Chapter Forty Six
Tuesday November 15th, 2080 / Morning:
Morning came bright and early; earlier than Randy had expected. He groaned as he sat up, rubbing his face. His back ached but he still drew a smile to his face when he saw his door open. Peeking through the crack of the door was Lori. “Grandpa?” She called out. “Yes little one?” he replied. “Can…” She stopped, and stepped through the door. When she was inside, Lori started tipping back and forth on the ends of her feet. “Can we have biscuits with breakfast today?” Randy’s heart broke at the site of her innocence.
“Of course. Just let me get downstairs and I’ll start making up the dough. Make sure you tell your brother and cousins to do their schoolwork!” “That means you too little lady.” She giggled and ran from the room. “God, they’re so adorable.” He said to himself. He got up, slowly, and stretched until his back cracked. He felt evidently better today, like his heart was working normally like it should. He began his walk, exiting the room faster than he normally did and tread silently over to the kids’ bedrooms.
“Are they doing their school work?” he whispered to himself. He heard giggling from Lori and the twins and then Charlie’s voice broke out. “Guys, we’re supposed to be doing school work. That’s why we’re home schooled. Let’s at least get a good half hour in, and we can finish the rest later.” It warmed Randy’s heart to hear such authority from a ten year old. He walked as silent as possible past his and Kolleen’s room, then descended the stairs. His heart was beating normally, judging by the check up he did with his neck.
Thank you for bringing me ease for today! he thought, looking up. He did a cross with his hand and continued towards the kitchen. Once there, he immediately got out the bowls and flour, as well as all the ingredients he needed. As he stood there, reading over his grandfather’s recipe, memories started to faze back in. He kept stirring the flour and shortening together, and closed his eyes. “What’s that for grandpa?” He heard a young boy ask.
When he opened his eyes, he was gazing back at an elderly man with big ears. He looked down at the island top and saw two tiny hands. The old man laughed, and continued stirring. “The lard is there to help the biscuits become fluffy but flaky. It’s a wonderful combination, and is a family recipe past down from generation to generation!”
“I don’t know what any other family’s biscuits taste like, but yours are the best Grandpa!” He didn’t even have to think about it; the statement just came out. Patrick, smiled at him brightly, with that usual toothless grin and then dumped the dough onto the table top. It was here that they heard a knock on the door. “I wonder who that could be this early.” he stated. “Be right back Randy!”
“I’ll be here.” He heard his grandfather walk slowly towards the door, and then it clicked open. Curiosity got the better of him, so he headed towards the kitchen and when he peered around the corner there were two fully suited military men standing outside. Patrick’s hands were shaking, with one covering his chest. “W-What do you mean he’s gone?” he asked. Confusion started to hit Randy like a Mack truck. “Your son, Robert, was in battle over in Iraq. He was shot within the third day of the war. We are sorry for your loss sir; Diana, his wife, has already been notified.”
The man nodded towards Patrick, who nodded back and accepted a triangular folded flag. Patrick closed the door, and turned, to see Randy peeking around the doorframe. “I’m sorry…” he said to him. Randy’s heart was beginning to ache. “What’s wrong?” he asked. Patrick sniffed, and wiped his eyes. He was already halfway down the hall when his wife came down the stairs. “What’s the matter Patrick?” She asked. Patrick looked up at her, with the folded flag in his arms. “No… No, no; NO!” She screamed, running down the rest of the stairs.
“I’m so sorry Paula!” She broke out in tears, hugging Patrick as hard as she could. He held onto her with one hand, dropping the flag with the other. “Come here.” he motioned towards Randy. Randy did as he was told and felt his grandparent’s saddened embrace. He was still so very confused, but knew exactly what just happened. He then heard another ring at the doorbell. Patrick opened the door up to see Kolleen standing there, with blue jeans and a white shirt on. “Can Randy come out and play?” She asked.
Wow, we were friends even back then? he thought. “Yes he can! It’d do him some good to get some fresh air. Go, play with your friend.” Patrick said. He ushered Randy out the door, and closed it lightly behind him. Randy sat down on the outside steps, which Kolleen did in turn, to his right. She looked at him, with her tiny face. She knew he was feeling sad, just by the look in his eyes. “Tell me what happened, please.” She said to him. He stared at her, with tear stricken eyes. She just pulled his head towards her and let it rest on her chest. Randy shut his eyes, and cried hard into her arms. When he opened them, he was back in his kitchen.
“Grandpa?” Lori’s tiny voice called out. He turned towards the doorway, noticing all of his great grandkids standing there. “Are you alright Grandpa?” Charlie asked. “Hey kids. Yeah, I’m doing just fine. I was just thinking about the past, no worries. Please, come in, relax.” All of the kids entered the kitchen/dining room and sat on the opposite side of Randy. “You know, you kids sitting there on that side of the counter, reminds me of myself. I was almost your age, maybe a few years older.” Randy stated, as he started to kneed the dough.
“My grandfather was doing this same exact thing, as I am doing now.” “Really?” Roy asked. He was sucking his thumb, which enlightened Randy’s heart. “Yeah, really! I would never lie.” He started to roll the dough out so he could cut it into individual biscuits. “While these are cooking, what would you kids like to eat alongside it?”
He continued to cut more and more biscuits out, in silence as the kids contemplated what they wanted. “Take your time kids. I’m in no rush.” He said as he mashed the dough back up and rolled it out once more. Lori and Charlie were all huddled alongside Randal and Roy, as if they were doing a pep talk. Randy cut more biscuits out, and finally filled up his circular tray. He looked at it, and remembered the day that his grandmother handed him it.
When he set the biscuits into the oven, Charlie spoke once more. “Grandpa?” He asked. Randy immediately got up and leaned against the counter. “Yes Charlie?” “We’ve come to a decision!” “Did you now?” “Yes. We were wondering if we could have waffles?” “That sounds great!” Just then, Kolleen entered the room, with her thick bathrobe on. “I can make those if you want Randy. I have an old family recipe that would go so well with your biscuits.”
Randy put his hands on his hips, and then nodded. “That sounds great, thanks Kol.” Kolleen nodded in return, and patted him on the back. “What time do the biscuits come out?” She asked, as she washed her hands. Whilst she was grabbing the waffle supplies, Randy spoke. “They need to be taken out in about fifteen minutes.” “Alrighty, I’ll keep an eye on them… Setting the timer, now!” She set the timer to her I-Phone and immediately began prepping the food.
Randy went over to the table and sat down directly behind the kids. Kolleen spoke again, breaking the silence. “Why don’t you tell the kids about their great, great grandmother. You just got to the part where you heard the bad news. You don’t have to of course; I don’t want to start the day off bad.” Randy waved his hands at her, shaking his head. “It’s fine Kol. That’s right, I just heard the news about my mother.” He had all the kids’ attention, as he continued his story.