Young Jacqueline

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One afternoon, while visiting Nana, I was wondering around the attic, which was off limits, I found a picture of a beautiful young girl. Thinking my grandmother Ruby would have an answer for my questions, I went downstairs to ask her. “Nana Ruby, who is this girl?” I asked.
“How dare you go into the attic!” She hit me.
“I’m sorry!”
“There is no excuse,” she said. “Call your mother to come get you”
“But Nana.”
“Don’t Nana me, young lady.”

Two weeks later my mother took me back to Nana’s house to try to make up for my previous bad behavior. The trip was very beautiful; but I hadn’t remembered from last time because I was asleep. There were mountains and the trees were turning a golden yellow, orange, and a rusty red. The Colorado River ran right next to the highway. There was a musty sweet smell coming in through the windows, and it made me forget all the troubles Nana and I had gone through during our last visit. Soon enough, I had fallen asleep again.
When we pulled up to Nana Ruby’s, Momma woke me up with a gentle nudge and said “Stephanie, we’re here”
“Oh, Momma, is Nana Ruby gonna be mad at me, still?”
“I don’t think so, dear.”
When Nana came to the door, she greeted me with a hug and said, “I’m sorry for hitting you last time. Momma left. Nana said, “I’ll tell you the story of the little girl if you’ll forgive me”
“You don’t have to Nana Ruby.”
“I will anyway. That little girl was my daughter.”
“I’m so sorry, Nana.”
“It’s fine, but no more interruptions; she ran away at the age of nine. She thought her life was so rough just because she had to do chores, and we couldn’t buy her nice things like all her friends had. She had been missing for three years, and when she came back, she was pregnant; she begged for us to let her back in the house, but your grandfather wouldn’t let her, so she just went to live with her boyfriend. Three years later, she came home again, and once again she was rejected. A few months later, a story was on the television that a sixteen year old had committed suicide. The police showed up at our doorstep. They told us that the little girl was our young Jacqueline, so her daughter Sara had to live with us because her father was not willing to take responsibility.

The poor little innocent girl was only six and had watched her own mother take her life, seen her father walked out on her, and forced to move into in a new place with people she didn’t even know. She stayed in her room for a few weeks only coming out to use the restroom; she wouldn’t even eat outside that room. We waited patiently on her to come out; finally, about two weeks into her stay, she came out and said, ‘may I eat with you?’ and I said, ‘of course dear.’ I told her to call me Nana. She had many questions to ask, and I willingly answered. Each night she would ask me to tuck her in, I did, and then one night she said. ‘I love you Nana.’ I was taken by surprise, and I started to cry, and she asked ‘Nana, why you crying?’ I said, ‘Child you remind me of your mother when she was little and that brings joy to my heart again.’ We spent almost every minute together, well except when she had to go to school.

When she graduated from Cheyenne Mountain High School, she went to college to become a doctor. Now we don’t know where she is ay now; we have lost contact.”
“Nana, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s fine, dear; you didn’t know”
When momma came to get me the following week, I was dreading leaving Nana, but I did anyway. My friends were all excited to see me; they were all on my porch upon my arrival. I was so happy to see them all. School soon started, and I was glad because I could finally able to see all my friends and get back to a normal life.
When I graduated from school, I was on a mission to help Nana Ruby find Jacqueline. I was on the computer all the time; I was calling hospitals to see if they had any records of her. I finally found her about two years later. We decided to meet in Manitou Springs, Colorado. When she drove up, she was driving a nice Honda Pilot. She was a beautiful lady; her face had a nice tan to it. She was a little on the short side; she looked to be only a few inches shorter than me. When I approached her she had the most beautiful voice, a voice of an angel.
On the way back home, I rode with her; I didn’t want to take the bus home. She stayed at our home for the night because she had had been alone too long. In the early morning, we left to go see Nana. When we drove up, Nana was on the porch. When we got out of the car, Nana came to greet us. I reintroduced her to Jacqueline. She was so glad to see Nana again, and the same was true for Nana. They had a lot of catching up to do, so I called Momma to come get me. Jacqueline stayed for a few weeks than she had to get back to her job and husband, so she bid Nana good-bye. Nana still has contact with Jacqueline that makes Nanas life a little easier. They are coming for Thanksgiving, with their new baby, Stephanie.
When Thanksgiving arrived, we were all excited to see her and the baby. Stephanie was so cute; she looked almost like her mother. We had a fantastic time and a huge dinner. When they left, we were sad to see them go, but Jacqueline promised to return for Christmas, and we somehow knew she would. Nana and I became close for the first time in our lives. We both learned an important lesson that day: Love sometimes goes on vacation, but it always comes home.





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