Welcome to TUESDAY TALES. This week we’re writing to the prompt ‘dance’.
Victoria and Toby, seemingly mismatched with her love of antiques and the past and his desire to not delve into the past, take a surprise drive to the house his grandparents lived in, before they were killed by a drunk driver.
This is the last segment of Starting Over. I need to wrap up the tale to submit to a publisher in the New Year. Tuesday Tales will be taking a brief two week Christmas break. We’ll be back on December 30th, and I’ll have a new story for you!
Enjoy – and feel free to leave a comment. Click the link here to go back to the main Tuesday Tales site for more entertaining story snippets.
“The only happy moments of my childhood were spent in that farmhouse down there.”
Tears welled up in Victoria’s eyes. “That’s your grandmother’s house?”
A long pause of silence filled the car. A soft, “yes” was finally uttered in response. “They were my only rock of stability. My flaky mom couldn’t keep her life together, so Grandpa and Grandma did what they could. Until they died. Then my world was back to sleeping in cars and always being on the move.”
“Why didn’t you and your mom move into the house after they died?”
“They didn’t trust my mom anymore. Everything they ever gave her she always sold. When someone with a habit doesn’t want to get well, they never will. Any gifts or help they tried to give her were always just a means for another drinking spree. Another weekend – or month – of partying. So their will stipulated that the house be sold and the money put into a trust for me. Something my mom couldn’t touch.”
“That’s too bad.” Victoria reached out and covered his hand with hers. “I’m so sorry. Do you come back to look at the house often?”
A genuine laugh erupted from the driver. “Ahhh … no! This is the first I’ve been back in years. But, you’re so curious about the grandmotherly influence of my past, I thought you’d like to see it.” A somber look settled in and replaced the laughter. “The money did pay for my college though. I suppose I should be grateful for that. At least the money went to a purpose they would have approved of.”
The two sat in silence; Toby deep in thought and Victoria unsure of what words to use in a moment like this. When Toby burst into laughter again, she looked back at her escort, a little confused about the flip-flopping moods. A smile had reappeared on the handsome bronze face.
“My Grandma liked to cook and bake. I told you about her biscuits.” She nodded her head in agreement. “She also liked her music. The radio or a record was almost always playing. Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Barry White – but mostly ‘The King’. She knew the words to every Elvis song there was. Sometimes she’d grab me up and we’d dance around the kitchen like we were the only two people in the world.”
A tenderness filled Victoria’s heart, thinking of the little boy dancing around the kitchen with his beloved grandmother. Maybe she’d been too hasty in judging him as cold and uncaring. People often have odd ways of dealing with pain and unpleasantness in their lives. She wasn’t immune to that. She tended to run away. He apparently built walls around his heart.