Gramama Knows.

Submitted by Violet Anne to Contest #6 in response to: Write a story about two people in a long-distance relationship, driving to a location mid-way between both their cities.... view prompt

Jessica was so thrilled right now, that she was practically jumping as she sat up in her bed. This day wasn't an ordinary day, no - today, Jessica was going to meet her boyfriend.

 I know, it doesn't sound that exciting. You probably see your girlfriend or boyfriend more than twice a week, or something like that. But this relationship? This was different. Because for her whole entire life, Jessica had never once met her boyfriend. She was nineteen and never had her first kiss yet, but that's because she was holding it until she met Trevor. She first met him when she was sixteen, a year before she was even allowed to start dating, according to her parents. Now, I know what you're thinking; how did you first meet each other, if you didn't do it in person? And how did you begin dating? Well, I'll tell you how we started dating. It all started when Jessica was sixteen, and she began secretly dating on a dating site called "Bee." She kept it private from her family, though, and put her age as eighteen on the app.

 It was a perfect secret - no one to rat her out, as she wasn't very social during sixteen. And her family was constantly working, her father and mother being the CEOs of a popular company. Jessica was laying in bed one night, scrolling through each profile, huffing whenever someone uninteresting popped up. A few weeks after she started the dating app, she realized how much she hated swiping some of the people away; she felt bad. But, it soon became natural, only liking a couple people per week. After lots and lots of searching, she finally came upon an eighteen year old boy named Trevor whom lived in Los Angeles.

 Despite the fact that Jessica lives in the United Kingdom, more than ten hours away from Los Angles, she ignored the fact and read his profile. After a quick skim, she clicked on his profile and immediately began chatting with him. It turned out Trevor attended a university to get a nursing degree, and he lived with his single mom and his younger sister, Amelia. From what she could tell, Trevor was a bit shy.

 Jessica was determined to get on his good side. After three years of speaking with Trevor, she finally felt comfortable with him, and asked if he'd want to meet her. He hesitated to respond, after a moment writing back, "Unfortunately, we live far from each other." Duh. Have you read my profile, dude? But she obviously didn't write that. Instead, nineteen year old, mature Jessica demanded that they WERE going to go to vacation, just them, together, and they WOULD fly in between to meet each other for the first time ever! It sounded incredibly cheesy, so she quickly added that, 'maybe we can meet up in New York? I've never seen it.' But Trevor wrote back instantly. But it wasn't what Jessica wanted to hear. "Goodnight." He sent, and then he went offline.

 Goodnight? Jessica groaned, refreshing the app repeatedly, hoping he'd come back on and say, "Oops, I meant, I'll do it!" But midnight drew closer, and Jessica tucked her tablet under her blankets, and shut off the lamp. In the morning (thank goodness, it was a Saturday,) Jessica checked her tablet again and saw a new message, posted a couple hours earlier. Trevor had asked if he could bring his family.

Why would he want to bring his family?

Family doesn't pay much attention to you. Especially Jessica. But she said that he could, and clicked off. "Why would he want to bring family?" she blurted out loud. Her mom and dad were always way too busy with work, and they were both only children. And, adding on to that, all of their other relatives lived far away. Except for Gramama. Gramama lived in a 1920s Victorian house on Harris Street, which was a street that was losing people to other houses every week, because of the quality and condition of the old houses.

 My mom was complaining to Gramama on the phone two days ago, that she should move out soon, because the rent was increasing and Gramama wasn't working any more. But Gramama mustn't said a curse back to mom, because she gripped the phone tightly, and looked at Jessica with an unhappy expression. She sat up in bed more, and went for the closet. She brushed, washed, and changed, afterwards exited her room to the kitchen. There was already a plate of toast and eggs. Unfortunately, her mom was a terrible cook, and she burnt the toast. Jessica wasn't hungry.

 "Mommy, I'm going to Gramama's." I called, pushing myself away from the table and rushing to the door. She furrowed her brow, washing her hands in the sink quickly before making her way over to me. "Gramama's a bad influence, Jess." she said, kissing my forehead. "Just promise me, Jess, that you'll stay in your job for as long as you can and only leave when the manager makes you. Unlike Gramama.." she grumbled the last part, wiping her hands on her suit. It only took her a minute to realize that, before looking down and groaning. "I'll be in the closet - stay safe, have fun." she stalked off. I grabbed my jacket and slipped it over my shoulders, then slid on my boots, and left the house. The air was cold and crisp, and there was a soft layer of snow on the ground. There was a drizzle of frost on the plants. Adjusting her jacket on herself, she trudged through the snow to the garage. Inside was a plain white Rolls-Royce, an old, yet expensive model. When Jessica had argued with her parents about spending their money on rent instead of decorations, they just shooed her away and told her that nice decorations gave them more nice money from critics.

 The Rolls-Royce was her parent's, but she used it whenever she needed to. She ceased to have a driving license, though, but no one would pull her over. Plus, she was excellently self-taught. She didn't need a drivers license. Jessica opened the door, and ducked into the Rolls-Royce, and started the engine. She slowly backed it out of the garage, and zoomed down the icy street. Suddenly, she saw someone out of the corner of her eye; although she was unsure if it was really her, the snow thickening. Was it really her? She never got out of the house a lot. Yet, it was certain. What was Gramama doing here?

 Then - it all happened at once. The white Rolls-Royce slid off the road into a snowy ditch, getting stuck in the four foot high snow. Jessica was only five foot. It was impossible to escape. But then, Gramama, in incredibly tall snow boots, hopped down the ditch with a shovel, as if she was prepared to dig out her granddaughter. But again, Gramama was a mysterious woman. Gramama gripped the shovel, and made a small hole near the door.

 She was making a hole for me to get out. I rammed my shoulder against the door, grunting. Finally, it banged open. Gramama stepped back just as I fell out. "Ow.. my shoulder.." I whined. She lent me a hand, and I took it gratefully. "Come, Jessy, baby." I rolled my shoulder around, but it only hurt more. I stiffened my posture, and sped after her. Her house was only a block away, and as soon as I entered the house, I was greeted with hot coffee and warm air. The cup was a perfect temperature as I sipped it, my Gramama hurrying off and returning with two folding chairs and a hot pack. She took off my jacket and revealed a bit of my shoulder, placing it down. It soothed my pain instantly, and I let out an awkward sigh of relief. I took another sip of my coffee, sitting down in the folding chair. Mm.

Gramama sat down in the other folding chair, cocking her head at me. "What brings you, Jessy, baby?" she asked, furrowing her brows. "This coffee is good," I observed. "Very.. coffee-like?" I told her, and she sighed. "Get it in your head; you no child no more, no. You adult." she scolded, brushing back her frizzy silver hair. It glistened in the small light coming from a single bulb on the ceiling, her hair matching her mocha colored skin. She was African, and still struggling with English. "Alright. I know I'm an adult," I replied, rolling my eyes. Gramama chuckled, pouring me more coffee. "I need to go. I have a big test on Monday." I said. There was no big test on Monday.

 I just didn't like being around Gramama when she was awake. I liked talking to her when she was tired, and I could just sit by her bedside and speak with her. I could pour out my heart and she wouldn't care. Just like a human form of a diary. No, rather like a best friend. "Jessy, baby, stay. I beg you." she pleaded, and I squeezed my eyes shut. When I opened them, I exhaled. "Okay." I smiled at her, rubbing the hot pack around on my shoulder. "What you doing here, eh?" she cawed, pouring in more cream into my coffee. Mm. I took a sip. "Well, there's this boy I like. And he likes me. We've known each other for three years. And I asked him out. But.." I trailed off, coughing into my lap. My Gramama never blinked. She was like a snake. I lifted my head and looked her in the eye. It was rather uncomfortable. "Continue." she said softly, never once tearing her gaze. I swallowed, coughed again, and looked away. "And I don't think he likes me back. But - I mean, we're dating. Kind of." I didn't dare mention that we were dating on "Bee," and that we had never met each other. Gramama hadn't one electronic item in her house. No phones, no television, no nothing. "I was born African, you know. I be born in them 1748, oh yes, I be." she said. I did the mental math, and began laughing. "You are so not two hundred and seventy-one." she gave me the stare. I gulped, and remained quiet. "I had brothers and sister. Just us and Ma and Pa. Just us." she said, clearing her throat. I could tell she was preparing a story. Gramama made the best stories. "I be on baby duty. Crying, screaming, difficult baby duty. Rock 'em all day and all night. If them cries, you get slap." she whispered, as if she was telling a secret. "I was lucky I ain't got cotton duty. There be rose bushes near, and my brother says that them rose bushes had thorn-ies. And them thorns hurt." she recalled, leaning back in her folding chair. "And then one little day I be like, 'you know, I ain't goin' to live like this. I want to be free!'" I coughed, and cocked my head at her. "How does this relate with Trevor?" I asked. "Hm?" she asked, perplexed. "My, uh, boyfriend." I said quickly. "Oh, yes. Trevor. Well, what me saying is that you ain't needing to cling to him. Find new people. Close by people." I groaned. "Gramama, he treats me right. I love him." I said. And that was the truth. "Well, have it you way. I bought your plane tickets three years ago when you began 'Bee.' I knew this day would come." And with that, the screen door was slammed, and Jessica was left wondering how the heck she'd get to the airport - and how old Gramama really was.

 

Thanks! This is my first story - a bit sloppy, I know, but.. good luck all!

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