Tell us about the top five places you’ve always wanted to visit. GO!
That sounds like a sales pitch tossed my way years ago when sitting through one of those time share seminars. We took the knife set and left without a condo. If they didn’t offer anything in Nepal…
I believe this was commented on by me not that long ago, but I’ve always wanted to travel the highway that reaches furthest north in Canada. I want to take my time doing it. I want to enjoy parts of the earth and possibly even venture to a point where few have ventured. I want to see and feel the wonderment of a new vista and unspoiled landscape of creation that is waiting to be seen and appreciated. Then I want to crush an empty bag of McDonald’s fries toss it to the wind so the next person who visits will know that he was not the first. (Come on, lighten up, I’m kidding.)
This is the final episode of the short story Mismatched. I hope it was enjoyable.
Mismatched (Part 5)
Gretty and Grandma
Gretchen stood at the back door facing the backyard. She gathered her composure and walked to the living room. She entered the room with a quiet and composed dignity, but everyone could observe she was fragile.
Jefferson stood. He smiled. “I’m Jefferson Marks. This is my wife, Tonya.”
Tonya rose and offered her hand.
Gretchen kissed Tonya’s cheek.
“I’m pleased to meet you,” Tonya said.
Gretchen’s lips quivered. She could not speak.
“This is my son, Gavin,” Jefferson said.
He rose. Gretchen smiled and kissed his cheek and sat.
“This is my daughter…” Jefferson hesitated. “Her name is Gretchen. We call her Gretty.”
It was as if all the oxygen were sucked from the room.
Gretchen’s eyes met Gretty’s. They smiled and hugged.
“Can I get anyone anything?” Gretchen said.
Everyone said no.
“It seems like everyone has a seat except me,” Gretchen smiled.
Jefferson immediately got up.
“No,” Gretchen said. “Of everybody in this room you should sit and me too.”
Dillon, Braxton’s 17 year old son stood. “Grandma, take my seat.”
“Thank you,” Gretchen said. “Go and get another from the kitchen.”
Dillon walked into the kitchen. “Stay out of the pie,” Gretchen said. Everyone chuckled.
With everyone seated the room fell quiet.
“If this is too hard for you,” Jefferson said. “Perhaps we could speak alone at first.”
“No,” Gretchen said. “I told Braxton that I lived it once, lived with it everyday, and this will be the last time I speak of it again.”
“What ever is best for you,” Jefferson said.
“First of all,” Gretchen smiled. “The name I gave you was Brandon, Brandon and Braxton.”
“That’s a good name,” Jefferson said.
Gretchen smiled. “Thank you. In 1966 I graduated from high school. My parents were friends with a family named Williston. They had a boy three years older than me.
It was always assumed we would marry. It was strange. We liked each other, but never really loved each other.
“We were engaged and Peter was drafted. We planned on getting married when he got out of the Army. While he was in Vietnam I really fell in love with someone. His name was Marcus Henshel. There was a problem, he was black. And if that wasn’t enough I became pregnant a month before Peter was to come home. Marcus was scared and took off to parts unknown.”
“I told Peter about the pregnancy. He did not know the it was by a black man. I don’t know why I didn’t tell him right off. I had twins. Peter said he would not raise both. We arranged for my cousin to take one, that was Braxton. It didn’t take long before it was apparent that the child I kept had dominant black genes. Peter only agreed to stay with me if we raised the white twin. My cousin would not take you Brandon. I told Peter if no one adopted Brandon I would raise him no matter what.”
“A family was found. We did not know who, but we were assured it was a fine family.”
“Peter divorced me within a year.”
“I have no idea where Marcus is. I never knew his family. I presume he has little interest in knowing his family, but one may assume the same about me also.”
“That is my story. That‘s all I have.” Gretchen dropped her head and sobbed.
Everyone looked at each other and no one knowing what to do. They were emotionally frozen. All afraid to come to the rescue; sometimes like saving a drowning man for fear he will fight back or take you under.
Gretty moved stood and drug her chair next to Gretchen and sat next to her. Gretty slowly put her arm around Gretchen’s shoulder. “I’m so glad you wanted to meet us and even more glad my parents named me Gretty, Grandma. That makes us special.”