📜 Lola's Story | Chapter 3~ Original parts 7-9+ *BONUS MATERIAL & PICTURE* 📜
Constant, unyielding questions rolled over in her mind since she had last spoken with Tom. What if she had died too? What if the baby had died? How would Tom be doing then? What if Kyle had been the only one to live? They tore at her wanting answers she didn't have.
Tom hadn't talked about Kyle since the hospital, but he didn't need to. She could see it in his eyes now. It was the same shadow that lingered in her own, perhaps a little fainter, but the still the same. It broke her heart, and she felt foolish for not thinking about it before. But there was nothing she could do stop it. She was helpless, and she was the cause.
Lola laid on her parent's guest bed, in the guest bedroom and stared at the ceiling. She would have loved to sleep.
She had been daydreaming of the great maple tree in her parents old yard, the shade it brought in the summer, the great pile of leaves in the fall, and icicles in the winter. She had dreamed of tapping it for syrup when she was little, but her dad always insisted you needed more than one tree, which their tiny suburb parcel lacked. She then spent a whole summer loathing the poor hickories that grew instead.
She had been so deep in thought she hadn't heard the front door, or her aunt, until the bedroom door creaked gently open.
She made her way in, the sound of her jeans swishing and the smell of soil mixed with sweet lilac perfume. She plopped down rather gently on the edge of the bed.
"My sweet Lola Bola," she began and reached behind her to rub Lola's knee gently. "I wanted to come check on you, I heard it hasn't been easy. So first thing first, you need to know, this is not easy. No matter what anyone tells you. And second, " she wiggled for a second then pulled out her dirty gardening gloves from her back pocket, "I forgot those where there! And here I was with a lump under me! That's better. Now where was I? Yes, secondly you need to fight. You need to fight hard. You need to get up everyday and take a walk to anywhere as long as the sunshine is on your face. Then stop, take your shoes off and put your toes in the dirt."
She studied Lola's face for a moment, clicked her tongue, and put her glasses to her nose.
"One last thing. You might not be familiar with your Great Grandma Lola, although you were named after her. During the war, she was pregnant you know."
"Well," she said. "What you might not know, is that the baby's father died in battle leaving poor Grandma Lola by herself. Of course, later she remarried and had more children. But I thought you should know. I dug a picture of her out of the attic to bring to you." She shuffled through her over-sized purse, laying a jar of earthworms on the bed.
"Here we are!" she handed Lola the picture.
There, in black and white, stood a very young Lola holding her baby, smiling.
"You have fight in your blood. You just have to find it." She said. "Now where's your brother? These worms are for his snake!"
Before Lola could answer, Aunt Myra was up and gone leaving behind a mountain of energy and quite a bit of dirt on the comforter. She swept it off and laid back down, staring at her Great Grandma and the baby in her arms. Her Aunt had been right, she had never known that she had lost her first husband in the war or that she had to have a baby all by herself. Then a wave of sorrow rushed over her. Her grandmother had been in a terribly hard place, and she wasn't even allowed to hold on to the memory of her first husband. No one had ever mentioned him; his memory had faded to ashes.
She looked closely into her Grandmother's eyes, if the shadows that haunted Lola had been there, they weren't there anymore. A tinge of hope crept at the corners of her heart. She closed her eyes and fell asleep.
The next morning, Lola found herself standing in a darkened kitchen. Her fingers grazed the grocery list that sat next to the empty fruit bowl on the counter.
The last item, scribbled quickly on by Kyle before he had left for work that morning.
Lola placed the stack of mail she had scooped off the floor next to the list, and sat on the stool.
The hummingbird feeder still hung outside the window by the sink.
The refrigerator still hummed.
The coffee pot sat obediently, waiting for it's next pot.
She scooted off the stool, and headed to her bedroom to pick up some extra clothes, passing the empty room with the paint can lying in it's own pool of blood.
A laundry basket sat on the unmade bed, and she began to rifle through it.
This was all fruitless, she thought.
Her belly was only getting bigger, but her mom had insisted and had dropped her off.
As she scooped up a pair of underwear, a glimpse of a logo peered out through the heap of clothes. She scooped it in her hands, and held it close to her face.
She breathed in deeply trying to find him somewhere in the soft blue cotton.
And there...right there. He was.
She quickly put Kyle's favorite t-shirt in her bag, grabbed the clothes she needed, turned off bedroom light, and locked the front door behind her. She stood on the stoop for a second, debating, and then unlocked the door and stepped quickly back in the house. She made her way back into her bedroom and to her nightstand, pulling open the drawer. She picked up a small leather bound book and tucked it away her in bag. Then headed back outside. Fortunately, her mother was pulling up into the drive and she didn't have to wait long.
“Did you get everything you needed,” she asked as Lola opened up the passenger door.
“Great!” she said. “Ya hungry? I thought we could go get some lunch.”
Lola sat in the restaurant trying to choke down a dry turkey sandwich while her prattled on about her Euchre game with her friends the night before. She only caught bits and pieces. There was something about Patty's son doing surprisingly well in college considering he hardly made it through high school. And another bit about Liz, a girl that had graduated with Lola, being pregnant again, but maybe this time she would get married.
It was hard to focus. She kept thinking about the little book hiding in her bag and how anxious she was to get to it.
Once they finally made it home, Lola went to her bedroom, locked the door, pulled out Kyle's t-shirt and opened the book.
“You look sizzling” Kyle said resting his elbow on the wall, peering into the doorway as Lola stepped out wearing her brand new red dress.
He snatched her by the waist and pulled her in close to his chest.
“Kyle…my mom is right inside the,” Lola was cut off briskly by his kiss.
She pulled away quickly, and playfully slapped his arm.
“My mom is right inside the door.” she finished through a hushed whisper.
“Eh, she likes me enough, I think.” he said confidently, but Lola still caught him steeling a peek through the living room window.
“Listen,” he started quickly and pulled her out into the yard near her favorite maple tree under the stars.
“I’ve been thinking.” he paused. “I’m leaving in a couple weeks, but of course you know that.” he stumbled over his words and looked down at his shoes. He took a deep breath and looked through his shaggy dark brown hair into her blue eyes. “I want you to come with me.”
Lola closed her diary, a sensation burned in her chest. She remembered it so vividly. Her heart had been racing, the way his brown eyes had burned into hers. How she could feel her entire life unfold as he held her there. But there had been a moment of doubt. A moment of fear. She thought about how she had almost said no, and reached under her pillow to grab his t-shirt, size medium, and nuzzled it into her chest. She couldn’t believe a time had ever existed where she had almost said no.
Thank you so much for sharing this with me! For more info about freewrites, visit @mariannewest!