Hello! This is a little one shot after the movie Matilda, which I absolutely adore. It takes place when Matilda is an adult. Please enjoy, read, and review! Thank you!
I don't own the movie Matilda or the characters.
"Mr. Wormwood, you have a visitor."
Harry Wormwood grunted rudely, to show the police officer that he had heard him speak. He was in a federal prison, along with his wife Zinnia, who was in a different part of the jailhouse. Both of them were serving life sentences.
A young woman in her early 20's was let into the cell. The police officer left the door open, and watched them both with a careful eye.
The woman turned around. "No need to worry Sir. I'm quite sure that I'll be alright." She had dark brown hair that reached her shoulders. A bright red hair ribbon was around her head. Her bright eyes glowed blue-green.
"Hello Daddy." she greeted him warmly, and that immediately confirmed who she was.
"I'm not your father." Harry snarled, not wanting to talk to this woman at all.
Matilda smiled politely. "It's true you're not my legal father anymore, but you are my biological father. We could have a DNA test done if you don't believe me."
"No, I don't want no BMA test, or whatever you said." Harry said, turning away. "What do you want?"
"I just came to talk, Daddy." Matilda spoke sweetly and kindly. "Don't call me that." protested Harry. After he had gotten rid of Matilda, he had thought he would never see her again. He had also thought the police would never catch him.
"Alright. Can I call you Harry?" Matilda asked. Harry knew there was no rudeness in her tone, but it still irritated him that she was talking to him. He didn't want to see her!
"Whatever." he gave in, and Matilda smiled slightly. "Thanks. I'm surprised you're even talking to me. I went to see Mom a few minutes ago, and she wouldn't even look at me." The smile disappeared. "She just sat on the floor…Staring at the wall."
Harry's heart broke. Jail had changed his wife. She wasn't used to being locked up, unable to spend money, or play bingo like she used to. Ever since they'd gotten arrested, she'd only said four words in total.
"Look, just say what you wanna say, and then get outta here." he grumbled, turning away.
Matilda gave a little sigh, then nodded once. "Okay. I came here today to tell you…"
She paused, then finished her sentence. "I forgive you."
"What?" Harry asked in disbelief. Had he heard her right?
"You, Mom, and Michael never took care of me. You yelled at me, left me alone, and hated me. I had to do everything by myself." Matilda's eyes were brimming with tears. "But I forgive you."
Harry felt like he couldn't speak. Finally he choked out the word, "Why?"
"Because it's the right thing to do." Matilda responded, her blue-green eyes filled with sincerity. "It's what God wants me to do."
Harry snorted. "Don't tell me you believe in God." he said with disbelief.
"Well, ever since I was little, I believed that someone was taking care of me. After Miss Honey adopted me, we went to church every Sunday. I was baptized on my eighth birthday." Matilda smiled warmly. "I believe that I'm a child of God."
Harry smiled a little bit and rolled his eyes. "Alright then."
Matilda chuckled a little bit too. "Anyways…I also came to make a confession."
"Oh really? And what might that be?" Harry asked, raising his eyebrows.
"Do you remember the day you took Michael and I to your shop? Your hair was dyed blond, and your hat got stuck to your head?"
Harry nodded. "How could I forget? That was one of the worst days of my life."
"Well…" Matilda took a deep breath, and continued speaking. "I made that happen. I put peroxide in your hair dye and Super Super glue in your hat."
At first Harry couldn't speak. He was dumbfounded. "You did that?" he asked in bewilderment.
Matilda nodded meekly. "I'm sorry."
For a while they stared at each other. Then Harry broke the silence by breaking into laughter. After listening to him, Matilda joined in, her laughter high and joyful, Harry's loud and deep.
"And I thought the fibres had fused to my head!" Harry choked out. "But Zinnia had been right all along! It was the glue!"
Finally they stopped laughing and started trying to catch their breath. "So, what are you up to nowadays? Are you gluing hats to other men's heads?" Harry asked, chuckling to himself.
"No, I'm the kindergarten teacher at Crunchem Hall Elementary School." answered Matilda. "Miss Honey is still the principal, and Mrs. Trunchbull hasn't caused us any trouble at all."
"Oh yeah." Harry nodded. "What about your friends?"
"Lavender is the librarian at the public library, and Bruce is a food critic. He also owns a cake shop." Matilda told him. "Hortensia moved to Florida after she graduated and joined a professional swim team."
Harry nodded again. "Interesting."
"Um…" Matilda paused as though she was unsure of whether or not to continue speaking. Finally she decided that the question was important enough to be asked. "What happened to Michael after you and Mom were arrested?"
"Oh." Harry looked away in sadness. It broke his heart even more to think of his son, whom he had treated better than his daughter. "He was put into the foster care system, and adopted. When he graduated he moved to New York. I think he works in a car company now."
"Hopefully a legal one." Matilda added, but then she gasped and covered her mouth with her hands. "Oh my gosh. I am so sorry. I don't know where that came from."
Harry waved the comment away. "Don't worry about it. I know that you were right all along. I should have sold good cars."
A silence filled the cell. Eventually Harry said, "Matilda, I have something to say to you."
Matilda looked up at him. "Yes Harry?"
"You know when I destroyed your library book on my bad day?" Matilda nodded, and Harry kept speaking. "Well, after you had gone to bed, and nobody was looking, I picked up the pieces and fixed it. And then I read the whole book."
"Really?" asked Matilda. "Really. And you were right. It was a beautiful book." Harry said.
Then he started to sob. "Oh Matilda! I am so sorry I was so horrible to you. If I could turn back time, I would do it in an instant. I should have taken care of you. You are such a wonderful girl. Smart, strong, and beautiful. Why wasn't I good to you?"
He fell to his knees on the cell floor and continued to sob. Caringly, Matilda knelt down beside him and hugged him as tightly as she could. "Oh Daddy, it's alright. I love you. I love you, and I forgive you. Please don't cry. I love you. Don't forget that."
"Miss?" the police officer who had let Matilda in came back to the cell. "Miss, I'm very sorry, but it's time for you to go."
"Alright." Matilda looked at him. "Thank you." Then she helped her father up to his feet and gave him another big hug. "Thanks for talking to me Daddy."
She reached up and undid her hair ribbon. "Here. Something to remember me by." she smiled, giving the red ribbon to her father, who took it and held it tightly in his hand. They hugged one more time, and then Matilda exited the cell. "I love you Daddy." she whispered to him. Then she left, her footsteps echoing down the long hallway. Harry didn't even say, "Don't call me that." He just watched her leave sadly.
The next day the police officers found Harry Wormwood dead in his cell, the red hair ribbon in his hand. After careful investigation, police confirmed that his death had been caused by heart failure. As they were cleaning the cell, one of the officers found an envelope addressed to Matilda Honey. After some careful searching, it was delivered to her.
When she opened it, she found a piece of paper with some crude handwriting on it. "I love you too Matilda."
Harry Wormwood had died at peace with his unique and wonderful daughter.
Please read and review people!