Jessica awoke in the grass, freshly mowed except for a ring around her body. It was the first time a lawn got cut and she didn’t get ill. She’d always gotten ill when her father had cut the lawn. But Uncle Tim had cut his yard, and she was fine. She’d fallen asleep on her blanket, in the backyard, and Uncle Tim had mowed around her.
She’d never even heard him.
Aunt April’s voice interrupted her thoughts, “How’s my tired niece doing?”
Jessica laughed. “I took a nap in the sunshine!” She didn’t mention how she always got ill when her father mowed the lawn.
“Yes, you did.” April chuckled. “I thought you’d certainly wake up with Tim mowing.” She shook her head. “But you slept right through that noisy mower of his as he carved a circle around you.”
Jessica couldn’t believe it. She’d slept right through the noise the motor on the mower made. And she knew lawn mowers were anything but quiet. “I’m sorry I was in the way.” She looked at the circle of grass surrounding her. It was easily an inch higher than the rest of the lawn.
“Oh, don’t worry about it, dear,” April wave a hand, “Tim will just cut it next week anyway.”
“But it’s not a perfect lawn.”
“Jess. With Tim mowing it, it never is.” She winked at Jessica, as if sharing a secret with her.
And Jessica laughed.
She liked her Aunt and Uncle very much. They had taken such good care of her. Aunt April took her to school each morning. And picked her up at school each afternoon. They always talked about what she’d learned in school that day.
And Aunt April could cook! Wow! Could she ever. She loved those frittatas her aunt made for breakfast. She’d never asked Jessica if she ate meat, or dairy. She just made them vegan from the start, using an egg substitute, and soy cheese.
Jessica asked her aunt, “How did you know I’m vegan?”
“Well, dear. We asked your mother several years ago.”
Aunt April actually took Jessica with her when she went grocery shopping. “I know you don’t approve of meat or dairy, Jess,” she’d explained, “But Tim and I aren’t vegan, so I do have to buy them.”
“It’s OK, Aunt April. I understand. Mom isn’t vegan either.”
But April made sure she bought the vegetables, grains and fruits Jessica wanted, and she bought plenty of them. Jessica hadn’t eaten so well at home, or in the center. “You’re a growing girl, dear,” was all her aunt said. And to be honest, Jessica felt better than she could remember ever feeling. She wasn’t hungry anymore.
Instead, she was happy. That was all. For the first time in forever. She was happy.
I wrote this for Week 19 of Alissa Leonard‘s Finish That Thought. Please, go read all the creatively shared stories in this week’s challenge.