Thursday, April 20, 2017


It may be hard to believe but I really do try to mind my own business but
Chip and I were sitting on the front porch, he was reading and I was knitting when Robert, a neighbor who lived about a mile down the road, dropped by.

“She left me Chip.” He said as he walked up the porch steps.

“Good evening Robert,” Chip greeted “who left you?”

“Marylou!” he stated

“Marylou is gone?” I looked up from my knitting to try to grasp what he had said. “Where did she go? Is she coming back? Or are you saying she left left?”

“Nettie, she packed her stuff two days ago, said she would send for the rest later and left. I don’t know where she is and the kids wouldn’t tell me if they knew, they always side with their momma.”

Now, I had a lot of questions. Women just don’t ‘just up and leave’ their husbands for nothing and Marylou was 67 years old she and Robert had been married for over 30 years. Chip just sat there. Not saying a word, he knew I was itching to talk.

“Now Robert,” I began my inquisition “women do not just up and leave for nothing. You two get into a fight lately?”

“No Nettie, we don’t argue.” He responded.

“Your bills paid?” I asked.

“All of them! The house been paid off for over fifteen years now.”

“Are you cheating?”


“Did you hit her or mistreat her in anyway?”

“No, after all these years of being married, I didn’t back then and I don’t now.”

“When was the last time you told her I love you?” Chip asked.

“She knows I love her?” He answered.

“But, when did you tell her?”

“Why should I tell a woman, that I have been married to for over 30 years, I love you?”

“Because women need to know you love them by your words AND your deeds. How do you show your appreciation?”

“What kind of question is that?” Robert had a very serious face, he really had no clue!

“Robert,” Chip began “you have to show your wife that you honor her demonstrate you appreciation of all that she does. Marylou cooks and cleans your house everyday; she raised your children and looks out for your grandchildren. Marylou makes sure you are comfortable in your home. What do you do for her? Take her out to dinner every now and then? Buy her flowers? Take her someplace she wants to go?”

“Now Chip, that woman doesn’t have to pay one solid bill. Everything she does I pay for. She knits, sews, goes out to lunch with the girls I make sure she has more than enough money. And I tell her the food is good if it is good! That should be enough.”

I sat there listening to Robert, watching how he responded to Chips questions, wondering what else there was to know. “Did she ever come to you and ask you to do something that was different?” I challenged.

“Now she know I ain’t into no kinky stuff!” He answered.

“Robert.” I looked at him getting irritated. I know what Marylou and I talked about and it was not about kinky sex! “Did Marylou ever asked about going to see the Grand Canyon.”

“She has been nagging me about traveling ever since the youngest graduated college. She knows I don’t want to waste money like that. I am perfectly happy here at home!”

“Marylou, has money of her own doesn’t she Robert?” Chip asked.

“Yea, she got an inheritance years ago when her mother died. I told her not to touch it.”

“Well, I know where Marylou is gone even if you don’t.” I said. “And, I think I understand why she is gone.”

Chip looked at his friend who had been pacing on the porch for quite a while; he had paused when I made my declaration.  “I think I know too.”

“Well, will someone enlighten me.” Robert said.

“The fact that you cannot figure it out lets me know that your marriage has been in trouble for a long time. It is not that Marylou left you, she just left you behind. You, obviously, do not want to do the things that she has dreamed of doing for a long time. Marylou decided not to wait.” I said.

“Not to wait for what?”

“Marylou has gone to see the Grand Canyon before she dies Robert. And she will probably go to the other places she mentioned to you too. The children know where she is, they might even join her.”  A stunned look was on Robert’s face as Chip explained. “The fact that she has been telling you what she wants and you have disregarded it let’s me know that you have no intention of making her happy. You only want to make Robert happy.”

The idea of his wife actually traveling even though he had told her “no,” was a foreign idea to him. The past forty-eight hours had been difficult, his children refused to come and help him and he had no one to do what Marylou did everyday and what his mother did before her. If Marylou did not come back soon he would have to find someone to wash his clothes, and he hated eating out.

“Nettie, if I paid you a few dollars would you cook my dinner until Marylou got back?” Robert asked.

“No.” I answered, I got up and went into the house before he could say anything else.

Robert and Chip sat on the porch for a while talking. I went through the house and out the back door to the gazebo. I called Marylou to see how she was doing and to get her side of the story, because there is always another side.   xxx written by: Marsha L F Randolph

PORCH STORY- Short Stories, essays and other ramblings presented as told by NETTIE a pseudo-fictional character created by Marsha L F Randolph. The characters created are the figment of the author Marsha L F Randolph’s imagination.  The author, Marsha L F Randolph maintains all rights associated with copyright laws; do not use post / articles without the permission of the author Marsha L F Randolph. All quotes should cite Marsha L F Randolph as the author.
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