I'm Not Letting Her Go

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Home Sweet Home


Gram slept most of the night, she woke up just in time for our stop. Here me are an hour later, on the outskirts of town. Standing on her wrap around porch. She fumbles around in her bag for the keys, and I take the place in. It’s been a couple years since I’ve been back here. It hasn’t changed much.

There are still chickens running around the yard, I hear the cows in the back field, and a couple goats. Wonder if she still has Lightning and Thunder, the two beautiful thoroughbreds I used to ride as when I was little. They’d be a bit older now, but probably still beautiful.

“Here we are,” gram says as she unlocks the door. When she opens it, we walk into a mess in the house. There’s garbage all over the floor and looks like something tore apart one of her favorite pillows.

“Oh, dang nab bit, that stupid dog. I don’t think Benji took him out today.” Gram grumbles beside me.

“Since when do you have a dog gram?” I’m a little stunned.

“Benji, the little boy next door couldn’t keep him at his house, so I agreed to let the pup stay here. He was supposed to be coming over everyday this week while I was away and letting him out.” She gripes, as she makes her way further into the house.

“Gram, I don’t think thirteen is so much a little boy anymore.”

“To me it is.” She hollers from her bedroom at the end of the hall.

“Well, where is the puppy. I don’t hear him.” I shake my head in dismay.

“Benji, must have him.”

Just as she says the words, we hear barking coming from the end of her driveway. Sure, enough there’s Benji with what looks to be a small pile of fluff by his feet. Within minutes, that pile of fluff is running towards the now open door, and straight to me.

Benji hollers for him to wait up, just as it slams into my legs. The puppy jumps up on its hind legs, and wags its tail at me, as it barks at me. Almost asking for me to pet it. It sure is adorable I must give it that.

“Sorry, Scarlett, he’s just excited to see a new person.” Benji explains as he catches up to the puppy. Now standing beside me with his upper body pointed towards his feet, trying to catch his breath.

“No worries, he’s a cutie.” I tell him, then because I feel bad for him, I tell him that gram is on the war path.

“Oh yeah the house. I should go in and tell her I’ll clean it all up.” He breathes out. As he enters the house I call after him asking what the pups name is. He tells me fluff, and I can’t help but give a little laugh. It suits the pup perfectly.

Moments later, I walk back into the house with the pup trailing behind me. I close the door behind us, so he doesn’t run off, and make my way to the kitchen. Gram is already there, making a pot of coffee. I swear the woman would have an IV always filled with it in her arm if her doctor would allow it.

“Gram, which room should I put my stuff in?” She looks up at me with a confused look on her face.

“You don’t want to stay in the room you always do?” It must dawn on her why I wouldn’t because she gets solemn and quiet. It was the room mom and I stayed in when we would come for our visits.

“Oh of course, honey I’m sorry.” I give her nod and tell her it’s okay. I know she didn’t mean it. She really didn’t do anything wrong. It will just take some time to adjust for all of us to this new life without the woman we all loved.

I know gram misses her just as much as I do. She loved her like her own daughter. Sometimes mom swore she loved her more than her own son. Which would always make me laugh, when she would tell gram that, and gram would say of course not with a wink. Who can blame her though, my mother treated her like her own mother. Whereas her very own son, couldn’t care less about his mother. Not surprising since he doesn’t care about his very own daughter either.

“Well, I just redid the attic. It’s now a nice big bedroom, and it has its own bathroom attached. You can stay there if you’d like.” She gives me a grin.

“That’s fine gram.” She calls for Benji. He picks up my bag for me, and we walk to the attic. It’s well secluded from the rest of the house. Which is kind of nice. I’ll have lots of privacy up here on my own.

“How was the rest of your summer?” Benji hesitantly asks me. I know he is uncomfortable around me now.

“It was all right, yours?” He gives a relatively same answer.

“School starts in two days. Are you nervous?” He continues before I can utter a word, “I mean it’s not so bad. There are the usual clicks you know. The popular, the geeks and nerds, the country folk, some preps, and others. For the most part everyone is pretty nice.” He gives a small smile.

Knowing he’s trying to make the situation better for me I give him a smile in return. For a while we continue our small talk, and then he says he needs to finish cleaning the downstairs so he can make it home in time for dinner. I stay up here for a while and take in my new everyday surroundings.

Gam wasn’t exaggerating. It is big up here. It has a king size bed in the middle of one wall, a futon along another, there’s a tv stand with what looks to be a thirty-two-inch television on top, and a bookshelf aligning the whole other wall.

The bathroom attached isn’t bad either. It has a club tub, a stand-alone shower, toilet, and sink. The basic amenities. I’m happy with it. There’s beautiful green and blue colors along the walls of both rooms. My favorite colors. A girl could have worse.

Making my way to the closet, I start to unpack the clothes I brought with me. As I’m organizing the little, I have left, my mind starts to wander. What is the school going to be like? Will I even relate to anyone my age anymore? Will they find me to be a freak? Probably.

Guess in a couple days I’ll find out for myself. All I know is I just need to work my way through this year. It’s my senior year, and if I can make it through this, then I’ll figure out my next step. The process will be difficult. I always thought I’d have my mom here to help me with everything this year.

My mom would always do the basics with me before the school year began. Go to school clothes shopping at the mall, pick up what supplies I need, and get our hair and nails done together. This year was going to be special. She was going to help me pick what colleges to apply to, and she would joke on how she was going to move right along with me wherever I went. That people would think we were sisters instead of mother and daughter.

Smiling at the thought of her jokes. It’s all I can do not to cry as I place my final shirt on the hanger in the closet. Closing my closet door, I make my way to the bed and fall face first into it. Thought I couldn’t anymore, didn’t think I had any left, but tears are running down my cheeks.

Wipe them away as I hear gram call for me. Taking a few deep breaths, I know I need to pull myself together. This is my life now, and I’ll be damned if I won’t make the best of it.

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