She had been driving for hours before Sam Sawyer finally saw the sign that was posted across from the long gravel driveway to her family’s old country house. Wanton vines had consumed the fence behind the sign, and it had almost found its way up the wood on the marker that said “Sawyer Family Farm”. It was faded.
When she had gotten the call from her auntie, Sam had no idea that things had been so out of control with the rest of the family. She had moved away from them years ago, and she didn’t care to visit too often. Sam was never one that would abide by family rules because she was a bit of a rebel. She repealed any kind of figure that tried to boss her around, and she was more likely to follow her heart than to listen to the direction of others, even authority figures. The family hated the ways she acted and reacted, but Sam was content with who she was and would always be.
As she drove along the driveway, her mind wandered to the last time she had seen Auntie Bev. It was a toxic last encounter. Sam and Bev had a hard time communicating because of how opposite their personalities were around each other and in their lives outside of the family.
Bev was like the judge, jury, and executioner of Sam’s dreams and aspirations. She had taken over for Sam’s parents when they took off to Paris for a majority of their daughter’s younger years. Sam reflected back to trips she and Bev had taken to the grocery store, and how her annoying aunt would make her stay right by her. It was to the point that she had to be one of those kids that latch to their mother’s legs to prevent them from leaving. Auntie Bev is still that way. Maybe because she is not able to breed and make an offspring of her own. The dreadful woman made it her life’s work to encroach into every aspect of Sam’s life.
As she coasted the rest of the way into the drive, Sam saw Bev immediately swarm out of the front door like the house was on fire. She was waving her hands in the air like a woman who had gone mad, and all Sam could think to do is cower down in the seat of the Ford Focus she had been driving for two days…a rental from Enterprise. Her mind blacked out and painted her mind with an emptiness. Seeing her aunt triggered so many bad memories, and she was having a panic attack.
She put her car in park, grabbed her cell phone, and opened the door of her car slowly. Sam was not in a hurry to go inside the house filled with memories of time past. Bev met her at her car door, and she was anxious for Sam to exit her vehicle.
“Sam! It’s so nice to see you!” The octave in her voice made Sam cringe a little bit. “Come on silly…let’s get you inside!”
Sam found it hard to speak words as her anxiousness had built a ball of emotions in her throat. Bev was standing there like a fangirl ready to jump on her favorite singer. “I’m coming. I need a minute. I’ll meet you at the door.”
Bev was put off by her response, but she nodded with a smile and made her way to the front door of the family house. Sam gathered everything she needed from the passenger seat of the car and stepped out using the car door to bolster her body that felt weak with regret from actually being at this house. She could hear her aunt hollering in the door to people that were like strangers to Sam. She rolled her eyes without realizing it.
As she passed the hedges that surrounded the sidewalk to the lanai that housed the front door, she heard people chattering inside. Her heart was purring and racing out of her chest. She had not seen any of these people for ages it seemed.
Bev lead her inside the door to the entryway that held a caboodle of picture frames of people that were strangers. Her family was very influential in the community, so they always attended some sort of public event to donate their money to, fundraisers, and such. The was one wall that was to remember all of the family and friends that passed, and that wall creeped her out. Their idea of remembrance was taking photos of dead people in coffins, and Sam had never been a fan of funerals, let alone seeing them every single day laying in their death beds with their souls somewhere else…empty bodies. Gross, she thought as she saw all of her dead relatives again. The clock in the hallway chimed for the hour, and beside it sat an angel who was resting upon a pedestal holding up a baby to the sky like Simba in Lion King…also very creepy as it looked like an offering of a newborn to the heavens above. It was typical nonsense of her parents. They were strange. She strived not to be so weird, but sometimes she failed.
“Come now, Samantha! Everyone is waiting for you in the den. They are so excited to see you again!” Bev was being pushy as usual.
“I’m coming, goodness sakes, Bev.” She shot a glare to her aunt that made the short, medium build woman take a few steps back.
She came to the conclusion she just needed to get it over with and deal with all of the cheek pinching and awkward hugs.
“No need to bite my head off…we’re just all really happy to get to spend some time with you.” Bev winced and walked away.
Sam shrugged her shoulders and kept exploring the room filled with the living and the dead. She shivered her way down the hallway to the kitchen. Her grandmother was cutting carrots at the island in the center of the room, and she didn’t see Sam walk into the kitchen. Music was playing…country music…and she was singing along gleefully. Sam startled her when she touched her shoulder.
“Hi, Grandma!” Sam said loudly over Randy Travis’s Too Gone Too Long song.
Sam’s grandmother paused her music with the remote and hopped out of the chair to hug her tightly. “Oh, Sam! It’s so nice to see you. It’s been too long! I have missed you more than words can say! Come give me a big ole hug!”
Sam smiled as big as she could as she received the biggest hug given to her in quite some time. As she wrapped her arms around Grandma, she noticed that she was a bit more feeble than she remembered. This wonderful lady had been her mother more than the one she was born from. She didn’t associate with her parents, but her grandmother was another story. She could never go this long before seeing her, and she was not going to let any more time pass. She would have to make sure that she made the effort to spend time with her granny because time had not been kind to her. She looked old.
“Grandma, I missed you too. I’m sorry I haven’t been better at keeping in touch with you. Life has happened, and it’s been more chaotic than I imagined. So many changes have happened for me. Good changes, but they have needed time for adjustment.” Sam proclaimed and said caringly to her elderly best friend.
Grandma went back to slicing her carrots, and Sam plunged in to help her get the dinner ready. Bev was jealously watching them from the entrance to the kitchen. Sam looked back and smiled at the green-gilled monster of an aunt, and she went back chopping to help her grandma.
“I struggled with coming here, but it’s all worth it for time with you.” She looked into her grandma’s wrinkled eyes with love and support. “I promise we will spend more time together. I love you.”
Grandma smiled largely, and she continued peeling the vegetables for the soup. “I love you, too!”
This was written for Crimsons Creative Challenge #160, Three Things Challenge, Daily Spurs Word of the Day, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Random Word Prompt, My Vivid Blog, and Your Daily Word Prompt.