When the Garden is Better than You
The ride to my grandparents' was mostly consisted of my mother praising me about school and how good of a kid I was. She even begun to cry a little when she remembered the times I was a baby. "You were so small. And your cries weren't even that loud. You would mostly whimper like a little puppy when you were hungry or tired. You would even wave your little hands around and try to grab at my hair." I leaned against the window, watching as the trees seem to move like a movie across a white screen. I thought about the books I read as a younger boy.
One of them had the trees dancing, leaves making music. How little forest creatures would chirp and critter. I almost laughed at the faint words. To think I use read things like that. Oh how bored I must have been with my life. Not at all.
"Nathaniel, we're here."
I must have fell out of it. The sound of my father's baritone voice made me jump out of my seatbelt. I blinked my eyes a little and noticed the large three-story house. It was the same pale yellow with forest green as it was the last time I seen it. Grandma's garden was still in bloom since spring. I wasn't one for garden or nature period, but her garden reminded me of fairies. The small ones with transparent wings that made twinkling sounds. The colors were so live and vibrant. Pinks, yellows, and other colors within the rainbow.
My grandmother was an artist with a hose and shovel.
Drawing my eyes away, I looked over to my grandmother walking out the house, her arms wide to welcome me into them. "Nathan, my favorite grandson!", she squealed, kissing my cheeks and forehead. "Grandma, I'm your only grandson you have."
She snickered before kissing me one more time. "I know. You're my favorite though." She led us into the house, my grandfather coming from downstairs with a wrapped box in his hands. "Happy birthday, Nathaniel. This is just the first of the many gifts you'll receive today.", he teased, ruffling my hair. "Please don't do that, Grandpa.", I whined, pushing my hair back into place. From the corner of my eye I could see my father's face. He looked so... entranced. "Marilyn, follow me into the kitchen.", my grandmother said, pulling me along with her. Once we were inside said room, I was forced into a chair at the table, my mother sitting the cake down on it. "Can't believe you're 17 now. It was if you were nibbling on cookies I baked you just yesterday. You looked my cookies so much that you would take the ones you weren't eating and stuff the into your onesie.", my grandmother sighed, running fingers through my hair. "Of course, Morris would scowl me every time I let you do it. He didn't like it."
"I know, Mom."
"He's your husband, Marilyn. You need to talk to him. He's always working and so strict. Why is he so... boring?"
My mom just gave her a look. "Mom..."
Despite my grandmother being in her 70s, she still had that teenage spunk. She was lively so vibrant like her garden. She was, in a way, a fairy. Mischievous, yet sweet. Playful, but preserved.
"Nathan, are you ready for the next school year? One more year and you're off to college."
I shrugged, propping my elbow onto the table. "I guess I am. I'm not too nervous to be a senior or am I afraid of the real world." Despite the fact I read books of fiction. I dreamed myself in those unrealistic storylines. Whether it was the protagonist or a minor character, I was in it. "Ah. Know what you're going to do? What classes you want to take?" By now she had three plates out, cutting the cake into pieces. I watched as the first piece went onto my plate. "I have. I want to major in English literature and creative writing. Maybe try out for internships and such." "Sounds good, grandson." Beside me, I could see my mother frowning at me. I figured it had to do with him.
"Marilyn, I already know what you're about to tell the boy. Don't do this to him."
And Grandma figured it out, too.
Mom sighed sharply, standing up and leaving her slice of cake on the table and walking out the kitchen.
My eyes followed her, some disappointment within them. It's sad to think at this point I would prefer the garden for a parent.