Vancouver, WA

April 29th, 2019

“I know you don’t want to go up there,” she said calmly, “but we need to.”

He didn’t reply, looking straight ahead at the screen without seeing what was really on. The problem was that he knew she was right. They would have to go eventually, if only to pay their respects. His feelings about the woman had been mixed for so long however that getting up the energy to really visit was a task that he no longer looked forward to.

He could recall the days spent at the home of his aunt and uncle, how he’d enjoyed himself thoroughly and how happy they’d been. Of course there had been bad days, when their family had fought incessantly. In fact that had seemed to happen a lot more as he and his cousins had gotten older and eventually his older cousins had moved out while the youngest, who was his age, had remained behind.

Their family had been a mess for a while to be honest, especially after his aunt had left his uncle for reasons of her own and had in short order divided their family the most destructive way. Worse yet she had refused to speak to anyone about it, least of all her sister, his mother. The treatment she’d received had been just as unfair as anyone, as she had reached out to his aunt and attempted to find out what had gone wrong.

His aunt had pushed them all away until she’d felt comfortable enough to share the new life she’d created, which had not set well with anyone at first, but had at least been an olive branch that had laid between them for a while. Her own family had been fragmented so badly however that his cousin had taken to marrying abusive men that had loved her and left her in short order. One of them had even gotten her pregnant and had deserted her to go back to his ex-wife. The oldest of his cousins had joined the Coast Guard and gotten away from the mess, while the middle child had married and started having children with a man that had eventually left her.

Things had settled down after a while however, and as her grandchildren had grown older his aunt had finally reconciled with his uncle and they had re-entered one another’s lives. It had taken her family and his some time to get over the old hurts, but eventually they had come around, and now it was almost too late to make peace. He knew she was right.

But he didn’t know yet if he was willing, and that was a problem.

(to be continued)

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