The Truth Revealed
Late in the middle of April, Alice had been coming home from school on the local transit bus from the city back to her grandparents. As the hills rolled by her, she stared out into the far off distance and thought about her parents. Alice had a diary, which she would often write in during the long bus rides to and from the city. The bus had been old, you could plainly see that. The seats were torn from the years of being used, there was always a foul smell in the air, that of stale alcohol, and sweat. The windows were cracked; the door creaked when opened and closed. Alice thought to herself everyday when she boarded the bus, “Gee, this bus could really be fixed or maybe just replace the whole bus.”
Alice was a young lady, she was 18 years old. She had long, autumn-orange hair that was down to her waist, she had usually tied it up neatly to avoid it getting in her way. Her skin was a light-peachy color, if she would blush the slightest bit, you could notice from across the room. Her eyes were a dark hazel and blue color, her eyes were always flickering with interest and wonder. She was quite short, but she had a marvellous body, if that. In short, she was a beautiful young woman who had high potentials in everything she chose to major her interest into, and she knew it. She had a very high spirited and innocent heart.
After hours of sitting down, doing nothing but either thinking or writing, Alice arrived at the bus stop in her small, quiet home town. She walked by the corner store, which you could plainly see, was very old. The windows were no longer in perfect condition, but were able to hold up. The door had been replaced multiple times, due to sudden gusts of wind and with age they had given out. Her town was very small, but it was home to her, and she loved the place deeply.
She still had to walk quite a ways to get to her grandparent’s house, but it was always worth the long walk. She would often bump into a boy she had once went to school with, he was the same age as her, he was tall, he had broad wide shoulders, he had a fine roman chin, he had a muscular chest, he had short, blond hair, and he had the color of auburn-blue eyes. Alice had always liked him, his name was Keith Gordon, and they had known each other since they were just kids.
Usually when they had talked, they talked about school, the town, the weather, normal stuff. But, on this particular day, Keith had talked about something completely different, which surprised Alice.
“Alice” Keith smiled at her “hi.”
Alice smiled back at him, and tilted her head up at him, “Hello, Keith. Lovely day, isn’t it?”
“Very much so, hey... I want to talk to you about something, and truthfully, I don’t want to talk to anyone else about it. I trust you more than most. You got the time?”
Alice felt her smile become wider, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t stop smiling, “Sure Keith, I’ve got the time. What is it?” They had started to walk towards her grandparents’ house, while still talking.
“Well Alice, there’s this girl I really like, but...” he stopped for a moment to gather his words, “I’m afraid she might not like me the way I like her. Have any ideas what I should do?”
“Oh Keith... Don’t be silly, you’re a wonderful person to be around, you’re funny, kind, gentle, and loving. Keith, if you like her you should just tell her, you’ll never find out the truth if you never try.”
“Well Alice, the thing is, I’ve known her for so long, and my fear is, she may feel like... Well, like we’re practically brother and sister. That’s my fear. I just don’t know what to do,” he laughs slightly “it’s just, well, maybe, in time things might, well, what would you call it?”
“Things might come together, and she may see your feelings towards her?”
They both laughed, “Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say.”
Keith stopped Alice and whispered almost too softly, “Thanks for the advice,” then he had stiffened his voice, “but I have to get going, it’s getting late, and besides, we’re here.”
Alice shifted her gaze on the ground below her, she started to whisper “Keith, I have to tell you something, I” but when she had looked up, he was already running off. She sighed and stared at her grandparent’s house.
Her grandparent’s house was a rather large, old wooden house. The building had been almost as old as the town itself, it had once been painted a dark blue, but due to the aging, the paint had faded and started to peel off over the years. Alice’s grandpa had said that the house had been built in the early 1800’s by his great-grandpa, and it had been passed down to his grandpa, then his father, and now, to him. There were fine old stone statues in the gardens, her grandma and Alice had spent quite a bit of their extra time gardening, but this year, her grandma couldn’t find the strength in herself to garden.
The garden lay bare, and the house seemed dull, and lame without the beautiful scarlet roses, the yellow tulips, the pink daisies, even the trees seemed lifeless. The gardens looked so depressing; it made Alice sad to think that there were no longer the beautiful flowers, the bushes. Alice would be out gardening in her extra time if she had the time to spare, but Alice was in her last year of high school, grade 12, and she wanted to graduate from high school with the highest grades possible to make a good impression on the University she would be attending the following year from now.
With a silent sigh, Alice walked up that walkway like a lifeless body, she knew her grandma was very sick, and knew that it was only a matter of months before her grandma would be taken away from her. The thought of walking into the house, to find her grandma no longer there to talk to, made Alice want to turn away from the house and run away from the truth. But Alice held on to hope, what else was there for her to do, but pray and hope for the best?
She opened the door, which creaked loudly, and walked inside the house. There were no smells of baking coming from the kitchen, there was but one light on in the living room, the rest of the house seemed sad, and depressed. “Grandma, Grandpa? Is anyone home?” But the house remained silent, there were no whispers, there wasn’t even any movement in the house. Alice dropped her head and walked down the hall to her room.
She had set her bag down and went to the phone. She dialled her grandpa’s cell number, but there was no answer. She tried once more, still no answer. Confused, Alice decided to walk over to her neighbour’s and see if they knew where her grandparents were.
Alice gently knocked on her neighbour’s door, her neighbour was an elderly lady, in her late 60’s, and her neighbour’s name was Mrs. Barden. Mrs. Barden was a widow, her husband, Mr. Barden passed away some 20 years ago in a tragic car accident. Mrs. Barden has never forgotten it. Mrs. Barden was a short, stout and stubborn lady. She was very generous though, if you had been in dire need of help, Mrs. Barden would help you in a heartbeat. She had four children of her own, but all of her children had moved away from Mrs. Barden, and she only seen them and her grandchildren once or twice a year. It was hard on her, but she heard from the most of them every week, which lifted her soul some.
“Alice,” Mrs. Barden said when she opened the door, “dear child, haven’t seen you in quite some time.”
“Hello, Mrs. Barden. Can I ask you a question?”
“Of course child, what is it?”
Alice’s eyes searched the surrounding areas and then she had finally asked, “Have you... you seen my grandparents? My grandfather isn’t answering his phone, and neither of them is at home.”
Mrs. Barden smiled softly, “Don’t fret child, I’m sure their fine. They had left earlier today, to head into town for something; I’m not sure for what. Go home, and stay there. They may call, and it would be terrible if you hadn’t been home when they called.”
Alice thanked her neighbour and walked back to her grandparents. Where could they be? She thought to herself, with the dark thoughts crawling along the edges of her mind, maybe they weren’t okay, maybe they were hurt or lost. Alice shook her head clear of those thoughts and went inside.
It was now almost nightfall, and the house was even darker now that the sun had almost gone down. The living room seemed so depressed, the rocking chair was leaning backwards from the years of being used, and the sofas were no longer new, either. The material was still in good shape, but the frames weren’t, although Alice’s grandpa had continually stripped the material off the frames and fixed them, you could tell they were old.
The hallway walls were covered in pictures from her family tree, the thing that had hit Alice most, where were all her father’s pictures? He was her grandpa’s only son; wouldn’t you think the walls would be covered in memories made by a father’s only son?
Alice went into her room, she knew what to do, she needed a nice long hot shower, and good night’s rest. She had the weekend off; maybe she should do some gardening to keep her mind busy, and devoid of the dark thoughts that would almost certainly consume her.
After Alice had gone for her shower, she sat down on her bed and thought quietly to herself. Suddenly the phone rang out of nowhere, and it had made her jump. She immediatley reached for the phone, “Hello?”
She heard a familiar voice, “Alice, it’s me, grandma.”
“Grandma, is it really you? Where are you? Where’s grandpa? Are you two alright?”
“Alice, there’s been... been a car accident. Both your grandpa and I are in the hospital.”
“Grandma, are you alright!?”
“Shh child, let me explain.” Alice’s heart was pounding so hard and fast, she was almost certain it would stop beating.
“Your grandpa and I had gone into the city to pick up a few items, but on our way home, a drunk driver ran a red light and hit the car. We were rushed to the emergency room at the hospital, your grandpa’s in a coma, and... They aren’t sure if he’s going to make it past this week. Child, I’m fighting for my life, too.”
Alice felt tears start to run down her cheeks, “Grandma... no... Please! This... this can’t be happening!”
“Shh, Alice, hear me out. I have to tell you something, I should have told you years ago.”
Alice wiped the tears away from her eyes, and willed herself to stay calm, “Okay, grandma.”
“Alice, it’s about your parents. Your mother and father had always been in love, since they were 15 years old; they had gotten married when they were 21. But, by the time your father had turned 23, he had an addiction. He was addicted to alcohol, every night, your father would come home, completely drunk,” on the other end, her grandmother could hear Alice’s cries of sorrow, but she willed herself to continue, “He would often hit your mother in his rage. When your mother had found out she’d soon be a parent, she started to put money away for her child, you.”
Alice’s heart felt so heavy, her father was a woman abuser. “Alice, are you still there?”
Alice breathed slowly, “Yes grandma, I am.”
“Alice, are you sure you want to hear the rest of the story?”
“Yes grandma, I want... no wait, I need to know, please.”
“Okay child. Well anyway, soon your father’s addiction got so bad, that money had started to become an issue. Often he would try to take money out of the money your mother had saved up for you; she fought back at him and would never allow him to take any money from her child. Your father had then started to borrow money from some very distasteful folks, eventually he was in so much debt they wanted him dead. Your father needed the drink so badly; he sold your mother to those men. His debt had been paid off, and he got a little extra money for the drink.
“The agreement had been that she would give birth to you, and the men would take their ‘property’. After your mother had given birth to you, they had stormed your parents’ house and took your mother; she screamed and fought until she no longer had the strength to fight back. Weeks after your mother had disappeared, your father appeared on the front doorstep of your grandpa and I’s house. He looked dreadfully ill, pale white, almost like a ghost. Your grandpa had answered the door, your father handed you to your grandfather and said, ‘her name’s Alice Greenbay, my daughter.’ He had then explained the story to your grandpa, how he deceived your mother for his addiction... How he forgot his love for her for the drink.”
The tears began to slide down Alice’s face faster and heavier, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing, “Grandma, please tell me this isn’t true... it isn’t true... no!”
“Child, I wish this wasn’t true. But it is. Do you want me to stop?”
Alice had her right hand on the phone pressing it to her ear, and with her left hand, she had been grasping the blankets so tightly, her knuckles had been turning white, “no grandma, continue please.”
“Your father had taken one last glance at you and then he dashed off into the forest, and we’ve never seen him, or your mother since. Search parties were formed to try and seek him out, we thought maybe he was drunk and was being stupid, but no, he disappeared because of his sorrow and shame, and regret for what he had done. Your mother, nobody knows what had happened to her, no one found her, and to this day, we all wonder what had happened, and how a love so strong could be ripped apart because of alcohol. And the saddest part about this, your mother had only looked at her child once, and held her once before she was taken... Alice, you now know what happened to your parents, I never wanted to tell you... But you deserve to know, I couldn’t let myself pass from this world and leave you wondering, and wishing you knew.”
“Grandma... Why are you saying such things, ‘pass from this world’, please don’t say that... I beg of you, don’t! I’m already feeling saddened knowing both you and grandpa are in the hospital. Grandma,” Alice had then heard her grandma gasping for air, and coughing heavily, “grandma!”
“Alice... I-I love you... we’ll... be in y... your heart...” The line had then had fallen into dead silence leaving Alice trembling, and crying.
Alice dropped the phone and ran out of her room. Alice had been wearing her short pink silk bed robe, pink slippers, and her hair had been loose. She ran out of the house and quickly started to run towards Keith’s house as swiftly as her legs would allow her to.
Alice knocked on his parent’s door loudly, Keith’s father answered the door and his eyes widened as soon as he had seen her, “Alice?” Alice’s face had been pale white and tear-stained. “Alice, what’s wrong? Answer me!” Alice’s lips trembled, Keith walked by the door and when he had seen Alice standing there, looking dreadful, he pushed past his father and stared at her.
Keith stared at her, completely confused, “Alice, what’s wrong? Please, answer me.”
“What about them, Alice!” Alice lost her consciousness and had fainted.