Welcome to my very own Creative Writing Month where each day of the month I am focusing on a topic and spending fifteen minutes reflecting and writing as inspired by the topic. For more information about why and how check out my post, Writing Down the Bones.
Today’s topic: Write about leaving and whatever ideas that word brings to your mind.
“Juliana! It’s time to leave!” Her mother shouted toward Juliana’s upstairs bedroom.
Juliana sat in the centrifuge surrounded by fully-packed cardboard boxes. She glanced about her room and noticed a stray object near her window sill. Standing, she made her way toward the object of her attention. Moving as a serpent through the maze of boxes Juliana made her way to the window and reached out her arm to take hold of a book.
It was dusty and forgotten. The leather binding was worn and the imprinted title was rubbing through the canvas cover. Juliana opened to the title page.
The Holy Bible
The wooden floor creaked below her feet as she shifted her weight to sit atop a sturdy, secured box. Juliana flipped through the old pages. She allowed the musty smell of old books to overtake her soul. The scent reminiscent of the day she spent in the attic with her grandmother. One day last winter they had spent hours in the attic going through old clothes and belongings preparing for the impending move.
“Granny, may I try this one?” Juliana giggled as she held up a pair of old denim overalls.
She and her grandmother had spent a day laughing as they sorted through box upon box in the old room. Sunlight leaked through a small circular window in the front facet of the room. The heat from the furnace upstairs kept them toasty as the snow built up outside below them.
How could she have known that this would be her winter with Granny? That the last days with her would be spent in a hospital surrounded by non-familiar people and machines which kept her from fully embracing the Granny that she had known.
Juliana sat on the box hugging the Bible which Granny had given her the day they spent in the attic. Juliana had found it buried in a box filled with photographs of Granny’s siblings and Juliana’s mother as an infant.
“Do you like it?” Granny had asked Juliana when she caught her wrapping her arms around the book. Juliana nodded. “Then it’s yours. Have it and keep it. It was passed to me from my mother. Keep it in the family and give it to your children.” The memories flooded her mind.
“Juliana! The moving van is here.” Her mother cried once again, This time she heard her mother’s feet on the stairs moving toward her bedroom. “Juliana!”
Her mother entered the doorway to her bedroom and found her wrapping the Bible in her arms. A single tear was escaping down Juliana’s cheek.
“Honey, it’s time to leave now. The men are here to take the boxes,” Her mother pushed her way through the boxes and placed a hand on Juliana’s shoulder.
“I know. I wish she was going with us. It was her idea.” Juliana referred to her Grandmother’s idea to move south.
“I know, me too, dear.” Her mother pulled Juliana in for a true embrace. “She is with us wherever we go now.”
“But this is where the memories are. The new house will have not known her. This is where she lived. This is where we all lived together!” Juliana’s tears had began to leak through now as though a faulty dam was giving way.
“The memories will go with us, Jules. No matter where we live or where we go nothing can take those away.” Juliana moved into her mother. She was sobbing now and clinging to the large Bible in one arm.
Her mother held her and gave her a few minutes to cry before she helped her to move.
“No matter where we go Granny is always with us. She’ll be with us in the new house and in your new school. So let’s go put the boxes in the truck.” Juliana stood to her feet and opened the nearest box. She lifted the tape and stuck the Bible within it.
Her mother held out a hand which Juliana grabbed. Their fingers laced together forming a tight grip. Together the Robertson’s left behind an old house of memories and made their way toward the moving truck. Destination: South Carolina.