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Life At Its Best - Chapter 2

What would happen if your mother died and left you to take care of your sister? How would your world change? Even if it meant leaving your dream home for a childproof house, or leaving your love life for your family.
The waves crashed against the walls of the sandy beach, the wind has been picking up since 5 am this morning. The fishing boats have constantly been on the cold ocean water catching salmon and trout, depending on the boat. From the looks of the clouds, rain is on its way mixed with some thunder, lightning, and heavy winds. Jacob predicts a hurricane, but I keep saying it's too cold for that. Grace is upstairs in her new room reading 'The Berenstain Bears: The Golden Rule' at least that's how it sounds. Grace reads aloud, so you can hear her pronouncing the words and troubling on big words. Although I am not her mother, I know what my mother would have done, let Grace figure it out on her own.

Since my mother died I have been taking care of Grace and fixing the funeral plans, cleaning the house, making breakfast, lunch, and dinner, selling my parents’ house, and packing all my parents' stuff into trucks to sell later on this year. My plan is to empty my parents’ house then sell it by the end of this year. It's a lot of work, but I will hopefully accomplish it!

"Jacob! Supper time!! Grace!! Supper time!!" I yell at the two, Jacob is upstairs checking email and uploading grades into his laptop for his kid's report cards. Jacob has four different classes each with about 25 kids into each, which equals to only about 100 grades.

"Well, sit down Jake and Grace; we are having mashed potatoes, peas, and strawberries. Grace do you want milk, water, or lemonade?" I ask pulling out milk and lemonade. I pour some milk into Jake's glass, water into mine and await a response from Grace. The only time she actually comes downstairs is for the meals, which I figure is better than the first day. The day my mother died Grace ran upstairs and didn't come down at all for 1 week. I ended up bringing food upstairs to her bedroom door to eat from.

"I guess I will have milk, please." Grace replies longer than I expected, a quiet response but still a response.

"How was your day Jake?" I say sparking up a hint to Jacob to start a conversation with Grace.

"It was good; the school was warm today, at least inside. I had a child today that started a fight in my class in the locker room. Two young boys, a shame because their grades were exceptional, in my class at least." Jacob says looking at me then lifting a fork full of mashed potatoes into his mouth.

"Tell us about the fight, how much trouble did they get into?" Grace asks Jake, first time she seemed interested in anything since my mom died.

"Well, now that you ask, the boys were aged seven and eight. I believe from the class that they were both good friends, well I guess at one time. The argument began among Chris, eight-year-old, called Brian, seven-year old, stupid. I heard from the other boys that Chris started to push Brian around, when Brian snapped and fought back. I walked into the locker room before bell rang and found Chris with a bloody lip and nose, plus Brian with a bloody nose and mouth. Clearly they both had good grades, the principal called them both in for two weeks of detention, which consisted of cleaning school. They have both been suspended from my class for those two weeks as well. Which means that-" Then Grace interrupted.

"If there was ever any graded assignments or tests or quizzes, both Chris and Brian would receive a zero for them." Grace said looking at Jacob, then filling her spoon with peas and emptying them into her mouth.

"Right, how did you know that, Grace?"

"It was simple and Mrs. Augustine told us that when we took a field trip to the upper classrooms. She told us that it brings your grade down tremendously and doesn't look good on your report card. Which reminds me, when am I going back to school?" Grace asks me and Jacob looking at us with curious eyes.

"Umm, we didn't think you were ready to go back yet, Grace. You know with mom dying and us getting back into regular routine-" Yet again interrupted by Grace.

"Katie! It has been 4 weeks! I want to go back and see my friends and leave this stupid house for a start." With that Grace got up from her seat at the table and stormed off to her new room, slamming her door shut. Jacob looking over at me, he finished his supper, cleared the table and walked upstairs to check on Grace.

"Grace! Open up! Now!" Jacob yelled at Grace's door. Then with no luck he found a pick from his pocket and picked open the door. He walked inside and closed the door behind him. With that I was left sitting at the table, thinking about my future with my sister as my new daughter.

Grace Stewards is a five-year old girl, my sister, when my mother died I am now her only family left, besides Gram and Gramp. I have been talking to Jacob at night about getting married after school and raising Grace instead of sending her away to a new and sturdy family. But, Jacob always tells me, "She is your sister and you are her sister, family stays with family." This then leaves me with the decision of keeping Grace and leaving Jacob or giving Grace away and keeping Jacob.

Lying in bed, Jacob next to me, Grace asleep in her bed, and the storm crackling outside. I crawl out of bed and walk down the hall into Grace's room, I peer inside her room and find her sound asleep, curled into a ball and hugging her teddy bear 'Beary'. When I turn around, I bump into Jacob who is staring down at me and closed door in behind of me. He takes my hand and we both head downstairs for a midnight cup of tea. As, I find a seat on the couch, Jacob is already next to me holding a hard wooded tray with a teapot and two glass tea cups sitting on it. He lays the tray down on red wooden table in front of us. He looks over at me and kisses me, then folding me into his muscular arms. I rest my head against his chest and begin to think about our four-year relationship together.

We met at school during our freshman year of high school in Mr. McGuire’s Biology class. We were picking lab partners for a frog dissection lab and it had to be someone you didn't know. Jacob was the only boy who by the end of the class did not have a partner, so I walked over to him and said, "Hey do you have a lab partner?" He responded to me by smiling and shaking his head. From then we both have been friends, we only started dating during the end of freshman year, when he asked me at the end of the year, spring formal. By that time most of the girls had already picked their dates and I had already decided not to bother going. But, then Jacob walked over to my house two afternoons’ before the dance and asked me to go. From then on is history, Jacob and I have been hated on before, but we couldn't care less due to our strong relationship. It was only a few months ago that we both decided to buy a house and move in together. My mother back then approved Jacob and me dating and moving together, she also enjoyed seeing me happy.

Dating is a risky treat, either it works out or it is a disappointment. Every time someone gets a broken heart, it is for their best interest. Just remember, one day you will find someone who you can trust, love, and lean on for support. That one day will come, so don't rush and enjoy life.
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Published: 7/26/2012
Bouquets and Brickbats