Melody's car whipped around another corner of the old country road. The colorful fall leaves curling in a swirl of activity before falling to the ground, covering it once again in brilliant color. The air was crisp and fresh as it blew across her face, leaving her hair wind blown. She loved this stretch of road and knew it like the back of her hand.
Her mind was still lost in thought as she rounded the last corner, opening to a clearing of wide open space. Now she'd be able to see what this new car could do. Before she had a chance to open it up, an old house on the left caught her eye and she pulled off the road.
Something about the old house called to her with a familiarity she couldn't put her finger on. Pulling into the driveway, she got out and stood quietly. What was it about this place? Strange sensations ripped through her body, causing her feet to move on their own, pulling her around back to the barn.
The door to the barn was open, inviting her in. She could smell fresh hay and hear the sounds of horses as they moved about in their stalls. The sound of an old man's voice brought her out of her reverie.
"Hello?" Melody called out. "I was passing by and something about...."
Her attempt to explain was cut short by the old man who came out of a stall. Something about him took her breath away and she stood frozen in time. Hours seemed to pass before she found her voice again.
"Your house...I saw it from the road..."
Her words came in short, quick breaths as she resumed her explanation. Something about the old man's eyes held her captive and words seemed to catch in her throat. He held his hand out to hers. When she took it, tears burst into her eyes.
"Do I know you?' She managed to ask.
He smiled and said, "You must come to the house and meet my wife."
The house was warm and inviting. The smell of fresh baking filled the air.
"Claire, we have a visitor." The old man said as they entered the kitchen.
|The woman invited Melody to sit
and offered her a fresh piece of pie. Melody thanked her and took a bite.
When she finished the pie, she put her plate in the sink.
"Would you like to see the rest of the house?" The woman asked. Like the old man, something about her eyes drew Melody deep into a realm of memory she couldn't quite grasp.
The house had an old feel to it. Generations of history had been brought to life here, weaving itself into the present. Melody suddenly realized how it all connected into one web. How it branched out in many different directions, but maintained the life's work of the original weaver. The photos on the wall, colored yellow with time represented this very web. The historic heartbeat of past generations were beating within these walls. Moving along the timeline of photos, Melody came to one that brought her to her knees. Bringing years of unresolved issues to the surface. She stepped closer.
"It couldn't be!" She said to herself.
Turning, she realized the couple were watching her intently. Their eyes wide with anticipation. Melody turned to the photo once again.
"Is it possible?" She asked them, realizing she was standing face to face with the grandparents she was told had died years before.
Slowly stepping forward, the woman took Melody's shaking hand.
"You should come and sit down" she said. "We have so much to explain to you."
Melody sat down on the couch, her head spinning.
"How could this be happening? My parents told me you were dead."
"There's a lot your mother never came to terms with." Her grandmother explained. "The past ten years have been hard on her."
|"Regardless" said Melody, "They
shouldn't have lied to me. You're my mother's parents. How could she do
Melody's grandparents exchanged a thoughtful glance. Her grandfather reached out and took her hand. "There's so much you don't understand. Let us explain."
"No!" cried Melody. "I'm getting to the bottom of this now."
Before her grandparents could protest, she was out the door. She placed a call from her cell phone.
"Mom, I have to show you something!" Her signal was breaking up. "....at grandma's....alive...."
"What?" was all she heard before her phone went dead.
Melody pulled into her parents house as they were coming out. "I can't wait to show you!" Melody exclaimed.
"Let's get this over with" Cindy said as she got in the car.
Melody returned to her car and followed her parents as they pulled onto the road. As they pulled into the driveway of her grandparent's house, Melody felt a twinge of excitement. She couldn't believe it was finally happening. At last, the situation would be resolved.
Melody noticed her mom's expression as she got out of the car. She was clearly upset about being here. Melody asked her mom. "Why haven't we visited?"
|Her mom shook her head, "They
died so many years ago."
"No, mom! They're here! I've seen them." Melody cried.
Melody's mom was becoming more upset. "How did this happen?"
Melody's grandparents came out onto the porch and she ran to greet them. "See! They're here!"
Cindy turned and walked to the end of the driveway. Melody and her father followed. She starred blankly at the road.
"It happened so long ago. I've been trying to heal and move on."
Paul moved to his wife. "Healing can take place right now if you let it."
"But how do you heal from something so painful?"
Melody approached her mom. "Whatever it is, it's not worth never speaking to each other again."
Paul let out a heavy sigh. "It's never going to be easy, but you're here now."
"Please mom" Melody begged. "Do this for me!"
Cindy raised her tear filled eyes. "Oh Melody! My entire life is you!" Before anyone could respond, she walked back to the porch and sat down.
"I haven't been here in ten years." Claire reached down and touched her daughter's shoulder.
Cindy felt a shudder. "So many memories here."
Paul wiped a tear from her cheek. "Memories are for keeping. It's the pain you need to release."
|Standing up, Melody moved beside
her grandparents. Claire looked at her granddaughter. "There's so much
you still don't understand."
Melody's patience were growing thin. "Then please explain!"
Melody's grandfather took her by the hand. "Listen" he said, nodding to Cindy.
Cindy looked out toward the road again. "It all took place right here. Why did you come here Melody? What was it you wanted to show us?"
Before Melody could respond, Cindy rose from the porch and walked around the house to the back side of the barn. Paul and Melody followed slowly behind her. Melody noticed a small cemetery.
"Why hadn't I seen that before?" She wondered.
Once she got closer, she realized it was a family cemetery, outlining generations. Her mother was standing between two headstones. Melody went and stood beside her. Looking down, she noticed the names of her grandparents. Turning, she saw them standing by the gate. Cindy took a deep breath and continued walking to the other side of the cemetery. She stopped in front of another headstone. Melody glanced over to her grandparents and they nodded that she should follow. When Melody arrived, she dropped to her knees. She had to read the inscription twice.
"Our Beloved Daughter Melody"
Her head was spinning with confusion. Her mother's words were distant as she began to speak. "What did you want to show us Melody?"
Cindy's mind was racing as she recalled that dreadful day ten years ago. Melody had went out for a drive. There was a call from her, stating she wanted to show them something. The police said as Melody was pulling out of the driveway, she was hit by a semi trying to make the corner. Cindy was never able to return to the house she'd inherited from her parents. They used to come out here to escape the city, but for the past ten years, it had been too painful.
|Melody suddenly realized she'd
been stuck in a loop of circumstance. Her grandparents were now standing
at her side. "It's time for us to go Melody."
"But what about mom?"
"She'll be fine now" Claire said. "Now that you've accepted your death, so can she."
Melody took her grandparents hands and walked toward the forest behind the house. Glancing back, she saw her parents embracing in front of her grave. Her mom was smiling.
Melody heard her father ask, "How about relocating to the country?"
Cindy looked around and took a deep breath. She had just released years of pain and felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her. Nodding, she said, "Yes, it's time!"
She took her husband's hand and walked back toward the house. Unseen to Paul and Cindy, Melody and her grandparents disappeared into the forest.
Cindy smiled to her husband and said, "I think I'm going to like it here."