Winnie stood with her ear pressed to the door, but she knew that it wasn’t necessary.  Every word said inside the master bedroom rung in her head like the sound of slamming doors and injured kittens.  Still, it was nostalgic to hear the words with her ears and not just with her mind.

“…in a fortnight,” her mother said sternly.  Winnie knew well what came to before.  She’s going to university, she’s going to be a businesswoman, and I don’t care if she likes it.  She is my daughter, she will do as I please, and she’s leaving in a fortnight.  Winnie sighed and slid down the door so she was sitting on the cool floorboards.  The island wind wafted in from all the open windows and sweat beaded on her brow.

Since Jacob left, her mother had been queen of the manor.  She fired many of the servants, replaced them with those she found more competent, and she hadn’t let either her husband or her daughter have a word edgewise.  There was no reasoning with her.  It was like trying to sell wood to a lumberjack.  Foolish.

Winnie picked at her manicured nails.  Picture perfect.  She felt like a little doll that her mother wanted to play dress-up with.  From her blonde curls to her professionally tailored dresses, she was a poodle, slave to the desires of a woman who could not be satisfied.  Winnie didn’t hate her mother.  But she did want to get away from her.

University.  It would be different if she had the choice, even if she was being pressured to go.  It was a demand, though, and she had no say in the matter.  It made her stomach turn.  The voices rolled around in her head as her parents continued their one-sided conversation about her future.  Like she was a piece of clay to be molded.  It didn’t even upset her anymore.  The weight piled on her shoulders until she felt like a pack mule, carrying their burden.  There was nothing to be done about it, so she would have to manage.

Winnie laid her head back against the door and closed her eye, breathing in the salty air and disappearing into the conversation behind the door, her heart sinking lower with every word.

.

Word: Pressured.  ||  Time: 12 mintues.  ||  Character: Winnifred leBrenne.

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

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