Her Mother kept calling her so Jenny finally decided she had better go downstairs and get it over with. She slowly walked downstairs and into the living room and there was a strange man bending down and kissing her sisters. He was wearing an Army uniform and for a moment she didn’t know who he was. His voice seemed familiar and he was bald and Jenny remembered him being taller, but of course she was younger then and much shorter. When he straightened up and saw Jenny standing there he said, “Well who do we have here? Don’t tell me this is Jenny and so tall and pretty?” He bent down to kiss her and Jenny sidestepped so that she missed the kiss. Dad was a little flustered at this and didn’t know quite how to take it.
“This is your Father aren’t you going to say anything?” Her Mother’s voice sounded very strange.
Jenny hadn’t seen her Dad in a long time and the emotions welling up in her were almost too much, so she gave way to the most compelling one. Anger. She wiped away his kiss with a haughty gesture, hoping to pay him back for leaving them. He noticed the gesture and yet he kept smiling. Mom pretended not to notice. And Jenny turned and ran back upstairs to the safety of her bedroom. She stayed upstairs and brooded while the laughter downstairs only served to made her angrier.
Uncle Mike had come with Dad, and Mom had prepared a lunch for them and Jenny wondered why they were even there. And why was everyone so friendly? Last she heard her Father was not exactly popular around the house. Now Mom was happy and going out of her way to be nice to Dad. Jenny didn’t want him back under any circumstances. Didn’t her opinion count for anything anymore?
After Dad and Uncle Mike left Mom called them all together and announced that Dad would be coming back to live with them now that he was out of the Army. He had a good job in town with one of the defense plants and things would be just fine. Kate had arrived in time for this announcement, and she and Jenny expressed their dismay at the prospect of Dad coming back. But Mom it seemed would have none of it and told them it was her decision to make and she had made it.
Less than a week later Dad came with his belongings while Jenny was at work and he and Mom had taken a bedroom and so all four girls would have to sleep in the same room. ‘Well that does it.’ Jenny thought. ‘I really don’t want him here, all of us sleeping in the same room, no privacy and a man telling us what to do. It’s horrible. What’s come over Mom? Why is she doing this?’
She slept fitfully that night and upon awakening felt no better. At breakfast she asked Mom why Dad was coming back after all this time? Mom smiled and said things would be just fine. “He’s changed, he has a job now and we certainly need the money. We will all be happier, you won’t have to work now and maybe Kate can go back and graduate from High School and both of you can even go to college. You’d like that wouldn’t you?” Jenny agreed that she would like to go to college but she liked her job and didn’t want to quit. She enjoyed being there. So as time went on she and Kate continued to grumble to each other about “himself” being there and how much they hated it, and wondered to each other what they could do to make him leave.
To be continued.