Copyright© 2017 Rebecca Jane
All Rights Reserved.
Author's Note: First I would like to thank everyone that is reading this, and especially those that have commented. To those that have told me how it has move you, I cant thank you enough for those comments. All I hope for in sharing this story is to be able to make the reader ‘feel’ something, so thank you all so much. ~Rebecca
As Sarah started to regain her composure, she gently broke the hug this time, “Sorry about that…I didn’t mean for that to happen…” She softly told her mom.
Joan smiled, “It’s okay… I didn’t mind.”
Sarah nodded, “You know that if you both are serious about this, that we still have a lot more work to do… This doesn’t just wipe everything away.”
Both of her parents just nodded, her dad spoke, “I know it doesn’t Sarah. We are serious about this… Even before April passed away, we had started to realize… We had started to realize how badly we failed you… both of you…”
There was a moment of heavy silence as Bill’s words sunk in to everyone, Sarah eventually, “You said before she... umm… So what was it that made you realize that?”
Sighing, Bill said, “Ultimately it was the way Reverend… I mean… It was the way Tom blamed you for her being sick… All because she had stayed in contact with you… He had said it was God’s vengeance… ”
Sarah wasn’t surprised at hearing the accusations that self righteous asshole had made. It was the same ‘reverend’ that her parents had talked to right before they had kicked her out of the house. Her parents had always been deeply religious and had raised both her and April the same way. By the time they were both teenagers though, his sermons had changed from talking about ‘Love one another’ to something that always resulted in ‘repent or burn in Hell’. Maybe it had been gradual enough of a shift that the adults didn’t realize it was happening, or they weren’t paying attention to what they shouted “Amen” to. Sarah and April had noticed it though.
Sarah just scoffed, “That asshole is still running the church? I imagine April didn’t take to well to that…”
Joan took over, “Yeah he is… Hopefully not for much longer though. And no she didn’t take very kindly to that… You would have been proud of her though… She went off on him in the hospital room. The entire floor heard her defending her sister.”
Picturing her five foot nothing ‘big’ sister going off at that zealot made Sarah smile, chuckling she said, “I can see that happening… I’ve dealt with the brunt of her anger a few times… It was amazing how loud that tiny of a person could get.” Everyone laughed softly at the memory of how feisty April could get.
Everyone was quiet for a minute in their own reflection, when Sarah spoke up, “I wish she could be here to see this… You know, all of us just being able to talk finally.”
Her parents smiled sadly, before Joan stated, “You know, I think she just might be.” Sarah smiled at her mom hoping that she was right. Joan just reached over and gave Sarah’s hand a small squeeze returning her smile.
Never one to miss a chance to ruin a perfectly good moment, Bill stated, “I hate to bring this up, but its almost noon… Where would you two like to eat? My treat.”
Suddenly Sarah realized how much time had gotten away from her, “Shit, shit, SHIT!!! I’m late!” She exclaimed, jumping up from the kitchen table, glancing at her microwave she saw it was ten minutes until noon.
Startled at her outburst, Joan asked, “Wait, you really did have someplace to go?”
Sarah nodded quickly in a slight panic, “Did you think I was making it up to get rid of you?” Glancing at her reflection she saw what all the crying had done to her mascara, “Crap I need to fix this!”
Joan got up and saw she needed repairs on hers as well, “I honestly did… I’m sorry, but I also wouldn’t have blamed you… Sarah just calm down okay? How important is it?” She asked, wondering what had gotten her daughter so stressed so quickly.
Sarah paused for a second, not wanting to take the time to get too detailed in her explanation she said, “It’s a work thing. I know he said it wouldn’t be ready for a few more hours, but I know Ben… I’ve got to go, like now. Too many people are counting on me.”
Sighing Joan said, “Okay go clean your face up real quick, and is there a place I can do mine?”
Bill not wanting to get in the way of the ladies and their makeup just said, “I’ll just go wait outside while you two are preening.”
Sarah just gave him an odd look, but then smiled thinking what her Dad had just said about her like it was nothing out of the ordinary. She quickly directed her mom to the downstairs guest bathroom and then went straight upstairs to hers so she could repair the damage. A few minutes later they were locking the front door when she saw her dad admiring her Cobra replica in the drive way.
“This yours?” He asked with just a bit of awe in his voice. She nodded yes and he gave a low whistle. “Where’d you get this thing, shes gorgeous. Had to be a lot of money…”
“Not really, It cost me a lot less than most brand new sports cars… It’s a replica car Dad.” She told him with a smirk. Thinking that he had assumed that it was a real 427 roadster amused her to no end. “I only ordered the chassis and body from them, the rest I either got locally or built with a friends help.”
“Wait, you built this?” He asked. “How? I thought… umm…” He paused trying to think of a way to say what he was thinking without possibly insulting her.
“Don’t you remember how often you dragged me in on the weekends to help you on all the projects that were behind in the auto and building trade shops? A lot of what I know about cars is what you taught me…” She told him as she was putting her bags in the passenger seat. She thought she had convinced herself a long time ago that she didn’t care what they thought. Standing beside the car that she built and having her dad admire her work, made her realize that had been a lie. She still wanted him to be proud of her, both of them actually. Then she had an idea.
You guys want to keep talking?” She asked.
Of course we do… I thought that you said you had to go.” Joan said.
“I was going to ask if you two wanted to go with me… You can see what I do for a living, and meet some of my friends… Dad you’ll really like our first stop.” She told her parents.
Bill and Joan looked at each other expectantly, then Bill asked, “So do we follow you? Cause we aren’t all fitting in that car.”
Laughing with the visual of them trying to fit in the Cobra, Sarah responded, “No! No. We’ll take my truck, that way we can talk on the way… It’s an almost 45 minute drive there.”
Joan beat Bill to the punch and just blurted out, “Yes I’d love to see where you work.”
Smiling, Sarah pulled the Cobra keys off her key ring and sidearmed them to her Dad, which he caught excitedly.. “ You get to put her in the garage and I’ll get the truck out, Mom can you put your car where the Cobra sits? We need to hurry.” Sarah ordered.
Hitting the FOB on her keychain, the garage door started to open, and as she saw her mom headed to their Prius she heard the Cobra fire up. Looking at her Dad she couldn’t help but grin, he looked as excited as a 5 year old with a new toy. Once the garage door opened up they swapped all the cars around and for a second she thought she was going to have to pull her dad out of the Cobra. A few minutes later they were driving away from the house, with her dad in the seat beside her still grinning like a giddy school boy, and her mom in the back seat admiring Sarah’s vehicle.
Once she had gotten out of her neighborhood and onto the open streets, one thing had bothered her. Her parents had been die hard Ford fanatics, her dad always had an F150 and her mom always had a town car, and now they were driving a Prius. She would have thought it was a rental, but she had noticed the Florida plates on it. She had to ask, “So what’s up with the Prius? I thought both of you would die before not driving a Ford.”
Bill looked back at his wife and said, “It’s been hard to adjust to I’ll give you that… It’s a lot better to tow behind the RV than anything else we’ve ever driven.”
Surprised, Sarah asked, “An RV? When did you get an RV?”
Bill responded, “We bought it about 3 weeks ago… Right after we closed on the house.”
“Closed on the house?” Was the only thing she could think to say. Giving her parents a side glance she kept wondering what had happened. Other than a few small things, like her dad getting so excited about a cool car, they were nothing like the people she remembered growing up with. “What did you guys do?”, she asked.
Looking down at his hands, her Dad softly said, “We sold the house… Almost everything in it, along with all the cars and toys… Other than a storage building back in Ocala, everything we own is either in the RV or the Yota.”
“Why?”, was all she uttered.
Taking a deep breath he answered, “After April died… Then the fallout at the church… There wasn’t anything holding us in Ocala anymore other than our jobs…”
Joan interrupted him saying, “We’re both old enough and put enough time in at that school, so we turned in our retirement paperwork at the end of the school year.”
Bill resumed, “Then we started selling everything off. The RV and Prius are paid off, we have a nice nest egg from the house selling, and we both have decent retirement packages so… That’s why we took so long to get here after the funeral.”
Almost overwhelmed with everything she was hearing, “So… How long are you planning on staying here?”
Her dad looked over at her, and she though she saw his eyes glistening with the possibility of tears. Before he spoke, he wiped his eyes with the back of his hand, “Sarah… I’m not sure the right way to say this… With April’s death, her letters, and her final wish made me realize something… We lost one daughter… We can’t change that, no matter how much we wish we could… I’ll be damned if we don’t try to get to know our other daughter…”
Seeing the emotion on his face shocked her. Here was a man who had always been a solid rock, like nothing ever phased him, almost in tears. She repeated, “So how long?”
Bill smiled at her, “We’re planning on staying as long as you want us to…”
Looking directly ahead, afraid of seeing her father on the verge of crying, she softly just said, “Oh…”
To be continued.
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