Authors Note: Hi everyone! I finally got a story out on Reedsy despite the assignments that were crammed and stacked onto my head! This is a sequel to "Grandpa Laurence", my previous story on Reedsy. Enjoy!
Grandma Lolla took a shuddery and shaky breath as she placed a sealed envelope into the capsule, inhaling nervously. She held her back, groaned weakly and pushed the spade into the ground. She covered the fresh soil over the shiny capsule and sighed. Beatrix would soon understand the meaning of this.
It had been five days. Five days, since Grandma Lolla had passed away. Five days since everyone had mourned in despair. Her last words had been “Larry” before she collapsed onto the ground, and stilled in her last, shuddery breath, closing her eyes for the last time.
But what Beatrix regretted the most, was that Grandma Lolla wasn’t able to explain what had happened to Grandpa Laurence. She didn’t make it in time. No one knew the story. Her mother did, but she was given instructions not to tell anyone.
Mrs Lemons never talked after her mother’s death. She was still in a state of shock. She usually only responded with an uneventful, lifeless shake of her head, or “no” and “yes”.
Beatrix was in her room, glancing sorrowfully at her grandmother’s photograph. If only she had been on time, to hear the story. She and her mother were going to the house that afternoon to collect valuables so the ancient house could be sold.
Beatrix looked at the house, a deep pang drilling into her as she realized she wouldn’t be able to see her grandmother. Ever again.
Hurriedly, she rummaged through her grandmother’s items and picked up a locket that was hidden deep inside the layered dusty shelves. It contained a shiny key and a picture inside it.
Curiously, she opened the locket, glancing amused, at the picture in the locket. A handsome face bored into her eyes. He looked in his mid-thirties and his arm was around - around… “Grandma Lolla! That’s the woman next to him. That must be Grandpa Larry!”
She glanced at the photograph leaning on Grandma’s bed. It looked similar. She dropped Grandma Lolla’s valuable things and grasped a couple of letters. She read the first few lines. They were love letters. Grandma Lolla had written one to Grandpa Larry. It seemed as if they were deeply in love. But why was Grandma Lolla reluctant to bring up the subject of him?
Suddenly, Beatrix noticed a letter lying on Grandma Lolla’s musty scented pillow. It looked new and she hadn’t seen it before.
She read the writing on the front of the letter. It was addressed to her, surprisingly. The adrenaline rushed rapidly in her as her trembling fingers clasped the letters and opened it swiftly. Beatrix sat on the edge of the abandoned bed and studied it curiously and excitedly.
My darling Beatrix,
My body is getting weaker and fragile. I know I won’t last long, and I know I won’t have enough time to tell you the truth about Grandpa Larry. Listen to my instructions carefully.
There is a small rose plant at the back of the garden. Diagonally, I want you to dig the ground, dig at it carefully and you will find a golden capsule. It will have a lock on it. Go to my cupboard. Hidden deep, you will find a locket with a key. The locket encloses a picture of me and your grandfather. Use that key to open the capsule.
Inside it, you will find an enclosed, sealed envelope. Take it back with you and read it. You have deserved to know the truth about me and Grandpa Larry.
I must ask you to promise me one thing, whether I may be dead or alive, is to never, never tell anyone about it.
Her heartbeat raced excitedly and rapidly as Beatrix tucked the letter into her pocket and dashed to the back garden. She moved the spade diagonally towards the rose garden and delved into the wet soil and earth.
Abruptly, the spade clinked against a metal object and Beatrix felt elevated and enraptured. Quickly, she fingered her way through the soil and heaved the tiny capsule, engulfed in soil and mud. She removed the locket clasped around her neck and opened the capsule. It clicked, and sure enough, a sealed envelope addressed to Beatrix Lemons was printed neatly in the middle of the envelope.
Shaking and trembling, she carried the envelope and dug the capsule safely back into the earth. She hurried into the hall, to find Mrs Lemons weeping softly into Grandma Lolla’s handkerchief.
Beatrix smiled sadly and pulled an arm around her mother. “Grandma will be okay,” she soothed softly.
Mrs Lemons choked a little and looked up gratefully at her daughter, her tears shining.
Beatrix smiled and clutched an envelope. “Grandma Lolla explained everything about Grandpa in this letter. I’m going to read this.” she smiled softly.
Mrs Lemons managed a watery smile.
Beatrix took a deep breath and removed the contents of the letter.
A paper. Explaining Grandpa Larry’s wrongdoings, and why Grandma Lolla was anxious to keep him a secret. She was going to find out. Now.
I suppose I owe you an apology for making you wait to hear the truth darling. Well, all will be revealed now.
Grandpa Larry was a thief. I loved him with all my heart. We were a poor family back then, Beatrix. We couldn’t afford many things, and seeing as Larry used to come from a rich family, he didn’t like it when he couldn’t give me something for my birthday, so when he couldn’t afford our children’s’ fees. And that’s when he started stealing. For me.
Suddenly, Larry told us he had been offered a promotion. We were thrilled, I couldn’t tell you how happy I was. Every day after the "promotion", Larry used to bring us gifts, gifts that I couldn’t believe were true. I received diamond rings, rich necklaces and expensive bracelets.
One day, I trailed him at work. I knew it was wrong of me to sneak, but I knew something wasn’t right. I caught him stealing out of a bank. I was too scared to point him in the right direction, scared he’d leave me with two kids and scared he’d abuse me. So I didn’t say anything. And that was my mistake. Months later, my husband was caught stealing a valuable diamond from the bank.
He was sent to jail and our family name was a disgrace. People were disgusted by us, and he came in the newspaper, made the front page. I decided to keep his identity a secret, and we stopped contacting relatives to keep this a secret.
I loved Larry with all my heart, and I knew he loved me too, but he didn’t have to steal for me. He didn’t, and I was devastated when I found out.
That is the truth Beatrix, the ugly truth.