Family Friend

by Jake Barnes

My student assistant was a comely young woman. A freckle faced blonde. She was from Ohio. I figured she was a farm girl, but she wasn't. Her father worked in a small town bank.


Some days she came to work in a see-through blouse, no bra. That wasn't unusual at that time. The campus was replete with Flower Children. I would just avoid looking at her while she did her filing. I would bury my nose in a book or grade papers at my desk.


One day she told me a little bit about her childhood. She told me about her parents asking her father's widowed boss to Sunday dinner. She didn't like him, she said. She would hide when he came over. She said that one day when she was very young, five years old, maybe six, it had started. They sat in the parlor, she said, and the old man held her on his lap. Her parents were not in the room.