A Moment Suspended in Time. Chapter 2

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My reflection stared me in the face. A reflection of yesterday, which haunts me still. The sunlight through the small bathroom window flickered on my flaxen hair– hair the color of lemon drops and daffodils. The long tendrils looked like spun gold. I stared into the sky blue depths of my bright, piercing eyes.

Slowly, I lapsed back to present day. As I brushed my hair, I noticed the once light blonde hair is now darkened to a medium ash blonde. The eyes, though, still hold the bright sparkle of yesterday. The blue is just as light and bright. It was the color of the sky after a sudden thunderstorm– a stunned and sullen shade of electric blue.

I replayed the image of my former self in my mind’s eye. As I glanced at the young girl in the mirror, I noticed that her eyes were much too old for her six years. These were eyes filled with too much knowledge and pain for a six-year-old child.

Remembering that day is still very painful, yet it should have been a happy and carefree time in my life. I was so very excited a just week earlier. My mommy and daddy had sat me down for a talk. During our conversation, I had learned that I had a bother and a sister that I had never met.

They told me that my Dad had been married years ago to another lady and that he and that lady had two children. I learned that I had a brother named Rob and a sister named Sally. I was simply thrilled! For an only child to learn that she has brothers and sisters, it is truly a dream come true.

For many years, I had longed for someone– anyone– to play with, widdling away the hours of my childhood. Being an only child can be a very lonely existence. I was almost constantly surrounded by adults. The only times that I had other kids to play with was when my cousins would come and spend the night. Of course, this had a down side. They enjoyed fighting more than playing it seemed.

I learned that Rob, my newfound brother, was coming to live with us in a few days. After our little “talk”, I felt like such a big girl. To be included in this very adult conversation made me feel special. It made me feel as though I had been let in on a great secret. Usually I would get these little tidbits of information from eavesdropping on their conversations after my bedtime.

By the next day, I was driving both Grandma and Mom crazy. It was a beautiful summer morning that we sometimes take for granted in the midwest- a hot day filled with warm sunshine, beautiful flowers that tickle our noses with their fresh, light scent, and a slight breeze that chases the humidity away. I had been out running around our large yard, not content with playing in my little sad pit below the large maple that shaded the front of our large house.

After exploring around the yard, I ran inside the house to see what I had been missing. My grandma sounded thoroughly disgusted when she called; “Now you settle down, young lady!” I lowered my eyes, embarrassed that I had made Grandma raise her voice. You see I had always been her special girl. Of all of her twenty-three grandchildren, I was the only one that had ever lived with her.

My parents lived with my grandma even before I was born. Grandma and I were nearly inseparable from a very early age, which explained our close bond. She longingly caressed my hair and pulled me close, hugging me to her ample bosom. Her white hair was a contrast to the light honeysuckle color of my own. Her olive skin tone drastically contrasted my peaches and cream complexion.

It had always amazed me that I looked almost nothing like my mother or my grandmother. Their dark, Italian beauty was so exotic, so different from my own very fair features. I looked like a female version of my father. We had the exact same eyes. His nose and hair was even similar to mine. Well, that is when he actually used to have hair.

Mom’s voice broke into my thoughts, “Your Dad is leaving work early to go to the church and pick up Rob. They should be back by six,” Mom said as she motioned for me to join her at the sink. She added, “Honey, come help me snap these beans for supper.”

“Ok, Mommy. I sort of like that job, ” I said with a smile as I bounded over to the sink where she stood. My grandma followed me, and we all set to work cleaning the beans.

Helping my mom and grandma, I felt like such a big girl. We were all working together to prepare a very special dinner. As I twisted the ends off of the beans, my mind wandered back to my new brother. I couldn’t quite figure out why he was staying at a church, instead of with his Mommy. I had heard Mom and Dad talking the night before. I was embarrassed when I heard what they were saying. I was sure they had never intended for me to hear it.

I heard my Mom ask, “Why on earth did Alice send Rob off to live with that Pastor?”

“Well Sophia, because her new husband didn’t want to be bothered with Rob,” my Dad offered bitterly.

Mom responded with another question, raising her voice a bit this time, “Who on earth sends her child away for anyone, especially a man?”

“Alice never was the best mother,” he said with a sad tenderness that I didn’t hear in my Dad’s voice often.

When Mom spoke again, I could almost hear the sob she choked back as she said, “Well, he will always have a home here.” Soon after that I had drifted off to sleep.

I think it was the sounds of cooking that brought me back to the kitchen. The pork chops sat breaded in a pan, and the potatoes were bubbling on the stove. The beans that I was snapping when I drifted off were being taken away by Grandma. She was rinsing them. I watched as she poured them into a large kettle, and sat it on the stove also.

I looked at the clock. The short hand was approaching the six. It wouldn’t be long until Dad was home with my new brother. I anxiously awaited the sound of Dad’s car climbing the long, hilly driveway. Then, I heard it! The sound of two car doors slamming filled me with anticipation. I nervously waited for the door to open.

To be continued..