Benedict's Widow.

Written in response to: Write about somebody who likes to work in silence.... view prompt


American Sad

Benedict's widow Was the woman at the end of the street who had a creepy house. She was like a witch. Everyone either called her the witch or Benedict's widow. Benedict owned a store. His wife, when he was alive, was the librarian. When he had his break, he would go to her and bring her a rose from one of the bouquets that were at his grocery store. She would smile at him. Now, she ran a tight ship over at the library. You uttered one syllable upstairs, she would come upstairs and hiss at you the importance of silence in the library. But she was very kind to all.

She was very reserved and loved her husband so much. She was so upset when Benedict died in a car crash. And all of a sudden, she stopped being nice to people. She was even more strict about the noise at the library. And her house that was happy and clean and tidy became overgrown, unkempt. Her house looked like it was falling into shambles. And only when her roof had nearly half fallen off in a storm did she have the roof re-done. Which was nearly two years ago. Yeah, a good nice while ago was the last time it got paid any mind what-so-ever.

The roof is the only nice thing about the house. The dying trees in front of her house really make it terrible. Crows are the only things making noise that come from that house. Mostly, Benedict's widow makes no noise. She may be scary, and not half as nice as she used to be, but harmless really. She stopped coming to church and really being around people a year ago. She went to work and a grocery store once weekly. She didn't even go to restaurants. Well, As it just so happened, she was my next-door neighbor. Some people give cookies or cupcakes to their new neighbors.

Welcoming. Or, you know, hello. Get them some cupcakes. Say hello and tell the new neighbors a bit about themselves. Well five years ago instead of doing that, she came to our house and said, "Everyone calls me a witch or Benedict's widow. Don't put your cans out on my side of the property line. I won't get your mail for you, and I don't go around to parties. Leave me be, and I'll leave you alone too." She went back into our house. Our other neighbors went over and asked us all sorts of questions. We were informed that was the most she had talked to anyone the entire year that wasn't telling people to be quiet.

I barely saw her go out in her backyard. She came over to our house one other time short of that. She told us our trash cans were closer to hers than usual, and that we had to put them back where they normally were. We spray-painted the point on our curb so we knew exactly where to put them to not make her mad. My friends at school refused to go over to my house because of Benedict's widow. I went over to other people's houses. But they never got to see my cool bedroom. This made me very sad. So my little eight-year-old self came up with a masterful plan.

I had to cheer her up. Make her happy. Have her not be a witch anymore. Well, because she liked working in silence this was a problem. I tried going to her, and then I got kicked out of the library. Why? Because she decided that the only way to keep her working environment good and pure was to cleanse the place of noise. Cleanse the library of me. All week I tried to talk to her. I even took out the trash to talk to her. I could swear that she was running. She wasn't old. No, not old. But she did not look young. Sad mostly.

With dark black hair. And then my best friend told me her story on one random Monday morning. It was about two weeks after I had started trying to talk to her. I honestly felt kind of sorry for her. I then realized there was a way I could make her feel better. I Found my sister. I asked her to help our neighbor. She looked at me like I was crazy after she heard my plan. But I was serious. And she loved to do makeovers. No matter how ugly the canvas might be. So she quickly agreed. And we went to her that night. My sister was able to butter her up.

Luckily. First, she gave her a big make-over. She looked like a completely new person. I had never seen her so pretty. I told her so and she actually smiled. Then my sister asked for her phone. Confused, she did. We downloaded a dating app and then took a ton of pictures for her. When she said her interests, it looked like she wouldn't have many bites. But within the hour, she had two. Who soon were her friends. A week later, she was going out with one of them. She kept working in silence, but she was much less strict about it.

She even let me in the library again and talked to not only me but other people. Her house started having changed. It started to look like mine and my neighbors. Kids started coming by our house. Life was happier. And now instead of being a witch or Benedict's widow, she was Ms. K. And she started being happy. And I was happy to say that I had made my community a happier place. Brought joy back to her. Ms. K. may not be ready for marriage again. She may never find another like Benedict. But she can go on happily.

Even though she still works in silence, even though Benedict is still dead, even though she may never find love the way she had before, she has friends. Her house looks better. And likes children. Who once was Benedict's widow is now someone who is happy, out there, and completely different.

April 19, 2022 17:56

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