Jane Doughtery’s picture prompt and theme this week is Abandon
Which is real?
Gwyneth knew her place. She was up making breakfast and cleaning the stove before first light, setting the fires and preparing the children for school, her husband for work and her mother for a day in her chair. None paid her any heed, except if something wasn’t right when they complained bitterly and loudly. When everyone was gone and mother asleep she set out for the mill, climbing the steep hill, into the sharp prevailing wind and often times rain. She was always a little late, always criticised and humiliated. She wore grey and her skin reflected her clothing choices. She hunched and made no eye contact.
One day a new weaver asked her her name. Gradually Sarah befriended Gwyneth, not that she got her to talk much. But she found out about the hard life of unremitting toil, the thankless hours and zero respect. Gently she tried to persuade Gwyneth to think of herself, to free herself from the servitude of her existence.
Gwyneth just smiled. Sarah wasn’t the first to suggest she abandon her responsibilities and wouldn’t be the last. But they didn’t understand, she thought as she ploughed slowly home. In her head she lived with the sort of abandon that Sarah could only dream about – of parties and balls and frocks and handsome princes. Inside her head, inside her happy place, she danced and she sang with complete abandon which, she knew only too well, wasn’t available in real life. Why would she give up her beautiful fantasy for a different no doubt depressing reality?