by Sunny Luvins
A girl with a hidden past who goes to live with her grandparents in the boonies
| Alone. A woman was alone, in a large city. People bustled past and occasionally bumped into the stationary, solitary figure. It was the worst kind of alone. They could see her and touch her, and yet, not reach her. By no means was it possible to reach them. She saw them bustling past, with their shopping bags, their ipods, and their dogs. Nobody stared, nobody saw her standing there. The woman was lost in an ocean of people. The tide came in and out, but she remained on the beach. The woman thought about how the decision she had made would affect the rest of her life. Well, in the traditional sense of the word, she had no "life".
Alive. Lucy was alive, and that was the most she could say about herself at the present moment. She had the window of the passenger side door rolled down and the hot breeze whipped her hair and tangled it in knots. The stifling air was somehow refreshing. It was different, new. Lucy well knew that air was composed of just a few different elements and compounds, but she liked to think that with every breath she took she was being led to something better. Her grand pappy was sitting in the drivers seat and humming some tune that sounded old. He was around 63 years old with a face that had every line of his life engraved into it. The smile lines and sunspots gave him the impression that he was a hard-working, but happy.
"We're almost there, I promise." said pappy
Lucy realized that this was one of the few promises she that had been told to her that would actually be true. Yet at the utterance of these words, an uneasiness came across her. She was going somewhere new--a place a few hours south of St. Louis where she had originally resided--but she didn't want this place to end up being like the city she so despised.
"Can't wait," Lucy muttered.
Her grand pappy just gave her a crooked smile that seemed to say, it'll be alright.
Upon arriving at the quaint cabin-looking house, after traveling up a long gravel driveway surrounded by farmland, Lucy's grand mammy welcomed her with a warm hug. Lucy was not accustomed to contact with strangers. Well, her grandparents were not exactly strangers, but she had met them on only a few required occasions. However, Lucy recognized Mammy's warm smile and plump frame. After the greetings, Lucy took her bags upstairs to the room she was told to stay in and started to unpack. The room was small, with a single bed that had a patchwork quilt, a tarnished dresser, an old rug, and some shelves on the wall. Lucy packed away some of her clothing, which she realized she wouldn't be wearing very often. A person could not wear flip-flops and a skirt while bailing hay.
When Lucy returned downstairs, Pappy took her out to the barn and showed her the cows, chickens, and goats. He also took her up to the hayloft and showed her a litter of kittens.
After instructing her of her duties, her pappy took her outside and pointed out the surrounding land. He pointed to the east and south and said,
"This land has been ours since your great great great grandpa bought it. At that time, no other farms around here existed. Now, if you look over there," Pappy pointed to the west where in the distance a farmhouse was seen. "is the Henningtons. They're an older couple, like us who have a thirty-some year old son who helps them take care of the farm. They own most of the land surrounding the lot. And over to the north is the Vanderboons, they bought the land about 30 years ago.
"So there's really not a lot of people who live around here, huh?" said Lucy
Pappy just smiled and led her back to the house.
When they returned to the house, Mammy was preparing supper. Three other people were seated at the dining table. A man and a woman who looked around 40 and a boy about 17, the same age as Lucy. He was tall and lanky with messy blonde hair. He was kind of cute in a quirky sort of way. Mammy explained that they were there for dinner. Wow, Lucy thought, I've just arrived and the whole town has come to greet me. Lucy's face must have displayed some of her sarcasm because the boy gave her a sheepish grin then quickly looked away.
At dinner, Lucy learned the boy's name was Peter and he really was seventeen. His two parents, Cindy and Tom, had lived here most of their lives; they inherited their land from their parents. When everyone had finished eating, Lucy stood and said, "I'll do the dishes". This wasn't something she would have ordinarily volunteered for, but she wanted to make a good impression and she was tired of sitting at the table.
Suprisingly, Peter jumped up and said, "I'll help!"
He's eager, thought Lucy. After she picked up the plates and turned on the water. Peter picked up a towel, and said in a very bad, fake southern accent "So what brings a city lass like you to our modest country town?"
Lucy had to laugh at this. In an even worse southern accent she replied, "Well I had a hankerin' for some good country air". They went on with the banter for a few minutes, then Peter said, "But why are you really here?"
Lucy was ready for this moment. She had thought up all kinds of excuses to use. But something in Peter's penetrating stare took her off guard and she decided to tell the truth. "I....don't really know"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I'm not sure why I decided to come here of all places, but I was having some trouble with my mom and I came here to get away" This wasn't completelely untrue. She wasn't sure why she came here and she was having trouble with her mother--kind of.
"Yeah, most people are trying to escape from here rather than to here."
"You don't like it here?" Lucy asked.
"I've lived here my entire life, it gets a little stifling, you know?"
"I know how that feels. Living in a big city is exactly like that. Um in an opposite kind of way" Peter raised his eyebrows. "I know you might think living in a big city means lots of opportunities, but it doesn't. There are so many people that you can't ever escape. Wherever you go, you can't be alone."
"I get it" Peter replied, but Lucy was pretty sure he didn't understand the extent of it. They spent the rest of the time in the kitchen deciding on the perfect place to live. They decided that a small to medium sized town in the mountains would be best. Of course, it would also have to be near a beach and be seventy two degrees at all times, but it would still snow.
The next day, Lucy got to get som essentials from "town". The "town" consisted of a grocery, a drugstore, a florist, a hardware store and a few other small shops. As far as Lucy could see, "living in town" did not exist here. Everybody owned a farm.
She went into the grocery and went up to the girl at the counter and before she could check out the girl asked, "So you're the new girl. I've heard so much about you!"
"Really," Lucy replied, "I haven't even been here twenty-four hours"
"Well, news travels fast in places where nothing ever happens. I practically know everything about you."
Lucy smiled and said. "Then you probably already know my name, what's yours"
"I'll introduce myself formally, I'm Lucy Walton"
"Yeah, you're right I already knew that. I also know that you lived in St. Louis before this and that you came here to get away from my mom"
"Something like that" Lucy didn't like the idea that Peter had told everyone about her.
This story will be continued soon!