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Thursday, February 20, 2014

HALF A LOAF Chapter 6 The Spider and the Fly


Come Into My Parlor Said the Spider to the Fly
courtesy free clip art

 
Sally has been gone for a week now and with each day missing her is beginning to hurt less.

It’s not because I love her less but my classes and work don’t leave me much time to think of her.  I’m beginning to wonder if I have bit off more than I can chew taking four courses this semester.

While I can understand most of what is being taught relating it to real life is another thing.  I’m at the library first thing in the morning due to the fact it is very quiet there. After a hard day studying, working at the market is a relief.

I receive a welcomed letter each week from Sally.  She doesn’t say much about difficulty with her classes which makes me feel a little embarrassed for I know her subjects are as difficult as mine.

She has been accepted into a sorority and as it turns out it was the one her mother belonged to.  

Something is happening at work that makes me feel a little uncomfortable and that is one of the female employees at the market has been friendlier each day.  

She seems like a nice person and I like her alright, but I don’t know just how to handle the situation.  She says she is twenty four which seems about right and she isn’t bad looking.  I don’t know too much about her for I had no interest in her.

Out of the store’s thirty employees over half are women and so I never focused on her as a person and I thought she did the same.  One evening during her break she came over to where I was stocking shelves.

She said, “I hear your girl friend has gone back east to college.”

I said, “You heard right she is at Princeton.”

“It must be nice to be able to get away from all the restraints of family and the locals you know and those who know you.”

I didn’t want to go there so I said, “I guess.”

She continued, “I would like to have gone to college but I got married right out of high school.”

I said, “Why don’t you go to night school?”

She said, “I can’t.”

I answered, “Why not?”

She responded by saying, “I’m tied up every evening.”

“Do you have another job or just date a lot?”

She said, “I’m married and have two kids and they keep me busy.”

I just said; “Oh I didn’t know.”

“You should come over and meet them sometime,” she said.

“Perhaps I shall, sometime,” and went back to stocking shelves.

We both got off work at the same time in the evening and she said, “I don’t feel safe walking to the bus stop at night can you walk there with me?”

I said, “Sure for I have to catch a bus home anyway.”

While waiting for the bus she asked me if I would like to have a drink before going home.

This embarrassed me and I wasn’t comfortable being asked by a married woman to go to a bar with her.  Not knowing what else to say I just said, “Don’t you have to get home to your kids?”

She said, “No, my mom takes care of them till I get there.”

I really began to feel like a kid.  Here was a woman wanting to spend time with me and I was trying to find a way to avoid doing it.  

Not knowing what else to say I said, “I promised my folks I would be there for their anniversary.  Of course I was lying but I didn’t have time to worry about that at the time.

She said, “Maybe some other time.”

I said, “Yea maybe.”

The bus came and we got on.  She sat next to me and was almost sitting on my lap. Thankfully her stop was closer than mine and it didn’t take long to get there.  She squeezed my hand which she had been holding and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

She waved at me as the bus pulled away and I just nodded and to my self said, “Whew.”

When I arrived home I was exhausted and wanted to go straight to bed but my dad was still up and he called to me as I was heading for the stairs.  I knew he wanted to chat with me for a moment so I joined him in the living room which he jestingly would refer to as the parlor.

He said, “I watched you come in and you looked a little bothered by something.”

I said, “No, no, there isn’t anything.”

He gave me the look my mother always gave me when she suspected I wasn’t forth coming, so I said, “Yea there is a little problem.”

I laid it out as best I understood what was going on and he said, “Hmmm.”

After a few more, “hmmm’s” he asked, “Are you interested in her?” which caused me to emphatically deny any interest in the woman.

He said, “That makes it worse due to the woman scorned factor.”

He said, “Your best way to deal with this is to get your hours adjusted so you don’t get off the same time she does and I’m thinking about getting a new car and giving you the old one. You then won’t have to ride the bus home that late at night.”

I told him I would try that.  The next day I asked the manager about working a later shift or adding a couple more hours to my shift.  He told me that he needed me at the hours I now worked, but I could work a longer shift for four days if I wanted and take an extra day off if that would help me.

Everything went well for several weeks until one night she went to the bar and got inebriated.  

She returned back to the store a wee bit smashed and bought her weeks groceries.  

I was just getting off so she wanted me to give her a ride home.  

She couldn’t carry all of the stuff she had bought so she wheeled the basket full of goods out to my car and stood there.  I loaded her and her goods and headed toward her home.  She tried to get friendly and it was hard to keep the car in the road.

Finally we arrived at her place and before she could say anything I said, “This it. Don’t do this anymore.  The next time I will call a taxi for you and you can pay him however you want.”

As we stepped out of the car a man came out of the shadows and said; “So, you are the guy she has been going out with?”

I told him to back off.  All I had done was to bring her home with her groceries and I wanted them out of my car, now.  

She started handing him the bags and he took them.  As they went in the house they were arguing about where she had been all night.  I hoped that this was the end of this foolishness.

I thought to myself, “All she needed was her husband home with her for she wasn’t the type to be left alone.  She needed his support and he was off saving the nation when he should have been saving his marriage.”

When I arrived home I went by the parlor and thought of a poem my mother used to read to me as a child and it went like this;

Step into My Parlour

Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;

The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to shew when you are there.”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”

“I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly.
“There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, “Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I’ve always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that’s nice;
I’m sure you’re very welcome — will you please to take a slice?”
“Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind Sir, that cannot be,
I’ve heard what’s in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”

Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “you’re witty and you’re wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I’ve a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you’ll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself.”
“I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you’re pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I’ll call another day.”

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
T
hen he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple — there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue –
Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour — but she ne’er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.
*

To be Continued

 

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