The Visitor

The Visitor

A Story by Susanna F

An old story with some editing. I still need to flesh out the time period - about 1900 America.


Young Roger stepped up to the door of the large but cozy-looking house. He hesitated before ringing the doorbell, and grinned at the tall elderly man who answered the door.


"Why, Roger, young chap! How nice to see you this evening. Do come in, there's a good man. Will you have a seat? How is your mother doing? Very good to hear. My lovely wife, entertain our guest while I go call Grace down."


The man left the room, leaving Roger to speak with Grace's still-lovely mother.


"You have been to call often, lately, Roger. You are quite attentive to Grace as well. Are you contemplating marriage? That would be wonderful. There  now, don't be abashed. We must all be clear on these things for plans to work out smoothly. Grace has taken quite a fancy to you. It will not be long before you have the new position at your father's business, will it? Oh, of course you will get it. Then you will soon be able to save enough money to buy your own home. Just the thing for a new wife! Ah, look, here is Grace. Do sit, my dear daughter."


Grace, a beaming girl of about nineteen settled gently on the couch and arranged her dress. Her father sat on the piano bench across the room.


"I have just been speaking to the young man about his future, my husband. Now what would you suggest in such a matter?" Grace's mother asked. "He knows all there is not know in the way of business," she said aside to Roger.


"Indeed I would be glad to advise," her husband said. "It is very important to always continue to better your position in business. You will never know your potential if you settle for well enough. And do not trust the banks! The interest they pay is ridiculous. Yes, the best thing would be to invest in other funds, keep a profit coming in, make money with money, as they say."


Roger and Grace exchanged amused glances. It was obvious they had much to talk about, but it apparently would have to wait.


"But enough about that, dear," Mother said. "Where to you plan to own a home, Roger? Surely you will not go far? There is a lovely street down the way, on a slope, with a nearby park to take the children."


Grace blushed pink. Her mother didn't notice that she was embarrassing her daughter. Roger merely smiled bravely. Father spoke up.


"Oh, yes, or perhaps you would prefer a  busier area, with things that young couples would like to do. The Avenue is a respectable area, with some fine homes lining the way. There are even a few schools nearby. Yes, that is what I would suggest. No boredom for my little girl. Be sure of that."


Roger squirmed uncomfortably. Grace shot him an encouraging smile, and he grinned back gratefully.


"Have you spoken to your mother and father about wedding plans?" Mother asked Roger. "You would not keep them long in the dark, would you? Oh, I can imagine a lovely wedding. We could even hold it here if you wish. We could find the decorators and caterers. Oh, it will be grand!"


"Yes, and of course you must have our minister to give the ceremony," Grace's father said firmly. "Your parents go to that church on Sixth Street for services, right? The speaker there is not skilled. And I do not agree with his theology. Much too loosely interpreted. Perhaps I should speak to your father about it, Roger. No matter if they are friends, there are more important things to think of. "


Roger looked worried, and a little helpless.


"Oh, but we are getting ahead of ourselves, aren't we?" Mother said. "Why, you are not yet even engaged. You have probably not had a moment alone, since Father and I have not gone out together for some time. Why don't we go to a theater on Saturday, Father? We can't expect a proposal to be made right beneath our noses, and who knows when such a prospect will appear for Grace again!"


Grace reddened, and she looked pointedly away from Roger.


"Before you go, Roger, I must talk to you privately. I know of some funds you really must invest in. Perhaps we could be partners in such a venture," Grace's father said confidently.


Roger drew himself up a little. He looked to be trying not to be offended, but the older man's tone was just too insistant.


"That would be wonderful!" Mother enthused. "Indeed you should agree. Why think of the children! They eat so much, and prices are simply outrageous now. Many men have to work long extra hours just to keep up, even ones from wealthy families like you." She fixed him with a pointed stare. "You can't expect your father to provide for you forever."


Roger looked helplessly at Grace, but she offered no defense. She seemed to be intently staring at her shoes. She could be thinking the same as her mother, for all he knew. He looked away.


"If there's one thing I can't stand, it is a shiftless fellow." Father lit a pipe and sat puffing blackly. "You don't seem to be, but then, you had it easy, working for your father. Never had to work hard to make your way up that ladder, like I did. At least you will inherit the business after his death, I assume?"


Roger sat coldly in his chair, not looking at any of them. He looked about to spring up and make his escape.


"Don't mind him, you know how he can be," Mother crooned. "Grace loves you and that's all that matters."


Grace looked shocked, her mouth hanging open. Clearly Roger was as embarrassed as she by such a premature statement.


"It will be so strange not having Gracie about, will it not, Father? Oh, but it is wonderful, all the same. There's not a woman alive who does not enjoy a good romance, I believe."


"Yes, Mother," Father said, "But you just take good care of her, young man! I'll make sure you do."


The evening had grown late, and Roger and Grace stood to say goodbye.


"Walk him out, dear! We won't stand in your way," Mother said. Grace complied.


The two silent figures walked stiffly to the door. Grace did not even attempt an apology. Roger felt more than a little miffed at her callous attitude. He stepped out the door into the cold moonlight. They stood there for some time, not looking at eath other, but both thinking the same thing.


"Roger, I do not think we should see each other anymore," Grace finally said, her voice low.


"Yes, I agree. It is obvious we have some differences of opinion. I'm sorry, Grace."


"Yes, Roger. We must go our own ways. I wish you well."


"You as well, Grace. Good night."


Grace's mother and father watched from a window, oblivious of the outcome of the night.


"He certainly is a nice young man," Mother said happily.


© 2009 Susanna F

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LOL! This is a kindof funny story. I liked it! 1921 (time period) seems about right...
or 1949 (after the Great Depression) Funny read!

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Added on July 12, 2009
Last Updated on July 12, 2009


Susanna F
Susanna F

Private, AZ

My name is Susanna. I love writing, and have written stories since I could spell. I write mostly fiction and poems, and have had several poems published. As a full-time working wife and mom, I hav.. more..

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