Arizona Skies
Author: Isabella Darcy

Chapter 21
Mending Pieces

It's nearly five o'clock when I venture into the kitchen, cautious steps. Aubrey left hours ago, and I've been sitting upstairs, trying to concentrate on homework, and failing. When I creep in, I see Lindsey's head, frizzy and tired, drooping on her shoulders. Her tanned elbows are propped up on the table, bright orange t-shirt sagging on her frame. She's holding her head in her hands, and looking down.

"Grandma Lindsey?" I say, tentatively stepping forward. Her head scoops up with a start. I notice that her eyes are muted, cloudy- the lines of her mouth falling in stark contrast to her wan cheeks.

"Aurora." She says, gesturing for me to sit down. I sit.

She crosses her arms on the table and looks at me, just looks. And I look back. Brown to brown, sparks flying, but yearning for peace. In that moment, I understand what Ted was saying, how Lindsey and I are really similar, though maybe not in looks. We're stubborn. Our characters are made from the same mold, tweaked by environment and circumstances, but essentially the same in bare makeup.

"I'm sorry." I finally say, breaking the silence. The words are wrenched from my lips, but they need to be said.

She nods, dipping her head down slowly. "Me too."

We sit, just staring at one another. Then, so slowly, her withered hand slithers across the table and pats mine. I realize it's the first time we've made physical contact in 36 days, since the uneasy half-hug when I first arrived. The faint ghost of a smile tickles her mouth.

"You know, you and I are a lot more similar than we'd like to admit." And she laughs.

My lips crack into a smile. She continues, keeping her eyes on mine. "Aubrey. I've given him permission to come back on the property." She makes a wry face. "I guess I was a little too harsh."

"Thank you." I say, and I mean it. I get up and come over to her, standing behind her chair, a faint brush of my lips to her cheek. Lindsey nods.

I walk out of the room, peace creeping through my veins. Little steps.

 

 

 

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