Saturday, November 13, 2010
The salesman couldn’t place it but it did smell rotten and stale. He tried to stay focused on the steaming brown pie in front of him. “I have a peach tree out back so I have the freshest peach pie you will ever taste.” Mrs. Godwin sang with a smile as she prepared to cut into her masterpiece. Her back now turned to him; Theodore took his chance to intently survey the kitchen. It felt dirty and damp. Old dishes were piled high in the sink and a persistent fly buzzed frantically for the rotting food left on the floral trimmed plates. The ingredients from the pie had not been put away. Eggshells and butter were messily strewn upon the stained countertops leading towards a small basket of peaches. Theodore was appalled by their state. They were not fresh at all, their skin brown and wrinkled. He noticed something in one, something perhaps moving inside. He stared intently and gasped when a worm broke through to the outside from within. Theodore’s stomach turned and his heart sank as Mrs. Godwin turned around with a large piece he knew was for him.
“She must have lost it a long time ago,” thought Theodore. He had heard rumors of the Godwin woman who went off her rocker and hadn’t been down to the town since some such tragedy. Theodore had always felt sorry for her and had decided to visit today although the other salesmen had avoided the house, a decision he was regretting more and more.
“Here you are Teddy!” The old woman was no longer sweet or one to feel sorry for. She still held the knife used to cut the pie in her right hand as she placed his plate in front of him with her right. The salesman now was sweating more than he had been outside. “Oh dear you look like you could use some lemonade.” The old woman made her way to the refrigerator as Theodore searched his mind for excuses to leave in a hurry. He was distracted however when a giant cockroach scurried out as Mrs. Godwin opened the Fridge to retrieve the pale yellow drink from inside it. The boy sunk lower and his stomach began to churn. “You know Mrs. Godwin, I just realized the… time. I really should be going or my dad will be angry.”
The petite lady stopped mid-pour and turned wearing the same stare as when he had first laid eyes on her. Theodore stood up hesitantly inching towards the door. He stopped however as soon as that same pitiful face came back to Mrs. Godwin, the sadness returning to her brown eyes. “But you didn’t even touch the pie, I have a record twelve blue ribbons for it.” She said meekly pointing to a frame on the wall holding twelve faded first place ribbons from the county fair. “Oh I know, I’ve heard marvelous things about it, I just, uh, I just must be going.” The old woman dropped the glass of lemonade she was still holding in her skeleton hand and cursed frantically at the sight of the mess. Theodore quickly came to her aid and grabbed the nearest towel to help clean up the small puddle. “Oh I’m sorry Teddy. How clumsy I am!”
The old woman began to sob quietly as she sat down to watch the salesman clean her mistake. “Oh now it’s okay Mrs. Godwin, please don’t cry… You know, I will just have to tell my dad that something important came up on my route with a potential client. He will understand.” Theodore took a quick glance at the front door that was about to be his exit moments ago and with an internal sigh he sat back down in his creaking seat. “Oh Teddy! That is so very sweet of you. I don’t get much company you see and you will love the pie, I just know it.”