ALL IN THE GAME...by b. Malin

A HEART OF LOVE... Photo by Stephan
A HEART OF LOVE... Photo by Stephan

JUST ANOTHER SHORT STORY...

"Many a Tear has to fall, but it's all in the Game", Tommy Edwards was singing that song as Jessica and her father rode along silently in her father's car. Each of them absorbed in their own thoughts. She 14, going on 20...and he just shy of 50. He was a nice looking man, with a gentle smile and soft gray-green eyes. She, so self conscious of her small frame, and Padded, 32A Bra size. Even though she was considered cute with her head full of Blonde curls and Hazel eyes, along with bright, beautiful smile. She had no mother to reassure her that one day she would not be so thin, and would also develop some curves.

Her mother, Ann, was not dead...just divorced from her father and living in another state. Ann was "Finding Herself" and needed Jessica to understand...and most of the time she did.

Jessica also had a married Sister, Gail, who was 10 years older, and in Jessica's mind was Everything Jessica was not. Gail had curves in all the Right places, and was considered the "Beauty" of the family. After Grad. School she had married a Banker, and they had moved to New York City and were now expecting their first child. Jessica hardly knew Gail, they were not close. She always told herself it was because of their age difference. So Jessica hoped after the baby came that she would be called upon to babysit weekends. She felt if her sister got to know her as a person, that she'd like her.

"Hey Jess, her father was saying, you hear that song"? Jessica nodded. "Well, he sighed that was Popular when I was younger...Now if I could just remember who sang it then...You know I think it was this same guy...How bout that" he said smiling.

Her Father was a Pharmaceutical Rep. for a Middle size Drug Company..."L. B. Cohen Drug Company". He'd been with them for as long as Jessica could remember. It was the late 1950's, and he was making the rounds of his territory which ran from the Bronx to parts of Manhattan. Today they would just be covering the Bronx.

It was Spring Break for Jessica and he had asked her the night before if she wanted to ride with him. She'd said yes right away. Most of the kids she knew were vacationing with their parents in Florida, or some other warm climate. She was the only "Divorced Kid" in the group. Almost a novelty to the other kids. Sometimes it bothered her, but most of the time she was "ok" with living alone with her father. He on the other hand, never asked if she was Lonely, or where her friends were. She sensed some things were best left unsaid.

They arrived at the first destination, a small Drug Store in the Bronx. Her father parked and then they went in together. She felt proud of him as he made his way to the back of the store to the Pharmacy Dept. A Big man waved to them, and soon she was being introduced to Ben Shaw. "Well Lou, and whom do I have the pleasure of meeting, who is this pretty charmer"? Dad beamed, "this is my youngest daughter Jessica, who's hanging out with her old man today...you know making the rounds with me."

Ben cleared his throat, "Listen Lou, I really don't need anything today, he said as he looked down at his watch, I've got no time to talk...there's a Big Super Drug Store opening down the block...they're going to kill us...probably put me out of Business". Having said that, he turned, no goodbye and went into his office closing the door behind him. Jessica and her father just stood there silently. Finally her father spoke, "Come on Jess, let's go. He looked so hurt.

Once back in the car, he turned to her and said softly, "Times are changing.. he said aloud and then almost softly to himself, times are changing". They made a few more stops, some were sales, and some were the same story as Ben had told...Discount Drug Chain coming in, and Everyone was scared. And on this particular day, Jessica would witness the anger and frustration of these good people, whom had no one to take it out on except for her poor father. By the time 4:30 had rolled around he was ashen looking.

"Dad, are you alright"? she asked nervously as they got back into the car. "Jess, let's pick a nice place to eat tonight...How about Italian"? he said. "Sure, sure, Dad whatever you think", she said breathing a sigh of relief. He seemed to be ok. "How about that one on Shore Road, yes, that's where we'll go" He said smiling in her direction. "Oh Giovanni's, Mmm, I can smell the Italian Garlic Bread now". Jessica said trying to match the gaiety of the moment.

They arrive, and are led to a nice booth with a lovely view overlooking the water. The waitress hands them their menus. Someone has just put some money in the music box and once again Tommy Edwards is singing..."Many a tear has to fall, but it's all in the game." Jessica looks up from her menu to see her father wipe away a tear from his eye.

Comments 28 comments

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

A tear falling here too.

So sad when the big chains come in and wipe out the poor guy who is just trying to make a living and feed his family. A lot of learning for a young girl here.

Great story


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I always try to make as many purchases from the mom and pop stores as I can. What an amazing story this is. I am bookmarking it and sending it on to friends. Thanks. Voted a big UP!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Aw...this was so poignant and true. Funny how even though the time period is almost 50 years ago it's totally relevent to today's times only now it's global commerce that's edging out local small businesses, and Jessica would have many classmates growing up in single parent homes.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago Author

Rosemay, thanks so much for Expressing your feelings on my Hub Story...It made me sad to write it, but I knew it was a story as new today as it was back then...History does repeat, over, and over again.

Vocalcoach, I do too. It's sad to see them struggling, But there is always a bigger Fish, to swallow the next one! Thanks for your Wonderful Compliments and your Vote my friend.

Hi Happyboomernurse, You are so right...Jessica would not be thought of as different in today's Society...and Global Commerce...Mmm what would they be Edged out by? Thanks for all your thoughtful Comments.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I'm quite familiar with that song. I know a lot of music from that generation.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

A great read and well written. I feel for the small business these days. They have no shot at these global powers. But if you can't beat them, join them! Great story.


Cheryl Kapelner-Champ 5 years ago

I love it, & hope there's more to come w/ these characters. U* are so good w/ this style, excellent character development going on here. I'm hooked!


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Very Touching story!. This has happened so many times where the big fish take over leaving the little one out in the cold....You had such a wonderful heartfelt story here..I enjoyed it so much...


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..I really do love the way you write - you are so natural at doing it too - some people would take a thousand years to come up with something as warm, witty, inviting and spontaneous as you do like a natural reflex - and that my friend - is a gift that you have.

lake erie time 5:32am


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

I guess the sad part is that hind sight is 20/20. Meaning Americans and the world, Wanted cheap goods thus putting small stores out of business. The fact Americans regret that decision now is of small consequence. Great story.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi B, a well written tale depicting the changing world that we all have to evolve in. I felt a real empathy for Lou and his attempts to shield his daughter from the inevitable changes about to take place. I remember living back in the UK in the sixties when the government instigated an 'I'm backing Britain' campaign. British goods displayed a small union jack with obvious intentions. It failed of course, as we are our own worse enemies. I have to order tools in these days as the good quality ones are not even on the shelves. Must dash. See ya.


carriethomson profile image

carriethomson 5 years ago from United Kingdom

so sad!! but a great and well written story!!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA

This is sad and it is happening and has happened to business people everywhere. This was a well written story. I enjoyed it.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Interesting read. Bigger, better, best. Have we reached best yet?


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago Author

Thanks Flora for your Comments on the Music of that Era...Late 50's was lots of Rock n Roll and good ballads.

You are so Right Lyricwriter, and a lot of big Discount Chains did a lot of Subletting to different companies and Individuals. Thank you for Enjoying and finding my Hub well written. I so appreciate that.

Once again, Thank You Colin for your Thoughts and Compliments, which I truly Enjoy and find great meaning in...I've Enjoyed Growing as a Writer here on Hub Pages.

Bobbi, Progress can be Sad for those that get caught at the wrong End...Until another Big Fish comes along and then...it can be a losing Game! Thanks for the Compliment on my Hub Story.

Hey Cheryl, thank you so much for the Compliments. I hadn't given much thought to writing more about them, but who knows, who knows.

Sunnie, Thank you for understanding my Characters and their lives towards the end of the 50's, when the Times were changing so rapidly. So glad you liked this one.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago Author

Attemptedhumor, I so Enjoyed reading all your Thoughts on the Subject of my Hub...Your thinking is so Right and sometimes, I'm sure most people would like to slow it all down, just a little.

Hi Carriethompson, It was a Sad time in History, when many got left behind...Thanks so much for thinking my Hub was well written.

Hi Barbara, It's still happening over and over...going "on line" has also taken away a lot of Business...It's like a vicious cycle. Thanks for Enjoying my Hub.

Mckbirdbks, I don't think we will EVER reach BEST...Because what would happen if we did!

Thanks for finding this Hub read an Interesting one!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I enjoyed reading your sad but lovely story, b. Malin. The characters are depicted so well - the reader can really empathize with them.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago Author

Hi Alicia, yes this Hub story is a sad one. I'm so glad you were able to empathize with my Characters, as a writer, you know how important that is. Thanks for all your thoughtful comments.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

miss the small Mom and Pop store where everybody knew each other. It was like having a huge family. Up and awesome.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago Author

What a nice comment to those who had "Mom & Pop" Stores. You're right, they treated you like family when you shopped there...always had something nice to as say, or concern for you & your family. Thanks Breakfastpops for the Up and awesome of my Hub.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

A wonderful story, again accompanied by a wonderful picture that you always seem to dig up. Voting this Up and Beautiful.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago Author

Once again, thank you so much Alocsin. My pictures come from a lot of pretty pieces that I have around the house. Sometimes I buy them with the idea they would work in one of my Hubs. Thanks for your Vote and thinking my Hub Beautiful, it means a lot to this writer.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Very sad and also so very well written.

This one has to be voted up up and away.

Take care and have a great day.

Eiddwen.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago Author

Thank you so much Elddwen. I think my Characters are survivors and they will get by this time in their life. Thank you so much for your thoughts as well as Compliments, so appreciated, as is your Vote.


AMF 5 years ago

Really great piece! Nicely written...was feeling the innocence fading and sadness of the point-in-time...beautiful.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago Author

AMF, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments...It was a sad time...and a lot of business got left behind...Dreams faded, but new ones also came along.


JinnyMarte 5 years ago

So very moving the way you elaborate this stories of yours. It definitely leaves me wanting more... The struggles that parents go through and the two sides of the story are really something only a parent can understand, having been once a kid and having seen the changes in the ages and the struggles of our own parents and then to experience our own is like jumping from one very private world to another. This is a beautiful piece as always b.Malin.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago Author

Hi JinnyMarte, Thank you so much for all your Beautiful Thoughts on my Hub. They are so appreciated and certainly Humble me. Thank you, my friend.

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