***4 weeks ago***
"Mom, I told you before, I'll tell you again, I'm not going to see grams," I told my mom for the hundredth time this week.
"Kayla, look at it however you want. I'm done arguing with you about this. Your grandmother is sick. She asked to see you and she hasn't seen you in years. YEARS, Kayla. Because whenever we had a planned trip to go there, you'd sign up for some made-up after-school activity that lasted you a month, so I wouldn't suspect it was really you not wanting to go down there."
"No, Kayla. Enough is enough. I don't know what was keeping you away from your grandmother in the first place, but I do need you to see her."
"Why, mom? Why is it suddenly so important for you that I see her?"
"Because family is important to me. Legacy is important to me."
"What about what's important to me?"
"Kayla, enough. If you're trying to tell me that family isn't important to you, you do that right now. You tell me to my face that family isn't important to you and I will drop this matter completely and never bring it up again."
She was making a big deal out of this, and I couldn't tell her that, because it wasn't true. The family was important. But going back to that place set unease in my heart.
"No, mom, that's not wh-"
"Good. Now that that's settled, pack your bags. We're leaving in two hours and you, Kayla, are going to make up for all the lost time with your grandmother, before it's too late and you'll lose sleep over it for years."
Another hit of emotional blackmail.
Damn, this woman was good.
I could see where I got my sharp tongue from.
I could also see I was nowhere close to winning this argument, so I just went to my room and packed up my things.
My two hours were up before I knew it and my mom opened the door to my room to make sure I had everything I needed and hadn't spent the time concocting some plan to get out of it.
We left the house and started the three-hour drive to Grams' house.
"Johnny called while you were packing."
"Yes, baby, he called, and he said that his trip to Spain is going to be extended for another week, so your vacation is put on hold for now..."
She let the whole thing up in the air, for me to connect the dots.
I'll be staying at my grandmother's house for a whole 10 days.
"Mom, you can't keep me there for two weeks. It's not fair!"
"Fair? Do you want to talk to me about fair? How is it fair that for the better part of a decade I had to be the one to tell my mother, MY MOTHER, that her only grandchild can't come to the phone, or, or can't come to visit, or has some bullshit excuse to get out of the house every time she visits? I had to look her in the eyes and lie to her face and on the phone, just because you couldn't give her the time of day, and I'm sick and tired of it."
"No, Kayla. Stop."
I have nothing personal with grams.
It's just that the last time I was there... Well, it made me never want to be alone in a room with her, ever again.
I must have dozed off because when I opened my eyes, we were just passing the City Hall. We were here.
Grams was waiting for us by the front door, and when we arrived, her eyes were full of tears and she was smiling ear to ear.
Mom got out of the car and went straight to her.
I took a deep breath and got out of the car.
She was just like I remembered her.
A tall, proud woman, grey hair was beautifully woven into her long, ginger, curly hair, that she didn't pass on to mom, but she did pass on to me, just like her big brown eyes.
When she saw me, her eyes lit up and her smile got even brighter.
"Kayla, my sweet girl!" She said while wrapping her arms around me.
For a moment, I feared history would repeat itself.
But no, she was just a happy woman, enjoying a hug from her granddaughter.
And I was secretly hoping things would go south in the first hour or so, but no.
Not only was the first hour enjoyable, so was the rest of the stay.
We did gardening, stayed outside for tea, cooked together, and my favorite thing, we cleaned the entire house, top to bottom, while moving the furniture around.
I had a blast, and for the shortest of moments, I almost forgot what stopped me from coming here in the first place.
But on my last day here, Grams started feeling unwell.
And then the worst thing happened.
She had a stroke.
Which led her to stay in the hospital for some time and to come out and live with my mom and me for the foreseeable future, and the news were waiting for me the night I came back from the summer trip with my dad.
But now, I wasn't worried about history repeating itself.
I was just genuinely worried about my grandmother.
And I prayed to the stars that she would get better so that we would get more time together.
Because my mom was right.
I would regret wasting the years until the day I die.