t good but making fun of Aunt Bertha’s paranoia is. Anytime that someone in the house, be that a maid, someone visiting, or one of us, has a stomach ache she says that we have cancer. My family is also very cautious when it comes to fevers because Mother died from typhoid.

“Oh, how did your job go? Robert said that you had to run to it.” John asked.

“It was alright. I don’t really want to talk about it. Do you happen to know anything about David?” I don’t know why but I still wanted to know what he was doing in Father’s room.

“I know that he is thirteen years old. He has curly brown hair and eyes. He-” John started.

“That’s not what I mean. Do you know what he’s been up to? He is being suspicious and was sneaking around places that he shouldn’t be.”

“He told me not to tell you.” I cursed under my breath.

“Why?” I asked.

“Just go ask him. I don’t want to be involved. I was just doing him a favor.”

“Fine I will.” I said. I got up and left the dark room. I didn’t even bother to put the chair back or anything. I went into my room and laid face down on my bed.

I was mad that David was doing secretive things and telling John. Maybe I was a bit jealous that they were doing something “fun.” But really I was mad that he was just doing something secret at all. I thought that doing anything bad against the family was wrong and that included rummaging through Father’s room. I now know how hypocritical that is because I did the same thing. I was just mad at him.

David is such an odd person. He’s so hard to describe. He acts like he is weak and such. He is very sensitive and not afraid to cry, so naturally you would think he’s weaker. But he’s not. He sneaks around and plots. Why can’t people just make sense?

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