Follow Tristan and Amy on an adventure as unpredictable as the sea.
Follow Tristan and Amy on an adventure as unpredictable as the sea.
This was it, the day had finally come. Times were changing fast and I was hoping this would be the last major event in my life for awhile, and my brothers as well.
I pulled up to the rugged old beach house around lunch time. The building was at least forty years old and had been vacant for the past five years since my grandparents died. When I was a child I spent some time here with them during the summers and after their passing I couldn’t even think to come back so soon, until now. So here I was staring into the review mirror of my past. The old green paint peeling off the side of the house now had some red graffiti on it. Mi-maws bird bath out front stood completely covered with moss and ivy, and paw-paws garden that made him famous in this town was now overgrown with so many weeds it resembled a graveyard. I hesitated for a moment collecting my thoughts and brushing away the memories from what was once my life, the good part of it anyways.
As I drove my 2002 blue Ford Escape into the driveway it came to a screeching halt as I put it in park. My brother Ian looked around questionably then turned to me and said “This is it?”
“Yes Ian, we’re here”, I replied. “It doesn’t look like much, but this place was once the most beautiful place I had ever known”. Trying to comfort him I realized I was also trying to comfort myself. In the back of my mind I was aware of how much work needed to be done and that things were going to be hard, but I had to do it. At this point in time there was no other option.
Apparently tragedy follows this family like a lost puppy, always making its way back into our lives. Our grandparents had both passed quite some time ago and neither one of our parents had brothers or sisters. I had never thought that I would be a twenty-one year old college student who ultimately became the soul caretaker of my 8 year old brother. It’s hard to believe that just six short months ago our parents had a horrible accident in which had both passed away that day. I lost my identity, dropped out of school, and was haunted by memories of them everywhere I looked. Last month I realized there needed to be a change.
I stepped out of the car and took in a deep breath. I smelt the salty breeze that blew off the ocean, just like how I remembered it. As I stood there staring at the beaten down ramshackle edifice that stood in front of me I could almost hear voices from my past. Laughter, kids voices calling out, the dinner bell ringing, those were good times.
The only place I remembered where I was ever happy was here at my grandparents place. Since they knew that I loved coming there so much, they left it to me in their will for when I was old enough to have it. My parents had never liked the place but they kept up payments on it for me.
Now getting my life back in order I figured it would be the perfect place to start over with my sweet brother so he could have the best childhood I could provide for him.
Ian hopped out of the car and looked around.
“Amy, this place is disgusting. You’re going to have a lot of work to do!” he said with his cute cerulean blue eyes sparkling in the North Carolina sunlight.
“No, we are going to have some work to do.” I smiled back at him. “Let’s get the happy meals out of the car and we’ll have a picnic out on the front porch!”
“Okay!” Ian said.
As we sat and listened to the sounds about us I kept thinking about how much work had to be done on this place and although it was intimidating, I felt like this was the right thing to do.
“Thanks Amy for the lunch, I love my toy!” Ian Squealed.
“You’re welcome, but now we have to get down to work!” I told him.
Ian took off running after his little red jeep toy that rolled off the porch and into the yard. He yelled for me to come look at the tree by which the car landed.
“Look, who’s initials are those in the tree?” He asked me.
O and L Robertson. I knew, mom and dad. Oliver and Luanne Robertson.
“Those are mom and dads initials, when they first got married they wrote it here in this tree so it would last forever.” I could tell by the look in his face that got to him, he was deep in his thoughts and was going to cry.
“Amy I’m scared. I’m afraid about not having any friends and being in a new place. I want mom and dad back! I miss them. I want her warm embrace and his confident smile that everything is going to be okay.” He managed to let out as he ran over to me.
I hugged him tight trying to hold back my own tears but it was relentless.
“I know honey, I know. I promise you though I won’t leave you and you and I will have so much fun here! We’ll make tons of new friends together, go play on the beach, camp out, whatever you want! We’re going to be okay.”
“You… *Sniff* mean it?” He asked while the last tear rolled down his cheek.
“Yes, I do. Now let’s have some fun and get to unpacking! The truck will be here tomorrow and I need your help! I’m putting you to work my little soldier! Can I count on you?” I squinted at him and said with a drill sergeant voice.
“Yes Ma’am!” He saluted me and ran towards the house.
“Come get a box at least!” I shouted after him.
A few hours later my car was free of boxes and suitcases. I had cleaned up a few of the rooms, the most important ones, and rid them of cobwebs and other nasty insects. I went out back to see what all was back there, I remember my grandparents used to have a sail boat out there.
As I walked outside I saw the boat upside-down. The mast was broken, the wood was rotted, and it had become yet another thing overgrown with weeds. I walked down to the sea shore that was covered in varies shells of shapes and sizes. I could hear Ian calling from the house. As I turned I saw him running out towards me. He had something shiny in his hands.
“What is it Ian?” I asked him.
“I think it’s a necklace or something, but look it has you’re name on the back!” He explained.
As I took a deeper look at it he was right. It was my locket from when I was 14. The engraving on the back was written many years ago. I opened it up and looked the picture inside. It was me from that age, my hair a wild, curly mess and dirt on my face. I showed it to Ian and we both started laughing instantaneously.
“Amy, that’s you? Wow you were scary!” He said with his scaredy-cat face.
“oh yeah? Well you should see me now!” I said as I lunged toward him with my tickling fingers.
“NO!” Ian shrieked as he sprinted back to the house.
“Get cleaned up” I yelled, “It’s almost time for dinner. Then off to bed for you, you horrible little kid.” He was sweet, upbeat, and had my heart. The only family I had left and he had me wrapped around his finger. I was proud to be his sister and I was not going to let him down. Things were changing, but I finally felt a slight sense of peace, and optimism.