I Don't Mean to be This way.

I’m lying in my grandma’s backyard, well the garden within her backyard anyways. The sunflowers are drooping high over my head, and the tulips, roses, dandelions and all those other types of flowers are crowded around me. I hear the waves crashing against the cliff down the road, and smell the sea salt. The summer sun is at its eminence, and heat is washing over me. Oh,there’s the croak of my old grandma, telling me to come inside so she could give me a shopping list. I sigh and stay still for just a moment more then force myself out of my beautiful haven, to my large house. Have you ever seen the movie Practical Magic? Well, my grandma’s house looks just like it. Quite stunning. I walk to the house, and greet my grandma.
“Here’s the shopping list for this week, and an extra five dollars for you.” She smiles and winks at me, handing me a list written in her slanted handwriting and a wad of money.
I smile back, I’ll admit a bit sarcastically, and hop onto my bicycle-it’s vintage and an attractive baby blue- and cycle down to the little grocer’s on the corner.
“Oh, hello Violet.” The store clerk, Joseph, greets me. I come here religiously each and every week, on Saturdays, no matter what the weather, same with Joseph.
“I’ve come today for the usual: pickles, 2 loaves of bread, butter, milk, apples adpeanut butter but I also need to add a pack of cigarettes and a uh, a treat for Frances please.” Frances doesn't get a chance to get out much. My sister will like me to bring her something.
I pay for the groceries, and head over to my favorite flee market, two shops down. This is the place that I got my bike, and almost everything else I own. You can honeslty buy anything and everything at a store like this. The little town I live in is very old fashioned and retro itself. I really like it, the diners are like those from Grease, I guess. It's like, while everyone moved on, my town got stuck a few decades behind. It's really quiant and comfortable.

I look around for a while a buy a very kinderwhore dress for two dollars. I love being able to do that. I fly down the road with paper bags in the basket on the back of my bike, and the wind is whipping my face. I’m almost at my grandmother's gate, I see it from the top of the hill I'm on. I'm not even pumping the pedals.I see the gate coming closer and I hit the brakes, my bike slams to a stop and l fall into the gravel. A couple of scrapes on my knees and elbows, and a bruise or two, really not too bad for a klutz like me. I kick the bike off of me, and get up, I have to dust myself off but I really don’t feel like it. After parking my bike in the garage, I lug the scuffed bags to the kitchen.

“Gran! I’m home with the groceries you asked for!” I call. On any normal day, she would be sprinting down the stairs, long gray hair trailing behind, but apparently, this wasn’t a normal day.

Frances is coming downstairs slowly. "Mol, Gran went to sleep."

This is weird, because Gran is very active. She is up from seven in the morning to nine every day, and never needs a break in between. I was under the impression, while coming back here, that she would be dusting every visable surface. "Where?" I ask my little sister.

"In the hallway."

"In the hallway?!" She nods. "Okay, come here. I have something for you." I am trying to calm the situation. Or I guess myself, since I'm the only one freaking out.

I pull out a coke and find also a jar of honey. "I got you a coke, and you can put some honey on a piece of bread I got from the store." I run up the stairs and my grandmother is struggling to get up from the floor.

"What the hell happened, Gran?!"

She looks at my a bit confused. "I just fell is all. Frances just walked on down the damn stairs. I hope you got all the groceries."

"I-I did."

"Okay."

I walk to the bag of groceries to put away the things. "Why do you have cigarettes, Mol?" Frances asks me.

"Because I do, now go sit down and watch television."

"Mom smoked, you know."

I sigh. I look at my sister very exasperatedly. "I know. You know Gran fell, right?"

She nods and shrugs, biting her bread. "She didn't help me so I won't help here. You know, mom killed dad. She almost killed you, too. She was smoking while she did that."

"Shut up, Frances."

"Just saying."

"Where's Gran now?"

"I don't know."

Gran didn't come down stairs and she wasn't upstairs as I checked. I shake my head and light up a cigarette and my head is cleared.

I take and deep breath and my mind is sorted out and is back to as normal as could be.

"Frances?" I look at her watching the TV.

"Yes mommy?" She doesn't take her eyes off of the program. There are bruises on her arms.

"Did you drink your coke?"

She looks at me, confused. "What coke?"

"Never mind."

"Okay." She moves over to her older sister's wheelchair and watches the TV. I puff on my cigarette and see my daughter watching me from the corner of her eye, worrying my next move.

I don't mean to be this way.





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