Part 1 here Part 2 here
Will didn’t argue with me. All and all he was a good boy, Caleb too. They were a handful for Isabelle though, what with her having to work all the time and no husband to help out. Funny how a man can just walk out on his family and never look back. That’s what Jack Fisher had done though: he’d gotten on a plane to California and called Isabelle on his cell phone somewhere over Colorado and said he was leaving her.
Worry lines creased Isabelle’s young face, worry lines she shouldn’t have, and I hated Jack Fisher all over again.
“Let me help you with that, child.” I reached for one of the bags of groceries.
“I’ve got them, Nana.” Isabelle moved past me and into the kitchen. She plopped the bags down on the countertop and started putting things away.
I felt a tug on my apron and looked down at Will’s upturned face. “I’m thirsty,” he said. “Caleb too.”
While Isabelle bustled about the kitchen, I made a pitcher of cherry Kool-Aid, and the boys took their glasses and went out on the back porch. They liked it outside here; there weren’t no outside to speak of at their apartment in the city.
“I’ve got a favor to ask, Nana,” Isabelle said, looking out the window over the sink.
I took two glasses of Kool-Aid to the table and sat down. “Anything you need, all you gotta do is speak up. You know that.”
A breeze sidled through the window screen, ruffling Isabelle’s blonde hair. She closed her eyes and smiled. “It smells so clean out here, the grass, the trees, even the dust from the road.” The smile slipped from her face. “Not like the city where all you smell is gasoline fumes and baking asphalt.”
“You’re welcome to come back home anytime you take a notion. You know that too.”
Pap and me had taken Isabelle in after the car wreck that’d killed Josh and his wife. This old farm was the only home she’d ever known.
“I can’t live way out here, Nana, I have to work.” She opened her eyes and turned to me. “And that’s why I’m here, why I need a favor.”
“Come tell me about it.”
And she did. She told me about the job interview she had set up with a company two states over, a company that’d pay her twice what she was making at the law firm she was working at now. “Marshall is a nice town, Nana,” she said. “And I could have a nice house with plenty of room for the boys and a big yard for them to play in. And a place for you to–”
“Hold on now.” I’d heard this kind of talk before, and I knew that Isabelle meant well, but I wasn’t leaving my home. Me and Penny weren’t going nowhere. “How does this have anything to do with needing a favor from me?” Continue reading