My grandparents actually call me Cinderella, but they never say anything to their son about how he treats me or my mother.
I love my grandparents. They are the only people I am related to that ever act like they are glad I was born. They love me in their own way. They choose to live in a reality where their son isn’t really an evil bastard. Too bad it isn’t true reality. Dale Graves is my grandfather.
He’s about six feet tall, with steel gray hair and periwinkle blue eyes. His hands are big and rough, but gentle. They are the hands of a working man. He is a retired plumber. He was one of eight kids and the only one to go to college. He couldn’t get the kind of job he wanted because of the Depression, so he got what employment there was and then he stayed because he made a good living. He reads all the time and does crosswords. I have only heard him raise his voice once. He speaks with a low, deep voice that is so soft you have to strain to hear him. He has always been gentle, patient and loving to me. He is my favorite male human. Lucille Graves is his wife and my grandmother. She is four feet eight inches of spunk and wit. She has mouse brown hair that she gets done once a week, usually Friday, at her beauty parlor. She has a kind face and sparkling hazel eyes that seem to look right through to your soul. My Grandma makes the best desserts you’ve ever tasted and she sews all of her own clothes. She is a homemaker, but once worked as a secretary. That’s how she and Grandpa met.
The sink in the executive bathroom flooded and she called a plumber and voilà… she and Grandpa became an item. She is highly intelligent, but she never had the opportunity to go to a university or have any secondary education. She wanted to be a nurse, and as much as she fusses with people, I think she would’ve been great. She feeds absolutely everyone and loves to talk. She’s a little bit of a gossip, but mostly just because she is interested in other people. She is the hostess with the mostess. I adore them to my detriment because they can manipulate me really easily. I always feel so guilty if I say “no” to them. They force me to hug and kiss my father, which I resent. They always have because they know that otherwise I won’t. I was always afraid of him as long as I can remember — and I remember being a baby.
I return to my room as the washer chugs along and de-funkifies our clothes. I straighten things up after unpacking my overnight bag and I get my school crap ready to go. I slip a mixed tape in my walkman to keep me company as I vacuum, dust, polish, clean and straighten each room.
Siouxsie’s voice purrs as smooth as silk about putting your head down to the ground and shaking it all around when you slowdive.
Fasten your seatbelts for a white-knuckled ride on the looney wagon and trip down memory lane with a band of misfit teenagers. Kiera Graves and her small posse of true blue friends plot ways to escape their cowtown; and play a game of keep away with her Machiavellian family to help her survive high school and make it to college.
Courage under fire, the closest bonds of friendship and blossoming romance keep this tale of coming of age and survival buzzing with excitement, heart, and warmth.
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Genre – General Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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