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|Ferocious (chapter One) by Chykwrites(m): 2:03am On Sep 09, 2018|
"Samantha Hayes," Claire called out. "for the fourth time, Please get your feet off my dashboard,"
The teenage girl on the passenger seat rolled her eyes and sighed as she brought her legs down.
"Thank You," Claire said.
"Are we there yet?" Adam moaned from the back seat. "I'm really hungry,"
"Oh Honey", Claire uttered with her attention on the road and her palms tightened on the steering wheel. Her tone was calm now. "We'll be there before you know it, okay?"
As Adam groaned and collapsed back on his seat, Samantha slowly spun and gave him a look with disgust written all over her features.
A Condescending sneer.
"What?," Adam frowned at her.
She slowly turned her attention from Adam to the trees flying by outside the car window on her right side.
Claire stole a glance at her daughter as she rested her head on the glass.
"You okay Honey?", She asked.
Samantha didn't respond and Claire knew her daughter well enough to say nothing more.
She just turned her attention back to the endless streak of tarred Road before her and licked her lips.
She wasn't going to start an argument with Samantha again; definitely not today.
She had been driving for over an hour and thirty minutes form the Airport and she was exhausted. She just wanted to get to her mother-in-law's place, take a shower and relax.
As much as she wanted to relax, She was also nervous. This was the second time she was visiting since her husband's death three years ago. The last time she was here, it was for his funeral and she found it hard to forget, because it was the worst day of her entire life.
Claire tightened her grip on the wheel as she shifted in her seat. She was well aware of the risk she was taking by going back to Cherrywoods Valley. She was well aware of the Psychological trauma she was likely going to face, being surrounded by everything and everybody that reminded her of her late husband.
The fact was, she had to go. Apart from the fact that she needed a summer vacation, Edith needed her.
Yes, She had lost her husband, but she knew nothing would compare to the pain a mother felt after losing her son.
Claire took peek at Adam from the rear view mirror and tried not imagine what it would feel like to lose him.
"I would die".
Just then, Adam sat up straight when he caught sight of a large billboard passing by.
"Wel-Welcome to Che--rrywood Va-Valley", The little boy stuttered as he narrowed his eyes, straining to see the word clearly. "Pop, fifty seven thousand".
Samantha suddenly burst out in Laughter as she spun to look at her little brother with a malicious smile on her face. "Pop?"
Claire immediately smacked Samantha on her laps, trying to hold down laughter herself. "Stop laughing at him", She hissed.
Samantha's laugh suddenly lessened into a chuckle. "Whatever", Samantha waved off.
Claire then remembered that he was stuttering and decided to ask the one question that came to mind after a sigh.
"Adam," She uttered, afraid to turn to face him herself. "Please tell me you're wearing your glasses".
"Um-", She heard Adam utter.
"Oh God Adam", Claire sighed as she threw her head back in frustration. "Do we have to go over this again?"
"I'm Sorry Mum", The boy said. "I'll wear it when we get to Grandma's".
"What's stopping you from wearing it now?"
"Oh Come on mum", Adam moaned. "It makes me look like a nerd".
Samantha spun and gave him a Mischievous smirk. "You are a Nerd, with or without your glasses. You can't escape it".
"I'm not a nerd", Adam growled.
"You are too".
"I'm not!", Adam shouted in frustration. "Mum, make her stop!"
"I swear to god", Claire started. "If you two don't stop right now, I'll throw you both out of this car".
The car was suddenly quiet, with the only sound coming from Samantha's chuckles. The teen then reached forward and fiddled with the radio and then a certain song that made Samantha turn to Adam with widened eyes came on.
"Yes!", Adam shouted. "Turn it up!".
Samantha did as Adam said, and the two kids started bouncing to the rhythm of the song from the radio.
"If you love somebody,"
"better tell them while they're here 'cos"
"They just may run away from yoooou".
Claire felt a sting of Jealousy as she watched and heard her kids sing in unison at the top of their voices to a song that was obviously one of their favourites. She wanted to join them so bad. She wanted to be part of the fun.
"I'm On top of the world Hey!"
"I'm On top of the world Hey!"
Claire Chuckled as she saw her kids turn her car into a party. She would have reached forward and turned down the volume, but she didn't. There was something about this moment that made her wish it lasted forever.
As they coursed through the streets of Cherrywood, Claire was amazed at how things had Changed in just five years. The roads were now busier than ever, There were more buildings, Bigger, taller Buildings. Claire was almost as if more people had moved into the town.
Claire caught sight of a construction worker installing what looked like a CCTV camera to an electricity pole.
There was no doubt in Claire's mind that the Twenty-first Century had grabbed the little town by the balls.
They still had to make another five minutes’ drive as Edith lived at the outskirts, away from the hustle and bustle of the township.
Claire looked out the window and glanced at Cherrywood high school while trying to hold back the lump she felt in her throat as the memories of the first time she met the love of her life hit her.
"The nerdy biology genius and the incredibly hot Jock".
Till today, people still wondered what brought them together. People still wondered what she saw in Bradley Hayes and what Bradley Hayes saw in her.
"They would never understand".
Before they knew it, they were turning into Edith's drive way. The old woman had spotted them and a smile had started to grow on her face.
As soon as the car came to a stop, Claire heard Adams door jam shut.
"Grandma!! ” The little boy yelled as he ran from the car, past his mother and headed straight for the Old woman ,who was making her way down the balcony steps.
"Oh my!", She called out as she held the boy tight after he crashed into her. "Look at you".
She then bent over and cupped Adams tender smiling face in her palms. "Look how big you are".
Edith looked up and lifted her palms to her mouth as she glanced at Samantha who was walking gently towards her with a cheerful smile on her pretty face. It was almost as if Edith was about to cry as she eyed the teenage girl.
"My Princess", She uttered as she opened up her arms for a hug. "Look at you".
"Hey Grandma", Samantha said with a warm smile that Claire was almost surprised to see, as she came in for a hug.
Edith pulled away to get a good look at her grand-daughter with a smile on her face. "Your mum and I are sure going to have a hard time chasing the boys off you", She said.
Samantha gave a shy chuckle as her face began to redden.
Just then, a golden retriever made its way from inside the house, barking loudly as it charged straight for Adam.
"Ottie!", Adam shouted as he fell to his knees, arms wide open to receive the animal.
"Why, look at that", Edith Chuckled, as she stared at Adam with Ottie right on top of him, licking his face, his tail wagging. "I haven't seen him this excited since the last time you came".
"He's so big", Samantha said as she bent down and ruffled the dogs fur when it ran over to her.
Edith shifted a gaze from the kids and the dog to their mother who was standing beside the car, arms crossed on her chest. She had a grin on her face.
"Come here", Edith beckoned.
The two women met each other in a warm hug.
"How are you Edith?", Claire whispered.
Edith immediately pulled back and gave Claire a stern look. "You know, You didn't have to do this", She said.
Claire rolled her eyes.
"Hell, the kids would have been better off spending their summer in Disneyland or Something, instead of spending it with an old boring hag like me".
"Oh God Edith", Claire said with a grimace. "Just stop, okay. It was what we all wanted. It's what the kids wanted".
She then stole a glance at her children still playing with the dog.
"Besides, we're on a budget this year, Claire sighed. "...So no disneyland".
"I see", Edith uttered.
"Okay, Come on guys," Claire called out. "We've got to unpack".
"Oh Nonsense", Edith Scowled. "The Damned Luggage can wait. The poor things are probably exhausted"
Edith then turned to face the kids. "Hey, who's hungry? I've got freshly made Apple pie with mashed potatoes and turkey with your names on it".
"Yeah!", Adam yelled as he shot passed the women and made his way into the house with dog trotting behind him.
Edith chuckled as she watched the excited boy run into the house.
Samantha made her way up and kissed Edith on the Cheek and then moved past them towards the entrance, completely ignoring the other woman there.
Claire watched her daughter disappear into the house and then turned to catch Edith's gaze.
"What?", Claire uttered.
"Give her time", Edith said warmly as she flung her arms around Claire's back and Claire did the same. "She's a teenager you know, She is meant to be difficult at this age".
"Yeah, well, She probably hates me for bringing her here for the summer, but won't say it", Claire said.
"Nonsense", Edith waved her away."I for one, think this summer is gonna be one summer they will never forget".
Claire said nothing. She just smiled and held Edith tighter.
The two women just smiled at each other as they both walked into the house.
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