This book is a bit different from the other work I've done in that the story almost completely revolves around women and how they've dealt with, and continue to deal with, their own experiences of tragedy. Bringing them together makes them realize that each of them fills an empty void for the other.
They discover more about themselves than they were willing to admit or show, and unknowingly help each other find and accept the love they'd always buried deep inside as well as the comfort they'd each silently longed for. And the seeds each of them plant in the other sprout up slowly, but, eventually, enable them to finally live life the way they'd always hoped to.
In this snippet, Lily Gran is taking her daughter, Enya, and her granddaughter, Chrissella, to their new assigned bedrooms. The personalities of these three very strong women comes blasting through, with questions for the reader to tuck away to be answered in later chapters.
I hope you enjoy the read and be sure to check back for updates. 😉
Chrissella was about to ask about it, then noticed a square in the ceiling at the other end of the hallway with a small handle on one side. She guessed it was about three feet wide because a good-sized adult would be able to fit through it.
“What’s up there,” she asked.
“Up where?” her mother asked.
“There…in the ceiling.”
“Well, that’s interesting. I never noticed that before and I grew up here.”
“That’s just the attic,” Lily Gran said, maneuvering her cane around the railing. “Nothing up there you need to bother yourself with. Unless you like fraternizing with spiders and mice.”
Chrissella shivered. “I don’t fraternize with anything that has more legs or body hair than I do.”
“You shouldn’t limit yourself so much,” her mother said with a giggle. “You’ve eliminated a fair amount of potential dates for yourself in the near future.”
“Hilarious, mom, really. You should take that out on the road.”
Lily Gran stopped in front of the telephone table between the two open bedroom doors. “Lord have mercy. Are you two always like this?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Enya said.
Gran sighed, and shook her head. “I suppose I’ll learn to live with it all. Now, then. Enya, you can have your old room. You’ll find not much has been moved or changed in there. Chrissella can have Amelia’s old room next door because it’s bigger. And from what I understand, teens need a lot more room to mope around in.” She pointed down the hall to the main bedroom on the left side. “That’s my room. I have my own bathroom, so this one here is all yours. I expect you to keep it, and your rooms, clean.”
“Will there be daily inspections before we’re allowed to eat?” Chrissella said with a flat tone.
Enya’s opened her eyes wide, and put her hand over her mouth. Gran slowly moved her gaze to Chrissella then said, “Now that would be terribly anal and military-like, wouldn’t it? What kind of hostess does that sort of thing?” she shuffled to the top of the stairs, gripping the railing with one hand and her cane in the other. “Weekly. And I give surprise inspections, so don’t get caught with your knickers on the floor. I’d like to get started with dinner preparations so if you wouldn’t mind getting settled and coming back down soon to get what I need from the garden, that would be much appreciated. Ta!”
The two ladies kept their stances until Lily Gran disappeared down the staircase, and Chrissella heard her cane tapping on the floor below them.
“Did she actually just make a joke?” she asked with a half-smile.
Enya shrugged, and shot a raspberry. “Your grandmother has a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor. A lot like yours, but with less cursing.”
“Well, geez. If this keeps up, maybe I can get the old bat to crack a smile. I wonder if her face can handle it. She probably hasn’t used those facial muscles in years.”
“Alright. No need to be disrespectful. In all honesty, despite our crappy relationship now, Gran could be a lot of fun when I was younger.”
“In which decade?”
“Hey! I’m not that old!” Enya peeked over the railing, then said in a more hushed tone, “Look. There are things that have happened that you don’t about. Our family has had some very tough times. I haven’t shared any of it with you yet because I wanted to wait until you were older and could handle it all. You’ll learn as time goes by, but I’m just asking you to curb the attitude a bit and give this all a chance. Give her a chance.”
“Why does it matter to you so much all of the sudden? You never seemed to give a crap whether we all got along and played nice-nice until she got hurt.”
“Of course I cared. I was just difficult to get everyone on the same page because we’re all so…so…”
“Pigheaded? Stubborn? Set in our ways? Grouchy, emotional, angry, Scottish women?”
Her mother laughed. “All of the above, plus Taureans. We’re all the sign of the bull.”
“Speak for yourself.” Chrissella stuck out her tongue.
“Alrighty, smart ass. Get in there and unpack a bit. You heard your gran. She’s got some chores for us to do to help with supper.”
“If we’re having haggis, I’m never speaking to you again.”
Enya winced. “No worries on that one. She hates the stuff.”
With that, each of them went to their rooms. Chrissella heard her mother opening and closing dresser drawers and hangers banging together in the closet. Gran was right. The bedroom was gynormous. Much bigger than the room she’d had back in Toronto.
It was very simply furnished with a computer desk, a double bed, side table and six-drawer chest of drawers. The large window faced the backyard and she had a wonderful view of the garden, apple trees and a small pond. There was another heavily-treed area near the back of the acreage, but she couldn’t make out what was over there. She made a mental note to explore when her mother and grandmother weren’t around.
Chrissella put a few things away, setting her toiletries to the side to throw in the bathroom on her way back downstairs. Then she sat on the end of the bed, staring out into the hallway at Gran’s bedroom door. There was a fair-sized linen closet at the very end, right between the two other bedrooms. That’s when she noticed the room across the hall from Gran’s was closed. Gran didn’t say anything about that room, or mentioned if they were even allowed to go in it. And she wasn’t about to ask about it right then.
Her mother stuck her head in her room, breaking her thoughts. “Ready for now? You can always put everything else away later. C’mon. I’ll take you out to the garden. It’s really quite impressive.”
Her mom rolled her eyes and motioned to the stairs with her head. Chrissella got up, put her toothbrush and other hygiene stuff in the cabinet left open for her, then followed her mother down the stairs, eyeballing the mystery bedroom door on her way by.
Guess mom has a lot more to tell me than she planned for, she thought. And she will tell me everything. Whether I want or need to hear it or not.