Write On!

Hypocrites

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm

by Jen Gregory

She was headed for the cookie jar. Olivia was a plump little lady of nine. Each dimpled finger a testament to her privileged life inside the gigantic house overlooking the sea. Although she was a tad overweight she bore it well, all of it proportional and flattering. Her tan, rounded thighs slimming down to robust calves with delicate white scars that criss-crossed her shins. Her hair was blonde like buttermilk, not specifically white or yellow. It cascaded into loose beachy waves over her shoulders and fell into fine little points across her back. Her toes were always bare and unpolished.

It was these unpolished toes that padded down the tiled hallway towards the kitchen. She had dressed and readied herself well before Kimberly could get downstairs and tend to her. This was just as she planned it. She grabbed a paper towel from the holder, its soft separating the only noise Olivia was making. In the giant kitchen she could see out the floor length windows towards the water. It whispered to her, “come, come.” Her small blue eyes twinkled as she imagined the sand squishing between her toes, Kimberly dawdling behind telling her, “Olivia, slow down for heaven’s sake, it’s not a bloody race!”

Olivia stood tippy toe and used her chubby little fingers to grasp the top of the cookie jar. With the other hand she pulled forth four snicker doodle cookies, round and soft, placing them like cinnamon jewels onto her napkin. She sat at the table in front of the windows and placed one entire cookie in her mouth, crumbs diving from her lips to the floor. She chewed hastily and swallowed, quickly doing the same to the next three. As the mush of cookies going down her gut settled and filled an empty space she imagined the coconut smell of sunscreen, the bright yellow bikini she would wear and the children she would see when they got down there, her father sitting in his beach chair adoring her.

She wiped up her crumbs, threw it all in the trash, not the kitchen trash but the one in the laundry room down the hall and then she went to the fridge reached for a small yogurt, picked a banana from the bunch on the counter and sat it ready at the table. She clicked the TV remote and turned on the news.

Her father walked in just then and nodded his approval. Olivia was nothing if not clever. He bid her good morning in his husky waking voice that would deepen and smooth itself with his coffee. Olivia went up to him once he sat down and pecked him cheerily on the cheek just as the telephone rang.

“Hullo.” He gruffed into the receiver. “Hmm. Yes, yes, true. See you then.”

“What was that daddy?” Olivia inquired her milky blonde hair twisted into her hand.

“Nothing sweets, just a reminder that I have to go to the city today.”

“But we were going to the beach, you promised!” she said with a practiced pout.

“Yes, I did. I don’t want to make a hypocrite of myself, I suppose.” He said eyebrows furrowed.

“A hypocrite?” she asked with her cornflower blue eyes directly on her father.

“Yes, someone who says one thing then does another.”

“Like mum?”

“In what way dear?” he asked looking at his knuckles most intently.

“Well, she won’t let me eat sweets but she eats them all the time. She says I should lose weight but she never loses any. Is that a hypocrite Daddy?” she asked, her voice lit with the enthusiasm of discovery.

“I suppose in a way yes, dear it is, but please do not say that I said so.”

“I’d never do that Father. Shall we go to the beach?” she asked with a sly grin that folded into a giggle.

He grabbed her cheeks and kissed her head.

“It seems we must my dear, we must.” He rapped his knuckles on the table and made a quick phone call.

Kimberly came down in time to pack a lunch and ready Olivia. Her father would come for a while and meet with his friends later in the day. Olivia skipped lunch to play and kissed her valiant, loving, doting father good-bye.

He would argue with the wife that was leaving him, disheveling his fortune and his time, at dinner. Don’t be so hard on her. It is just the way she has been made. She is a lovely girl, nothing to worry over. She would glare, hiss and accuse him of all sorts of ignorance. She knew her little girl and most of all did not want her turning out like her mother. He would leave wanting his little girl to be happy, wishing he were happy. She would leave wanting her little girl to be happy, wishing she were happy, but no one could come to a consensus.

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  1. I love this story! The author took such a common everyday occurrence and morphed into great writing with a strong theme!

    Can’t wait to read more!

  2. How funny that we both used Olivia as our character’s name. That’s what I get for not reading your story before I finished mine, heehee. Maybe they are the same girl, different seasons? 🙂 As always, I love your descriptions. And as the other commenter noticed, I love how you take a simple moment in time and tell much, much more.

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