The Darkness Behind A Shadow

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Chapter 5: An Urgent Vacation

“You’re going where?” Questions Lydia, Spencer’s mother.

“To grandma’s. I really miss her,” Spencer lies effortlessly as he hastily finishes packing.

“Just out of the blue you miss your grandmother? And to the extent that you are flying out tonight? Spencer, honey, are you okay? I know you’ve been a bit off these past few days, but urgently flying out to California? How about you stay here and breathe a little bit. You’re going a bit crazy,” says the mother with worry laced in her tone.

“Can’t ma. I already booked a flight. I have to be at the airport in an hour, so I don’t miss it,” rasps out Spencer as he zips up his black, hand carried suitcase.

“Is everything okay with mom? I spoke with her yesterday and she seemed fine.”

“Yeah, you know grandma, she’s always fine and dandy,” quickly replies Spencer.

In fact, Spencer’s grandmother is more than dandy. She lives her life as if she is still in her thirties. Noted, she is more athletic than most teenagers, but she also parties like one as well. She may seem a bit reckless, but deep down she still hasn’t gotten over the death of her husband. Everyone grieves at their own pace, but Spencer’s grandmother has taken over two decades doing so. Apart from her reckless side, she’s the closest person to Spencer, and a sweetheart in disguise. She has been a little less peppy lately due to her husband’s death anniversary occurring the week prior. But, she should enter her reckless zone soon once again.

As Spencer grabs his backpack and suitcase and starts to haul everything down the steps and towards the front door, his mother still is adamant on stopping his departure.

“But what about the road trip we had planned for this weekend? Surely, you could wait a couple days and we could cancel our reservation and go mom’s together!” She says as she follows Spencer.

“Ma, the places you wanted to see on that road trip will be there when I get back. And it’s really nothing. I just really miss grandma,” persuades Spencer as he goes onto the driveway, opens the trunk of his car, and loads his luggage.

Once he puts everything in, he closes the trunk and faces his mother who is leaning against the left side of his blue Nissan Versa.

“I just need to get out of town for a while. I’ll be back in a week. Don’t miss me too much,” he comforts while giving his mother a hug.

“Okay, fine. You are all grown up anyway. Just don’t miss your meals, call, and take care of my mother. Only God knows what she does out there on the other side of this country,” murmured his mother as she hesitantly let Spencer go.

“Yeah, yeah. I know the drill. And don’t attack grandma like that. She’s having a lot more fun than you are,” teases Spencer with an amused, smug smile.

“Fun? More like havoc. She seems to have forgotten that she’s in her sixties, not her teens,” argues mother.

Spencer rolls his eyes playfully in response.

“Alright, whatever you say. But don’t forget, she’s the one who raised you.”

Spencer then panics when he glances at his watch.

“Ma, now I really gotta go. Take care of yourself, okay,” he stammers as he gives his mother a quick hug and gets into his car.

“Have a safe trip, honey! Call me when you land,” orders his mother as she steps aside so he can reverse his car.

After a quick wave and reassuring smile, Spencer speeds towards the airport, hoping his grandmother can solve his dilemma.

“Grandma! Are you home?” Spencer shouts as he enters the house with the spare key he was given on his last visit.

“In the living room,” shrieks his grandmother.

He walks into the living room as his grandmother topples onto the floor with an oomph. He laughs as he notices that she is trying yoga. On the floor, he notices her worn out, blue yoga mat. Her living room gives a bold impression with its black carpet and oyster white walls. Despite its brash radiating energy, it holds a warmth of content childhood memories for Spencer. Since his parents were fighting and eventually separating during his childhood, he spent countless months in this house. He could practically see himself growing up here.

“I thought you said yoga was for people that had nothing else to do with their lives,” chides Spencer.

“Well, you know, I was trying to see if I could obtain the peace and relaxation that people were getting out of this. But, I guess not. Peace is a deity that only people like Baba Ramdev can achieve,” comments grandma.

“I guess,” agrees Spencer.

“Well at least my struggles got your constipated face to diminish,” observes grandma as she rolls up her mat and puts in her woven basket by her rocking chair.

“Hey! I’m not constipated, I’m just down. That’s why I came here,” shoots back Spencer.

“Yeah, but when you’re down, you look constipated. You better change that habit or you’re not going to find a wife,” responds grandma as she heads to the kitchen to get her ice coffee from the fridge. Despite her British roots, tea disgusts her. So, she settled for the next best source of caffeine.

The kitchen has more of a cottage feel like the remainder of the house. Unlike the living room, the kitchen walls are a light brown shade with white counter-tops and cabinets. The floor has orange and red tiles. In the middle of the kitchen, there lies an island with two, brown wooden stools. The counter-top of the kitchen is also brown, but with the legs and cabinets being a bright white.

As grandma takes out her ice coffee and some whip cream from the fridge, she turns to notice Spencer’s frown getting deeper as he enters the kitchen behind her.

“What’s wrong? Was it something I said?” Grandma questions, confused.

For the first time since he stepped into the house, Spencer looks at his grandmother directly in the eye.

“Well, I’m sort of already married,” he blurts out.

The entire house then echoes with the sound of grandma’s glass cup cracking all over the kitchen floor.

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