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The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Far From the Tree by Robin Benway, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, and Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo.

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"'What is the bravest thing you've ever said?' asked the boy, 'Help.' said the horse." -- Charlie Mackesy

"Tears fall for a reason and they are your strength not weakness." -- Charlie Mackesy

"Life is difficult - but you are loved." -- Charlie Mackesy

Part Two of a Series with No Title

October 28, 2020


May gave the door a light tap and walked inside, Liz following along behind her. As the two girls walked into the kitchen, their shoes tap-tapped on the hardwood floor, recently polished by the family's maid. Day, was the name of the housekeeper of the Johnson household. Mrs. Johnson always joked that her daughter and the housekeeper were friends, though they were not. May's Mother was wont to do this only due to the rhyming of the two names, May and Day. May usually scoffed and rolled her eyes at the joke, as she saw Day as a reminder that the family couldn't afford more servants.

Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Johnson had once argued over their low level of servants. "I do it all, William!", the wife had said. At this, the husband held his head in his hand and whispered softly, "I know. We simply can't afford any help for you. You know this." Of course, the obdurate one she was, Mrs. Johnson did not give in. Within a week the family had Day as the housekeeper, which made things a lot easier for the wife.

"But Liz and her kin have an entire mansion full of servants of every kind!", May had grumbled to her mother one afternoon.

"It doesn't matter.", Mrs. Johnson retorted, "I have all the help I need. You shan't complain of what we do not have. You shall be grateful for Day and our house, however small. Now go practice your embroidery, for goodness' sake!"

May had remained quiet about the matter since. But it bothered her substantially more today, and upon seeing the polished floors, May looked up at Day, eating her dinner. May glared at the servant, until Day looked perhaps a bit frightened.

"Who made dinner?", May asked as she walked into the room with importance.

Quite surprised as she had not seen her daughter and guest yet, Mrs. Johnson jumped. Her hair was falling out of its bun, and her clothes were covered in stains, though you couldn't tell which were new and which were old. May made a mental note to sew her mother a new apron.

Not yet receiving a response despite the pause, May announced, "It was you, Mother. Why didn't you have--"

"Be polite!", Mrs. Johnson said loud and scoldingly, "Allow Day to eat in peace, or you shan't eat at all."

At that, May became silent once more. Liz greeted her host respectfully, and took her seat beside Day and her friend. Steaming chicken and rice soup sat in big bowl in front of each girl. By the amount Day had left, it was easily seen that the driver's slow pace and Henry's foolishness had caused Liz and May to be late. They'd better not be late for school the next morning, too, May thought.

Mrs. Johnson sat down, and looked nervously up at her daughter.

"Girls,", she said, "I deeply apologize, but there have been some complications with your starting finishing school tomorrow."

"Mother!", May cried.

May and Liz had been dreaming of going to finishing school since they were little girls. Well, May had anyway, not so much Liz. The plan was always to wait until they turned thirteen. They were not permitted to attend the same kind of school Henry did, of course. The kind where you learned things like arithmetic and how to read. No, hardly any girls attended that school. Only one, to be honest, and most parents viewed the matter as Mr. and Mrs. Johnson did; school was simply not for girls.

"May, it's okay. We--", Liz began.

"It is not okay! I shall never go to finishing school and become the lady I ought to, nor get a good education of modern society! What has this family become, Mother? Now that we are so poor your children can't afford to get a good start in life? Are you not ashamed?", May spat.
Please keep in mind that I only used prior knowledge (which could be incorrect, as far as I know) to write this piece. I did not research the time period.

Also, if you'd like to read the piece before this one, check out my writing called: "Part One of What is Possibly a Series".


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  • October 28, 2020 - 9:07pm (Now Viewing)

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  • midnight.summerrose

    This is amazing!! :)

    10 months ago
  • Huba Huba

    May and Day... I'm getting Secret Life of Bees thoughts.
    Also, thank you for the thought! When you do review, please review my latest version of the poem, I'll be revising and updating new versions A LOT.

    11 months ago