Olivia Gray and Boone Strange have known one another since childhood, but haven’t seen one another for quite some time. She’s home, going through her grandmother’s house, since Gram has recently been diagnosed with dementia, and put in a home. She’s at his grandfather’s house next door, when several members of the Strange family arrive to help her with the daunting task. One of them is Boone.
The front door opened and one of Porter’s granddaughters walked in. She and Olivia were about the same age.
“That my little Frangipani?” Porter called.
“It sure is, Granddad! Livy, it’s so good to see you!” The young women hugged. “Girl, I have missed you! You ready to get to work?”
“Sit down and have a cup,” Porter invited. “The others are coming. I knew you’d be first. My little Frangi is always early. Now, that brother of yours…. Pfft!” He waved his gnarled hand. “Boy was born late.”
“Boone’s coming?” Olivia tried to keep the eagerness from her voice, but figured she probably failed miserably.
“I thought he was working today?” Frangi said.
“He told me he was coming. Now, whether that means after work, now, or midnight, who can say? That young’un keeps his own time. We got real time, and Boone time.”
The women giggled, knowing it was true.
“Mama says he’ll probably be late to his own funeral.”
The front door banged shut.
“Whose funeral?” A mellow baritone asked from the living room.
“Slow, but ears like a fox,” Frangi said. “You’ll be late to yours,” she said as her brother wandered in.
A sly smile spread across his face. “Is that Olivia? Lord, girl! Pops told me to come help with Granny’s, but he didn’t say you were gonna be here. Do I get a hug?”
Olivia’s breath caught in her throat when she heard his voice. “It’s been too long, Boone. How you been?”
She stood, legs shaking, as he folded her in his embrace. His strong arms wrapped around her and he held her close. She thought she heard him sigh contentedly. Maybe that was wishful thinking on her part, because it felt like coming home, to find herself in his arms. Reluctantly, she let go as he released her.
“Chile, you are skin and bones!” he declared, sounding like his grandfather. “What do they feed you in Florida?”
“Not enough, apparently. Sally’s already read me the riot act, and Porter fed me more for breakfast than I eat in a day.”
“She ate it all, though,” his grandfather stated. “Bet she’d eat more if I offered it.”
“No, I am officially full. If I eat anything else, I might vomit.”
“I can eat,” Boone said as he gave his grandfather a gentle hug.
“I know that, which is why I made plenty. Help yourself, your hands ain’t broke.”
© 2019 Dellani Oakes