Maddie and Michelle

Imagine a world where some people are forced to live their modern day life in the style in a vintage decade. Well, that's exactly the case for the house where seven year old Michelle and seventeen year old Maddie live. Even though it's 2020, the girls are being forced to live like it's the early nineteen fifties. All the d├ęcor in the house is designed to look exactly as it would've appeared during that year. You can thank the girls' mother Edna for this as the fifties is her favorite decade. Due to this, the girls are not allowed to associate with any of the electronics that the current generation is used to using. That means they're not allowed to watch any television, use a cell phone or play any video games. They're also not allowed to be on a computer at all. You pretty much get the idea. There's one exception, however. They're allowed to wear modern clothing; however, the only types of clothes they can wear are dresses. They didn't mind that rule, though, since they usually wear dresses a lot anyway. Now one sunny afternoon, the girls were sitting in their room quietly reading some of the books that were on their summer list when they heard some noise from outside.

"What's going on out there?" asked Michelle.

"I have absolutely no clue." said Maddie and they went back to their reading. About an hour later, Edna came into the girls' room.

"I'm glad to see that you're both spending time with each other." she said.

"Mom, why do Michelle and I have to wear dresses all the time?" asked Maddie.

"Because it's part of our fifties lifestyle culture." said Edna. The girls were both wearing matching hand smocked pastel pink dresses. The sleeves on them were puffed and the Peter Pan collar on both of them was the same color as the dresses themselves. The skirts of the dresses were long and went from the waist to halfway down their legs. The pink gingham ribbon sashes at the back of both dresses were already tied into a bow. To go with the dresses, they were wearing their white tights and their black Mary Jane dress shoes. "Anyway, I need both of you to give me your undivided attention for a moment. I just finished work on an extensive outdoor project that required a lot of help from our neighbors."

"What did you build, Mom?" asked Maddie.

"It's a surprise." said Edna. "Would you both like to see what it is?"

"Yes please." said Michelle.

"Follow me, then." said Edna. The girls followed their mother into the backyard, and they were quite surprised with what they saw.

"You both deserve to have at least some fun with our lifestyle preference, so the neighbors and I put together this outdoor play structure for both of you." said Edna.

"Can you believe this Michelle? Our very own play structure!" cried Maddie. "Mom, thank you so much!"

"You're quite welcome." said Edna. "This structure has a lot of different things on it for you girls to enjoy. There are some swings, monkey bars, a bridge, a disc swing, a slide and a rock climbing wall. There's also a trampoline for you both to bounce on. Pretty cool, don't you think?"

"It's awesome!" cried Michelle. She was so excited to use it that she started jumping up and down. Edna let out a chuckle and left them alone to enjoy their new play area.

"I know what I want to do first." said Michelle and she skipped over to the trampoline. Maddie followed behind and the two of them started jumping up and down.

"Isn't this fun, Maddie?" asked Michelle.

"It's a lot of fun." said Maddie. "Not only that, this weather is absolutely perfect for using something like this."

"I highly agree." said Michelle. They spent the rest of the afternoon on the play structure before being called inside for dinner.

"I love that new play structure." said Michelle as they got ready for bed. "Do you think we can play on it again tomorrow?"

"I don't see why we can't." said Maddie. "It was built for us to use any time we want." They both went to sleep in a very good mood. The next morning, however, it was raining outside. The girls hated rainy days because that meant having to stay indoors. In the case of this day, it also meant that they couldn't use their new play structure. They sat glumly in the two wooden chairs that were at the living room window, which was all they could do because Edna makes them sit there on rainy days. They wanted to do something else, but they knew that they weren't allowed to. So they sat quietly in their chairs and stared out at the rain. On this very wet day, the girls were wearing matching light blue puff sleeve dresses with cream and camel smocking and small side pockets on the skirt, a white Peter Pan collar around the neck, their white tights and their black Mary Jane dress shoes. They let out a sigh as they stared out the window.

"I wish this rain would go away." said Michelle.

"So do I." said Maddie. Shortly after nine o'clock, Edna came into the room.

"I know you girls don't like having to sit there on these kinds of days, but for the lifestyle we live, that's how it has to be." she said. "Now then, I'm going out for the day to run errands and I won't be back until this afternoon. Both of you are to stay in this room and remain seated in those chairs until your bedtime tonight. Am I clear?"

"Yes Mom." said Maddie.

"All right then." said Edna. She grabbed her raincoat and her umbrella and hurried out the door. Not long after she had left, Michelle let out another sigh.

"What's wrong?" asked Maddie.

"I don't want to sit here." said Michelle.

"Neither do I." said Maddie. "Unfortunately, we don't have a choice. We have to sit here until it stops raining." So they continued to sit and for a little while, neither girl said anything. Twenty minutes later, Michelle asked "Can we switch chairs?"

"No." said Maddie.

"Well can we do something else that doesn't involve us sitting here?" asked Michelle.

"No." said Maddie. "You know we always have to sit here on rainy days, Michelle."

"Why?" asked Michelle.

"Because it's one of the rules." said Maddie.

"I don't like that rule." said Michelle.

"Like I said earlier, we don't have a choice." said Maddie. They continued to sit and watch the rain pour down. The rain was the heaviest it had been in weeks, and that left giant puddles in the road. Half an hour later, Michelle asked "Can we go on the play structure?" Maddie simply shook her head.

"You don't seem to understand, Michelle." she said. "It's pouring rain outside. If we were to use our play structure in that mess, two things would happen. One, we would get completely soaked. Two, we would get sick. Do you want that?"

"No I don't." said Michelle.

"Well then, what do you think would make more sense for us to do?" asked Maddie.

"I think we should just sit in these chairs like we're supposed to." said Michelle.

"You think correctly." said Maddie. They continued to sit in their chairs and stare out the window at the rain. They did this quietly until Michelle asked an hour later "How much longer are we going to have to sit here?"

"I don't know." said Maddie. "I'd say we're probably going to have to stay in these chairs until the rain stops."

"When is that supposed to be?" asked Michelle.

"I'm not sure." said Maddie. "But if the current downpour is any indication, we're most likely going to have to sit here until tonight."

"That's not good news." said Michelle.

"I know, but there's nothing we can do." said Maddie. They continued to sit, but after another hour had passed, Michelle asked "Can we watch some TV?"

"You know we're not allowed to watch TV, Michelle." said Maddie.

"Why not?" asked Michelle.

"Because Mom's strict." said Maddie and they continued to stare out the window. Half an hour later, though, Michelle sighed again.

"I wish we didn't have to sit here on these rainy days." she said.

"So do I, Michelle, but you know how Mom is." said Maddie. They continued to sit in their chairs, but they did so with a depressed look on their faces. After another half hour had gone by, Michelle had another question.

"How come we have to wear Mary Janes all the time for our shoes?" she asked.

"Because that was what girls wore a lot in the fifties." said Maddie.

"I'm pretty sure they wore other types of shoes back then." said Michelle.

"Perhaps they did, but Mom want us wearing Mary Janes and that's that." said Maddie. They went back to staring out the window at the rain, which was now coming down even harder than it had been before. Half an hour later, Michelle let out another sigh.

"I'm tired of sitting here." said Michelle.

"I know how you feel, Michelle." said Maddie. "I would personally prefer to be doing something else right now, but you heard what Mom said earlier. We have to stay seated in these chairs until it's time for us to go to bed."

"Can we go to bed right now?" asked Michelle.

"No Michelle. It's way too early for that." said Maddie. They continued to look out the window at the rain since that was all they were allowed to do, and after another hour, Michelle asked "Are we being punished?"

"No Michelle. Being forced to sit here at the window and watch the rain isn't a punishment." said Maddie.

"If it's not a punishment, then why do we have to sit here?" asked Michelle.

"It's just part of the rules that we have to follow." said Maddie and they continued to watch the rain fall. After another half hour had passed, Michelle spoke up again.

"So how's your boyfriend?" she asked.

"Oh you mean Jack. He's doing well." said Maddie. "Wait a minute. Michelle, how do you know I have a boyfriend?"

"I read your diary after dinner last night." said Michelle.

"You little sneak!" exclaimed Maddie and she smacked Michelle across her wrist.

"Ouch. That hurt, you know." said Michelle.

"Well that's what you get for reading my diary." said Maddie and they continued to stare out the window. Michelle let out another sigh half an hour later.

"Can we please do something else?" she asked.

"No, Michelle." said Maddie. "We have to keep sitting here."

"I don't want to." said Michelle.

"I don't want to either, but we have to." said Maddie. They continued to watch the rain pour down outside and half an hour later, Edna returned.

"Girls, I'm home." she said as she entered the living room. "Well, I'm glad to see that you're both still in your chairs. I hope there wasn't any trouble here while I was gone."

"Everything was fine, Mom." said Maddie.

"Excellent." said Edna. "You know, while I was out today, I felt bad for both of you because you had to be cooped up inside sitting at the window all day so I picked up a treat for both of you at the store on my way home." She reached into her bright yellow plastic bag and took out a container of ice cream.

"What do you think?" asked Edna.

"I think you're the best Mom ever." said Maddie.

"Can we have some of the ice cream right now?" asked Michelle.

"No honey, not today." said Edna. "You can both have some tomorrow after lunch, though." She put the ice cream away in the freezer and went upstairs.

"That was nice of Mom to get us a treat." said Michelle.

"Yes it was." said Maddie. "Mom may be strict, but I still love her."

"I love her too." said Michelle. The girls continued to sit at the window, and even though the rain had lightened up a little bit, it was still coming down pretty hard. An hour later, Edna came back into the room.

"I want you girls to know that you both did a very good job today." she said. "You both stayed still in those chairs all day without moving once and I'm very proud of you."

"Thanks, Mom." said Maddie. "Can we get out of these chairs now?"

"Not yet." said Edna and she left the room.

"I hope it stops raining soon." said Michelle.

"So do I." said Maddie. They both sighed as they continued to stare out the window. At this point, the rain had eased up significantly and was now a simple light shower. While that was an improvement, it still wasn't enough to wipe the sad look off the girls' faces. An hour later, Michelle spoke again.

"Why didn't you tell Mom about me going through your diary?" she asked.

"With how this day's gone, I didn't want to get you in trouble." said Maddie. "Besides, with how strict Mom is, you likely would've gotten in trouble. That's why I didn't tell her."

"I appreciate that." said Michelle and the girls continued to sit at the window. A few hours later, Edna came back into the room and said that it was time for them to go to bed.

"I guess this day didn't turn out so bad after all, did it Michelle?" said Maddie.

"Not at all." said Michelle and they made their way upstairs. "We may not have gotten to play outside, but at least we got to spend time with each other and that's more important than anything."

"I agree completely." said Maddie. The changed into their pajamas, tucked themselves into bed and happily drifted off to sleep.

The End