Lovely

My name's Paige. & this is my story; my journey; my own little fairytale.

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2. Chapter Two

"Paige?" A soft voice whispered in my ear. "Paige dear, it's time to get up." 

"Hmm?" I mumbled, turning over on my back and rubbing my tired eyes. As I opened my eyes wider, I saw Lou standing above me, flashing me a good morning smile. I quickly gave her a small smile back and looked over at the clock. It read 10:45 am. I guess it was time to get up.

"I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to work and Tom is taking Lux out for a playdate with some friends." She stood up straighter as I propped up on my elbow. Pride and Prejudice laid open flat next to my pillow. I must've fallen asleep while I was reading last night.

"Okay." I smiled slightly. I pushed myself off the warm bed and stretched my arms above my head. Aunt Lou disappeared from my room and down the stairs. The sun brightened my room as it reappeared from behind the clouds. Most days, I was not a morning person. But some days are better than others. My oversized sweater fell mid-thigh as I tried to pull on some black leggings over my long legs. I threw my hair up in a messy bun before walking downstairs to find Lou slipping on her jacket. 

"Bye Lou." I caught her attention as she pulled open the front door. She turned around and waved with her free hand. Her arms were busy carrying multiple bags, cases of makeup and hair tools. Lou's job was a makeup artist/hairstylist for bands and singers and famous people. Makeup hadn't really interested me much, considering I hardly wore any. So I usually denied her offers of going with her to watch how she spends her days. The door shut close behind as Lou carried all of her fun stuff to her small car. I watched through the window as she piled everything in the back seat and pulled out of the driveway. 

Now I was alone in this huge, quiet house. There were so many things I could do. I bit my lip as I wandered from the entry way to the large glass window in the living room. Trees stood outside, swaying back and forth in the wind. A few birds followed each other across the sky. Watching nature entertained me for a few minutes. Until my tummy growled and interrupted the peaceful silence. 

The tiles were cold underneath my feet as I walked over to the fridge, searching for breakfast. I was too lazy to cook anything but hungry enough to make myself a bowl of cereal. Lucky Charms had always been my favorite as a kid. I stood on my tiptoes to reach the second shelf to get my bowl. After collecting the milk and a spoon, I sat down at the large, empty table and ate my breakfast quietly. 

I took this time to think about what I should do today. I could watch television. Or I could read some more. But today, I wasn't feeling like reading. My head would start to get dizzy after I read for a while. Maybe Lou had some movies around somewhere. 

I searched near the TV, on the shelf that was lined with classics. My fingers traced the titles but stopped at the end of the row. Instead of a movie title, it was in a black case labeled 'Home Movies.' Behind it, there were several others that looked exactly the same, but with a different label. I pulled out one that was marked 'Sam and Lou.' I immediately knew what it was. My mom and aunt Lou. 

I wiped off the dust caked on the outside and opened the case. It was a cassette that only worked in those VHS things. I hoped they still had one hooked up. Luckily, I found it on the edge and placed the video in the player. I grabbed the remote from the table and changed channels. The screen changed and there was now someone blocking the camera view. I plopped down on the couch and pulled my knees up to my chest. 

"Dad, you have to get out of the way to see us." A faint little voice talked on the TV.

"Oh, right." I recognized my grandpa's voice as the man standing in front of the lens. "Look at you pretty girls."

Two girls sat next to each other on the couch, giggling. Their hair matched, their pajamas matched, even their laughs sounded alike. Even though they looked the same, I could still tell who was who. The girl on the right, Lou, put a pillow in front of her face even though you could still hear her giggling behind it.

"Lou darling, come out from behind that pillow." A woman's voice came from behind the camera. "We want to see your pretty smile."

"Mommy, look at my smile. Is it pretty too?" My mother flashed a bright smile at the screen. She had lots of energy even when she was little.

"Yes Samantha, yours is beautiful too." 

Then the video skipped ahead and now I was watching two girls, who looked a few years younger than me, laying on their beds, in their room I assumed. My mom was reading a book, which didn't surprise me. Lou was blowing on her nails which were painted a dark blue. 

"Hey girls, how's it going?" A male voice spoke.

"Gooooood." Lou gave the camera a cheesy smile.

"Sam?"

"Yeah, good." She didn't move from staring at the book in front of her.

Then Lou grabbed one of her pillows from her bed and threw it over at my mom. She instantly broke into laughter and rolled over on her back.

"Hey!" My mom glared over at her. "You made me lose my page."

"Aw, I'm sorry Sammy." She pouted teasingly and smiled at her. "Hey Dad, Karen was wondering if I could go see a movie with her today?"

"That's fine with me. Just go tell your mother." The male voice returned, also known as my grandfather. 

"Thanks." She smiled and hopped off the bed, disappearing from the room. My mom was back on her bed, lost in her book. The door slowly closed and then the screen turned black.

I bit the inside of my lip, hoping there was more. The TV was dark for a few more seconds before the video came back again.

This time two teenage girls sat at the dinner table, staring at their phones. They looked 17 or 18 and a little different. When they looked at the camera, I noticed that they had makeup on. Not a ton, but still enough to notice a difference. Now I knew why they were so popular in high school. They were so pretty.

"Dad," Lou whined. "The camera? Again?"

"Dad, please." My mother sighed.

"What? You don't miss these?" He chuckled. 

"Just put it away. Please, it's so embarrassing." My mom rested her head on her palm.

Then I heard the doorbell ring faintly. I almost thought it was ours until I saw Lou stand up to go answer the door on the screen.

"Dad, put it away. James is here!" She whispered, shooing him away. But he continued to follow her, all the way to the front door. I chuckled to myself, watching in awe.

"James! Hey!" Lou opened the door to a boy standing outside. He wasn't bad looking at all.

"Nice to see you James." My grandfather welcomed the boy who took a step inside. 

"Dad...." Lou warned.

"Okay, okay." The screen went black. I waited to see if James would appear again or Lou or my mother. But nothing happened. 

I sighed and stood up from the couch. It was nice to see my mom again, even though it was a short video. I bent down to stop the player, but all of the sudden I heard people mumbling on the TV speakers. I stood back up and saw a woman in a hospital bed, holding a little baby in her arms. 

"Sam say hi." Lou laughed from behind the camera. The woman looked up and smiled at the screen. My mom.

"Who's this little girl?" She walked over to the bed and zoomed into the baby in her arms.

"Meet Paige Marie." She held up the baby, who was fast asleep. My hand flew up to my lips and tears rushed to my eyes. I had never seen this video before. 

"Well hello Paige." Lou said to me in her baby voice.

"Dad, have you met Paige yet?" The camera shifted, now facing the door, and my grandpa walked in with his cane.

A smile lit up on his face when he saw my mom and I on the bed. My grandmother stood beside him, taking in the beautiful moment. 

The corner of my lips turned up into a small smile. I had barely known my grandfather as a child, he passed when I was 4 or 5. And seeing my mom so happy made me light up inside. Tears brimmed my eyes as I watched her hand me over to my grandma. I was still sound asleep, so everyone in the room was fairly quiet. 

I quickly wiped my eyes and paused the video, knowing that if I had watched more, I would end up bawling. Just seeing my mom's smile again made me realize how much I missed her. But I would be strong. For her.

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