Our Father

Our Father by Marilyn French Read Free Book Online

Book: Our Father by Marilyn French Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marilyn French
Tags: General Fiction
accident and then she was always just crying, wanted me to be her mother.
    By sixteen, I was brilliant but they kept watching me, waiting for the falloff. I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of falling into a stupor like other girls at that age. At eighteen, still too thin and smart. Too smart. Father surveying me with those cold eyes, head to toe, dull thin red hair, glasses, my body skinny, shapeless, a stick, you could see him thinking it: “With charm like yours, you’ll have to be educated.” Surveying my grades at the end of my first semester at Smith, nodding: “If you keep it up, I’ll send you to graduate school. If you can get in!” he exploded, laughing. A female economics major at the London School of Economics in 1953. Such dreams I had of the school founded by Beatrice Webb. Brutal. But it made me grow up. And at least it was London, far away from here, from her, from him. And my tutor: Clare! O brave new world! For a while, I thought I might be happy after all.
    Poor marymiggypiggy, I suppose it isn’t her fault she’s stupid. If she just didn’t vaunt it so, only love matters, everything else is a substitute, preening herself that summer we went rowing on the lake, Clare I had just realized, thirty-one years old and such a fucking fool, I wanted to die, I researched dying, tranquilizers, booze, slit wrists. I even thought of driving into a tree like Mary’s mother. I always scorned her for that, but it took more courage than I had anyway. In the end I was chickenhearted. A coward in the end. So I’m still here living out my life day after day. I deserve my life.
    And Mary had just married the gorgeous Alberto, playboy prince of the world, had brought him here to the Fourth of July party to parade him before the family and Father. And me. Of course, Father snorted at him, parasite pansy wop, he called him, the gorgeous guinea. Might as well be a woman, he said. Both of them gorgeous, she in a floaty white dress, he in a trim white suit, she voluptuous, pale skin and dark hair, she had on a floppy straw hat. I worked the oars, while she leaned back against the green-striped cushion, preening, “I know everything about love!” Everything about love! I wanted to hit her, smash her with that oar. I could have told her a few things about love she never imagined.
    Well whatever she knows about love is probably not much use to her anymore, what is she, forty-five, forty-six? No, I’m fifty-three, she’s five years younger, she’s forty-eight. Getting along. She’s still a beauty though, the doctor was knocked out by her, maybe a little help from her local plastic surgeon. Acts terrified. Seems to be desperate for money. And she’s always lived like a queen; apartments on Fifth or Park, houses in Paris or Capri, lodges in Maine, country estates in Virginia, villas in Vail or Gstaad, what money those men had! Staffs of servants, limousines to take her shopping, she still doesn’t know how to drive. Immobilized by money. One even had his own airplane I think. Which one was that? Paul. Lived it up, all those rich husbands.
    While I was making do with a little apartment in Washington. Still, I was working. Always a joy, even when it gets mucked up by the politicians.
    Harry Burnside left Mary a bundle when he died. But then they sued—his children from his first two marriages. Still, she got millions, I read. Got a huge settlement from Alberto too when he took off with that movie star, I had to laugh, I wanted to mail her an anonymous card: how did the woman who knows everything about love manage to lose the world’s greatest lover? The next guy was richer than the two of them rolled together, Paul, the one with the airplane. Of course, she left him for that crazy Don, who probably didn’t have much. Left a man with an airplane for one with a motorcycle: hah! Still, how could she be broke? She’d have to have gone through all Harry’s money and Alberto’s. Couldn’t have: she may be dumb but

Similar Books

The Final Judgment

Richard North Patterson

The Catherine Wheel

Patricia Wentworth

The Confessor

Daniel Silva

Diving In

Bianca Giovanni

The Curiosities (Carolrhoda Ya)

Brenna Yovanoff Tessa Gratton Maggie Stiefvater

Windows 10 Revealed

Kinnary Jangla