“Kat? Is that you?” the familiar voice sounded from the bedroom.
Relief flooded Kat as she smiled for the first time since whenever.
“Em? GODS! Why didn’t you tell me you were coming?” Kat asked her tiny, silver-haired grandmother, who was walking out of the bedroom.
“Well, you wouldn’t be very surprised then, now would you?” Em asked in her “come on, now, think before you say dumb shit,” tone.
Before she knew it, Kat was wrapped in the tight embrace of the only person who could possibly have helped dispel the muck that had been clouding her spirit for the past several weeks. It was always surprising to Kat how strong and agile Em was for her age. Hell, Kat wasn’t even sure exactly how old Em was, but she had to be pushing 80 at least.
Kat had gone to live with Em when she was ten years old. Em was her maternal grandmother and the only remaining blood relative she had when her parents were killed in an automobile accident. Even though Em and Kat’s mom, Gayle, hadn’t spoken since before Kat was born, Em was thrilled to take custody of her only granddaughter. Kat always thought the family rift was because Granny Em hadn’t liked her father, Richard, but Em said she loved Richard like he was her own. That was the only information Kat had been given, however. The reason for this rift was as much a secret to Kat at 28 as it was at 10. Any time she brought it up, Em always said there was plenty of time to clear these matters up and they should focus on the time they had together now. Eventually, Kat stopped asking.
The one thing Em had made clear to ten-year-old Kat was that she was having none of that “Granny” nonsense, so, from day one, she had called her grandmother simply “Em.”
“Hon?” Em asked, interrupting Kat’s woolgathering, “you started vacation today, right?”
“You bet!” Kat exclaimed.
“Go pack a bag,” Em said, pointing at Kat’s bedroom door. “Your passport is still current, isn’t it?”
“Ummm…. yeah,” Kat said. More than a little confused, she asked, “what are you talking about, Em?”
“Well, what you think I’m talking about? We’re getting the hell out of here,” Em replied. “Unless you want a rushed morning, you’d better get moving. Oh, and pack for the beach.”
The beach! Kat loved the beach house. So many happy memories there with Em.
“Wait… Em, if we’re going to the beach, why do I need my passport?”
Em winked and said, “you’ll see…”
to be continued…