Monday, September 14, 2009

“So, how is Eddie?” Amanda asks her brother “How long until he’s back?”

“Ugh. Eight more weeks. You’d think after a year it wouldn’t be so hard, but I swear the days get so much longer the closer it gets. And he’s fine. Misses me more than he can say.”

Literally. Eddie is Mike’s boyfriend of the last four years, the latest of them spent in Afghanistan with the Marines. Some people do not care how many lives you have saved. If the love you left back home is a dude, you could get into trouble. Mike tries not to be bitter about this, but months ago he was denied entry to a support group “for military wives”. He has found support on the internet, and what little his sister can offer him, she does. He does appreciates it.

Daniel and his ex-wife Debbie have tremendous pride in their gorgeous daughter, with her perfect marriage, blossoming career and healthy, bright children. Mike is regarded as the one they loves “despite his being gay”. It is not Amanda’s fault that they do this, but it itches Mike.

His two favorite relations are his Granna Agnes, and his cousin Caroline.

Agnes slowly beings to rise from her chair. Her grandchildren begin to ask her if she needs help with anything.

“I’m fine, dears. I think I’ll just go lie down in my room for a while. Michael can help me in.”

She smells like sunshine and tea leaves. Michael has her on his arm, and he walks her into her house and down the hall to her first floor bedroom. She has a large bed with a plethora of crisp white pillows, ARL embroidered on them. An entire wall is covered with photos, all in black wood frames, spanning over seventy years. They are not in any order, but Agnes can tell you who they all are, and when they all are.

Michael helps her slip off her shoes. She removes her hat, and Michael takes it and places it into the pink hat box that is open on her dresser. Since the age of fourteen, Agnes has never left her house without a hat. She currently has twenty one.

She lies back and sighs. She closes her eyes, and Michael stands.

"Want me to leave you alone, Gran?"

"I think so, Michael. I'll just take a short nap. If I'm not up in half an hour, will you get me?"

"Sure thing, lady."

She is sleeping, with a smile, before he is even down the hallway.

No comments: