The waves crash against the soft, sandy beach while the wind pours over the coast of Maine. The fishing boats are out and about, nets, rods, and fish appear. The rain has finally disappeared after a good couple of days, now the crops and farms get to take action. Grace is sound asleep in her bedroom with the covers tucked over her warm body. Jacob and I are sitting on the porch watching the waves crash on the beach. His arm is around my shoulders while my hands are cupped around a warm cup of coffee. Even at 7:30 in the morning, the beach is still calm and nice to live near, that is until all the schools open up for classes.
"When do you think is a good time to send Gracie back to school?" Jacob asks me, looking at the water waiting for an answer.
"Jake... are you really starting to think about that?" I ask him looking at his eyes, wondering what his mind is thinking about.
"Kate, Grace is right, it has been almost 4 weeks since your mother died. We need to get back to our normal life. Which means, getting Grace back to school and both of us back to work. I know you are worried about her and what she is thinking about all of this but, for her mental sake I think getting her back to her friends will help all of this. I'm sorry hun, I just think it's time to move on and get back into the routine of our new life as parents for Grace."
"You're right, just coming back to reality about this is hard on me." I say feeling a small tear slipping down my cheek. Jacob gently places his thumb on my cheek to wipe away tear. He kisses my cheek and smiles at me with his perfect white teeth and handsome dimples.
"It's hard for Grace and I too, Kate, don't worry you always have someone here for you." He says smiling at me then hugging me slightly.
"Another quick question, Jake." I say looking at him and smiling at his cute dimples.
"And what is that, Kate."
"Should we get married? I mean, I know we are only 20 years old, but with Grace living here now and all. I don't know I was just wondering."
"Well, we are done with college and we both have jobs, a house, and money. I will think about it, let's just wait and see." He says looking at me.
Dropping Grace off at school was a relief yet hard at the same time. Living with her and no school for 4 weeks, then going back to school since mom's death, it's just different. But I like different, so then again maybe this will be a good thing for me.
As I drove home from the Elementary School, I thought about my parents. I felt my eyes rush with tears as pictures of them came up in my mind. I pulled to the side of the road and cried my eyes out, that is until my cell phone rung. The caller ID said Jacob so I immediately knew something was up, just because Jake never calls me during the day.
"Hello?" I question into the phone after I open the screen to find Jake's contact number.
"Hey Hun, come back to the school now, it's about Grace." He says worriedly into the phone, as I collect myself and turn on the car again.
"I am on my way there." I say quickly into the phone as I spin the car wheel back onto the road, where the traffic begins. I hang up the phone and honk my horn at the person in front of me. He speeds through the green light while I step on the gas. I wipe my eyes one last time before concentrating on Grace and Jake back at school.
I pull my car up to the school parking lot and see Jake and Grace standing out in the front. He is angrily speaking to Grace as I walk up to the school building. Jacob spots me and stops talking to Grace.
"What happened?!" I say to Jacob, a little loud though.
"Grace, tell your sister what you did?" He says looking down at her, with his evil staring eyes.
"Nothing happened, can't we just go home now!?" She yells at me and Jacob.
"No! Tell your sister what you did now!" He yells at Grace, grabbing her wrist. Grace yanks away from Jake's grip and runs off towards the car without looking at the street if a car was coming.
"What happened, Jacob?" I ask a little more calm now, staring at Grace near the side of the locked car.
"She got into a fight and was put in time out, well the story gets better. She gets out from 'time out' and runs to the girl that she was being rude to and punched her in the arm, then shoved her against the wall. You would think that she would be smart enough to stay away, but no! Not even after what happened at home! She just can't behave for us!?" Jake yells at me, staring at the car with Grace in it. He then begins to walk quickly towards the car until I grab his wrist and yank him back.
"What are you doing, Jacob?! Can't you see she is upset? Grace is trying to get our attention by getting into a fight at school. It's obvious that she is still sad about what happened with my mom. Please, don't yell at her, she is my sister, I just don't want her to ignore us again. Please... I'm sorry Jake." I say a little bit more on the calm side as I watch Jacob look down on me. A small tear falls from his watery eyes, telling me that he does care about us.
As we pull into the driveway, Grace opens her door and jumps out of the car, falling onto the grass. She closes her door and runs to the front yard where she opens the gate to the sandy beach. I watch as she plops herself down on the dry sand, then I see her digging a hole. I think back to my days as a child when I used to play down by the water digging holes to use as my bowl for 'sand cakes'. I used to grab the sand with the most water covering it then sprinkle it on the dry sand to make a sand cake. My mother used to tell me that I should be a baker one day, use my wonderful imagination as a tool for the cakes. My mother is just a memory now, a wonderful, and sad memory.
As I drift off to my memory land of my mother, I hear the passenger door open beside me. I watch as Jacob climbs in, he looks at Gracie then back at me.
"She reminds me of myself as a little girl... not the fighting part but playing in the sand. Oh the memories..." I say as a tear slips down my cheek where Jacob reaches over and wipes away the tear.
"Yea... she is a keeper. I have been thinking about adoption for Gracie." He says eying me.
"Jake..." I say as my eyes begin to water.
"Let's go inside and discuss this... we need to start thinking, hun." He says as I open the car door and slam it. I walk over to the front door and unlock it, peering inside at the empty house. Jake goes and grabs some tea and a couple blankets, then starts a fire in the fireplace. I instantly hear the crackling of the fire and know I am home. In front of me I hear Gracie stomping inside, her bare feet touch the cold wooden floor as she slips off her backpack and raincoat, gently placing both on the hooks. She watches the fire crackle for a moment before hopping up the stairs to her room, where I hear the door silently shut. Jacob comes and sits beside me on the brown leather sofa, raising his bare feet up on the TV table. I begin to curl up next to him where he places his arms around my warmer body.
I wipe my eyes realizing the decision has been made, and there is no turning back now.