Searching for Home
by Chelle & Nikki
Warnings: Deals a little with death, has some drinking in it. Some curse words, violence and sex, but nothing gory or graphic.
Starting over was exactly what she knew she needed. There was nothing left in Mississippi for her anymore. The only family she had was gone and even her one friend that had been the closest to her had recently moved away. The other Dennison family members certainly had no time for her now that Anna and Ray were gone. They’d only tolerated her for her parent’s sake.
Brianna stood on the patio looking out over her back yard. She leaned on the railing as another tear fell down her face. She couldn’t believe she was leaving this house. This had been her home since she was seven years old. It had been the first and only place she’d found unconditional love and happiness. Living in such a small town though with very few friends had not exactly given her the same kind of happy memories that other children might have. She’d been teased so much in school that from the fourth grade on, it had been a miserable experience and she’d never gone to any school dances or games. She’d even stayed home the day of her graduation.
As an only child and adopted, she didn’t have much better luck at any home other than her own. Her parents were the only ones who ever treated her as a member of the family.
Now, Ray, the only man she’d ever known as a dad, had suffered a heart attack and had been dead for almost two years. Anna, her only mother, had recently passed on and had left Brianna a large chunk of money and the house. The rest of the family didn’t approve and made it known constantly. So, against her own wishes, Brianna had given in to the offers to buy her out of her home for even more money. She just wanted to get out of there. She couldn’t stand the town or the family without her parents.
She took one last look at the back yard where she’d hunted Easter eggs and learned to ride a bike, where Anna had taught her how to plant flowers and where Ray had built her a new swing to hang from the old oak tree every summer. She bit her bottom lip and squeezed her eyes shut to fight back more tears.
With a quick turn on her heel she walked inside and locked the sliding door. She made one more check over the large, old house and again ran her finger tips over the height chart behind the front door that Ray had kept of her from the first day she’d been there until her 21st birthday. She slowly walked out and placed the key under the mat on the small front porch.
She sat in her car which was loaded down with her personal items packed in boxes and backpacks, along with her luggage packed with her clothes and shoes, makeup and jewelry. She hadn’t taken any of the furniture, just a few precious items that had belonged to her parents and a package of rose seeds that she and Anna had planned to plant but had never gotten the chance. Brianna started the car and, with another glance at the house, she quickly drove away. As she drove onto the interstate, she couldn’t help but wonder if she would even be able to make it on her own or not. Anna and Ray had certainly taught her how to take care of herself as she’d gotten older. Still, without them there to help if anything went wrong, Brianna began to doubt her own abilities. It wasn’t like she was moving to a big city somewhere like Manhattan or L. A. (which everyone had suggested she do so that she could go to school for interior design or fashion, perhaps even music.) She had never liked the idea of being in a big, busy city. She wanted to live in a quiet town like she was used to. Now, here she was about to do just that driving east toward Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she planned to move into one of the serene areas that she’d found while searching over the internet.
A few hours later, she stopped at a gas station to get something to drink and fill up her car. When she walked in, there were a few truckers drinking coffee at the booths in the back. She walked toward them and took a coke out of the cooler.
“Well, what’s a pretty lady like you doing out on that road without a strapping fellow to keep other guys at a distance?” of the truckers asked with a grin. The others laughed and Brianna just rolled her eyes.
“I can take care of myself, thanks.” She gave them a smile of half politeness and half sarcasm. She then walked back to the front, paid for her drink and gasoline and a pack of gum.
When she walked outside to her car and took the gas cap off, she noticed two of the truckers standing outside watching her. Brianna was aware of their stares and stupid grins but ignored it the best she could as she pumped gas into the red mustang she drove.
A smile spread across her face when she recalled a memory from her first date when she was 15. She had gone to a dinner with a boy from the next town. Her curfew had been set for 10 o’clock (Ray had wanted her to be home by eight but thanks to Anna, she’d gotten two extra hours.) and she’d made it a point to get home early.
Jared had pulled into the driveway no later than 9:45 bringing her home, but when they walked up toward the front door, there sat Ray on the front porch, a cup of coffee in one hand and a shot gun in the other. Brianna laughed for a moment. She remembered how she’d been a little embarrassed and a somewhat angry but more than anything, she felt loved.
She sighed as the memory faded and she twisted the gas cap back on and got into her car. She glanced at the truckers, who smiled and waved. She just raised her hand back at them and gave a tight lipped smile for a second. She hoped the guys in Tulsa, or at least in her neighborhood, would be a little different. She also had high hopes that no one would treat her like an adopted kid as they had most of her life, even as an adult. No one ever doubted she’d been adopted when they saw Ray and Anna… there was too much difference in their looks.
Ray had been tall, all of six feet and muscular. He had short dark hair that had turned mostly gray by the time he’d reached his late forty’s. He’d wore glasses had pale blue eyes and a kind face with a smile that could light a room.
Anna had been close to five-six with a small frame. She’d had dark blond hair and green eyes. Her hair had not begun to turn gray until her last few years in her sixties. Her face always held evidence of her years worrying and laughing. She’d had a gentle quiet voice and would always hum old gospel songs while baking or knitting.
As she’d gotten older, no one could even be convinced that Brianna was Anna and Ray’s niece, which she had told people a few times. At 24, Brianna had an average build and was almost five-ten. Her long, straight and slightly thick, dark hair had recently been cut, and was layered. It came past her shoulders almost to her chest. Everyone had always said her eyes were the most noticeable thing about her. They were dark blue and bright, without a hint of paleness to them. Anna and Ray had called her ‘sapphire’ when she was younger because of the color of her eyes. She had a hint of tan in her natural skin tone and a light spray of freckles across her nose that could only be seen if you were very close to her face.
Brianna tucked a stray bit of hair behind her ear as she rolled down the window. She had a lot of time to think. Another hour and she’d cross the Oklahoma state line. She now found herself happy and excited about the move. Starting over was exactly what she knew she needed. There was nothing left in Mississippi for her anymore. The only family she had was gone and even her one friend that had been the closest to her had recently moved away. The other Dennison family members certainly had no time for her now that Anna and Ray were gone. They’d only tolerated her for her parent’s sake.
Brianna pulled off of the road into the McDonald’s parking lot. She locked up her car and walked inside. After ordering two large order of fries and a large milk shake (one of her favorite meals) to go, she sat in her car for a few minutes and ate while thinking again about her decision to move. She hoped with all of her heart that Anna and Ray wouldn’t have been disappointed. She took anther drink of her milk shake and started the car.
Checking her map, she made her way back onto the road and drove for almost three hours.
A little while after the sky had turned dark, she had made it to a small motel just outside of Tulsa. She checked in and bought a Tulsa newspaper from the office. She thanked the manager and then got into her car and drove around to her door. After pulling a suitcase out of her backseat and locking her car up, she walked into her room and sat her bag on the floor.
“Well, at least it looks clean.” She said out loud to herself as she shut the door.
She immediately locked the door and tossed her small purse and the paper onto the bed.
After taking a shower, she sat on the bed in her pajamas and looked over jobs in the newspaper. One particular help wanted ad caught her attention. It was asking for someone to help promote new local singers and their gigs. It mentioned that the only experience necessary was to be a decently fast typist.
“Well, thank you again mom.” Brianna said softly as she circled the ad, remembering how Anna had over a period of four months, taught her how to type.
Brianna laid the paper on the night table and turned the small lamp out. She lay in the dark for a few minutes wondering if what Anna said was fast typing and what the person who placed the ad would say is fast typing could possibly be two different speeds. Oh well, It’s worth a try anyway. Brianna thought as she drifted off to sleep.
This fictional story is hosted
at The Gifted Ones with permission from Chelle.