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Im home!

I came in through the front door as I dropped my car keys on the table nearby and tossed my bag on the sofa.

Hello? I called.

In here! I heard a voice coming from the kitchen.

I made my way there and found my grandmother by the stove cooking. Youre home a little later than usual. She stated.

I checked the time on the clock. 5:45 pm, it read. I normally came home at around 5 pm latest, right before dinner is served. What usually kept me out a little late was either staying at school to study and do my assignments or taking Maren to her sessions with Matthew. I had to drive Maren to her mentoring session after school today, I sat down at one of the stool by the kitchen island. You know how she hates public transport.

I will never understand why that girl wont take driving lessons and have her own license especially when its required for the field, she wants to work in. she heaved a sigh, shaking her head.

Is dad home? I inquired.

Not yet but he will soon after his meeting is over. She informed me. Lets hope he makes it in time for dinner because were having guests.

My eyebrows quirked up staggered by the news. Whats the occasion? I asked.

Brooke and Jake are coming over.

What for? Its not like them to come over for dinner during the week, especially on a Monday after a hectic day.

Theyre free to come over whenever they want, Beverley. Besides Im actually looking forward to them visiting. Its been a while since weve seen them and little Joey. She said with an eager smile.

I just shrugged lackadaisically and said nothing.

How was school? she asked. Same as always. I shrugged again.

Lectures, studying. University life aint as fun and interesting as they make it seem in the movies and books Ive read - at least for me.

Just like you thought high school was going to be as fun and interesting as it was in High School Musical. She teased.

I was thirteen! I didnt know any better. I rolled my eyes as she laughed.

Oh, how I wish I was young again, she said, nostalgia radiating in her tone. things were so interesting and adventurous back then.

Gran, you dont even look your age.

If there was one thing unique about my grandmother, it would be her incapability to age. For a woman who was in her seventies, she looked as though she was still in her fifties. She still had her small but slim figure, her lovely caramel melanin skin that had little wrinkles. Her long dark hair with little to a few streaks of grey hair at the front. Her dark eyes were still as vivacious and bright as they were for as long as I could remember. If anything, she looked old enough to be my mother and it always surprised many people that she was my grandmother whenever she introduced herself and such comments always inflated her already huge ego.

She chuckled. Alright then, Honey Bee. Why dont you help this old and ancient woman set the table before our guests arrive, she jeered playfully. then take a shower and change your clothes. No granddaughter of mine is having dinner smelling like books and depressing lectures.

Wow! Okay! Harsh. I exclaimed, stunned by her remark, making her laugh.


Beverley! Theyre here! I heard Gran call for me just as I was done drying my hair. Fortunately, I was already dressed by the time I got out of the bathroom. I hope Gran doesnt mind me having dinner in my plain black t-shirt and grey sweatpants, I thought.

I made my way out of my room and down the stairs where Gran and our guests were waiting. By the time I arrived, Gran had already invited the young couple and their son inside.

Hey, Bev, the young woman greeted as she wrapped her arms around my neck since I was taller than her, pulling me into a warm hug. I instinctively returned the hug by wrapping my arms around her waist. Hey, Brooke, I replied casually. I nodded towards her husband who nodded back. I thought youd be a little more enthusiastic to see your big sister. She pouted when she pulled away.

I am. Im just expressing it internally. I shrugged. Hi, Joey. I cooed at the toddler.

Oh, so youd rather be stone cold towards me but be really sweet toward my son. I see how it is.

I always had a soft spot for Joey.

Only because you enjoy watching him torment me.


Wow. Im really feeling the love, Bee. I really am.

Gran cackled at our sisterly banter. And I thought you two would out grow your petty arguments by the time youre both older and mature, but I guess some things dont change. She said.

Thats what siblings do. Jake said. Believe it or not Im thirty two years old but I still bicker with my twenty five year old sister on who should do the dishes.

Its one of the few things that strengthens our bond. Brooke added.

And one of the few things I had to watch out for, in case you two tried to kill each other. Gran added.

We werent that bad. Brooke and I both pouted.

Sure, you werent.


Everyone was settled at the dinner table, eating and passing around dishes of food here and there. So, hows work and everything? Gran asked.

Tiring, Brooke replied with an exhausted groan. I have this huge project scheduled by the end of this month, and since Im head editor, I have to be the one making sure everything is in place. Then theres this little crook of a child who needs to be looked after and supervised. She playfully glared at Joey as he played with his food. She exhaled, turning to Gran. I gotta tell you, Gran. Motherhood aint for the weak and faint of heart.

I hope youre helping her take care of Joey, young man. Gran turned to Jake, who gave her an assuring smile. I do my best to help whenever I can, Leah. He told her. Its just that she forgets that shes a parent sometimes.

Brooke let out an incredulous gasp. I do not! she interjected, playfully slapping her husbands arm. Sure, you dont. he teased.

Mention one time.

The time you forgot you were playing hide and seek with him and binged K-dramas for three hours straight.

Her face flushed red with embarrassment as her jaw dropped. In my defence, he was really good at playing hide and seek. She answered obstinately.

I sniggered. And I thought after three years into motherhood, youd would have known better than forget that youre married and have a kid. I commented earning a glare from her. If there was something Brooke was known for ever since we were kids, it would be the fact that her pride was bigger than a lion. She always knew when and where she was wrong, but would refuse to admit to it because her pride wouldnt allow her to.

Just like your mother, Gran said. I bet if she was here, she would be telling us every one of her experiences in her early motherhood and how irresponsible she was raising you.

Followed by every embarrassing thing I did as I kid, which should stay buried in the grave where it belongs. Brooke moaned. Shed definitely be that kind of mother.

You were a very wild and effervescent child back when you were little, Gran recalled. your mother often found it hard to keep all that energy you had contained. That woman hardly got any sleep because of you.

Everyone at the table laughed except for Brooke, who was pouting, and me, being silent and feeling awkward. I often felt awkward and out of place whenever they talked about Mom. Not because I never enjoyed listening to stories about her, but because I never had anything at all to talk about her. Brooke noticed my discomfort and awkward silence and cleared her throat, indicating that she was changing the subject and I was grateful for that.

How about you, sis? she asked. Hows school treating you?

Same as always. New modules every semester, lectures every day, assignments and coursework to get by the semester, I shrugged unconcernedly. just waiting for the semester to end and move on to the next.

Are you managing the work load?

Ive been managing the workload since freshman year. Sophomore year aint no different.

Well, I hope youre also having fun outside of school.

She doesnt have time to be doing other things besides school, Brooke. Dad spoke for the first time since dinner started. Theres more to life than going to raves, parties or whatever it is university students do.

Now, now Darrell. While I do understand your concerns about Beverleys future, you have to understand that shes not a child anymore. Gran lectured him with a disapproving look. Shell be turning twenty one soon.

Oh right! Around the time your school closes for Summer Break. Brookes eyes widened with realisation.

That kinda slipped my mind to be honest. I answered sheepishly.

How can you forget your own birthday?! That one day of the year that adds another years to your life!

Its like any other day. The only good thing about it is that Im lucky to be alive and breathing.

Yes, but this is your twenty first birthday. The age when youre given the key to life, Brooke emphasised fervently. the age where you get the freedom you want, make your own choices, pursue your dreams and aspirations, figuring out what you want and focusing on yourself.

Heck, you can even meet your soulmate at twenty one. She added, wiggling her eyes suggestively, which made me roll my eyes. Theres a lot to look forward to.

She can worry about all that once she graduates. Dad said.

Brooke turned to Gran for backup. Dont look at me. I was already a parent way before I turned twenty one. Gran replied earning a sigh from Dad. I get it, Ma. I was a mistake. He replied pinching his forehead.

The best kind. She smiled at him.

I pressed my lips into a thin line in deep thought. Gran and Brooke did raise some good points, but for me, it would still remain the same. I would still be Beverley LaVaughn. A university student pursuing a degree in the Fine Arts with hopes of getting into the Art industry by the time she graduates. I would still like the same things I had liked growing up. I would still be as quiet and reserved as I was as a kid. I would still have trouble making friends or talking to people unless the situation or environment decided otherwise.

But I think what Brooke is trying to say is, you cant stay stagnant or in the same place for the rest of your life, Bee. Gran told me. Theres nothing wrong with getting out of your comfort zone and see what life has to offer even before you graduate. After all, there is more to life than just getting good grades and studying.

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