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Jen's journey from a poor worn-out poverty stricken farm to the bright lights in the city. Short story

Updated on December 14, 2015
always exploring profile image

I am a writer of poetry and fiction. I especially love flash fiction. My name is Ruby, and I live in Southern Illinois. I am a retired R.N.

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Jen needed to feel like ' somebody '

Jen watched the dusty dirt rise as the gray hound left her part of the world and entered interstate 57' She'd been counting the days since she was 10 years old when she could leave this poverty stricken place. Her life was dull and drab, poor white trash, a feeling that never left her. Her pa working from daylight to dusk trying to eek out a living from worn-out soil. Electricity just across the road, but couldn't afford the cost of instillation. Sometimes it was even difficult to buy the oil for the coal oil lamps. She trudged one and a half mile to an old country school only finishing the eighth grade. She was super smart and always in her subconscious was the need to be ' somebody '

Jen was a good cook. She'd been cooking for her pa since she was old enough to stand on a foot stool.

Her pa James told her about her ma leaving when she was only one and a half years old. She didn't remember her, but she knew for sure she didn't like her. She used to sit for hours looking at her picture. A picture of her and pa on their wedding day. They looked so happy. " I wonder what happened? " She thought.

James was an old forty year old man, one day he complained of a stomach ache a few days later he started to vomit blood. He was gone two days later.

Jen was eighteen and had earned some money working at the flour grain mill up the road from her house. She saved every penny knowing she was going to leave this ' God forsaken place ' as soon as she saved enough money for the bus fare and a place to live once she reached the city.

She arrived in Littlerock Arkansas the next morning. She was ashamed of her old worn-out suitcase but happy to be in the big city.



Source

She had one good thing going for her she was beautiful with a tall slim figure, perfect white sparkling teeth. She remembered how she'd begged her pa for toothpaste she'd seen at the old country store, but he'd refused telling her to use a mixture of salt and baking soda. She resented it at the time, but she discovered it was really good because her teeth were perfect. She had natural brown hair that had never been cut because her pa told her that long hair was a woman's crown of beauty.

When she stepped off the bus she felt a chill along with joyful excitement. " What do I do now? " she thought. She walked a couple blocks when she noticed a " Help wanted sign " in the window of a doughnut shop. The chubby man behind the counter was friendly and said, " I hope you're looking for a job? " She told him " Yes I'm looking for a job. " He told her that he was the doughnut maker. She would work the counter. The chubby man's name was Frank and they became good friends. She opened up to Frank telling him about her life on the farm and her need to be ' somebody. '

Jen settled in and found a one bedroom apartment close by

one day she noticed a black limousine stop outside the shop. The chauffeur came in and ordered a half dozen cinnamon twists. The windows in the limo. were dark, but she could see the silhouette of a man sitting in the back seat. The limo. driver stopped in at least twice a week. One day instead of the chauffeur coming in the man in the back seat came in. He was at least 15-20 years her senior but handsome. He had thick salt and pepper gray hair a thin mustache, dark eyes slim and muscular, dressed in a suit and tie. He said, " I think I'll try something different, what do you suggest? " Jen looked at all the goodies in the glass case and said, " I like them all but my favorite is the chocolate doughnut. " He told her that chocolate was his favorite too and I'll have a half dozen but only if you will share one with me. Jen was pleasantly surprised and actually blushed. Frank was listening in the back and yelled, " Go ahead Jen, I'll take care of the counter.

He introduced himself." My name is William Stone. I know you are Jen my driver has been telling me about the beautiful ' doughnut girl. " Jen smiled and tried not to appear nervous. It was apparent that William was more than interested in her. He asked her what she liked to do for fun. She told him that she enjoyed a good movie and she loved to dance.

It was December and everyone was beginning to decorate for Christmas. William thought for a minute and suddenly said, " I know what we could do would you like to go to a Christmas dance at my club? " Jen said that she would love to go with him. The prospect of going to a fancy club intrigued her. He told her that he would pick her up on Saturday at eight o'clock.

She knew she didn't have anything fancy enough so she splurged and went shopping. She found a beautiful red velvet dress, black patent leather shoes and a sequin clutch bag. When she looked in the mirror she felt beautiful.

She was content and happy all week anticipating her night of dancing with her handsome new friend. Finally Saturday night arrived and the limo. pulled up in front of her apartment. When she opened the door he told her how beautiful she looked. When she got in the limo. she felt like ' somebody ' for the first time in her young life.


When the dance ended the chauffeur drove them to her tiny apartment. William walked her to the door and said, " May I kiss you good night? " Jen moved close in his arms and kissed him. His eye's were shinning with happiness. He told her that he had a beautiful home he wanted her to see.

She hummed a tune all the next day. Frank knew he was going to lose his counter help but he didn't care. He knew Jen had found someone who loved her and he knew she'd found that someone who made her feel like ' somebody '

Christmas music was playing on the radio and Frank was tapping his feet as he kept time with the rolling pin while he rolled out another batch of doughnut dough.

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    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Frank. Don't worry about being late. I am running late too. Always good to see you. Thank you. Happy New Year!

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Rasma. I'm glad you liked my story. Thanks for coming by.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 20 months ago from Shelton

      What a wonderfully written story Always, and first I do have to apologize for reading late the time has got me tied up, but Im trying to catch up with all my favorite hubbers you included :) Happy Holidays

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 20 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      A most wonderful Christmas story. Nice to finally find love and be loved.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello drbj .You're the second person who thinks I should write a sequel. I wonder if the old man has a handsome son? Is Frank crying himself to sleep every night? Chocolate-cinnamon twists? I am in Emboden, Ark. visiting with my son Jack. I will stay through Christman. When I get back home I will put my thinking bonnet on and see what my muse comes up with. Take care my inquiring friend..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Genna. We are two of a kind, (die-hard romantics ) I'm so glad you liked my story. Thank you. Hugs.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 20 months ago from south Florida

      You really involved me with this eloquent short story, Ruby. Now you must write a sequel. Is William Stone as perfect as he seems? Is Frank carrying a torch for Jen? Does Jen really prefer chocolate donuts to cinnamon twists? Inquiring minds need to know!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 20 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      As a die-hard romantic, I loved this story. I am pleased Jen found love, and that love made her feel like 'somebody,' which apparently William Stone -- and Frank -- already knew. Just beautiful my friend.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello John. I think HP was having some kind of a glitch. I don't know how many times I posted a comment and it just disappeared. Thanks again for trying...

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 20 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, predictive text is a great innovation isn't it.? :) I tried to send the email five times but had trouble proving I wasn't a robot.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hey Tammy. Good to see again. I'm glad you liked my story. Hugs..

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      Tammy Gaudern 20 months ago

      Ruby, that was a great story.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shauna. I'm so glad you liked my story. Nadine suggested I write a sequel. I wonder if she stays happy with an older man? Hummm Thank you.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello John. I didn't get your email. I wonder why? Mike pointed it out to me. Internet 57 lol. Thanks for caring enough to let me know. You are a good friend. Cheers

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mike. Internet 57, now that's a typo royal. Hee. Proof read- proof read, how many times have I told Ruby to proof read? Thank you for telling me. I appreciate you. Hugs.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Clive. I hope so too. One never knows what's lurking in the dark. lol. Thank you..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Jo. So nice to see you back on HP, I missed you. I'm glad you liked my story. Thank you..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill. Life is good. We just 'gotta ' rise above the fray and meet each day with hope that life is good no matter how bad the world is today. It's got to get better! Thanks my good friend.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Martie. I confess. I'm a dreamer and in love with love. It makes me think of that lyric, " Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you if you're young at heart. la de la de. Cheers my dear friend. hugs..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello again Short Stories. I guess some people do live fairy tale lives, and that's great, but it's not the norm. I grew up believing in fairy tales and I never outgrew the notion. Thanks for coming back. Cheers.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Nadine Well I guess she could meet William's son who is closer to her age. Hummm. Maybe a sequel is possible. Thanks for coming by and the suggestion. Cheers.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Manatita. You were lucky to know what you were meant to do at thirty it took me much longer. Rags to riches is a good critique for this piece. Happy you enjoyed. Thank you.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 20 months ago from Central Florida

      What a sweet story, Ruby. Jen received a Christmas gift she'll never forget. I can't help but imagine her life after meeting William.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 20 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Did you receive my email Ruby?

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 20 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby - Sorry I am late. Oh, what is better than a donut shop? Oh, I know a story about found love written by Ruby. What a nice story for this time of year.

      (There is a weird Internet typo in the first line.)

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Shyron. Good to see my political pal. Hee..So glad you liked my story. I didn't mean that money makes one happy, but Jen was so poor I thought she needed money. Hugs my friend.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Mar. I missed the Dolly P. movie. I hope it comes back in a rerun. It is always so good to see you. I miss your writing. I know you are super busy. Thanks for reading this piece. I'm happy you enjoyed.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 20 months ago from Nibiru

      so happy for jen, i hope her fairytale prince keeps true

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 20 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Ruby, I'm a sucker for a good romantic story and you didn't disappoint. My one complaint, is that it ended too soon. ❤️

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 20 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I always feel better about life in general after reading one of your stories. Thank you for this one and Happy Sunday, my friend.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Eric. Jen had such a bad life I had to give her something good. I'm glad it brought tears, that means you have a good heart and want only good even if it's only a fiction story. Thank you...

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 20 months ago from South Africa

      Ohh, what a lovely story! You are such a romantic soul, dear Ruby :)

    • Short Storiess profile image

      Short Storiess 20 months ago

      Usually but not always.Some people are living fairy tale lives and there is no need to force the conflict where it is not needed.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 20 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      This is a fairy tale story when I realized it was over. Usually in real life this kind of relationship has a sting in the tale. Maybe you should write a sequel.

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello John. I'm happy that you liked my fairy tale ending. Thank you so much..

    • always exploring profile image
      Author

      Ruby Jean Fuller 20 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Short Stories. I agree completely. I married into money and was miserable until I was able to leave. I'm glad you liked my story. Thank you much..

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 20 months ago from london

      That was cool. Really cool. I was going to write one like that. Too much chat at breakfast, plus problems with the internet put me off.

      The super clever one was me too, but the fame bit I never felt. But yes, I know you actually said 'somebody.' So that, perhaps. When it came I was just past 30 and understood straight away my life's purpose.

      A rags to riches story, and a very deserving one. Great!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 20 months ago from Texas

      Ruby, I love your happy ending story, and like our dear friend Maria, it had the charm of the Dolly Parton story.

      I also agree with Maria on the strength of your message.

      Blessings and hugs my Gem of friend.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 20 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Although different in details, your story reminded me of the recent TV special - "Coat of Many Colors" about Dolly Parton in the charm and 'feel good' departments.

      Your strength is in the messages of your stories - a beautiful and heartwarming share indeed.

      Love and hugs, Maria

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Alright, I admit it, this got me tearing. I am glad it was short or I would be full on crying. It is a very good thing to read something just filled with good. Thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 20 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Just call me an old sap. I had to read through tears. I think I need to pay more attention to all the beauty in life.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 20 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Another feel good story with a fairy tale ending from you Ruby. Thank you for sharing.

    • Short Storiess profile image

      Short Storiess 20 months ago

      Even though i don't believe money is the only thing that can make you feel special,I couldn't help but love this story.Couldn't stop reading it till the end,beautifully written and very interesting