But I made a promise

Even though I'm not supposed to be writing, but dealing with the realities of Real Life (as if!), my muse has me firmly gripped by the throat. Therefore I offer a small something for your amusement:

But I made a Promise...

by Penny Lane

A tiny scenario it's possible many of us could wish might have happened to ourselves...

"Sylvester! What is in those bags? Where are you going with them?"

"I'm getting rid of all my football things, Ma. I don't want them cluttering up my room any more. I'm sending the clothing and equipment to a charity shop, the rest will get recycled or go in the trash."

"What? But you worked years to make the team, and win those trophies. Don't tell me you're going to throw out those trophies!"

"I worked years to get on the team because that's what Pa wanted, Ma. Actually, I don't particularly like playing football. Now I'm eighteen, I've decided to have a clear out before I go to college. Oh, and mind that pile of books. I'll take them down to Lenny's house later on. He's more into that sort of thing than I am."

"Don't like playing football? What do you mean? Your father sweated to get you onto that team, and I promised him on his death-bed that I'd stand behind you until you became established. Now you tell me you didn't want to do it?"

"Never did, Ma, but it was impossible to argue with Pa, you know that."

"What are these books, anyway... football manuals, annuals, yearbooks, programs. Sylvester, you're throwing your childhood away!"

"Good riddance."

"Wait a minute. Your Bible, prayerbooks, pamphlets! What are you getting rid of those for? What are you going to do in church if you haven't got a prayerbook or hymn book?"

"Not going any more, Ma."

"Oh yes you are! Just try and stay home, you'll see! What kind of nonsense is this?"

"I'm eighteen, Ma. I'm legally an adult, and I can decide for myself whether I want to go to church, or football, or anything. I'm not going to sit and listen to any more of Reverend Stevens' hypocritical garbage. I'm going to take the time to do some research and find out what I want to believe in, rather than have someone else's crazy ideas stuffed down my throat."

"I'll not have the ungodly live in my house! Just you think about what you're doing!"

"Do you really think this is being done on the spur of the moment? I've been thinking about doing this most all of my life. I'll be going off to college in a few weeks, anyhow, so you won't have to put up with me for much longer."

"I promised your father I'd bring you up right, made sure you followed the path, gave you every opportunity... and this is how you repay me."

"You made a promise to him. Nobody asked what I wanted. Every parent has to let go of their child, Ma, and let them go and start to live by their own decisions. Some of the things you've asked me to do have been good, some of the things you've made me do have been bad, and there are some things that were just terrible. Well, it's time I learned to make my own mistakes. If you'll excuse me, I have to put these bags outside."

"Sylvester Schwarznegger McArthur Smith! You get back here and put those bags back in your room! This discussion isn't finished!"

"Yes it is, Ma. Yes it is. I'm eighteen, these are my possessions, and I can do what I like with them. Oh, and the stupid name is going, too. In the future, you can call me Madelaine."



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