FICTION FRIDAY: Beginnings
Sydney found herself once again making her way upstairs to her grandparent’s attic. She’d been going up there a lot lately to dig through the boxes ever since her grandmother died. While her mother helped her grandfather sort through his affairs, Sydney sorted through his memories.
She had only gotten through three boxes and there were still a dozen more filled with things to discover. Her favourite thing so far had been the outrageously large hat she’d found in an old hat box of her grandmother’s.
Sydney settled herself down on the rickety, old piano stool that had been taken up to the attic years ago when it’d been replaced by a new one. Her grandmother had never been able to throw stuff away. That was why she was now surrounded by so many boxes filled to the brim with her grandparent’s life together.
Picking up one of the smaller boxes and setting it on her lap, she began to pull old black and white photographs from it. She slide one of her grandfather in his army uniform fighting in WW2 and a picture of her mother when she was little. When she reached her grandparent’s wedding picture, she stopped, memories of her begging her grandmother to put on the dress and dance around the living room, suddenly flooding back to her. She’d always believed that that dress was exactly what someone in a fairytale would wear.
She got up from her stool, and began to rummage around to the back of the attic. She had to climb over an old cello case and a fallen over hat rack before she reached the very back where the large cupboard stood. She pulled open the door and held back a cough as dust flew everywhere. Rubbing her eyes, she reached out and fingered the dress’ lace collar.
She took the dress from where it hung and went to look it in the large standing mirror. Holding it up to herself, she tried to imagine what it would be like to wear it. Her heart tightened as she remembered that her grandmother would never get to see her dance around in it.
“That would look beautiful on you,” her mother said coming up behind her. Sydney hadn’t even heard her climb up the stairs and enter the attic.
“Do you think grandfather would care if I wore it on my wedding day?” Sydney asked.
“I think both he and mom would be thrilled.”
Sydney met her mom’s sad eyes in the mirror. Her mom gave her a tight smile reaching out to touch the sleeve of the wedding dress. “You’d look just like your grandmother in this dress.”
“Tell me about the day they got married.”
Sydney’s mom took the dress from her and went to sit on the piano stool. Sydney followed her, settling herself down on the dusty floor next to the stool.
“They were in love. Everyone could tell. Mom’s father didn’t want her to marry your grandfather. He was going off to war and leaving your grandmother behind.”
“But they got married anyway,” Sydney said smiling.
“I always thought of them as my own personal fairytale. It’s sad that their story is over now.”
“It’s not over now sweetheart,” Sydney’s mom said. “They’re just starting a new chapter.”
“That’s nice,” Sydney said leaning her head on her mom’s knee. “I like the idea of getting a new beginning. It’s scary to think about the old one ending, but it’s also beautiful to think about how you don’t just have one book that makes up you’re stories but several.”
“Our lives are a series of books just waiting to be told.”
Sydney stayed up in the attic long after her mother left, going through the photographs that symbolized the ending of an era. Even when the tears came, she still felt happy because she knew this wasn’t the end. just a turning of a page. Just because people leave your life, doesn’t mean that they necessarily leave you. She believed what her mother said about her grandparent’s story not being over, but she felt as if the same was true for her too. She’d always be connected to those she loved even when her own story ended. Starting over was scary, but not going forward was even scarier. She slipped the photograph of her grandparent’s wedding into her pocket with the other pictures before heading downstairs not afraid of what was ahead.