The Heart of the Ocean

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A Lady of Sassiness


“There is no place like home.

Except for the beach.”

-Unknown


It wasn’t long before their paths parted. Petra blew them a goodbye kiss before taking the root that would lead her home. The sun caressed her golden strands as she fastened her pace. The girls didn’t mind her sudden disappearance and change of behavior; they knew all too well why their friend was suddenly running through the village’s streets.

Tatiana Bresset had proven that she had a large amount of patience, considering how often her daughter got into trouble. However, she couldn’t help but get furious if someone happened to cross her red lines. Having a husband that was too focused on his job and a son who had left for college two years ago, she tried to keep her family united as best as she could.

That being said, Petra’s mother demanded everyone’s presence during meals. She was very adamant about it and unforgiving to those who defied her. Once, Petra had made the mistake to not appear for dinner. It was about a month after her brother had left; her mother hadn’t yet become accustomed to his constant absence. Needless to say, Aide would never forget how quiet and stressed her cheerful friend was for the rest of the week.

“Come on, Ail”, the brunette said, “Let’s go home.”

The shy red-haired nodded in agreement before following Aide to her house like every other day. After the death of her mother, Aide’s grandmother had taken her under her wing. Her father was gone for long periods of time being a skilled sailor and captain -he had to support his family economically as well as get away from the girl that looked so much like his dead wife. Nana Alexandra had nurtured and taken care of her as if she was her own granddaughter. The girls were like sisters anyway -they knew each other since they could remember themselves.

That’s when Aide realized that you don’t have to have the same blood with someone to consider them family. There’s a stronger bond tying them together -a bond coming from the heart just like the vital scarlet liquid. A bond of shared smiles and tears that urges you to be there through life’s ups and downs. A bond of past memories and hopes of creating new ones in the future.

For what is family, if it isn’t love?

As soon as they opened the door, a delicious scent tantalized their senses. The girls closed their eyes in delight as their stomachs growled in appreciation. After all, what they say is true; happiness is hidden in the little things of daily life. Returning home after a tiring day to excellent food was definitely one of them. And let me tell you, Nana Alexandra is one hell of a good cook!

As their stomachs rumbled demanding to be fed immediately, they quickly threw their bags to the side. Taking another sniff of the food, their mouths salivated almost tasting the explosion of flavors. They were ready to make their way towards the kitchen and dig in when a strict voice made them stop in their tracks.

“Not another step!”

Their eyes widened as they froze on the spot. Standing before them with her wrinkled hands placed firmly on her waist was Nana Alexandra. The furious grandmother narrowed her chocolate eyes at them in warning, daring them to move further in her household. The girls looked at her in confusion and worry, not knowing what they had done to anger her. The elder let a heavy sigh and shook her head in disappointment.

“Aide Marina Clayton!“, she finally shouted, “How many times do I have to tell you to take your shoes off before entering the damn house!”

Aide winced at the sound of her full name, before looking down at her shoes. An apologetic smile appeared on her face when she realized how dirty her trainers were. Turning around, she realized she had left muddy footprints on the white floor making her grandmother justly furious. Aileen looked at her shoes too, smiling in relief when she found out they weren’t dirty.

“I’m sorry, Nana”, Aide apologized while she flinched, knowing all too well what would soon follow.

“Of course, you are sorry, young lady! But what can sorry do, huh? Will your apology clean those dirty footprints by itself? I don’t think so!”

Aide found her muddy shoes very interesting at the moment. Yep, what a beautiful color they had! It was better to look at them rather than her furious Nana. Although, if she had been paying attention to her, she would have caught the playfully wink Alexandra had sent to Aileen. The red-haired smiled and shook her head being familiar with the old woman’s antics.

“You have no respect for your grandmother, young lady! I’m cooped up all day in this house -cooking, cleaning, ironing your clothes! And for what? For you to come and mess up everything I’ve been cleaning all morning!“, the elder dramatically placed a hand above her heart, “Ah! You’re going to send me to an early grave!”

“You are seventy years old”, Aide shrugged her shoulders, “You don’t call that early.”

“What was that?”

“What?“, Aide feigned innocence.

Aileen’s eyes widened at the mention of Alexandra’s age. The elder had mastered the art of hiding her years and had sworn to hunt down anyone who dared reveal her real age. Hadn’t they all agreed that Nana was sixty? She’s been sixty years old for the last eight years! Aileen gave a warning look at Aide -she was treading on dangerous waters.

“Did you just call me old?“, Alexandra raised an ashy eyebrow.

Aide let a surprised sound escape her.

“I would never!“, she dramatically denied, “Besides you are such a youngling!”

Alexandra huffed in annoyance before crossing her hands in front of her chest.

“Do not mock your grandmother, young lady!“, she pointed a finger at her, “I could be on a Caribbean cruise right now, surrounded by fine gentlemen while drinking strawberry daiquiris. Instead, I’m cleaning up your messes.”

“Do you want me to book you a ticket?“, Aide suggested sweetly.

Alexandra thought about it for a second.

“No.”

“Why not?“, Aide smirked slightly, “Are you afraid of the mighty pirates?”

Aileen couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her, making the two women turn to her.

“Oh, come on!“, the red-haired said while blushing, “We both know Captain Jack Sparrow would prefer to be eaten by the Kraken rather than hear an earful from Nana! Who should be afraid of who?”

“You see that girl?“, Alexandra was quickly by Aileen’s side, “This girl loves me. Why can’t you be like sweet Aileen over here? She always lightens my mood and is such a good girl. She ain’t a constant little brat like you”, she cooed at the blushing girl.

Aide folded her hands in front of her chest. A small smirk appeared on her face.

“No”, she finally said.

“Why not?“, Nana whined as if she was a kid. Honestly, Alexandra was a teenager at heart -she even acted more like it than Aide.

“Who would keep you entertained? You would get bored out of your mind”, Aide reminded her with a pointed look.

Two pairs of chocolate eyes gazed at one another intently. Truth be told, no one got on Nana’s nerves faster than her granddaughter’s comebacks. The elder couldn’t help but feel both proud and irritated; the little brat had taken all her good genes. After a few moments of silence, Alexandra sighed in defeat.

“I will never understand from whom you took all that sass from”, the old lady shook her head, “All the members of this family are well mannered and polite.”

Aide titled her head to the side, raising a dark eyebrow.

“Seriously?“, her voice was dripping with sarcasm.

Alexandra stuck her tongue out, making Aide roll her eyes at her childish behavior. She would never admit it out loud but she loved how wild and sassy her grandmother was. The elder wasn’t a fool; she knew how much her granddaughter loved her and enjoyed her ways. However, admitting it would probably lead to an excessive amount of smugness and even more sassiness. A girl could handle only so much.

“Now now, girls”, she clapped her hands, “You take your shoes off and go wash your hands. The food will get cold.”

Aileen kissed the old lady on her cheek before heading towards the bathroom. As she turned around the corner and disappeared from sight, Aide cleared her throat gaining the attention of her grandmother. The identical chocolate eyes of her Nana narrowed in warning as her head was held high.

“About that cruise...“, she finally said.

“Clean those muddy footsteps and we’re even”, the elder answered after a while.

“And all these fine gentlemen?“, Aide smirked playfully, “They won’t get to meet an extraordinary being such as yourself?”

Alexandra raised an ashy eyebrow in defiance.

“No, Nana! “, Aide gasped horrified, “You cannot do that to them! I beg you to reconsider!”

A few moments of silence passed. Alexandra gazed at her blankly. A wrinkled hand was placed on Aide’s shoulder, giving her an encouraging squeeze.

“I taught you well, kid”, the elder said proudly, “Your irony has reached such great levels! You’ll pass my greatness by the time you are forty!”

Aide’s eyes widened in surprise -she did not see that one coming. Her cheeks were painted red at her grandmother’s words.

“D-do you really believe that Nana?“, she asked her breathlessly.

“No.”

She mentally faced-palmed herself. What did she expect? She had fallen for her grandmother’s tricks so many times! She would never learn. Uh, damn it -it wasn’t fair!

“Why not?“, Aide whined like a child.

“Because I’m Alexandra Sierra Clayton”, she said in a ‘duh’ voice, “I’m a living legend. Legends never die, kid.”

“Is that your way of telling me I’m gonna have to put up with you for the rest of eternity?“, Aide asked terrified at the mere thought.

“No, my dear”, she smiled sweetly, “It’s my way of telling you I’m gonna return from the afterlife and haunt you if you dare surpass the greatness of my sassiness.”

They looked at each other for a few moments. Alexandra had a smirk of triumph on her face as Aide stared at her in disbelief. The growling of Aide’s stomach was what broke their stare and spurred the old woman into action. Realizing how hungry her granddaughter was, Alexandra quickly put her grandmother mode on. Ushering the tired girl to the bathroom, she was ready to make her way to the kitchen and serve the food. A hand stopped all her movements, making her turn around.

“I love you, Nana”, Aide said as she hugged her, “You know that, right?”

Alexandra’s expression softened -a small smile decorated her face. Warmth spread throughout her whole body. No matter how many times she had heard those words, the feeling never left and neither did the happiness that followed them. She took hold of her granddaughter’s head, making her bow slightly before placing a soft kiss on her forehead. She caressed her brunette locks before letting her go.

“I love you too, kid.”

Aide nodded in answer before letting her arms fall from the tight hug. Alexandra gave her an approving look as she pulled her dirty shoes off, before making her way towards the kitchen. Aide had begun to climb up the stairs, her socks making her steps soundless. She hadn’t even reached the top when Alexandra’s head appeared from the kitchen’s door. Her eyes were narrowed and her voice stern.

“You still gotta clean up your mess, young lady!”

Aide groaned internally but didn’t dare to utter a word. She climbed the remaining steps, heading towards the bathroom. Damn it! She should have known better.

There was no way she’d forget.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

End of chapter 5!!

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