Saturday, February 7, 2009

Story Saturday

Paddy scanned all the packages he was to deliver for the day, and stopped, at one particular one.
"Jo Beaufoix" he muttered quietly to himself. "Jo". Squinting, he looked at the last name again, and wondered why on earth the woman was using a frog name in the place of what he considered to be a perfectly good English name.
"To each their own" he thought to himself, curious, but not overly concerned about it. Ensuring the package was tucked in a safe spot in his mail truck, he sped away, off to do the job that he loved so dearly.
See, Paddy had not always been a mailman. Back in his hometown of Dublin, he'd been a factory worker. His father had sent him to the factory at age 13. "School isna for you, lad, we need the income" his father had said, over the ever present pint of Guiness that lived in his hand. "We need the income so you can keep buying pints" thought Paddy morosly. He loved school.
As a consequence, he had forgotten nearly everything taught to him in the few years that he did get to go to school. He rose every morning at 0430, and did not get to bed until at least midnight, after finishing work, then running all the errands and doing all the work his mum needed done. More often than not he'd had to go fetch his sodding father from the tavern, too drunk to make it home.
Paddy's father died when he was twenty, liver just up and quit on him. His mother died soon after, and Paddy found himself, suddenly free. Unlike the other Irish families he knew, his parents had only had one child, himself. His mother had been bitter and angry about that for years. Paddy had dreams, now that he was on his own, of traveling the world, learning all he could. He had one small problem, however. He'd forgotten how to read. So, he continued on at the factory, too ashamed to seek help.
Until one day. On his way home, he stopped, and purchased a newspaper, hoping, as he did, every day, that he could somehow, magically, read it. Squinting at it, he tried to make out one word, any word. He failed to notice the lovely read headed woman who was watching him, until she was at his side.
"Are you having trouble reading that?" she asked, kindly, her blue eyes bright in the dusk of the evening. Caught, Paddy, swallowed hard, pink streaking up his cheeks in embarrassment. "I seem to have forgotten how" he admitted, shocked at his own admission.
"Well lets remedy that" she said, very matter of factly.
They met every night, for weeks and weeks, months and months. Slowly, surely, Paddy learned how to read. He delighted in reading, and was a very good student. He soon did not need the help of the generous read headed lady, but as she was fond of him, she kept coming. Soon, she was teaching him maths and history, as well.
Then, one evening, she was gone. A note was sent round, explaining to him that her time with him was over, she'd had to move on, she had found someone else who needed her help.
Not soon after that, Paddy had decided to move away from Dublin, and, now able to read, picked a nice sounding town in England. Soon after arriving, he'd gotten his job at the post, and delivered the mail every day. Able to do so because a nice, red headed lady named "Jo" had taught him to read. And now, on his postal route, was another lady named Jo. He smiled every time he got to say the name...


Anonymous said...

That's a nice story.

I see it's inspired by one of the names in your blog list.

bernthis said...

Great story. What a terrific main character for a book. ARe you in the midst of writing one?

sybil law said...

Awww. I like Paddy!

Jo Beaufoix said...

Awwwww. Sorry I cam so late to this. That was gorgeous. I love your brain. xoxoxo