To Lose is to Gain- Chapter Two- A Reunion of Sorts

It was raining, how ironic. It seems in every movie I've seen, when something dreadful is happening, it always happens to be raining. Unfortunately for me, I doubt there will be a happy ending.

My ever faithful friends had my room packed in that first day. We spent the next two days together. The thing I love about my friends: They try to act as normal as possible even in tragic times. It lightened my mood significantly.

I already miss them as I sit in a minivan with a woman I hardly know. She tries to make polite conversation, but I ignore her attempts. She seems nice enough, but I figure it's all just an act. This is her job, what she's paid to do. I would hate a job like hers. Who wants to deal with depressed kids all of the time? I wonder about the toll it takes on her personal life. She has a huge rock on her left ring finger. Does she go home, into her husband's arms, to forget the world? Or instead of turning to the one she loves does she turn to the bottle? Does she even love her husband?

I really don't care about these things, yet I still find myself wondering. I don't verbalize my questions though, I want as little communication between us as possible. We've been driving for hours in the endless rain. Sometimes I trace the drops on the window with my finger, but mostly I just sit in silence, though my head is far from being silent.

"We're almost there Raelyn," the young woman informs me. We pull into a sub-division after driving on a back road for about five minutes. I watch the houses go by slowly. They are... quaint. All have nicely shoveled driveways. They're shaped the same way for the most part, single stories, different colors with shutters. I'm surprised there are no white picket fences. Only one house stands out from the rest. It's a three story building with lots of windows, all covered by blinds. There is a two car garage and a porch that wraps around to the back of the house.

I notice there is a lake, it's small, but still a lake, that some of the houses sit along. It would be pretty, if I could find the beauty in anything at the moment. Maybe some day I will appreciate it. I hear the blinker turn on and we turn into a driveway. I inspect the house. It's tan with green shutters, shaped like the rest of them. There is a miniscule pond in the side yard and woods in the back and side yard. Christmas lights are lit along the roof and on a pine tree in the middle of the front yard.

"We'll bring your stuff in after we meet your grandmother. She is very excited to have you staying with her," I sighed.

"Doubtful," I muttered but got out of the van nonetheless.

We walked up the front porch and I almost fell on the ice a few times. I was not use to snow, or ice, or lakes. All of this was foreign to me and I just wanted to run away. The woman rang the doorbell and there was a vicious barking coming from the other side of the door. As a reflex I stepped back, almost falling down the steps. I heard a raspy voice yelling as the dog continued to bark.

"Ruthie, no! Bad dog!" The door opened with a jingling noise, I realized she had bells on the door. The woman who was my grandmother stood up straight and I just stared at her. She was a female version of my dad, only many years older. She was very tall and had a round stomach with skinny legs. Her teal eyes studied me behind gold rimmed glasses, teal eyes that looked exactly like my dad's, exactly like mine. Her hair was cut short and pure white. She wore a bright sweater and pants that looked like jeans but were not made out of denim.

"Hello, hello! Come on in!" She opened the glass door and the dog who had quit barking, growled. I glanced at the dog. She was an Australian Sheppard. She bared her teeth and I just rolled my eyes. She thought she was big and bad, but I knew better. I didn't know how my dad's mom would take it or I would have put her in her place right then.

We stepped into a kitchen. The large table was covered in notebooks, reading books, pens and pencils, sugar, salt and pepper, and other random things. The walls were a dark aqua color with light wood cupboards. She had a lot of spices on the counters, along with other things. I noted she had a dishwasher which was relieving.

"I was just getting ready to start dinner but it can wait. Let me look at you, I haven't seen you since you were this high," she bent down and put her hand at about knee level. So we had met before, I was just too young to remember it. I felt her gaze all over me and it made me slightly uncomfortable. "You are a beauty, I should have known as much. You have good genetics," before I knew what was happening, this large woman was hugging me fiercely. I didn't respond but went rigid. I'm usually a very physical person, but she was a complete stranger to me. She noticed and let go. "Sorry, it's just been a long time. Did you bring anything with you?" The social worker took her chance to butt in.

"Oh did she ever! Boxes and boxes. I had originally brought a car, but had to switch to a van to fit all of her things."

"Well why don't you guys bring in Raelyn's things while I start dinner. Your room is just down the hall, the last door on the right," she hustled over to whatever she was preparing while the woman and I went to haul my stuff in.

It took five trips for both of us, but finally all of my stuff was in. Only when everything was securely in "my" room did I look around. It wasn't anything like my old room. It was much smaller. A full size bed sat in one corner with a nightstand next to it, a dresser next to that, and on the wall, to my extreme delight, was an empty bookshelf. The closet met me as soon as I walked in. I opened it, my clothes would never fit in there. It was a regular size closet, nothing like my huge walk-in at home. The walls were bright, too bright for my dark mood. Green and turquoise. I sighed.

I went and laid on the bed, at least it was comfortable. I knew I should be out with my grandmother and the social worker, but I just wanted to be alone. I buried my head in my hands, trying to block out the cheeriness of the room. Only six months, that was all, then I could go back to what I knew and loved. I only wish the people I loved the most would be there.