Copyright of Amara Ibeachum
No part of this work should be copied without the permission of the author.
“Ughh!” Catherine groaned as she lifted a box of kitchen supplies from the front porch into the bed floor of her pickup truck. She wiped off the trickles of sweat from her face and looked up at her daughter Stacey’s room window.
“Stacey, honey, what’s taking so long? We’ve got to leave early so we can get to Riverside on time,” Catherine said. There was no response from Stacey. Catherine sighed, she went back into the house and walked up the stairs to Stacey’s bedroom.
“Stacey, did you hear me? We need to get going,” Catherine said again as she pushed open the door.
Stacey stood gazing out the window.
Catherine looked around Stacey’s bedroom to see if she had packed everything needed. “Are you sure you have everything you need?” Catherine asked. She walked around the room, checking the corners and wardrobes.
“I’m going to miss this place, this town, and everything about it,” Stacey said and sighed.
“Oh, honey, I know. You know why we have to do this. The bills, I can’t—”
Stacey ignored mother and ran down the stairs. Catherine sighed. She wasn’t surprised by Stacey’s attitude. She had been that way ever since she told her they were moving away to a new town. How did she expect a seventeen-year-old to act? She was handling it the way every other teenager would.
Catherine joined Stacey in the truck later. She took one last look at the house before speeding off into the sunlight. She had no idea when she got lost, thinking of how things were before her husband’s death. She, Stacey, and Mike would have picnics in their front yard during the summer and wave at people when they walked past their home. She missed his apple pie and the mess he’d make in the kitchen when getting them ready. But Mike was gone now and this was their life.
They arrived at Riverside by sundown. Catherine pulled up her truck at the driveway and hopped out.
“We made it,” she said under her breath.
Stacey studied the house, she wasn’t quite pleased with what she saw.
“It’s small,” Stacey said, blandly.
“That’s the whole point of all of this. It’s small and cheap. Ever heard of a small and expensive house? It’s perfect.”
Just then, Catherine saw a lady coming toward her. She wore gloves and boots. She also held a gardening shear in one hand.
“Hi, you must be the new neighbors,” she said with a broad smile.
Catherine smiled back. She hadn’t properly moved in yet and she was already being welcomed. “Yes, we are. I’m Flora and this is my daughter—” Catherine was caught off guard when she couldn’t find Stacey anymore. “I’m sorry, I swear my daughter was here a minute ago.”
“Oh, I think I saw her go into the house.”
“Well, that would be my teenage daughter, Stacey. She isn’t very happy about… well, you know, all of this.”
“Oh, I understand. I have a thirteen-year-old daughter and she hates me.”
The two women burst out laughing.
“I’m Janice by the way,” she said, shaking. Catherine’s hand briefly.
“Welcome to the neighborhood, Catherine.”
“Glad to be a part of it.”
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