The Last Bookkeeper

They didn’t quite break the mold after her. It’s more like they just put it away way, way up on the top shelf where it was easily forgotten.

She woke up in the morning because that is what you do in the morning. You wake up. These days she didn’t have to work, but she kind of liked it. What else was she going to do all day?

When asked how she would spend a fantastical lottery win, she replied with events that cost nothing–reading, gardening, sitting outside with coffee.

Gossip flew into her neat and clean office but never out of it. Despite working with money all day she never talked of it. Not even to her husband. The most she would do is close her eyes and shake her head to confirm that other’s interrogations were on the right track.

It would be a mistake to say she saw the world in black and white. But life was certainly divided by conspicuously sharp lines. The boldest of these lines brought to the front what you and I might call life’s “have to’s” but she might call her duty. From raising her brothers, to raising her family, to offering a dissenting opinion just when consensus was near, to making her bed every morning, to being on-time, to not leaving dishes in the sink, to putting the cap back on, to cleaning the house on the same day every week, to keeping the washing machine off for at least one day a week, she did these things not because she wanted to, but because if she didn’t they wouldn’t get done. It could be a very tiring existence.

And yet despite the wear and tear that always seems ready to take its toll, our bookkeeper frequently experienced a feeling which most of us do not–satisfaction.


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