Got a post-KK story for you all...it's a few years later & Lucille has been in her new better-paying job in new York for one year. Daniel has just moved back to Newark & it's the summer of 1991 & he spent a hot summer day unpacking...
"Byyye, Lucy..." Ruth, my co-worker called as we shut down our computers & got ready to head home.
"Bye..." I waved, gathered my purse & data fact sheet & we headed out into the New York street. It has been a year since I came back to the East Coast & started this job. Here the women are treated like equals & I am so relieved to be free of the harrassment. My nervousness is gone & I don't get the stomachaches anymore. And on top of that, I'd gotten a raise two months ago & would be eligible for promotion in the fall to software manager. I never really knew I was good with computers. I'm glad my dear friend helped me get the loan for that class so I could get out of that awful situation I was in at my job back in California. I still felt a tinge of sadness over that job since it had promosed a promotion to office management, but instead the women got stuck in data entry at just six dollars an hour while men who'd come in behind us & had less education & experience were promoted ahead of us & were paid nearly twice as much. Some of the women tried to fight back, but ended up being harrassed & threatened. I was too scared to speak up, even when a male co-worker stole a fantastic idea I had & took it as his own, then threatened me into silence. Things got worse & worse until I was stressed & my son Daniel was worried. Thank the stars my friend, Alicia visited & helped me get the loan. I try not to think of what could have happened if I hadn't gotten out of there...
"Come on, it's over, Lucille..." I muttered as I came into my apartment & changed. I then saw the book I'd been reading *Backlash.* No it's not over, I realized. It was a book that really made me think...about my situation & the situation of women all over. I was meeting Daniel for dinner, so I grabbed the book as I headed out.
"Mom!" Daniel bellowed when he saw me at the station.
"Daniel!" I crowed & we ran into each others' arms & hugged.
"So you made the big move, my son, my college graduate!" I stroked his thick wavy dark hair.
"Yup, I sure did," Daniel put an arm around me as we walked out of the station & headed to the Timpano's. "Spent all day yesterday unpacking. God, I didn't realize I'd brought so much stuff back here to Newark..." he rattled on breathlessly about his move & about the job he'd be starting next week as a bookkeeping assistant. But what he really wanted to do was start a business. Meanwhile, the job would tide him over until he got started. Oh, it was so wonderful seeing my son again! His large brown eyes, so much like mine, were bright & his angular face was sunny as he chatted on. We sat & talked more. He asked me how work was going & all as we ate.
"It's such a relief to see you feeling better, Mom," Daniel told me after we ordered dessert. "I sometimes still feel like kicking that Gary idiot's butt after what he did to you. Well, one thing, Rocket Data closed down, so Gary's probably job-hunting now."
"I'm over that incident." I said softly. "I'm healing from that."
"Oh, it's so good to see you again," Daniel sighed & we gazed into each others eyes a minute before digging into our dessert. Daniel's eyes & mouth shape are like mine & we both have angular, rather long faces, brown eyes & wavy hair. But Daniel's hair color is one shade darker than mine & he has his late father's nose. Oh, Frank, if only you were here to see your son, I thought. I folded up some bills in my purse after I ate.
"Hey, what book is that?" Daniel asked. He was looking at the book *Backlash* that I had.
"*Backlash*" I pulled it out & showed it to him. He peered at the cover.
"Wow, it looks interesting." Daniel started to open it, his eyes asking if it was all right. I nodded & he opened it & leafed through it, seeming to read bits here & there. "Oh, God, did you read the part about Cyanamid in West Virginia?" he gasped.
"I read the whole book."
"God, those poor women," Daniel leafed through it some more, then slowly looked up at me. "Mommy-tracking...Mom, that's what happened to you, I think."
"I think so too." I nodded. "It's rampant even today."
"The backlash...and you were victimized by it too." Daniel's eyes went sad. "Oh, Mom, I knew you were going through a rough time, but, God, I didn't realize...Oh, Mom, I'm so sorry it happened to you." He reached over & held my hand & stroked his, touched by his concern. I'm so lucky to have a sweet, caring son.
"Thanks," My voice rasped a little with the lump I now had there. "I'm lucky to have you as my son."
"You're the bravest person I know," Daniel told me. "You've been through so much & you've survived it."
"You've survived a lot too," I told him, remembering when he was bullied by the Cobra Kai gang back West as a teenager. Daniel leafed through the book more.
"Reaganomics," He grinned wryly. "That why those South sea apartments...I should call Mr. Miyagi & tell him about this since this affected him too."
"You can borrow the book if you want, take it home with you," I offered.
"You're sure?" Daniel asked. "Really?"
"Sure, I'm done reading it."
"Thanks." Daniel & I talked for a long time after we paid the bill. It was so good that our lives were getting back on track again. I really am lucky to have someone as special as Daniel for my son. And I'm fortunate that now people seem to be becoming aware of the backlash against feminism & I too was more enlightened.
Hope you all enjoy & let me know what you think of this fanfiction piece!