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Right Choices
by Katerina Charisi
2016-08-28 11:26:34
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Michael was puzzled about that field. The agronomist didn’t tell him something that he didn’t knew or tried already. He said that when Michael met him the other day and told him about the situation, he first guessed that soil acidification was the problem. But the tests on the soil didn’t show any shortage in calcium and magnesium, or high content in iron and aluminum oxides, so he was back to the beginning, with a large part of the field being sterile, and of no use. How were they supposed to live?

He turned to his side and watched Jenny sleeping. He remembered the first time he brought her here, when he stupidly asked her to dress well not to catch a cold at night, while the only thing he was trying to do, was to hide the tattoo on her wrist. He wasn’t sure how his family would react in his decision to live with a girl from New Orleans, while they all expected to end up with Adele Martin, Homer’s only daughter who ran the small guesthouse in Jacksonville. He and Adele were at same age, went to school together and used to be very close. But as they grew up, with Michael being always so busy at the manor and Adele sweeping the floors and make up the rooms every day in the guesthouse, their time together limited so much, that soon both lost their interest to each other.

em001_400Now he had made a choice that had to be the right one, he wanted it to be the right one, still couldn’t help but not wondering if his family had the same thoughts too. He never really thought that far when tried to convince Jenny that everything would be great in their life in the countryside, like how she would live up there when the house was too far from everywhere and she insisted to refuse to drive. She barely left the house and that was only to take those long walks down to the swamp and back. Loneliness was a bad friend up here.

Maybe he could walk with her to Jacksonville through the path in the woods when spring comes, although it’s been years since the last time he tried that and shook his head only with the thought. He had walked too much in his life, stuck his feet so many times in the mud, that he couldn’t imagine himself doing it again now that he had a car of his own. But honestly? He was tired. So tired. Sam was old. He did his best and worked way too much for his age, but that was only a small part of the house’s and land’s needs. His father was at the same condition. Bradford was way too busy with his cars, plus he had made it absolutely clear years ago, that he had no intention to pull a single weed. All he wanted to was to finish his house and move out. Michael was left all alone in this, a single man with two legs and two arms, in a large sterile land with a ramshackle house that would take maybe ten people and a lot of money to do something useful and productive with it.

  His mind went back to the old times, when his grandma at nights put him in bed and told him stories, all ending in the same way. “Don’t quit school, try harder, don’t waste your life here.”

“Why grandma? I love our house. I don’t like school.”

Cornelia nodded and said nothing, but he could always see the shadow in her eyes, when he told her he wanted to take care of his parents when they get old, the way he would take care of her too when she gets too old. Cornelia at times mumbled that this weren’t his thoughts, but his mother thoughts in his mouth, and that wasn’t the way a child should be thinking, but she never continued the conversation when he asked and she always changed the subject.

 “Morning”, said Jenny and gave him a kiss, pulling him out of his thoughts. “How long have you been awake?”

“Not much”, he smiled at her. “I was thinking if you want us to do something special today”.

She rubbed her eyes and yawned. “Like what?”

“I don’t know, maybe drive to New Orleans?”

“What for?”

“Just for fun. I thought you would like it. We could go to your old workplace and say hello to your friends, or walk to the market, I don’t know. We don’t have money to buy anything though”.

Jenny thought about it a little and then shook her head. It took her too long to get used to the rhythms of the house, and visiting the so alive big city would somehow disorient her, or at least that’s how she thought about it. She wouldn’t want to meet any of her friends and have to answer to their questions, telling them that the only thing she did was to stare at the stillness of water in a swamp and walk into circles in a single room all day. “Why not go to old Manon for a hot chocolate? I really like her and her chocolate is great”, she said and put her feet on the floor.

“Ok, old Manon then. But it’s still too early, we have time for some cuddling”, he said and pulled her back to bed.

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