Well…I’ve been meaning to put a lid on this little story that had its start as a single flash fiction story for a few weeks now. I wasn’t sure how I’d end it until today. Thank you everyone who has followed along this far. Who knew I had it in me? Certainly not this flash fiction, poetry writer…me! It’s been fun. I hope you like the last chapter. To read the other chapters click HERE.
The Letter – Part 10
Laura plopped on the edge of the bed as she hit the speed dial on her phone.
“Come on Grace. Pick up. I’m not letting you do this on your own.” The call slipped into Grace’s voicemail. Laura hit the redial button. “I’m not giving up Grace. You might as well pick up.”
Laura hurried downstairs. Voicemail…redial… She rushed out the door, locking it behind her and got into her car. “I think I know where you’re heading Grace.” She hit redial again and turned right toward Commerce Street. Voicemail…radial. “Come on Grace!”
Grace was turning into June’s driveway when she finally relented, accepting the call.
“Where are you Grace?!”
“I’m sitting in June’s driveway. I’m sorry Laura. I thought it was best not to drag you into my drama.”
“Are you kidding me? After all we’ve been through? I know the truth Grace. Mom and dad told me. Everything. She’s not worth it Grace. Please don’t do anything you might regret. I’m almost there. Wait for me.”
“What exactly do you think I’m going to do Laura?”
“Well I know what I’d like to do…”
Grace chuckled, “I’m not you, thank goodness. Ha! Don’t worry Laura, I’m just planning to confront her. Give her a chance to come clean. If she can’t tell me the truth once and for all, I’m done. With her…with this town. There’s nothing left for me here.”
“Uh, well you have me, us!”
“Of course I do Laura. That’s not what I meant. But as for family, my parents are both gone. It’s just me now.”
“And if she does tell you the truth? What then?”
“Mmmm…if she tells me the truth, I’ll listen. But I need time and space to figure all of this out. Either way, I am so ready to get home.”
“Okay Grace, that sounds like a plan. But promise me this. Don’t leave tonight. I’d worry about you. Come over to the house. Have dinner with us. Spend some time with the kids. They miss you. Oh, they’ve grown, Grace. You won’t believe it. And they do love their Auntie Grace. What do you say? You can stay in the guest room and get a fresh start in the morning.”
“Okay Laura…I promise. I’m so tired.”
“I know you are sweetie. I’m almost there.”
“I’m going in Laura. This, I need to do alone. You understand.”
“Yeah, I get it. But I’ll be right outside. I just turned down her street. Almost there. If you need me I’ll be right here.”
When Laura pulled into June’s driveway, she noticed Grace’s empty car.
June hadn’t expected to see Grace this afternoon. As soon as she opened the door, Grace rushed by her into the parlor.
“We have to talk June.”
June had been dreading this moment all week.
“Can I get you some iced tea Grace? Just made a batch.”
“No.” Grace sat on the settee, motioning toward the arm chair across from her. “Sit.”
“Well what brings you over for this visit Grace?”
“You know June. You’ve always known. And now I know too.”
“Know what?” June sat down, her voice taking a somber tone, “Of course I know. Yes Grace I’m sorry that you had to find out the way you did. That I’m your mo…”
“My mother died last week June. And two years ago Dad too. You know about the letter mom left me in the kitchen. Well that old house is full of letters.”
June flushed, remembering the letter that Annie had addressed to her.
“Dad wrote me a letter too June. I think you know what it said. He spoke of you.”
June sat silently looking at the floor.
“Well, would you like to say anything? I’ve waited all week for you to be ready to talk to me about all of this.”
“I know my dad is responsible for his part. He said as much. Told me how sorry he was for what happened, except…”
Tears collected in the corners of June’s eyes.
“What I can’t figure out is how you could do such a thing. To your own sister! How do you live with something like that?”
June froze. She couldn’t speak. She clasped her hands on her lap and stared at the floor avoiding eye contact with Grace.
“Well, I kind of figured this would be your response. Guess what? At least I asked. That’s all I can do.” Grace’s voice shifted into business mode. “I’ve finished packing the house. I told the auction company to price everything out. There is nothing I want from that house. I told them everything goes.”
June shifted in the chair, the flush had faded.
“Well, I guess that’s that then. I’m headed back home. Don’t try to call me. I wanted to give you a chance to tell me in your own words. To tell the truth, but apparently you are incapable of the truth. I’m really sorry about that. But I’m not sorry for you. Actually I feel sorry FOR you June. You’re pathetic. I’m done!
Grace bolted from the settee, out the door to the driveway. Laura was waiting, just as she said she would be.
“I’ll follow you Laura. Let’s get out of here!”
Inside, June sat stoically in the parlor. She knew Grace. She meant what she said and she was stubborn…like her. June knew she would never see Grace again.
At Laura’s there was a flurry of activity. The kids vied for a spot next to Grace on the sectional while Laura tossed a salad and slid a frozen lasagna tray into the oven.
There was laughter and giggling, stories about their school day, and a string of silly, never-ending knock knock jokes.
Grace sat there, taking it all in. Laura was right. She still had Laura and Danny and these kids in this town that had grown so strange to her this past week.
Sometimes the family we are born into is not the family we end up with. Grace knew that now. As everyone gathered around the table for dinner she felt it. It felt like coming home.