The Bootlegger's Daughter

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Happy Birthday Minnie

If you don’t mind, my dear reader, I will skip ahead to a very important date for my family. I am going to tell you about Halloween of 1922. If you are curious about what happened in the dates that I skipped over, not much did. I went to school every day and went to the speakeasy almost every night. I was doing everything that I could to avoid talking to David, hence why I was at the speakeasy. David hardly goes in there as a customer. I don’t know why; I’ve given up trying to understand what he does.

While I was out I started to build quite a relationship with Sam. Again, I wouldn’t consider us friends and definitely not romantic, but I’d say that we reached a point where we did start to care for each other. The same way that I view Ada. Although I am fairly certain that she calls us friends.

John was taken out of the hospital after a few days. He had a surgery like Aunt Emma told us where his appendix was removed. Once he healed from that he came back home and rested. After a few more days he was back in school and acted as if nothing had even happened.

I also went to see Ruthie weekly like I was told to do. It wasn’t very exciting to me, but I could tell that she was falling for James. I was glad that the plan was working, but I was still weary about getting Ruthie involved. I didn’t want her, or Finnegan for that matter, hurt and I was scared that when the time came she would be. I sang to her almost every time and let her ramble on and on about what she was doing in her life. Any important details I would tell Father in the morning. And I never did spend another night at Timothy’s apartment.

But I found out that her brother, Sean, had come back into the city. She told me about plans they were creating and where they were making their alcohol. It turns out that they create moonshine instead of smuggling it in from Canada like we do. Of course I told Father all of this and more but what he did or didn’t do with the information is anyone’s guess. I don’t know nor do I care to find out what he was thinking. But most importantly, I did not tell David that Sean McKay was back in town. In fact I pretended to be completely ignorant of him to anyone, not just my idiot brother.

That should hopefully be enough of a catchup from the passing days. Halloween fell on a Tuesday that year. So I went to school like I normally would. Most of my classmates wore their normal clothes/dresses. I on the other hand wore a black dress. That’s the funny thing about my family. All of us dressed up like we were going to a funeral for my mother’s birthday. Yet if somebody asked any of us we would have said that everything was fine. Mother’s birthday was like a taboo to us. None of us mentioned or acknowledged it, yet we all celebrated by wearing black. That’s not to say that we don’t celebrate Halloween, just very mildly. I even had a costume that I would wear later in the day. It’s just that Halloween was my mother’s favorite holiday. She apparently used to love making costumes for David and me before she died.

At school some people were talking about what they would do later to celebrate. A few girls said that they were going out dancing. Upon hearing that I got a little bit jealous because that sounded like fun. That was if I could actually dance. When class formally started I started to pass notes to Ada.

“Are you doing anything tonight?” I asked her in a note.

“Nothing. Why, is something going on?” She wrote back.

“Does your family celebrate Halloween?”


“Then don’t worry about it.” And that was the end of our conversation because we got assigned work to do right after that. Sometimes you don’t realize how cultures are different than yours. I still do not know where Ada is from, but wherever it is Halloween must not be a holiday there.

School continued as normal, which means that nothing happened. During lunch Ada and I sat on the stairs while we watched everyone else. Ada complained about Lillian and Robert because they were arguing so it was only a matter of time before one of them came over here. I didn’t listen or look at them though. Instead I had my eyes locked on David and John. They were eating their lunches peacefully but I was still very mad at them. To me David was a traitor. But like Ada said Lillian came up to us to complain about Robert. Which meant that I didn’t have time to think about David.

“Can you please tell that stupid couisin of yours to stop harrasing me?!” Lillian yelled.

“Which one?” I asked. I was uninterested in talking to her and last time this happened we had both got sent home. But in my defense she wasn’t being clear. Both of my cousins that went to school with me were stupid.

“Robert! He tore my hair ribbon.”

“Well it’s in the past.” I said. All I wanted was for her to leave me alone. But Lillian didn’t of course. She just glared at me while I ate an apple. Ada watched silently as it all went down.

“You are the worst, you know that, Lucy?” I nodded my head. Even if she hit me again I wouldn’t care. “Why are you dressed like you’re going to a funeral?

“None of your business.”

“You’re very friendly today. What did someone else in that stupid family of yours die? I’m starting to think that you’re making up all these deaths just to get out of school.”

“Go chase yourself before I knock your teeth out!” I yelled. Lillian finally got the idea and left us alone. I buried my face in my hands and closed my eyes.

“Are you alright?” Ada asked in a soft voice. She put her arm around me and I leaned a bit into her.

“Today is my mother’s birthday. I can hardly remember her but I really need to talk to her. I have no idea what to do anymore.” I didn’t cry but I felt like it. Truthfully in the days that had passed I felt like a complete mess and didn’t know what to do. I wanted to tell Father about David’s plan, but I did promise not to say. Not that I was scared to lose my tongue, I was scared to lose his trust, even though I was really mad at him. I also was uneasy about going to the McKays’ house. It felt like things were crumbling around me. For the first time that I could remember I wanted to talk to my mother and just hear her opinion on what to do.

Ada and I sat like that without saying anything until the bell rang. During class Ada drew little pictures and would show them to me in hopes of cheering me up. Thinking on it now I don’t believe I appreciate Ada enough. She is very kind and I don’t even consider her my friend. I guess I’m just not that good of a person.

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