Fool For You - By Megan Noelle
Serenity. In life people strive for it— ultimate peace and tranquility. So when you hear of a place called Serenity Cove, you’d expect heaven on earth. But for me, it was just the opposite. The summer after I turned 18, I decided to go away and never look back, even if that meant leaving my dysfunctional family behind. It’s been seven years, and I believed I was in the clear, that is, until my Grandma Violet started throwing around phrases like—family loyalty and you have an obligation. I was left with no choice. That day I drove directly into the storm, where the demons of my past lurked around the corners. That day my safety net was yanked out from under me, sending me into the unknown chaos of the life I’d left behind.
Into the Storm
Standing outside my apartment complex, misty-eyed with butterflies in my stomach, the time had come. My best friend Gabriella stood with her arms crossed over her chest and obnoxiously big, bug-eye glasses covering half her face. The gloomy mid-August day in New York City, hadn’t called for the use of shades, but that wasn’t the purpose of them. My beautiful, exotic looking friend never left the house—even to get her mail—without dressing to the nines. That day was different. Without a stitch of make-up and her long curly, brown hair piled high on her head, I knew she was as much a wreck as I was. My white Chevy Cobalt was loaded with suitcases were filled to the gills with clothes, shoes and everyday necessities. All my furniture, along with many of my belongings, were safely locked away in a storage locker since I wasn’t sure how long my visit in Serenity Cove would last.
“You’re coming back, right?” Gabby’s voice caught. A stray tear slid past the shield over her eyes, giving her away.
“Of course I am.” My arms wrapped around her shoulders, holding her to me. The muggy weather had both of us slick with sweat after doing absolutely nothing, but that hadn’t stopped me. I was going to miss Gabby too much to let a little perspiration bother me.
“Do you really have to go?” She mumbled. I wanted to say, absolutely not, and proceed to unpack my car, but that wasn’t an option.
We pulled away from each other; I held her shoulders in my hands. “It’s only for a couple months, Gabby, I promise. My Grandma had been on the verge of retirement and preparing for my mom to take over. The success of that plan went horribly wrong, since it was my mother at the helm. I need to be there.”
Sigh. Right then, my mother was at the root of my anger. Audrey had been a crappy Mom throughout
my entire life. She’d loved drugs more than me, and eventually her ‘habits’ had gotten her thrown into
prison. That had left Grandma to once again run Hamilton Inn—the place she and my Grandpa had built
from the ground up—and to try and crawl out of all the debt Audrey incurred.
As much as I dreaded returning to Serenity Cove, I would do it for my family.
Gabby finally plucked her sunglasses off her face and slid them onto the top of her mess of curls. Her big brown eyes were filled with unshed tears. I prayed she wouldn’t lose it then, because there was no way I could hold my own back if she started.
“I know, and I promised myself that I would tell you that you need to do this for your family; That I would smile, give you a hug and send you on your way. This is just…” She bit down on her lip to suppress a sob. “…Just so much harder than I ever thought it was going to be.”
All I could do was nod. A few stray strands of my blonde hair fell from my messy bun and latched onto my neck. Thank goodness the air conditioning in my car was in working order or the drive would be longer than I could bear.
“I’ll call you as much as I can. It’ll be like I’m still right here.” I offered a hopeful smile. Her lips tugged up at the corner but didn’t reach her eyes.
“Hurry home, Danielle.” With one final squeeze I climbed into my car while Gabby clutched at her stomach from the sidewalk.
The humidity made me thankful I hadn’t chosen leather seats. I was wearing a white ribbed tank top and blue cotton shorts. My entire body would have been at