Fairfield, Vermont is full of grassy hills, Maple Trees, and a population of less than two thousand. Every summer, and holiday my parents and I visited my grandparents. However, this was no vacation, it was permanent, and I was on my own. Never in my entire sixteen years would I have imagined that the two most important people would be taken from me, but some how I did imagine, some where in the back of my mind, I always knew that this sort of thing would happen to me, I just never said any thing. It was August, and an odd rainy day in LA California, a freak car accident that ended up in flames, and me out of the window. That was just three weeks ago.
As for the boy part, they never gave the impression of being interested. I’m not unattractive…or beautiful, pretty maybe. I’m not terribly skinny or fat. I guess I’m just normal, more dominate than recessive. Nevertheless, my brown eyes and odd colored skin never caught the attention of boys.
“Where’s Grams?” I took my eyes off the sunset and stared at his face that reminded me so much of my father, except with more wrinkles.
“Oh, ah…she’s not feeling to well today.” He took one hand off the wheel, removed his fishing hat, and ruffled his gray hair. It seemed he wanted to avoid the subject, so I said no more.
“Which one?” I was curious; they only had an elementary and middle school.
“Yes,” I said abstractedly while taking the paper. After unfolding it, I noticed there were only four hundred students that attended. Two schools had the same name, but mine was located in Fairfax. Something my grandfather said caught my attention. Having your license meant a car, and I didn’t have a car.
“There’s no bus… you have to drive there.” Ok. Unfortunately I was going to have to say something or else was walking.
“Joe fixing a car?” Joe was not the kind of person that would normally fix cars.
“Thanks Gramps.” He gave me a one armed hug, and I stiffened, but not enough for him to notice. I never liked hugs, handshakes, any thing to do with touching. Another one of my phobias; but one that I could endure.
“No problem.” He released me and I let out my breath softly.” When he heard it was for you, he made sure everything was working. He even got it a paint job.” We both started to laugh.
I had no clue what else to talk about. We only had about two hours left to drive. It was seven thirty, and to dark to read. I decided to shut my eyes for awhile. It was a good thing I brought my school supplies, little that I had. It was hard to fall asleep, but I kept my eyes closed to avoid conversation.
I love to day dream, or in this case night dream. I thought about what I would be doing right now if my parents were alive and recalled the night one month before their death. My mother was watching her favorite show while listing to my father lecturing me on collage applications to every collage in the United States. We were debating on Pepperdine University and Stanford by the time my mother cut in. Because I never liked to be late, my applications were the most likely the first ones sent. I had already changed the mailing address on account of wanting to keep my mind busy instead of funeral arrangements. After a while I felt myself getting sleepy.
“Ace…Aceline, we’re here.” My eyes resisted opening, but I forced them. I woke up as we pulled up to a two story house that I now called home. The porch light was on, and the wind swung the wooden swing creating a creaking sound. I wrapped my jacket tightly around me, and walked towards the house. It reminded me of the houses that painters painted in their masterpieces.
“Grams” my voice was dry from sleeping, and she gave me a huge hug. I never stiffened with her, she would have noticed for sure. From the corner of my eye, I saw a forest green Toyota Tacoma with headlights across the top, it was better than nothing.
“I hope you don’t mind being left alone, Grams has a quilt shop while I work in the maple field.” He sounded earnest, but I didn’t mind, I like to be alone.
“Ellen! I told you to put those away,” Gramps grabbed a box and angrily threw the photos in. I was still frozen, and flinched when Grams laid her hands on my back.
“It’s ok…I think I’ll go to bed, what time does the school start?” My face hinted no sign of sadness.
“There’s an alarm clock over by the dresser, you should wake up early. BFA is about twenty minutes away from here.” He left me alone to unpack and get settled. Gramps was never a person who would pester you with questions. Grams on the other hand was like a moth to a light bulb. Today however, it seemed that she would leave me unaccompanied, and for that, I was glad.
“This is going to get annoying.” I mumbled to myself. Grams didn’t appear to be sick, why would Gramps lie about something like that? I pushed that thought away. I was really nervous about tomorrow …school… I wasn’t going to think about that either, I would have enough trouble trying to fall asleep. Putting away my things under the bed, I found my lightly used diary. I remember taking the pages out because I wanted it to be perfect. However, this one diary I never took home with me, I actually forgot I ever had it. Flipping through the pages, I only spotted one entr, when I was ten. I could hardly make it out, and it had many spelling errors. I was going to lay out my clothes for tomorrow, when I heard Grams voice, apparently she was in a talkative mood.
“No, come on in.” she looked around and noticed I was already unpacked.
“Yes, thank you.” We sat on the bed at the same time, while her eyes wandered through the room and landed on the picture by the dresser.
" About?” Staring into my face, deciding, she shook her head.
“Grams, tell me.”
“And what does this have to do with any thing?” I kept my voice level, Grams didn't seem like her regular self.She stared at me...There was a tightness on my throat, almost like someone was choking me. She looked out the window, her face fearfull. I closed my eyes breathing deeply. When I opened then back up the door slamed shut. Grams had left, and in her place was a letter. I recodnized the writing...my fathers. My hands were shaking as I closed them in a tight fist. There was something definitly wrong, but that speculation could wait. I dissmissed Grams's odd behavior on the account of a griving mother.
Holding the letter, I prepared to open it, but stopped.
The light was blinding when I opened my eyes. It took awhile to figure out where I was. I was about to get up when there was a knock at the door.
“Sure,” I quickly sat up and checked the clock 6:45, apparently the alarm doesn’t work.
“Raymond right?” Raymond was the redhead that always got me into trouble; he lived next door.
I smiled.” Does he want a ride?”
“I could use a guide.” An awkward silence made me ask the question I’d put off since last night. “When Grams came to talk with me, she didn’t look that sick.” His eyes were mystified.
“Right after you left…or like fifteen minutes after.”He searched his thoughts.
“Did you see your gift?” Gramps walked over to the desk that opened, and lifted the lid. There was something that I never thought would be in this house.
“Well, I figured you’d need it for school, Rob and Ellen spent all day trying to figure out how to work it. It was just a little white lie.” He closed the lid and headed towards the door. Out of nowhere came Lady, the brown and white sheep dog. I was wondering where she was.
“You keep Ace company now.” He smiled and winked.” Have a good day. Ellen will be home around six, you can visit her if you’d like to. The maple farm got’s me working till eight.” Gramps worked making maple syrup. Fairfield made the best. That’s where the tourist go on the weekends, other than that you had to go to St. Albans to watch movies or shop for any thing.
I sighed and stretched as the sun was still peeking over the field. After dressing and doing the best I could with my hair, I prepared to leave. I delayed and gazed at my reflection in the mirror, and laughed.
“Oh well, I don’t care.” Moreover, I didn’t. It’s not like anyone was going to notice me anyways. I’m determined to be a wall. Walking back to my room I had about thirty minutes before I had to leave. I strolled on to the balcony and gasped at what was before me. The sun was still half way over the greenish-brown hills. It felt as if I was sailing on a sea of gold with no destination.
I snatched my bag and keys while rushing down the stairs. I was prepared to dash next door but Ray was surprisingly there already.
“Ace, hey…ya I’m fine.” Ray had a very prominent face; with freckles all over, he was ok looking. Ray stared at me, “wow, you look…different.” Okay, was that supposed to be an insult or compliment?
“Ya, lets go!” we ran to the truck and I jumped in the driver’s side.
“It is.” Gladly, it started with no flaws. The inside, I could tell was professionally cleaned. Joe must really feel sorry for me.
“Uh…head southwest on North Road, then Turn right at Buck Hollow.” Ray was playing with the radio.
“It’s ok…How many people did she tell?” Grams was an old woman that gossiped about everything and everyone; it was never unpleasant.
“Hey…did…did the Forrester’s move?” I said more or less reluctantly.
“Well…”-I took a deep breath.-“I ah. I saw someone, a guy by there backyard. I guess it’s nothing.” He started to laugh.
“No, I was just curious.” Why would he automatically think I liked him? Heck! I didn’t even know him. My hands griped the wheel.
“Whatever,” this was the exact reason why I never do well in social situations.
“The student parking lot is over there.” Ray pointed to a fairly small parking lot that only held about one hundred cars. The butterflies in my stomach didn’t want to settle down. I took a deep breath.
“Do you need a ride home?” please say no.
We were walking towards the school entrance when a boy with a bad after-shave came up to us.
“Oh, this is Aceline, or Ace …Ace this is Mark.” I smiled sheepishly and tried to look for the front office.
“Yes,” I wanted to make a run for it when I saw group of people approaching them. “Ray where’s the office? I should get my schedule.” I said impatiently.
“No! I mean, I could find it.”
“I’ll catch up with you later Ace.” Ray smiled and so did Mark as they walked to their group of friends. Finally alone.
“Hello there, are you new?” She smiled and put on her glasses.
“Name?” She looked at the computer.
“Aceline?” Her eyes brightened.” Your Gary and Ellen’s granddaughter…I’m sorry about your parents.” This was getting repetitive.
“If you need anything, anyone to talk to, you can talk to me.” Are you serious? This town is way to nice for me, I felt the anger from last night return, and I wanted to just punch her in the face…and it surprised me.
Usually it was nice on the first day of school. My parents and I moved practically every year. We never stayed in one place, and with that, I switched schools almost every year. The first day was always the same, no one notices me, and I went though the day as if I was never there. However, there were thousands of students instead of four hundred. At BFA, everyone stared, everywhere I went a pair of eyes followed me.