Author’s note- This is not a backstory but the main character Isabella is Rachel’s grandmother mentioned in Regret, Rachel named her daughter ‘Bella’ after Isabella.
“Isabella, this is my new fiance...your soon to be mother.” My father announced, I noticed he had his hand clasped around hers affectionately.
“What about mum?” I whined. How could he even think about marrying someone else?
“She’ll be in my heart but...” He looked at his new love. “So will she.” They exchanged a smile at each other.
“We are to get married this month... in two weeks.” He reminded me. My face was clear to him I had no part in this wedding... I was hurt on the inside.
My mother had passed away when I was eight. She had always been my best friend. I couldn’t imagine calling someone else “mom.” I will never give that precious title to someone else... never.
My new... step mother was beautiful. She was extremely rich... very rich.
I sometimes wonder if my father loved her for her money?
She wasn't bad, I could give her that. She’s very supportive of me for sure, before I knew something was going on between my dad and her, she had been my babysitter. I felt betrayed when she started to pay more attention to my father than on me. She wasn’t that old. Only 24 while my dad was 30.
I remembered the blissful times I had with my mother. Father loved her so much and now this?
If he had asked for my opinion I would have said no, makes sense why he never considered me for a minute before falling for her sweet talks.
I had no choice but to accept the fact that I wasn’t going to be my father’s only precious...not with her coming.
I looked at them, their love for each other shown in their glistening eyes as tears began to fall from their faces.
“I do.” Kendra uttered. I knew she liked my father since the beginning but I never did imagine I’d witness this.
“I do.” My father copied. “Forever.” He took his newly bride in his hands and kissed her slowly as the music in the background smoothened out. I turned away as the newly weds blushed and waved politely at their guests.
“Are you ok?” My grandmother asked me. She was the only person I considered close to me except my own mother...she was my mother’s mom.
“I know how you feel baby, but maybe it’s for the better of the family.” She assured me as she gently stroked my cheeks.
I smiled at her but looked back at my content father with Kendra as they danced across the floor in harmony. I wondered if my mother had looked so happy when she had her wedding.
“Isabella.” I heard a polite voice from behind me. I turned around, Kendra stood there, her gown was marvelous...her shimmering brown hair was in an elegant bun, her ring finger...it had mom’s ring on. I stared at her. She smiled at me and gestured at me to come forward. I obeyed her not wanting to make a fuss in front of everyone watching.
“Follow me,” she whispered.
She led me away from all the dancing couples and family members, into the garden. We sat down on a lonely bench decorated in flowers.
The only light source out here was the massive lights from the wedding. I sat still looking the other way that Kendra faced not wanting to look at her. I caught a glimpse of for a second as I saw something sparkle in the light. She had been crying...I looked sorrowful for my behavior as I gently took her hand in mine. The wedding ring shined brighter than the moon on a cold, harsh windy night.
She glanced at me. I was able to smile weakly at her as we hugged each other.
“I’m sorry, I know how you feel... I.” She trailed off.
“Look Kendra, it’s fine. I’m... I’m happy for you.” I wiped the tears off her eyes as she produced more of them.
“I lost my mother too.” She finally spoke after an awkward amount of time had passed. “I was thirteen.”
“I’m... sorry.” I didn't have anything else to say.
“But it’s ok, I have... you and Greg.” She beamed at me. Her eyes twinkled with pleasure.
I was speechless but I nodded at her statement.
“O Gracious God, we give you thanks for your overflowing generosity to us. Thank you for the blessings of the food we eat and especially for this feast today. Thank you for our home and family and friends, especially for the presence of those gathered here. Thank you for our health, our work, and our play.” My father chanted as he held mine and Kendra’s hands tightly as if to unite us all.
“May I say a prayer my family always says during Thanksgiving?” Kendra requested. My father nodded in approval as Kendra began. Her voice was so soothing I felt like listening to a lullaby. Even if I never understood a word she said, her words brought pleasure to my ears.
“O Dhia Enthroned on High, a dh ’aindeoin an t-suidheachaidh làithreach agam, bheir mi taing agus moladh dhut oir is e seo toil Dhè ann an Crìosd Ìosa. Athair, tha mi a ’taghadh gun a bhith draghail mu na chì mi. Guidheam airson gum bi sìth a ’riaghladh nam chridhe. A Thighearna thoir taing dhut airson na tha thu air a dhèanamh, na tha thu a ’dèanamh, agus na tha thu an dùil a dhèanamh.” She finished with a smile.
My father and I exchanged amused expressions. We had not expected that Kendra spoke another language apart from English.
“What?” She asked as dad and I stared at her. “It’s Scottish Gaelic, my father was half Scottish so I learned a little from him.” She explained.
“Well, perhaps we should change our traditional prayer... what you say Bells?” He joked, grinning at Kendra who rolled her eyes in unison to mine.
“Amen.” We all said. “Thank you, God.”
Dad lifted off all the lids of the dishes, usually I expected to see toast turkey, pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes but there were other dishes that replaced those.
“Oh Greg...you didn’t have to make my family’s traditional food.” I could hear that she was overjoyed. Fried bacon, maple cupcakes decorated as turkeys and sweet potatoes...the rest were the same... half and half.
“Your part of the family now... you needed to feel at home and I couldn’t have a better way to show that than all of these.” He kissed her forehead and served her.
I was happy for dad, he deserved her, I knew mom will always be there in his heart.
Kendra looked at me as if she were sorry for all the sudden changes because of her but I had looked happy to try new things, new traditions were actually... fun.
We all ate, giggling over jokes, talking about how so much had changed I felt... alive, I wished mom were here but Kendra definitely helped me forget my past holidays without mom, just dad and me...alone but not anymore.
“Here.” Kendra clasped a charm bracelet over my wrist. “It was my mother’s, then mine and now... yours.” I touched the smooth bracelet that was tied to my wrist.
“I promise to take care of it...Ke...mom.” I forced the word out that I had been meaning to say for a while now. I could see Kendra was trying hard not to get emotional... but she did.
She gently caressed her stomach, I noticed it had grown wider, was she getting fat or…?
She smiled at me and I understood... our family was going to grow bigger.