Well…I have been kicking myself for not being prompt with the installments of this short series. Life got a bit busy these last few months. Please forgive me! If you’re still interested, here’s Part 7.If you need to catch up. The other chapters are HERE. I am setting a goal of an entry a week until it is finished. If you’re still with me, thanks for your patience.
For the first time since finding the letter I actually slept through the night. The wine helped. There was a message on my phone from Aunt June.
“Hi Grace, I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it over today. Something has come up at work, and I need to tend to it. I’ll check in on you later.”
“Well, what a surprise. Humph! Take your time Aunt June,” I thought. “Having you here just makes me mad and frustrated. I have plenty to keep me busy.”
Back to Mom’s room to finish what I’d started before Laura came over. That Laura! She knows me so well. I wonder what she’ll find out from her parents.
Laura wasted no time getting to the bottom of Grace’s mystery. Her mom and dad were retired, so once she got the kids off to school she headed over to join them for breakfast.
She let herself in through the front door. “Hey mom…dad, hope you still have a bit of coffee left for your daughter.”
“Laura! What a surprise! You know we always have coffee since you got us that Keurig for Christmas. What brings you here today?” Laura usually called before coming over.
“Well guess who I saw last night Mom. I had dinner at Grace’s house. You remember, Grace?” Laura dropped a coffee pod in the Keurig and tapped the brew button.
“Of course I do, poor dear! We spoke at her mother’s funeral. I feel so bad for her. First her dad, now Annie. Is she in town long? How is she doing?”
“Just a few more days. She’s getting the house packed up. I think she and her Aunt June are going to auction off what they don’t want along with the house.”
“Oh yes, June. I never knew her. Didn’t really have a need.”
“What does that mean, mom?”
“Now Marge, don’t go saying something you’ll regret. Let the dead rest in peace.”
“Whoa dad! What could mom possibly have to say that she might regret?” Laura’s mother lowered her head regretting that she may have already said too much.
“Sometimes it’s best to let some things go unsaid, Laura.” her dad said in a dismissing tone. “That’s all.”
Their hesitance to discuss it only encouraged Laura.
“Yeah, well about that dad. I was hoping you both could give me some answers. Not me, but Grace, actually. I spent the entire evening trying to cheer her up!”
“Well of course you did, Laura. You’re a good friend. I’m sure she would do the same for you. That’s what friends do.” Her mom interjected hoping to change the subject.
“Yeah, she was definitely upset about losing her mom, but there was something else. Grace’s mother left her a letter. She found it a few days ago.”
Marge shot a foreboding glance at Andrew, locking eyes with him.
“Did you guys know that June is Grace’s biological mother?” Laura continued, watching their reaction as she spoke. “Yeah, apparently she got knocked up and gave Grace to Annie and Tom to raise!” They didn’t look surprised.
“Marge…let me answer. Yes Laura, we knew.” Andrew said.
“I can’t believe you never told me! Why do I get the feeling there is more to this!?”
“Like your dad said, Laura, sometimes it’s best to leave things alone.”
“Well, I can’t leave it alone mom! My friend is upset! And the worst part is Grace can’t even get her aunt to talk about it! There’s something you’re not telling me! I can see it in the way you’re looking at each other!” Laura was on a mission now. She probed deeper, raising her voice, “I remember that afternoon when dad came home so upset after talking to Grace’s father.” She looked at both of them intently. “So, tell me, what was all that about!?”
Marge reached across the table cupping Andrew’s hand. “The truth always comes out, Andy. Don’t you think Grace needs to know?”
“It’s not our place Marge. I promised Tom his secret was safe with me. He just needed to tell someone. You know.” Andrew shook his head and looked at his coffee cup. “It’s just not our place!”
“Secret? What secret!? I knew there was more! Mom?”
“Grace should know, Andrew.” Marge turned from her husband and looked directly into her daughter’s eyes, “Yes Laura, we knew about June back when Grace was born. And then a few years ago we learned who her father was. Please sit Laura.”
Laura leaned against the counter. “Thanks I’ll stand. Tell me mom. Who is Grace’s father?”
Marge sighed as the name slipped from her tongue, “It is Tom. Tom is Grace’s biological father.”