Colton, my dad was the love of my mom, Adelynn’s life, being that they were teenage sweethearts by chance. After one night of chance meeting, the moment their eyes meet they both knew there was something special about each other. They did long distance during highschool and college as my mom was finishing highschool and pursing her business major at a small community college in Wyoming and my dad finished highschool only too jump straight into building his own business of crafting unique and beautifully detailed pieces of furniture for the people of his hometown in Tennessee. Their love was a world wind of stuff you only imagine to see in the movies. He would make her laugh and loosen her uptight persona when she had a bad day at work. Then she would be the rock he needed when something didn’t go too plan. He was a dreamer and she was a realist but they made it work and they each pushed each other everyday to not only love with the full extent of their hearts but live without any regrets.
However, one afternoon my dad had died from being his selfless self and out on a delivery of a table to a neighboring house he saw a girl of not even 6 years old trapped in her second story window screaming for help as the bottom of her house was blazing with flames. Without any hesitation my dad rushed into the house and booked himself straight up the stairs. He reached her right by the time the firefighters had made it to the house and was able to fling her out the window into the tarp below being held by the then present firefighters. Just as he was about to jump out of the window himself the fire was ignited by something inside, most likely the gas from the stove or an old wire that was already out of place. Within seconds the house engulfed on itself dragging my dad down with it into the raging flames leaving no trace as if he wasn’t there at all.
He was an honorable man and from what I could remember a life loving man. He had honey brown hair and crystal eyes with tan skin from constantly working on home projects or building custom made furniture for customers all around our small town. Everyone knew him, which didn’t make the mourning process any easier when everytime we would be picking up groceries in the produce section someone would come up and mention him, “Losing Colton was one of the worst things that ever could’ve happened to this town, I truly am sorry for your loss”. I knew they meant well but seeing the color drain from my mom’s face and her tight lipped grimance at the mention of his name didn’t make it any easier.
To this day I don’t think my mom is able to come to terms of his loss, it’s worse for my little sister Ibby because she is a striking image of my dad with her long wavy honey brown hair and piercing crystal eyes the strong determined jawline and small dimples that appeared whenever she did one of her big belly laughs. She also inherited my dads love for accomplishing things and the love of the outdoors, she is constantly helping neighbors with small projects whenever she isn’t training for soccer. Ibby recently turned 13 and with each day she shows more and more of dad from within her, sadly though it affects mom more and more.
I on the other hand have a striking resemblance to my mother, I inherited her caramel brown hair that is silky and smooth with minimal effort and her hazel eyes that shine bright in the sunlight. Slightly to my advantage I also got her figure that is portionate and curvy in the right places unless I eat too much the night before. I am not super athletic like my sister who could be on the cover of Sports Illustrated I have more of a Demi Rose shape but likes to enjoy herself some wine and chocolate covered strawberries here and there. Weight hasn’t always been an issue in my life due to the fact that our mom would raise us on healthy choices. I wince remembering the “suggestive” comments she would make “Now Finley do you really think having 5 cookies before bed would make your tummy feel good?” she was right 5 cookies before going to bed definitely was going to give me a tummy ache but sometimes you gotta let a girl live!
Sighing I begin to pick myself off my bed and look around my one bedroom apartment in the off skirts of the buzz of San Fransico. I really truly couldn’t believe I was living in San Fransico! Me, Finley Reed, a 23 year old, hot mess had acquired herself an internship at one of the most well-known commercial companies Realty Tops. Realty Tops is a property viewing based company that helps sell eco-friendly high-end homes to honestly anyone who could afford them. Whether it’s a celebrity looking for a vacation home or a New York business head looking for a winter get away place. Whatever it is I am beyond excited to begin my life here in the beautiful city. I recently graduated with my bachelors in Marketing and a minor in Business from Univeristy of Tennessee, it wasn’t the best of the best business schools in the world but I got to pay in state tuition and for a struggling mom and my loose ends jobs of waitressing or being a farm hand I wasn’t going to complain.
Looking over at my scuffed up red oak wood nightstand, reading the modern alarm clock flick to 1:15 I decided it was a good enough time as ever to start unpacking more of the boxes pilling up in the open concept kitchen and living room only to have a trail into my comfortable shaped bedroom and on suite. I rise off my matching scuffed up bed frame and headboard that holds up a mattress topped with a white comforter and a cream colored braided blanket thrown over the end of the bed with a few mixed colored throw pillows of blacks, whites, and creams scattered across the headboard and get to work.
By around 8 pm I had finished unpacking and decorating my room and majority of the kitchen and living room. My room consists of some frames containing different pieces I’ve collected throughout the years mainly of moments in time whether it be a sunset or the ocean just moments of peace. Paired with a few wicker baskets containing extra throw blankets or pillows and some in desperate need of plants to fill up their empty nests. I walk over to my matching dark toned red oak wood dresser and look at my appearance in the huge round mirror and see how my mascara has smudged, my hair is poking out of my second attempt at a bun, and my once wrinkle free tank now has an unknown red stain along the boob but worst of all I look like I haven’t slept in days. “Shit Fin you really got start getting yourself together” I mutter to myself only for the grumble of my stomach to snap me out of my thought.
I walk through the door from my room and into the comfty shared living room and kitchen. Currently containing a light grey L-shaped couch with a coffee table hand crafted by my dad with real estate magazines stacked on top, okay and maybe a few of issues of men’s health but hey you could never be too careful! There are a few knick knacks I have again collected through my fair share of flea markets and scatters of frames filled with a few friends from back home. The room is covered in this light brown rustic carpet with white fuzzy carpets covering parts of the corners under a few arm chairs off to the side positioned around the white framed book shelf containing some of my favorite novels known to man and little things from family and friends. I shift my eyes to the kitchen that has white cabinets and a nice light wood as a counter. There are a few fake plants staged on the shelf in between some wine glasses and random plates and bowls found from Anthropology or Wayfair where cabinents should be. I feel a smile escape onto to my lips because I love the minimalist but greenry feel that my little apartment offers.
I walk over to the island and search through the drawers for any of my old pots so I could make a quick simple dinner for tonight. As I begin to have the water boil for my completely nutritious soon to be dinner of chili flavored ramen noodles ignoring the flash of my mom’s disapproving face I go to look for my phone. I find it on the corner of the coffee table and check to see if anyone bothered to see if I was safe and sound. A few texts from my mom reminding me to call her when I was safe and sound or if I couldn’t the morning after. With a slight eyeroll on how accurate it sounds like my mom; always trying to schedule every interaction in her life. I close my eyes briefly trying to recall how my mom use too not be so uptight about every little thing but I guess her joy or reminder to let go and be loose sometimes died so she probably doesn’t realize.
Looking back down I see a few texts from Ibby that make my heart begin to beat faster and my hands start to sweat.
Hi Fin! I miss you already isn’t that crazy!!! You literally just got in the car.
Not even 5 minutes later another text was sent.
Hey Fin... mom is doing that thing again where she ignores me and likes to believe I don’t exist....
My heart constricts knowing how hard mom can be on Ibby. I get that she reminds her of him but that shouldn’t be a good enough excuse to shut your kid out.
...I know I am gonna be okay because you taught me to be strong but promise me you will keep up with me! You are gonna have to tell me all about the fun things you do and the cute boys!
I let a small giggle escape after reading the last statement, and quickly typing back a text saying how much I miss her and love her and how I’ll call her with updates religiously. Ibby just started getting into the phase where boys don’t have cooties anymore and a girl wants to know more about this creature they’ve been running away from for years before. I sigh knowing that these are gonna be some of the hardest but most exciting years for Ibby as she begins to grow more into herself and all the questions that follow with that. I wish I was able to be with her through this time but I know I need to be here, I have business I need to do and it was too big of an opportunity to pass up plus, there are definitely some stuff I would like to leave in Tennessee forever.
The pot begins to boil over snapping me back to the present and I rush over to lower the temperature and begin stirring the ramen into the water while slowly drifting back into deep thought. This is a restart for me a chance to get myself together and protect myself from the terrors of my past, he can’t haunt me forever and I won’t let him. Tomorrow is a new day and I will be able to wake up fresh and new and enjoy a day of relaxation before I begin work on Monday. The rest of the night consisted of me finishing my noodles and aimlessly watching reruns of one of my favorite shows until I slowly started falling asleep and deciding to call it quits for the night and head to bed.