(I’m planning on creating a new page, soon, where you’ll be able to find all the links to the different posts with this book. And I’m kinda thinking about telling y’all the name to the book before long. 😉
The subject of me going to collage didn’t come up for a few days, which I was grateful for. I had thought it might be hard explaining to Lexie why I had decided not to go, but she was surprisingly understanding. Far more understanding than anyone at my high school had been. Or my life for that matter.
“Collage isn’t for everyone.” Lexie declared with a shrug of her delicate shoulders. “I mean, it’s not like you’re going to succeed if you go to collage, and you’re going to fail if you don’t.”
I grimaced. “Try telling my mom that.” I licked some of my mint chocolate ice cream right as it was about ready to drip off my cone.
“You don’t get along the best with Aunt Erin, do you?” Lexie handed me a napkin.
“That’s putting it mildly.”
The gesture Lexie gave me was a ‘go on, I’m listening’ kind, so I took a deep breath and then started talking. And I do mean talking. Like fast.
“How would we get along? First of all, she left me with Nanny to raise me until I was eight. Then when we left, I didn’t even get to say good bye to her. And for no reason at all, she took me away from my cousins, my best friends. And she told me to never talk about them again. She got rid of everything we had that reminded me of you girls. She never even explained what was going on. She has a temper. Not a yelling and hitting kind of temper, but if she gets mad, it’s silent treatment for you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. All she’s ever wanted me to do is succeed. She’s told me that enough times that I that success is the one thing in life that I don’t want.” I hit my hand on the table emphatically.
“I tried for years to please her, but finally just gave up. If she can’t just accept me for who I am, I’m not going to try and turn into the person who she wants me to be.” When I was done, I narrowed my eyes, slightly, daring Lexie to argue with me. I had been around her enough to know that she and her mom got along tolerably well, and I wondered if she would give me a scolding about how I should work harder on being a good daughter. My ice cream was beginning to soak through the bottom of my cone, so I quickly devoured the rest of it.
“That’s rough.” Lexie shook her head as she played with her spoon, pushing it back in forth in her now melted concoction that had been something like a sundae. “I just wish there weren’t so many family issues in the world today.”
“You can say that again. I wonder if there was ever a time when everyone got along together?”
“Back before sin.”
“Uh, yeah. That would make sense.” I knew I was staring at Lexie like she had two heads. Nanny used to take us to church on Sunday, but I didn’t really remember much about it. Mom certainly had never taken me. “Is Lexie religious?” I didn’t realize I asked it aloud, until Lexie started laughing.
“Religious? I guess it depends on how you look at it. I believe the Bible, read it every day, pray and go to church. I tell other people about God, and what I believe, and yes, it influences my whole life. But am I a weird person who goes around doing extreme stuff? I don’t think so. At least not in the way that you’re probably thinking.”
“So, do you like have to go to church?” I asked. “I mean for collage? To make your parents happy? Your boyfriend happy?”
Lexie shook her head. “No. I go to church because I’m a Christian, and in the Bible it says we’re supposed to learn about God when we can, and also spend time with other Christians.”
“Oh. So, what happens if you don’t go to church? Do you get sick, bad grades or something like that?”
Lexie shook her head again. “Nope. I miss going to church every once in a while if I’m not feeling well, and it’s not a big deal.”
“Cool then.” I’d met too many people in my short life span who were way weird and attributed it to God or religion. I was hoping my cousin didn’t fall into that category.
“If you’re curious about it, you can go along with me sometime.” Lexie offered as if it were an every-day-thing we were discussing. And I guess it might be, for her.
“I might do that. Thanks.”
“So, have you seen Grandma since you got here?” Lexie smoothly changed the subject.
“Grandma? Wait a minute, is she still alive?” For some reason I figured my grandma had died years ago.
“Very much so.” Lexie tapped her fingers on the table. “She’s not in the best of health though, so she doesn’t like long visits. I’ve only seen her twice. She’s the one who told me Kamryn’s last name was Embers. I’m sure Grandma would enjoy meeting you though.”
I wasn’t sure what to think, so I gave a non-committing grunt and stood up. “I’ve got to get back to Novelty now, thanks for meeting me for lunch.”
“You bet!” Lexie jumped up and gave me a hug, then we exited the small dinner together, each turning our separate ways once we were in the bright sunlight.