Another entry in The Omicron Matter. Eleanor has staked her position and her father has protested. But the senior Wilson is finding that life is changing. What was certain, is no more? What kind of resolution will they reach?
Look for more tomorrow (it’s already written so I am not spending that much time on Christmas)
A declaration of independence
Woodson paced the room, “No. You can’t. I… I won’t allow it.”
Eleanor followed him, “You can’t stop me. I will walk out that door. And you will not see me until I get my justice from him.”
Woodson stopped at the fireplace mantle with a daguerreotype image Thomas had made on his graduation. It sat below low the portrait of Eleanor’s long deceased mother. Her father said quietly, “I lost your mother. I lost Thomas. I almost lost you. I can’t lose you again.”
Eleanor came up to her father and place a hand his shoulder, “Times are changing, Daddy. I’m not your little girl anymore.”
The graying man didn’t turn around, but lightly jested, “You haven’t been my little girl since you were 16 and could look me in the eye.”
Eleanor smiled and continued, “I need to leave. I know too much now. There is more out there than we can imagine. I experienced a bad part of that, but that past two days I have had a taste of the good portion and is sweet as the previous week was bitter.”
Her father pulled out a handkerchief and put it to his face then turned around and said, “You and Thomas kept things going.”
Eleanor crossed her arms, looked at the ceiling and laughed light and with a catch in her throat. She then looked him saying, “Now you say that. Wallace has been as much a part of the factory as the two of us…more even. Isaac graduates in a year or two and he is already improving our sales. Trust them, Father. Trust them now.” She looked past him to the daguerreotype of Thomas and said quietly, “I can do something meaningful. I can save others like myself and Simone. I don’t need your blessing, but try to understand …I can’t stay.”
Woodson put his hands up and asked in a pleading tone, “Couldn’t this have waited?”
Eleanor tensed and her shoulders drooped, “I suppose it could have. And maybe I should have. But I have no doubt you will be expecting me to stay here. I’m not. I am here to pick up some of my things and then head back to Millicent’s …flat.”
“Then this is good-bye?” he asked.
“No…Daddy…I will be back each day early and we can have dinner some of those days. I don’t know when ‘good bye’ will be, but it is coming and I would rather tell you now than sneak away.”
There was quiet in the room. Woodson turned back to the portrait and image and asked, “So what happens now?”
Eleanor eased back to a spot next to Simone’s chair and relaxed a little, “I get some of my things. Simone and I go see her parents. And the two of us return tomorrow to help with your backlog. I will work with Wallace and Isaac to make sure the business is secure.”
He said quietly, “You and Thomas were always so efficient.”
She said quietly, “Wallace and Isaac will be as well. They already are.” She paused before she asked the next question, “Can I come back tomorrow?”
Woodson sighed deeply and said, “Of course…I’m…You have asked a lot of me today.”
Eleanor returned and hugged the man from behind, “I have. I suppose I haven’t been fair. But even without last week, I was going to leave. I need to see what I can do. The factory isn’t where I will find that out.”
After a few moments, Mr. Woodson disengaged his daughter’s arms and held her hands. “I am an old man who is feeling lost in the world at the moment. Wallace warned me I couldn’t keep you here. That you should be designing airships and more. Your brothers understand you better than I do. “
Eleanor turned to see Wallace smirking and Isaac looking sheepish.
Woodson continued, “You should get your things. Simone’s parents need to see her. Go. We’ll talk more tomorrow.”