The winter is beginning to move on, but the cold and dry air is still heavily affecting my allergies and me. Every time I walk downstairs and the cold floor comes in contact with my small feet, chills attack my body covering even the warmest places. My fingers turn white and my toes become frostbitten, the only warmth in this small cottage or house is the fireplace. All that I can think of are the thoughts about spring time, when the rain moves in and replaces the cold air with warm air. Nice 70 degree weather during the summer and 60 degree weather during the spring. The rain takes over the crops by spreading out and changing into flood-filled gardens. The ocean yet, stays the same, the wave’s crash a little larger and the sand is completely soaked but mostly everything else is the same. The air from the ocean becomes a bit colder when the rain moves in, causing a cold front for all the beach houses including mine. I wish spring and summer could come sooner, then I would forget about my parent’s death.
I hear small footsteps walking down the ice-cold, wooden stairs at 6:45. Listening I hear a small voice sounding much like Grace who sings soft songs when something is wrong; just like my mother. I miss my mother; everything she did reminded me of Grace and still does. The way she sang to herself when something bad had occurred or when something happy had just happened. The way she dressed herself on cold, winter mornings; just like Grace. She used to throw on what she predicted as comfortable and sat down for breakfast with a nice warm cup of coffee. Grace’s hair and soft pink lips reminds me of my mother, a golden blonde with tints of brown. Her eyes are a light blue color, almost like the ocean with sparkles whenever the sun comes out of hiding.
The way Grace’s body stands from the ground, even though she is small now, mom used to be small as well. Mom’s fingertips were shiny as though she took time every morning to paint a top coat. Grace’s teeth are straight even as a young child, just like my mom’s. I remember my mom telling Grace and I about how, when she was little, never needed braces because her teeth were naturally straight. She used to tell us funny stories about her parents, when they lived on a farm. She told us that the pigs would always escape from their pens, no one would notice, except the dogs that would start barking madly. My grandparents were something special and still are to this day. All the memories my mother and father left me with are inseparable but special and brings me to tears thinking about them. I miss my mother and father so much, and now that they are gone, I have to make Grace part of my own family, as my daughter.
Jake slowly starts getting up from the bed, stretching his arms, almost smacking me in the face. I open my eyes just the slightest to see a small and very cold, Grace standing at the foot of my bed. She is shivering and staring straight into my hazel eyes. I take on small look at her then motion her small and cold body to come and lay with me, underneath the warm covers.
"What are you doing up so early?" I ask Grace, hoping for an answer; because even I know she has come a long way from her shyness have mom’s death.
"I had a nightmare." Is all she says before snuggling close to me and falling back asleep, resting her golden locks on my shoulder. I wrap my arm around her body, pulling Grace closer to me for more warmth then cold. I fall back asleep, knowing that she is safe with me.
I hear a small noise from downstairs, I open my eyes and look next to me, finding Grace still sound asleep. She now is cuddling with her teddy bear and the white pillow that her head rests on. I hear some rustling and talking then the slam of a fist. I quickly grab my blanket from the chair near my bed and walk fast downstairs, watching as Jake starts the kettle. His hand is rolled into a fist and his phone is on the ground, crushed.
"Katie. Did I wake you? I am so sorry if I did." Jacob says to me, wrapping his arms around my waist, as I hug him.
"No, no, it's fine, I was just about to wake up anyway. What happened?" I ask Jacob who is pouring now, hot water into two mugs and setting them on the coffee table. He walks back to the cabinets and grabs two packets of hot chocolate, opens the pack and pours the powder into the water. I watch as he stirs the chocolate powder into the water, causing the pieces of powder to clump up then dissolve, the water turning a chocolate color. He hands me one of the mugs, carefully, then wraps his arm around my shoulders, while we sit on the couch.
"Just work business and the school calling, canceled as usual on snowy days like this." He tells me kissing my forehead and stirring his hot coco.
"Something as simple as telling me that schools are closed cannot cause your fist and hand to throw your only phone on the ground, allowing scratches and dents to pop on it." I say nodding to the phone behind us, on the cold floor, dead.
"Well, you know it did! Alright! Can’t you just deal with it like a good girlfriend?!" He yells at me, I slam my hot coco on the table, leaving my warm blanket on the couch and walking upstairs, leaving behind the mess I call my boyfriend.
Grace is still sound asleep in bed at 9:45 am which is usual for someone who wakes up as early as 6:15 am for school that starts at 9:00 am. She moves around in her bed before peeking open an eye and placing a small smile on her face, causing me to smile.
"I wish dreams could come true, sis." She tells me, sitting up from our bed and leaning her head back against the headboard, pulling the covers over her body more.
"And why is that?" I ask Grace, who seems to be quite content this morning, seeing as this is the first time she has smiled this much in weeks. I sit on the bed and pull out some wool socks from my drawer, sliding the warmth onto my cold feet.
"Because, then mom and dad would still be alive. You would still be living with us and still dating Jake. We would still have grandma and grandma living close to us, and we would still have our old puppy Annabelle. But, when I wake up, I realize that everything is just a dream and that nothing like that could come back." Gracie says to me, allowing a tear to slide down her cheek, falling onto my bed.
"Oh, Grace, don’t cry. It’s going to be okay. Jake and I love you still." I say, wiping the tears falling, endlessly, from her eyes. I think back to Jacob who was downstairs yelling at me to Grace who is saying that we aren’t dating anymore; it breaks my heart.
"No, you both were going to send me away, not even with granddaddy or grandmama, not to some place I don’t know anyone! You both were fighting this morning not thinking that I am upstairs asleep!! You were worrying about yourselves!! Never about me!! I hate you Katie!!" Grace runs out of the room, tears streaming from her face, and brushing past Jacob who is leaning against the door. I hear her door slam and some pictures fall from the wall outside in the hallway.
"What was that about?" Jacob asks me, walking over and placing a light kiss on my lips, rubbing circles on my back.
"Grace, again." I say moving over slightly for his body to fit in next to me. I pull the covers over my body and lean on Jake’s shoulder, silently crying.
"Baby, don’t cry. Everything is going to be okay." Is all I hear before I hear a car screeching to a stop outside and a loud banging of a fist on the front door. I look at Jake then back at the men standing outside, before I realize that we need to leave.