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The Trunk: Chapter 2 The Trunk: Chapter 2
by Bohdan Yuri
2006-12-28 08:40:34
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It was late August, two months since Gramps had died in his sleep, heart failure. He was 84. But he was at least there to see Taissa graduate with high honors, ‘ ...and with such scholarships,” he’d proudly proclaimed, then addling his own asterisk. "... Such a shame that Gramma couldn’t be here too.” She’d passed away twelve years earlier. That’s also when her dad had asked Gramps to live with them.

"Family, Dad," Taissa can still remember her father's words. "We are all part of the same soul. Come and live with us so we can feel each other’s heart and help it to live and grow. Besides, we can still use a babysitter." She remembered, too, the loving look that Gramps had given her just before agreeing.

Along with the last tear in her heart, as she gave Gramps one last kiss on his forehead, she’d also left her last report card in his coffin. And the scholarship, college seemed less than necessary now.

Instead it was a time to find her soul, let it grow, and to go on. She didn’t know where, or how, or even why, but what she was looking for could not be found in any textbooks, and it certainly wasn’t here at home

But, finding it was half the growth, Gramps had once told her, in a story about how he’d searched for a lost lamb. The other half was in knowing what you’ve actually found. The only thing Taissa did know was when; this Saturday, Vera, Tim, and Josh, a former steady, were heading west. There was a spot for her, and she’d planned to use it.

Her parents were obviously displeased with her decision to not go to college. They’d found all the obvious reasons except the one that mattered, the one that Gramps would have found. So, with the money she’d earned from summer’s work, she and her friends were planning a cross-country odyssey.

On the night before she was to leave, still packing the final layers into her duffel bag, her father knocked on her door and allowed himself in. Taissa braced for the next and hopefully the last round of implorations. Instead, Dad walked up to her, an envelope in his hand. "Gramps wrote this letter," he told her, holding out the message. "I think it may have been meant for you."

Taissa's eyes locked on to the light blue extension, and to the gift of thoughts in words enclosed with the past, and awaiting to be revealed. She reached out her hand, connected and took hold. She noticed that it was unsealed and folded in. "Did you read this?" she asked her father.

"Yes, I did," as he sheepishly admitted his heart into the room. "And I want you to know that whatever you want to do, well, we... we love you and will help you in any way..." Choked by his own emotions, he wrapped his right arm around Taissa’s shoulder and gave her a fatherly grip of affection. "It's your life and if we can help..."

"I know, Dad," Taissa replied, still scarred from the heat of that summer’s discontent. She accepted the gesture but hastened her intent to read the letter herself. “I know,” she repeated and thanked him with a return hug as he left the room. Her dad closed the door behind him as Taissa sat on her bed to read Gramps' thoughts, blending his voice into each sentence.


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