Generation 1 Prologue pt 2
This Chapter is Rated PG 13. Mild Language
A couple of weeks had passed since the big reveal. My grandmother and I were hardly talking to one another despite at her attempts to pull me into conversation at every opportunity. I found it hard to be around her, her sad eyes followed me wherever I went, and haunted my dreams. Just when I felt like I could forgive her deceit the pain and anger would come back rushing back full force almost knocking me on my ass with its intensity. God bless her for trying, and it killed me to see the pain in her eyes when she looked at me. I imagined she felt like she was losing her daughter all over again…
I wasn’t sleeping well. My nights were spent in solitude, and I kept to myself mostly, keeping out of sight in my bedroom. The silence in the house was so thick you could cut it with a knife.
The minute the first rays of the sun peaked at me through the blinds I was awake, groaning at the thought of spending another day full of awkwardness and silence. I missed the way it used to be between us, and now, I wasn’t sure if it would ever be the same…
I finally gave up on sleep and sat up rubbing my eyes, and shoved my feet into my old comfortable yet worn out slippers.
The fluorescent lighting hummed when I turned on the bathroom light in my bathroom. The lights hummed for a moment steadily growing brighter causing me to squint at my reflection.
I studied my features, wondering how much of my mother’s DNA attributed to my overall appearance, and what of my father? Did I inherit some of his features, maybe the curve of my nose or my strong jaw line? Some nameless John off the streets looking for a quick bang and a good time, who had no idea I was even alive.
I suddenly felt sick to my stomach. I barely made it to the toilet in time before I heaved out my stomach contents into the toilet, which wasn’t much considering I wasn’t a stress eater, and eating was the last thing on earth I felt like doing.
I filled up the sink with cold water and splashed my face, patting it dry with a fluffy hand towel. I vigorously brushed my teeth afterwards to get the sour taste out of my mouth. I stared into the mirror. Get a grip, Madeline. I scolded myself. You’re losing it.
The shower felt heavenly on my tired achy muscles. I had never realized how much tension I had been carrying around in my back and shoulders for the last couple of weeks. I closed my eyes and let the water cascade over my body.
As the thick spray pounded on my back and the glass shower doors began to steam up I thought about my Grandmother. Would I ever be able to say that word again without wincing, like I had just stuck my finger in an electrical socket?
If I was honest with myself, I had to admit that I was pretty lucky growing up. We didn’t have the nicest house on the block, or take fancy vacations, but I grew up knowing that I was loved, and I knew my place in the world. Growing up, my grandmother worked 2 jobs to support me, and my house was always filled with love and laughter.
I closed my eyes, trying not to break down in the shower, even though I wanted to curl up in a fetal position and let myself drown. That was the hardest part. I grew up feeling so loved and secured, despite my lack of father figure growing up, she was both mother and father to me. It was all a lie…
I sulked in my room after my shower till about noon. The house was silent. Had she left? The sounds of my stomach growling reminded me that although I didn’t feel hungry, my body demanded nourishment.
I poked my head outside my bedroom door making sure she wasn’t down in the kitchen, otherwise I’d rather assume I starve to death. Coast was clear.
In the kitchen I heated up a breakfast burrito and sat down at the kitchen table. It tasted like saw dust in my mouth, but I had to eat something to keep me going.
I had just finished my last bite when a shadow appeared in the doorway of the dining room. My mother, clad in a pink flowered bathrobe leaned against the door frame and cleared her throat looking down at the carpet.
I pushed my plate out-of-the-way and looked down at the table, counting the grain in the wood, wishing the earth would open up and swallow me whole.
“Mind if I join you?” She asked quietly, her green eyes so full of sadness that I had to look away.
“The seat isn’t taken.” I said stiffly.
“Maddy…” She began. “I just”
“Jesus Christ!” I swore knowing that it would really rub my mother the wrong way, she was a religious but fair woman. “I’m not ready to talk about this yet, can’t you just leave me the hell alone and let me get over this?” I looked up briefly, guilt flaring in my gut for the pain I caused in her eyes.
“Madeline Elizabeth Drake.” She said firmly. “I know you are angry with me right now, and I understand that, but I raised you better than this. We have never fought like this before, it kills me to see you hurting. I may have not given birth to you, but I raised you and loved you, and will continue to love you no matter what.”
I stood up before she could see the tears that formed behind my closed lids.
I got up from the table and walked out into the hall with her close behind.
“Madeline, I’ve let you had time to process this all on your own, but enough is enough, we are going to talk about this now, one way or another this ends now.”
I sighed and sat down stiffly in the living room.
“I get your hurt, confused, and more than a little angry. I need you to realize that all I did, I did out of love. I was worried about your safety. Every night I would lay you down in your crib I was worried Melissa would come back for you and steal you away in the night. She was a very troubled young girl, but I couldn’t lose you Madeline, I just couldn’t. It kills me to think that things might not ever be the same between us again.” Her voice trailed off as she burst into noisy tears that tugged at my heart.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about this.” I began quietly. I looked up to meet her eyes, knowing my next words were going to break her heart. “I’m leaving. You told me a few days ago one of the last leads you had on my mother was in North Port, Virginia. Maybe she’s still there. You might have given up on her, but I will not just let her live on the streets.”
I watched the blood drain from her face, she went so still it was eerily frightening.
“We can hire a private investigator to track her down, maybe a new lead will turn up. Anything, but please don’t leave.” She begged, her hands in her lap twisting her bathrobe anxiously, tears streaming down her face. “And what about college, Madeline. Your future.”
“I’m not asking your permission.” I said meeting her eyes boldly. “If my mother is out there, I will find her.”
I left her crying on the couch, and felt little regret with my choice. This was truly something that I had to do, after all I couldn’t live at home forever.
I found myself out in the back yard staring up at the house I had called home for my entire life. I laid down in the grass propping myself up on my elbows. The house wasn’t much, Not the biggest grandest house on the block, the vibrant red brick was fading, but it had been my home, and I would miss it. The tree above me that partially shaded me from the warm spring sun, I used to climb in as a kid. My mother would always fret watching me climb the tree, worrying I would fall out and crack my skull one day.
So many memories… I looked toward my mothers flower garden. Tears clouded my vision as I pictured her in the garden with her garden gloves and spade, lovingly tending to her flowers. I swallowed the lump in my throat and widened my eyes to keep myself from breaking down.
You don’t have to do this Madeline. I told myself. You can forgive her, go to college, have a life, and forgive and forget. This hurt angry person isn’t you. She raised you better than this. I closed my eyes against the flood of emotions. Forgive her…
Suddenly the baby picture I found in my Grandmother’s dresser of my mother popped into my head. In my mind’s eye, like a movie, I saw my mother happy and healthy on her mother’s lap. She had been loved and cherished once. She needed me, even if she had left me and never looked back. As much as I tried to be angry with her, I couldn’t.
I didn’t know much about my mother, I didn’t know the circumstances, that drove her to a life of prostitution and drugs, but all I knew is that she had made sure I was safe before she left. She dropped me off at the one place she could trust that I would grow up loved and wanted. I owed it too her to find her. There simply was no other option for me.
My grandmother drove me to the train station in silence, but not before stopping at the bank and withdrawing a few grand out of my savings for my trip. In the parking lot she turned to me pressing the thick envelope into my hands.
“It’s not too late to change your mind Madeline.” She said huskily, grabbing my hand and holding it tight. “You don’t have to do this. We can hire another investigator.”
“It’s time to go.” I said simply removing my hand from her grasp and opening the car door. She followed me into the train station.
I purchased a one way ticket to North Port, Virginia, and after several minutes of silence between my grandmother and I, my train was called.
She was stiff, her eyes red rimmed from crying as she faced me outside by the boarding train. “I always assumed I would say goodbye to you heading off to college, and not like this.” She sighed, the sound sounded heavy with regret.
“I know.” I said quietly. “Thank you for letting me use the money I had saved up for college.”
“It’s your money. You earned it. And it’s up to you what you do with it.”
My tongue felt glued to the roof of my mouth, and every time I opened my mouth to say goodbye, I found myself unable to speak. Finally my mother made the first move.
“I love you Madeline.” She said huskily. “I love you so much, so much that I’m willing to let you go. But know, that at any time, you can come back, and that I’ll support you no matter what decisions you chose in life. Just please take care of yourself.” She started to cry in earnest, tears streaming down her face. “Please stay safe Maddy.” She closed her eyes and said a silent prayer.
Suddenly I found myself in her arms. Her familiar perfume enveloped my senses, intermingling with her shampoo that smelled faintly of citrus. It smelled like home. Tears pricked beneath my lashes and I let them fall. I rested my head on her shoulder comforted by her scent and softness.
It’s not to late to turn back, my inner voice whispered once again. But I couldn’t. If my mother was out there, I would find her.
I boarded the train, taking my seat next to the window. My grandmother looked so lost and alone standing by the empty gate. I waved through the window and pressed my hand against the cool glass. I kept it there until the train screeched against the rails and began to move. I watched my grandmother wave until she was out of sight.
I kept on waving, until I couldn’t see her, and finally rested my head against the headrest and closed my eyes allowing the tears to fall.
Author’s note: Thanks so much for reading! North Port is a fictional city based off a real life town near my hometown in Michigan. I chose the state Virginia due to its location on the coast, so I can use all the functions of the expansion, Island Paradise. Also for the fact that Virginia has 4 distinct Seasons, although somewhat milder then what I deal with here in Michigan. I hate playing in tropical places since the snow from the expansion pack Season’s doesn’t make much using palm trees. I hope the fictional city makes sense. 🙂