Who was that woman?
And why did she leave this piece of paper in the mailbox?
Must be for my daughter Linda, she knows everybody.
But I’ve never seen this woman before, or her big fancy car.
Something like the one driven by that snob Susan next door.
Fancy-car woman doesn’t realize Linda left me here on my own for the weekend.
While she and my grandchildren go off to some resort with her new man-friend.
Some kind of criminal he is I think.
Maybe they’ll marry and let me go back to the island.
I never wanted to come here, to be my daughter’s maid and babysitter.
Living under the radar, as Linda warns.
But at least I’ve been living with my grandchildren while they were growing up.
Linda threatened me with never seeing the grandchildren again if I was ever caught.
It’s time for me to go back now though.
I’m tired of living in this prison of a different world.
I want to return to where I know my neighbours, where I’m part of a community of people just like me.
Not an illegal minority in a world where laws must be obeyed and everyone else is educated.
Where people must read in order to survive.
Reading just wasn’t important when I was growing up.
Better to know how to cook and clean and grow vegetables and raise children.
Reading books was of no use to us.
As long as I stay inside this house, I’m okay.
But what kind of existence is this for an old woman anyway?
(And what does this piece of paper say???)
Just this once I’m going to walk out that door and go for a walk along the beach.
That will remind me of home, I know, and will make me cry.
I’ll take this piece of paper along with me and throw it away. (I hope it’s important.)
That will teach Linda for leaving me here alone.
Then I’ll start to plan what to do with myself.
Maybe Linda’s new boyfriend will pay for my airfare.
Now that’s strange… I was sure Freddy’s white and purple dinosaur was here on the front step before that woman came.
I wonder if she stole it.
Freddy will be very disappointed.
You just can’t trust anyone these days.
Susan M. Toy is a writer/publisher who divides her time between Canada and the Caribbean. Under the auspices of Frontier College, she volunteered as a literacy teacher on the island of Bequia, prompted to do so by a report that 40% of the people in St. Vincent & the Grenadines are illiterate. Susan now promotes reading, writing and authors through her blog, ‘Reading Recommendations’ https://readingrecommendations.wordpress.com/ and writes about whatever grabs her interest at, Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing https://islandeditions.wordpress.com/