"Adelene, I said no." My mom said, shutting the kitchen pantry door, then sat down at the dining room table, slowly picking at her bagel.
"You don't understand. I need to do this. I have to Mom. Please try and understand where I'm coming from... for once." She never understood me. Why did she have to be so damn stubborn all the time? I wasn't a kid anymore. I knew what I wanted. I had known for a while now what I wanted, and trust me, I had my reasons.
"What you need to do is get over yourself, and move on. You're just a kid Adelene..." She smiled. Did she think this was a joke? Did she think this was funny? I was serious... "You don't know what you want. Honey. I just want what's best for you." She touched the side of my cheek. What's best for me Mom? I think I was old enough to decide that. I was seventeen years old. I wasn't stupid. I slapped her hand away.
"Mom, I'm serious, I'm going. Whether you like it or not. You can't stop me.. This is my life, not yours! Let me live it for once. Dad gets it, why can't you?" That came out harsher than I intended. My hands balling in to fists. Like I always did that when I got angry. My little kitten slowly stretched up from my lap and licked my cheek. She always made things go away. My palms instantly went limp and I instantly started to pet her.
"Adelene, I get what you're saying. Really, I do, but your Grandparents-
"Are great people," I cut her off. "who are very willing to let me live with them." I didn't even have to beg them, they said yes two seconds after I'd asked them. "They'd be more than happy to let me live with them. You know it, I know it, Dad is even happy for me." Why couldn't she just let me go? Well... I got why... kind of. She's my mother, of course she didn't want me to leave. She didn't want me to make her same mistakes. You know how some believe in the theory that history repeats itself?
When my mom was my age, she got pregnant with me. Her actions were exactly opposite of what her parents wanted for her. She moved out of their home, and moved in with my dad. You see, he was older than her by a year, so he already had his own place.
At least he took responsibility for his actions. He didn't leave, he wanted to do it the right way. They were just a couple steps ahead of themselves in the date, marry, kids scenario. Her parents, my grandparents, didn't really like my father. It was your typical bad boy from the other side of the tracks falls in love with good valley girl from picket fences and tea parties. Well now, my father was a lawyer, and my mother was a college professor. Everything turned out fine, and they got two beautiful daughters.
My mother didn't regret moving in with my father. It's how her actions she made were all in spite of what her parents asked of her. She regretted letting them down, still to this day, they don't talk. At all actually. I've never met them. Well I might have when I was a newborn, but I don't remember that of course.
I don't blame my mother for the things she does. I get why she does the things she does, but I have to make my own mistakes, and I don't think me moving in with Gram and Gramps was going to be one of them.
"Just promise me, that you won't get into trouble. You'll take care of yourself? Please." She said in defeat standing up from the table.
"I promise." What did she think I was going to do? Rob a bank? That would be funny. See me robbing a bank, what a picture... I'd probably end up tripping on the black stiletto boots I'd just have to wear to go rob a bank. Well at least I can admit that...
"Good. I love you darling." She said now calm, not hyperactive like she was acting before.
I think she understood where I was coming from now. I still don't think she liked the idea, but she understood. "I love you too Mom." I said.
"Okay, now go pack, so we can get you on your way to Rumford by Saturday." Wow, that was a sudden change of attitude.
"Really? By Saturday? Awesome!" I was about to go ballistic until I saw her face shift again, to willing, to dejected. "I mean, yeah thanks Mom for understanding." Nice save Adelene, very smooth, I told myself sarcastically.
She just nodded, then walked back upstairs to go grade some papers. She didn't say anything at all, actually she really didn't even talk to me till the day I left for Maine to live with Grams and Gramps.
Before I left for Maine on Saturday, I had to go visit him. I had to go... feel one last time. To feel something, anything but nothing, one last time before I would leave this town without a second glance back.
I went to the nearest drug store and picked up some Daisies. Were daisies even appropriate? Were you supposed to get a guy flowers? I don't care anymore if it's appropriate. I thought. I'm done with caring. If it's what I want to do, then hell, I'm going to do it!
I parked the car outside the giant black iron gates, got out of my car. It was calm out, the sun setting in the horizon, bright orange and pink hues swirled together. Maybe I'd paint one like it one day.
There were gray headstones everywhere, hundreds it seemed like. It was weird to think of all the dead bodies sitting right here just feet below you. It was definitely a creep factor. But I had to come here, to apologize, explain, tell him why...
I walked along the little gravel path they had in the center of the graveyard. One, Two, Three rows till him. Then there he was. The medium sized headstone set above his grave, with the his perfect name carved out onto the granite. Ethan Campbell. I walked down to his grave and fell down and sat down, my knees to me side.
"Hey." I said sighing, and leaning the daisies on his headstone. "I know I haven't visited in a while, and that's kind of the reason I'm here." I didn't want to leave him. Since I was the reason he was here... right here, in the ground. "I'm moving... I have to get out of Harmon. I've spent enough time in this town. I've grown to hate it... you know how that feels. I feel like I'm stuck in a bubble Ethan. I don't want to be stuck here anymore you know?" This was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
"It's kind of just like me and you planned, you know? We'd get out of here after school was over, and start over. Go somewhere near the ocean. Well, now I can start over, just a little sooner than I'd planned." I stood up and walked to the hind side of the grave, my fingertips touching the top of the headstone. The aching breeze whipped me in the face lightly, lifting my dish water blond hair from my back. It felt like a sign coming from him, kind of, letting me know he was listening. I know that was probably pretty cheesy to think, but I don't care. It felt good to think he was there.
"I wanted to come by an- and tell you I'm sorry! I'm so sorry Ethan! I miss you so much!" I started balling. I started pulling at my hair till it almost hurt a little. "I know it wasn't my fault, but I feel like I could've done something. Anything." I hated myself for it. I asked him to come over that night of the car accident, to help me with some Math homework. Math homework was the reason he was here.
He never did get to the house. His car completely wrapped around a tree, flipped over, he wasn't even wearing his seatbelt of course. However, why did I have to ask him that night to come over? Why couldn't I driven to his house? Why was did I have to feel like such a monster?
"I never never did get the chance to tell you that I... I love you. I did Ethan, I did! With all my heart, I promise! I still do. I know you did too,well at least... I hope you did." I was crying now heavily, the tears trolling down my face in heaves. Why couldn't I tell him before? What was wrong with me? Was I heartless? Why couldn't I tell him? All it took was three words, one second, not even... Why was I scared to say it? We'd knows each other since we were kids. Why was I such a chicken shit?
"I love you Ethan, and I'm sorry for everything. I miss you, so much! You have no idea how hard it's been the last couple of months. So I have to get out of here. I don't know when I'll be back, but when I am I promise to visit... I love you!" I kissed the top of the headstone, and left the graveyard. I actually ran out of the cemetery and into my car, and drove home without a look back.
"You promise to visit?" My little sister Mia asked me.
"I promise," She was so stubborn. Up till now has she'd been ignoring me for the past two weeks. She pretended like she didn't care I was leaving, but deep down... she did. "oh and Dad don't forget golf on Monday, three o'clock." He always forgot about his Monday golf with his boss. I had to remind him every week. It was a routine that we had going for as long as I could remember.
"Oh yes thanks dear." He said dimly as he bent over and kissed me lightly on the forehead. He was probably the most torn up out of all of them, but the most understanding. My Dad got me, it was definitely obvious I was his child. We were so alike it was uncanny. I seemed to get my father's personality, and my mother's looks.
"Okay, I better go now if I want to catch that plane." I said and smiled. I said goodbye to everyone again, and Mom walked me out to the cab, and helped me put my bags in the trunk. I held my teeny kennel that contained my little kitten, Milly, inside. No way was I going across the country without her.
"Okay, you got your ticket?" I waved it in her face. There was a very high tension between us, it was inconceivable in itself. My mom and I had never gotten along. There was always a gap between us, and both of us knew it, but never did a thing about it.
"I promise, I'll call you when I land." I said before she could even tell me too. She fake smiled to me of course.
"God, I never knew this would go like this. I never knew I'd lose you so soon. I thought I still would have a year or two, to make things right..." Oh no... not that sap story again.
We already had this discussion when I got my drivers license last year, and apparently, "I was growing up way too fast, and there still were so many problems between us that haven't been resolved." She didn't get it. We didn't have problems, it's just who we were. Some people just don't get along, but my mother couldn't understand that.
Don't get me wrong, I love my mother. I know she means well, I know she's just looking out for me, and wants the best. However, sometimes she needed to let things go. u
"Mom, please, save it." Was I really going to say this? "Not trying to be disrespectful, but you're not losing me, I'm not dying. I'll just be a couple states over. I promise I'll come home for holidays, and such... but Ma I have to go now. Please, let me go." I said, opening the cab door. I'd never said anything like that to my mother ever, ever before. I had no idea how she'd react. She didn't say anything, all she did was kiss me on my head, and gave me a light smile.
Once I got to the airport in Maine, and finally figured out where luggage claim was, and got my things I called home. It rang three times till someone finally answered. That was really odd. Usually someone always picks up the phone right a way. When it finally hit the answering machine, my dad picked up the phone.
"Hello?" He said, groggily, his voice unusually raspy.
"Hey Dad it's me, I'm at the airport, just got my luggage." I said rolling my suitcase through the crazy airport.
"Oh good, are your grandparents there yet?" He asked still a little raspy.
"I don't know actually. I told them I'd meet them outside so they didn't have to go into the airport with all the bustle of the crazy people."
"That's a very good idea. Gramps has always been afraid of the airport, for some reason. Even when I was a boy." There was still something wrong, like he was stalling, but why? What was he trying to hide from me?
"Yes... I do." I was going to find out. "Dad, what's wrong?"
"Nothing dear, of course nothing." He said soothingly. My dad was a great man, had a talent for many things, but lying... wasn't one of them.
"Don't give me that. Dad, what's wrong? Tell me, please." I usually wouldn't do that to my father, because honestly I have never heard him like this.
"Honey, nothings wrong." He said more coldly.
"Dad..." Was all I could say. He's never not told me anything before. Why the sudden change? We have always been dead honest with each other.
"Adelene, dear, your mother and I just got in a little spat. It was nothing." Nothing... right... That's why your voice is raspy Dad? That's why you're not telling me the whole story...
"Dad... I know something else is wrong. It wasn't just a little spat was it? But, Dad, if you ever do want to talk, you know I'm here. We both know how Mom can get. So please, call..." I like my father, a lot. He was easy to talk to. Not only was he a father to me, he was a friend. He would be there for me to talk whenever, and that was one of the biggest things I was going to miss.
"I promise." Was all he said. By this time, I was already outside waiting for Grams and Gramps. Where were they? "Are your grandparents there yet?" He asked me.
"No, I'm waiting outside, but Dad I should probably go so I don't miss them. I'll call you later on tonight."
"Sounds good. Love you honey."
"Love you too Dad." I said, and ended the call. Perfect timing too, because Grams and Gramps pulled up their old 1956 Cadillac Coupe De Ville right when I hit end. I loved that car. Gramps got it at an old junk yard years ago, and fixed it up himself. The before and after pictures are phenomenal. You wouldn't even think it was the same car.
I could see my Gramps in the drivers seat, wearing his usual flannel plaid, and Grams in the passenger seat with bright red lipstick smeared over her lips looking at me through her window. Her hair in her usual tight bun. Gramps stopped the car, and Grams opened the door.
"Hi dear!" She said luminescent, as she gave me a giant hug. I don't get to see my grandparents that often. Maybe a couple of times a year. Even thought, I haven't seen them that often, I feel like I know them better than myself sometimes.
Once my grams finally let me out of her embrace, my gramps turned off the engine, and got out to get my bags to put them in the trunk. Gramps always was the quiet type. I got along with my grams just fine, but if I chose which one to hang out with I'd choose Gramps. Gramps made everything easier. You could sit with him quietly in a room, and not have it be awkward at all.
"Adelene, I'm so glad you came." Said my gramps as he shut the trunk, and started walking back to the drivers side.
"Thanks. You have no idea what it means to me. Really... it means more to me than you know that you'd let me stay with you for the year. It makes me.... very happy. Lets just say that..." I said with a booming smile on my face.
They just smiled, and I got in the car. The ride home was pretty silent. The only noise was from the CD player. Elvis? Yep, Gramps didn't go anywhere without one of his many Elvis CDs. It wasn't till we were within one mile of the house that my gramps cracked the ice.
"So Adelene, you never did tell us why you wanted to move to Rumford with us." That's just great. What was I supposed to say? Oh yeah Gramps, I'm moving because my boyfriend died, and I'm partly reason for that, and I feel guilty still. So I have to get out of Oklahoma because I have to start over, and not have the remembrance him. The boy I've know since I was three, the boy that I loved more than anything that I would do anything for. Yeah, I could say that, only if I wanted to sound crazy, and inane. You know how stupid that would sound? Like from a bad episode of a day-time soap opera.
"You know, we don't get much snow in Oklahoma, and I love to ski, so that'll be nice.... The school systems I've heard are really good... I don't know I guess, I just had to get out of Oklahoma, get out of that town. Get a fresh start." I said rather duly. They laughed. They didn't know about Ethan, I don't even think they knew I had a boyfriend. Which was pretty relieving actually.
"We're just happy your here." Is all my Grams said as we pulled up there long winding driveway. Their house was my dream house. In other words it was beautiful, and enormous. With gray brick in the front, and big bay windows all over. I remember coming here when I was a little girl. Taking trips to the ocean, horse back-riding, swimming in their in-ground pool behind the house. I was happy then.
" We're here..." My gramps said as he pulled into the garage. I got out of the car and grabbed my things from the trunk.
"Adelene before we go inside I wanted to talk to you." Said Grams.
"Okay..." I replied nervously. "What about?" I asked her as I followed her around the to the back of the house, where we sat on the giant swing hung from the top of their deck.
"Adelene... dear I'm so happy you're here. I'm so glad I get to learn more about my granddaughter! You have no idea what you moving here means to me darling" Where is it? " However," There it is... " just because we agreed for you to come here, we do have rules." Great. What did I expect though? A picnic with a checkered blanket, and one of those wooden baskets that holds the delicious apple pie? "One, Since I'm your guardian now, I do want to know where you are. I promised your parents I'd take care of you. I don't care if you go out with your friends, go to parties, just as long as I know where you are. Two, I don't even care how late you're out till, just as long as I know what time I can expect you to be back." Reasonable. I nodded to her tilting my head to left just a notch. "Three, make your self at home. Have fun with your time here, I hope your stay will be a good one. So make it enjoyable... please... How does that sound?"
"Very, very reasonable. I think... I'll learn to like it here. Thanks Grams... for everything..." I said as I stood and started for the door. Was it three four floors or five? I didn't know... When a house has a west wing, you know it's going to be confusing.
My room was amazing. It was huge, plush carpets, a huge ass
window right above my bed where it sat in a little corner, my own
bathroom, a balcony, very expensive (I'm guessing) paintings hung
on the walls, and two walk in closets. One was smaller
than the other, but still... two!
Who needs two closets? It was a room of white. Everything was white, besides the paintings on the walls. It was fantastic...
"Gramps... this is... so amazing... thank you!" I said giving him the a hovering hug, almost jumping on him...
"Whoa, whoa..." He said laughing. Talk about embarrassing... I practically jumped on the man.. Oh well..."You can do whatever you want with the room. Paint it, put in wood floors, cut a hole in the wall, add in sliding glass doors to the balcony, whatever, I don't care..." Why would I cut a hole in the wall?... Doesn't matter...
"Gramps... I- thanks... This is really amazing." I said, placing Milly's kennel on my dresser, and unlatching the door.
"Oh I didn't know you had a cat..." He said in a light tone as Milly hopped down off the dresser onto the floor and started snooping around the room.
"Yeah, I got her a couple years ago... from a friend." Ethan...
"A friend? Must be a pretty good friend to get you a cat like that... She doesn't look like a cat from a barn or anything. She looks like she was bought from a cat breeder, or pet store." She was... and she was expensive too... but I didn't want to talk about that...
"Yeah, a close friend, but I better unpack and get settled in so..." Could you leave?
"Oh, I guess that's my Q." He smiled then quietly left, and shut the door behind him.