It is two years later. I am 79. I have been writing and correcting this journal of my latter days for twenty-one years. I have been married to Teach twenty years. All four of my wives remain with me and claim to be happy, though I do not know why.
I have another son, Jacob. He is Alina’s third child and the last I will allow! He was born only 9 days after my 79th birthday. I am way too old for this shit. Alina named the boy after me but I am not dead yet. I accused her of trying to force my death, and she just called me an old superstitious fart. Still this poor boy will go through his entire life as Jacob Jr., without ever really knowing me! Surely, I will not live much longer.
Ruth at eleven is a stunner already and I am very lucky we stopped all that crap early on. Becca will not follow Ruth’s lead and has come to accept that I am simply too old now to assist, which is true all on its own.
Alina worked out perfectly as the kid’s teacher. Teach has remained employed with the school district. Red is now the top manager at her company’s local office. As top banana, she has no inclination to retire and is happy at work. LM? She still works for me and likes calling me Master. Red said it improved her over all adjustment within the family.
I see each of my wives intimately only once a week, which is all I can handle!
Before closing, I wish to note that in this year, 2025, within the State in which my family resides, a law passed recognizing plural marriages. My wives and I arranged for a formal ceremony at our home, to put the marriages in the books for purposes of: the value to our children; my will and any probate matters; as well as my desire that all my wives should if they wish legally carry my name. All chose to do so. We had the birth certificates for the children amended to provide them my last name. I have never been so happy or so proud.
And so with seven children ranging from eleven years to 6 months, and four wives, in my seventy-ninth year, living in my own home and not in jail, I lay my pen down and say enough. Let my wives mark my passing, below these lines and let us call it good.
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In his eighty-ninth year,
We, the wives of Jacob Xxxxxxxxx, laid his body to rest.
At the time of his passing we are respectively, as we are known in this Journal:
The will and trust our husband provided for us allows us a comfortable life to the end of our days, in this the family home. Our children were all here for the funeral, though it did require Ruth and Rebecca to return from college to attend.
We, here, list the children by name, age, and mother, as of the day of Jake’s passing.
All the children carry their father’s last name and all do so, we hope and pray, with pride.
Teach is retired. Red retires this year. Alina still home schools the three youngest children. LM runs Jake’s business affairs much as if he was here with us. Jake always said she was gifted in the office and so it seems. LM thinks that Asher also has the gift and is working with him while he attends the local community college.
At the time of his death, LM still shares a suite with Red and Alina shares a suite with Teach. We, Jake’s wives are both sad and happy. We had Jake for a long time and we were prepared for his leaving. Missing Jake is something we will do for years to come, but we will be in each other’s arms at the same time. Jake planned well. We expect that not much will change for us, Jake’s wives, for some years to come though the children are growing up quickly.
Before Jake left us, he was able to see at least his oldest children emancipate. He was thrilled that these two girls left the nest, happy and healthy. LM, (this is the rest of us speaking for her,) is not so sanguine. She points out that our children are normal and well adjusted by our standards, which is fairly not normal by the standards of others. She worries that stopping the development she had originally planned for the children will have detrimental effects as they attempt to emancipate. She held her tongue for as long as Jake lived, but now considers herself free of the obligation of obedience and so can state her concerns.
Teach, Red, LM, & Alina
15 November 2034
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Post Script by Ruth
Grandmother T gave me permission to read this on my twenty-first birthday. That birthday was just fifteen days ago; she had emailed me the journal at school. I had just finished it five days before my father died, ten days ago from now.
I did not know what to think when I first heard I was going to get it. I did not know what to think as I started to read it. I was both mortified and proud when I read about me in my father’s bedroom at age 9!
I can’t tell how truthful he was elsewhere, but he told the truth about me in my part. He was so sweet to me that night and I rocked his world. I am so glad he said I did!
I haven’t had time yet to digest all that I have read, but I know that I can never be happy in a ‘normal’ family. This one, the one that raised me with all the errors and oddities and love and caring and peace and decency and manners and intimacy, this one makes more sense to me than anything I have seen outside our home.
I am not screwed up. But I go to college with kids who are really screwed up, who don’t have values and do very, very dumb things to themselves and others.
And I’m not talking about having sex. Do that right and it is both safe and fun. No, there is a difference between fucking and having a loving relationship. Father was right, sex alone is a one night thing and if you want that every now and then, fine; but you have to care about someone to have sex with them for years.
My mother, LM, was right; I needed to understand my body before someone outside tried singing me a tune. Mother taught me well. It’s too bad that the law made father so scared of being with me. I really think I lost out and I finally now know he did care and he did love me in that way.
But the question for me and for all us kids is, what now. Our mothers, “the wives,” know what they will do; but what about us? I don’t think the outside world is going to work well for us. My mother LM was right and I think her comments about that, just above my lines here, are truer than anyone else in the family understands.
There are four of us girls. What will we do? And what will our brothers do? Our lives up to now have been blessed, but what about our future. How do I find my Jake? How will Becca? Or Lily? Or Irina? Will we form a pact that we will each look for him and join him as a group when we find him? Will our brothers be like our father to other women or will they lead empty lives unable to climb back up to the same heights?
I am going to ask Grandmother T if Becca can read this now. And maybe in a few years Lily and Irina can too. I think there needs to be a meeting of the wives and the daughters. We need to talk.
November 20, 2034
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Post, Post Script by Becca
This morning Ruth brought me a printed copy of Father’s journal along with the comments of his wives and of Ruth. We are all still here following the funeral because of Thanksgiving.
It is evening now and I think everyone is sleeping. Upstairs there are now only two of the five suites in use. It is odd to think back and remember a time when there were four in use, and then three after Alina moved in with Grandmother T.
Now Father is gone. While his room, I guess, is not larger than the others, it seemed larger to me for all these years.
It is also odd to think about the eight guest rooms Father described in the journal. They are our rooms. There are seven of us and each of us has one – even though two of us are away at college. There is only one spare room here and we used to joke among ourselves that father had run out of steam one kid to soon! There should have been eight of us, or so we thought. Were we seven by accident? Real guests always stayed on the fourth floor! We never had guests on our floor!
Just like Ruth, I will have to think more about what I have read, but our mother, LM, doesn’t get the credit I think she deserves because of Father’s fears. To Ruth and me, and I think Lily too, Mother taught us things that other girls never learn or if they do, don’t learn right. I am comfortable in my body because it is mine, and I can do what I want and need without permission. Mother was right to teach us that.
Mother loved Father more than she loved the air she breathed. I saw Father around her everyday and I really think he knew that and felt the same way for her. He was not mean to Mother in his journal, but you just don’t see the deep affection they had for each other in his journal. I wonder why.
Just like Ruth, I need to be in a family of the sort we have here. Where will we find our Jake? There is no way I could live without sister-wives. What will we do? I have been thinking about this ever since I was fourteen or fifteen. Now that I am at college, I can see how difficult it will be to find a “Jake.” Reading Father’s journal I can see that even he didn’t grow into that “Jake” that we knew until he was already old! What will we do?
Is Lily too young to read Father’s journal?
Oh Father, you thought about the happiness of your wives when you were gone, but not of your children, why? Are we not important enough to you? Did you have us just to keep your wives happy?
I wonder how Asher will grow up. He is the oldest male to grow up in Father’s presence. How does he think about women? I think Ruth and I should ask him! But maybe we should wait a few years before we do.
November 22, 2034
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An addition written by Asher (22), Lily (21), Abraham (20) and Irina (18): Children of Jake Xxxxxxxxx on the 25th of November 2039, the day after Thanksgiving.
We are writing this together as we did most things in our life.
Becca sent the Journal to each of us last week. Asher is in CU Medical School in Denver. Lily is in a graduate program in anthropology, in U of M in Missoula. Abe is in his senior year and Irina in her sophomore year at the University of Wyoming. We speak to each other every day. I am sure our Father would smile and think he had something to do with the electronically connected world we live in!
Becca knew she could not send the journal to one without all of us seeing it. That evidently is why Asher did not see it until now! Since Becca got it at age 19, three of us are a little ticked! Becca said, Grandmothers T and Red put their foot down after they found out she had read it without permission. Way to go Ruth!
We will not share this with Jacob for now, as he is only 15.
Father has been dead for five years and Thanksgiving at our house is a double celebration because of that. While four of us no longer live here, we have yet to establish homes of our own and so this is still in many ways what we call home.
Ruth and Becca are living here again, but have been moved up to the suites. Becca says they are awaiting our participation before they move on. They told us that last year and we didn’t have a clue what they meant. Now that we have read the Journal, we do understand and see how right they were. We do need to talk.
Becca wanted to know about how Asher would grow up. I think she meant how he would feel about his maleness and about women and about how he would relate to women. In the past few days, now that we have read the Journal, the four of us have been talking about it, and how Asher feels, pretty much nonstop!
We will allow the comments our sisters have made about our Father and LM to stand without comment. Two of us are LM’s children, but Lily and Irina are Alina’s. Lily needs to speak about her Mother here before any other comments are made.
My mother, Alina, was, I learned by reading the Journal, in the way of this house, an afterthought, a plug for a hole in the fabric of the family. In many ways, she might have been resentful and the others might have treated her differently. But this was not the case. I saw our Father with my Mother and as much as he loved LM and he did, he also loved my Mother. He respected her opinions and sought her advice. Grandmother T might have been a public school teacher for 30 years, but when it came to our school, and his children, my Mother was the supreme authority and he told Grandmother T that, at least twice that I remember! The last thing I want to say is that Father made my Mother happy. She really was happy. If you asked her why she was always happy, she would look at you with a look of total confusion. What in the world was there anything to be unhappy about? She had a loving Husband, wonderful children, a rewarding job, a beautiful home and all the comforts she would ever need. Teaching us was her job and she took it very seriously. She is still schooling Jacob! It is also true that she loves Grandmother T very much and always will. I do not think since she came to Father’s home she has ever been lonely or without love. That’s pretty remarkable.
We want to talk about Asher now. We think it is fair to say that until he read the Journal, Asher was confused about why he was constantly having crossed and confusing communications when it came to women and intimacy with others. Asher is, (it is Abe, Lily and Irina talking,) very handsome. Women think he’s a catch and then something goes wrong every time. For Asher this Journal was an eye-opener. His view of women was of women who fundamentally were not “normal.” And “normal” women would not live our world happily. Asher cannot, and this is true for all of us, it seems be happy in the “normal” world. This monogamous heterosexual pair bonding does not work for us. It doesn’t make sense.
We, as a group, will have to find a new way through this. There are six of us who are 18 or older now. It’s time we formed a plan. I think Father would approve of our not simply allowing fate to act without our hands attempting to direct our lives. If we are successful, we will create our own Journal. Let this be the close of our Father’s Journal!
Asher, Lily, Abraham, Irina Xxxxxxxxx
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The End in Spades!
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