Chapter 47. Kaylee Simone
The sound of crunching under the studded tires as Charles Achilles ‟CAG” Grant wheeled into the driveway with his four-wheel-drive Porsche. Dad was not a flashy man, but he enjoyed the German engineered cars since he was a boy, when he got his first ‟Poor man’s Porsche” in the form of a 1958 Karmann Ghia that he had upgraded many times before his regrettable lack of judgement of selling his baby.
It took him many years, but at long last he rediscovered his old car as it sat in a workshop behind the house where the owner had disassembled it to the last bolt and kept a meticulous online blog of each step he took while he rebuilt the ancient car to his personal specifications.
Including a potent computer system that ran most of the car’s systems.
Charles Grant parked his Cayenne in the garage, a tired smile crossed his face. Much as he would have loved to pick up his eldest princess from the airport, the early drive home pleased him and allowed him to miss much of the rush traffic.
He walked to the house, the call of nature driving his stride and he made a beeline to the bathroom after he entered the side-entry to his home. The hour plus drive tended to make him sleepy, so a travel-mug of coffee from the office kept him awake, but also kicked his kidneys into high gear while his foot got heavier on the throttle.
Opening the door after he finished, Charles breathed out the sigh that someone makes after one empties a desperate, absolutely full bladder.
‟Linda? Where’s Kaylee ?” Papa Grant asked after he made a circuit of the first floor of the two-story home.
‟She took my car to go surprise Glenn. She won’t be back for a few more minutes. I told her dinnertime was, well, now in a few minutes.”
‟Your car is in the garage and locked.”
‟Really? I saw her leave, I never saw her come back.”
‟Something’s wrong, then.” Cag said.
‟Oh. Uh-oh.” Mama Grant put down the pan she was cooking in. ‟Charlie, watch my butter crescents. It is a new recipe I have for the new café, we are going to go with a revamped menu.”
‟There are some things a mom can do that dad’s can’t when it comes to daughters.” Linda kissed him. ‟You are the best dad to walk the earth, but as good as you are. I am still the mom.”
‟Yes, dear.” Dad made a sad smile, a bit put out.
‟Keep saying that, you might get lucky tonight.”
‟Oh! Yes, dear!” He laughed. This was not so bad as he knew this is one serious mom when it came to her daughters.
She found her eldest princess in the back under the gazebo on the porch swing that Charles had put up years before. It became Kaylee’s favorite art place. She had drawn dozens, if not hundreds of watercolor, pastels and charcoal images in the times since.
She had even shared times of smoking weed with her daughter after the princess turned eighteen. Admitting to nothing before her coming of age.
Linda sat next to Kaylee in silence, waited and watched the clouds for fifteen minutes.
‟Glenn is married.” Kaylee said quietly. A sniffle was her only tell of the tears spent on the way home.
‟That explains a lot.” Mom said. ‟It was like his mom fell of the face of the earth since Glenn arrived home. She was not calling me or stopping by. Now I know why.” Linda frowned nodded. “They have kept it under wraps, no one has talked about seeing anyone new in town.”
‟He has a baby coming.”
‟Oh, damn.” Linda boggled and put her arms around her eldest daughter. “He never told you?”
‟He didn’t have to. She answered the door because he wasn’t home yet.” Kaylee said softly.
‟Oh crap.” Mom covered her mouth in shock. “Oh crap, what an introduction!”
‟It was awkward, but she is nice and, well, big pregnant.” Kaylee ’s eyes glistened with tears. The rain had returned with sprinkles, the drops sounded a soft staccato of rhythm on the awning and grass around them. ‟Then she invited me in for coffee and we had a long talk. She is due in six-weeks.”
‟She wasn’t a nasty to you or strut like a tramp? I’ll have a word with Glenn’s mom.”
‟No. In fact, she was very nice.” Kaylee shook her head. ‟She brews a strong cup of coffee and is delightful to talk to. She told me how she and Glenn had been on and off. Then she forgot her pills on a trip and went a month without them.”
‟Well, that was not very smart.” Mom shook her head and spoke in tones of support.
‟No, especially while with Glenn, he is irresponsible.” Kaylee laughed sadly. ‟She didn’t say that, but I don’t need a treehouse to fall on me.”
‟She and Glenn have a much closer lifestyle than he and I do.” Kaylee ’s voice nearly a whisper. ‟They share many more interests, majors and friends. I have more in common with Tom Harte.”
Mom slowly stroked her daughter’s hair as her eldest leaned on her shoulder and wept quietly. The broken heart of a child leaking out on the blouse of the grown mother.
‟What if you go back and spend time with that cartoonist?”
‟Novelist.” Kaylee said. ‟Mom, I could use a bowl about now.”
‟Well, your dad has been busy. You just need to go to the tree over there. That bird house built into the side of the tree?”
Kaylee stood and went to beautiful, meticulous crafted miniature A-frame and pulled on it.
‟No. Honey. Push it into the tree.”
She pressed with the flat of her hand on a post of the porch, populated with pine cone trolls, the house slid in on polished metal rails, exposing twin finger-holes.
She smiled at the craftsmanship and pulled out when instructed to do so by her mom, the trunk of the tree opened with a drawer, custom fitted with a glass pipe set and four slots for the stash.
‟Oh my gawd!” Kaylee laughed. ‟When did he do this?
‟The tree splintered in a storm, dad did a lot of work, taking off branches and fixing the trunk with glues and screws. But he made a treasure box to fit in the trunk and saved the tree in the process, it still grows.” Linda looked at the big coastal sequoia.
‟These are not a pirate’s treasure.” Kaylee told her mom as she looked over the uncovered storage compartments.”
‟Pick one of the pipes, you will find those are all treasures.” Mom grinned. “Hand carved snakewood, that white one is a dragon-claw, there are two small water pipes.”
The two women laughed and smoked while they remained safe and dry under the covered swing while the storm clouds brought more rain.
‟You know, mom.” Kaylee felt better after a few minutes. ‟It’s a good thing you are cooking dinner. I think I am going to have a good appetite.”
‟My DINNER!” Jumping up with a string of profanities. ‟I left your dad in charge. He’ll try and help out. The last time, he turned a simple spaghetti dinner into a seven course disaster!”
Kaylee laughed and laughed while her mom ran. Mom was so funny when she smoked.
Of course it had nothing to do with Kaylee smoking, but that also made her laugh, too. Locking up the weatherproof stash box, Kaylee followed after her mother and joined her inside the house for a rescued dinner.
Her dad was an accomplished cook and yes, sometimes he did get carried away.
This made Kaylee laugh again as she made her way to the house in her mother’s wake, the pain of Glenn no longer a wound that made her weep.
*Mom’s are great.*