A wise author once said, funerals aren't for the dead, they are for the living. I believe that is true. I don't believe my father nor my mother and sister are morning at this time. They are happy. Happy in a place of peace. In a way, I thought I was staring at a sight of art work. I looked at the three opened caskets, all eye lids closed and smiles like The Mona Lisa. I couldn't see the curve in their lips, but the more I stared, the more I saw a smile. I received many bouquets and the rest got layer by their tomb stones. I never thought I'd be witnessing this when I was a teen. I hoped this would happen when my eye brows turned grey or when I was at the age where I couldn't remember anything so I didn't have to remember the sad moments. I did.
My eyes turned to balls of glass filled with water, but did not let a tear escape. I did all my crying before hand. I would feel selfish if I did anymore. All my family members, the ones I was close with and the ones I had never knew existed, all embraced me. Would it be any different if I was any younger? If I were ten years old, would the people around me feel more pity for me because I was just a child? I guess me being two years away from going to college let my innocents slip because I was almost an adult being able to take care of myself. My grandfather came up behind me and whispered, "No matter how old you are, you'll always need someone to take care of you." I knew what he was nudging at. They would have to find someone that can afford to take care of me. All my aunts and uncles already had too much children. They said they would love to have me over on holidays. My grandparents wanted me to have more than a guest room. My little wish of meeting my uncle had came true when a lady in a blazer and a black pencil skirt came to pick me up in a tiny black car. All my belongings fit in the trunk and kept with me in the back seat was my bag I packed full of things to save me from boredom. My grandparents house faded behind my window as we continued to leave the beautiful scene. I looked down at me re-worn clothes and sat uncomfortably as I knew, I did not look presentable. Even though I showered the day before, my hair fell flat and lifeless. I sat up in the back seat and looked at myself through the rear view mirror. I brushed my hair up into a ballerina bun and let my baby hairs fall in front of my ears. I looked decent.
We went over the other side of the mountain, which took about an hour. Then, it was nothing but the Great Plains for the rest of the ride to California. The lady went through shopping districts and told me uncle gave her money for me to buy whatever my heart wants. He also has things waiting for me. She also told me he always wanted a daughter to take care of. I asked if he had a wife, she said no. But he sometimes has lovely girlfriends who have dinner at the house. Hopeless romantic, would be two words I would describe him. With all the things the lady told me about him, made me think all the things i was told by family members were fake. Grandfather, on the other hand, never spoke about him. He didn't need to. I know that one day he knew I would meet him and didn't need to say anything about him. The fact that this woman knows him personally and sees him everyday made me want to hear more stories. She kept insisting that I should take this opportunity to shop, but I kept telling her no. Mother and fathers bank account was now under my name. I already calculated a good amount of it will go to whatever college I go to and possibly a car and all its payments. Also, another percent will start me after college and the one percent that is left is for personal benefits. I'm a petite girl, I don't need much. Plus, I don't need to worry about the future because I know I'm being guided by somebody great.
15 minutes of passing shops, the lady asked me again, if I was sure I did not want anything because after the last store, there is only desert and rest stops. I told her I did have something in mind. My stomach rumbled and hinted at where I wanted to go.
When we past the desert line, I thought I would be seeing lifeless views from my window. Instead, I saw colored rocks that formed steep hills and all different types of shrubs and plants that looked dried out but still beautiful. We past a lot of windmill farms. They towered over- taller than everything that lied in this desert. There is always a place where mankind can get its grasp on.
"They recently made all these windmill farms two summers ago."
I studied one as I passed it.
"Cities nearby would have short power outages so," she sighed. "They put over twenty farms here."
The lady really enjoyed the vacant desert over the man made metal giants that over powered- I knew she did. Her sigh gave it away. She looked at me in the mirror.
"Do you want me to spill the secrets that you're about to see or do you want to be surprised?"
"I want to be surprised." I meekly smiled and clenched my bag in excitement. I could see a start of a town one minute in front of us. Closer, closer, closer. The first shop I saw was a bookstore, right at the end of the block. I'll be spending my time there. Next I saw a comic store, Board Game Hall of Fame, a pizza place, sub shop, yarn shop, few clothing stores, a strip mall, and a beach store. A beach store? I didn't see a beach. I soon ate my words as the stores cleared and the view of the Pacific Ocean. We soon took a back street, still with the ocean in view, and turned on Hankerson Drive. The road had trees that lined the it on both sides and had wheat and corn feilds behind them. I wasn't paying attention to the huge house at the end of the road. When I did, my stomach dropped. And when the lady stopped right at the front doors, my stomach dropped even further. I couldn't swallow nor breath- I needed to breath.
I stepped out of the backseat and took a huge breath as I admired my new home. I looked at the side of the house and saw many cars lined up, only eight.
"Are all those his?" I asked gesturing to the line of cars.
"Oh no," the lady laughed. "He owns this boarding house."
That sparked my interest. A boarding house is where people play rent to stay for a few days, weeks, months, or even a few years.
I leaned back inside the car and flung my backpack over my shoulders and picked up my McDonalds bag and my large cup of sweat tea that only had melted ice left inside and maneuver my way to the door. The porch stairs were elegant and the table that was underneath the fan was left untended. The swinging bench swung slightly. It was 4 O'clock and the sun was almost at the point of setting. The time change and the fall back time really kicked me in the gut. Once we got to the door, it opened by a man in his mid thirties. It was my uncle. He looked like he could be my own father. Though, he wasn't close in relation. My grandfather's brother was his dad, so he wasn't close to my parents- just cousins.
"Why, isn't this young Mabel? I only see Christmas pictures of you. Please, come in." He widened the door for all of us to fit through.
"You have a beautiful home." I said as I smelled past cooking through the foyer. I looked down the halls to the left and saw rooms and a big spiral staircase and to the right was a relaxing room with two couches and a fireplace, decorated with mosaic bricks. The walls had pictures of people who looked familiar and those who were strangers. The walls were Carmel wood that laid vertical along the hallways and rooms. Red carpets followed. I felt warm- the fire place wasn't lit. I felt as if I was visiting a five star Inn. My stay was for infinity.
"It is now yours, my dear." He pulled me in a hug and then extended his arms, his hands on my shoulders. "Now, you go find a room to your liking. All the available ones have their door open. If you find one you like, report the number to Annabel." He smiled knowing how a child always loves to pick their room once they move to a new house. I smirked, he laughed and went down the hall. I looked back at Miss Annabel and she mouthed the words "Go ahead." I went straight upstairs. I didn't want a room on the first floor because all I'll be hearing is foot steps from people using the stairs and people above me.
I slowly walked up the non-creaking stairs. I reached the top. Both left and right hallways had rooms. I wanted a room that was facing the front of the house because that was a lovely view. Usually when people choose something, it's out of randomness. When I, I give meaning to my choices. I did not know whether I wanted to go left or right so I asked myself: Will I go left where there's nothing right, or go right where there's nothing left? Well, I wouldn't want to be in a place where nothing is correct, but I would make do in nothingness because that is how the world started. Right now, my world is starting. All over again.
I went down the right hallway. Out of the eight rooms, there were four on each side that also mirrored how down stairs looked, three of them on the right side were taken. Only the first room on the right, closest to the stairway, was available. On the left side, it went not available, available, not available, available. I took the one all the way at the end. Room number 24. I walked in; the bed was already made with baby blue blankets and silver pillow cases and silver trimming on the bed skirt. The curtains where transparent silver, letting some of the afternoon light in. I turned on the light switch and the small crystal chandelier illuminated. There was a wooden closet and a match dress on on the left wall. The closet had a mirror in its door. There was also a mirror over the dresser. Underneath the window in front of me, was a love seat with a small book case that only had a bible on it. On the right of the room had the silver and blue princess bed with a night stand on both sides of it. It was simply amazing and I couldn't ask for anything else- Maybe a puppy but that's a different story.
I followed my trail back down to Miss Annabel who was in the beautiful black and white kitchen. "Did you find the one you wanted?" Uncle asked me.
"Room number 24." I stated.
"The last one!" One of the two maids laughed. "Lovely pick madam."
"I'll go get you the keys." A man in the suit said and got up from the table everyone was sitting at.
"Once Nolan comes back, I'll introduce you to all the staff, then you can introduce yourself to anyone you want after that." Uncle said and stored what looked like coffee.
Mr. Nolan, a man with thinning grey hair, came back with two keys. One may be a spare. Then, uncle stood up and everyone at the table did the same and lined up in front of uncle and I.
"Mabel, this is Nolan. He is the door man and will often give me rides to places, and now you too." I shook is hand and smiled. "This is Annabel. She takes care of the income of this facility, and, also my closest friend." I smiled at her, hence I already met her. "This is Josie. She is one of the maids who everyday clean, Polish, and dust all around the house." She curtsied and said nice to meet you, miss. I'm a miss. "This is Oliver, our butler. Yes those still exist!" He joked. "And this is the last of the maids. This is Autumn. She also does all sorts of cleaning through out the house." Autumn also curtsied. "Last but not least, is our wonderful cook, Dee Dee." Dee Dee was a buff woman with hair that looked pastel orange. She wore a blue and white striped shirt and white pants with an apron. All of her body looked like it was trying to bulge out. "Now, Oliver will help you get the rest of your things."
"Nice meeting all of you." I said and smiled at all of them and followed Mr. Oliver out of the kitchen, passed the dinning room, then the living room and back in the foyer. Mr. Oliver looked younger then Mr. Nolan but twenty years older than Miss Annabel. He still had color in his hair so he was probably in the beginning of his mid years.
Mr. Oliver opened the trunk and laughed, "Only five bags, miss?"
"I travel light." I sheepishly smiled. "Actually, I didn't have much things back home."
"Well this is your new home now, and your uncle is going to change that." He leaned closer as if he was going to tell me a secret. "Your uncle, ever since he heard of the accident, offered to take care of you and dug up all sorts of things from his mother in the attic and brought down the stuff for you to look through."
"Why would he give me his mother's processions?" I grabbed two of the five small bags.
"Yours and his story aren't that different, miss." Mr. Oliver picked up the last three and closed the trunk and we went back inside.
Uncle probably lost his mother too. It was sweet that he thought of me the same way he thought of his past self and wanted to pass down things to me from his mother. It was possible that he didn't want me to end up alone if he hadn't have offered to take custody of me. I could have ended up somewhere other than with a family member. A foster home or an orphanage.
I was unpacking my belongings in my new room. I picked up my phone from my small backpack and saw I had some messages. "Why aren't you at school?" A message said. "Where are you? You didn't come today." Another said. "Yo, you missed biscuits and gravy for lunch, yo." Oops. I forgot to tell people I had moved. I responded the same to all of them. "Sorry I didn't tell you. I moved to California because my Mother, Father and sister died in a car accident. My uncle takes care of me now." The two that asked about sent messages that apologized for what had happened and told me they would text me everyday and wished for the best. Elliot, on the other hand, Skyped me right after I texted him. He insisted on me flying right back just to give him a goodbye hug, then I could go back to California. I told him that I would rather sell him for one corn chip to merchants. He gave me a puppy dog face. For truce, I promised to tell him everyday about my new life here. I told him about the long ride here, the people I met, the boarding house, and my new room. I told Elliot all the stuff I was planing to do tomorrow and the days after.
Elliot was my best friend since kindergarten. We did everything together. From the donkey rides at the county fairs to high school dances. In six grade I had feelings for him, but that ended when he told me he didn't fancy girls. I still loved him as my best friend. Somethings just don't change.