**Below, you’ll find a very brief Autumn romance fit for readers of young adult fiction, love, and general literature. I hope you like this treat and feel free to comment and share. I will update the last part sometime this week**
Hoping against hope, I sit on grandma’s swing, under the shady tree, the large one I used to be afraid of as a child until one day I saw a beautiful, emerald caterpillar undulating on its branch. The tree couldn’t be all bad if beautiful creatures took up residence there.
I swing my feet out, my church shoes looking like horse hooves and kicked back and forth, my long legs were spindly and my shoes kept kicking up the dirt patch, but the sun was warm, friendly and not unbearably hot.
Hoping against hope, I pray he doesn’t show up. Every Sunday dinner since I was ten, he came by with his son. The one with the bowl hair cut, sneaky smile and dingy clothes.
I stop my swinging and finally make up my mind to tell Grandma Olsa.
“Grandma!” I yell into the house. I pull open the front door and hear it scream in protest as I dash upstairs to where grandma was knitting by the window. They look like small hats, for a baby.
“I don’t want Casey and his dad here. I hate them!”
Grandma slowly lowers her knitting needles and turns away from the window. After she sighs she then says, “Dearie. Never say you hate someone.”
“I don’t like them, Grandma,” I whine. Now I feel six instead of sixteen. “That boy is always looking at me, like he wants to eat me. He is kind of chunky.”
“You hadn’t seen him all summer, why worry now Elesa? We go to the same church and his family is in need sometimes. Giving him a free meal once in a while and some friendship is the least we can offer.” Grandma Olsa stands up in a beautiful, print dress of sunflowers and I admire her long, silver hair which is incredibly healthy and thick.
“Well. Do I have to talk to him?”
“I would like for you to be polite,” Grandma Olsa says just as a firm knock on the door downstairs confirms the worst.
With the house smelling of sweet yams, buttered biscuits and grandma’s briskets memories of the last Fall sweeps through me and I feel a kind of nostalgia come over me. Last year’s cinnamon raisin cookies, the large green Christmas tree with lots of presents under them.
The unopened presents mom and dad will never see.
I take the steps one at a time slowly, not excited about seeing the dark haired Casey and his thick shouldered giant of a father.
Grandma opens the door wide and opens her arms wider for Casey’s dad. “Come in fellas! You’re just in time!”
I turn on the dining hall’s lights as Casey’s dad enters.
I keep looking around the man for Casey. Grandma holds the slender yet toned fella next to Casey’s dad.
The boy has his hair in a small bun at the nape of his neck and his eyes are the color of seaweed, framed by curly lashes.
He is mighty fine.
“Elesa. Aren’t you going to hug Casey?”
I swallow hard.
This. Can’t. Be. Casey.
Copyright 2016 by Erica Jean Smith