It was there I sat with my eyes closed tightly. Upon the wooden swing my grandfather had built on the porch when he was a young man of twenty, I felt another sit beside me, but I didn't open my eyes. My body was tensed like that of a snake wrapped tightly around its prey.
"Amy?" My cousin, Cindy, asked. Her voice was trembling ever so softly.
Slowly, I opened my dull green eyes and turned away from the scene of the setting sun to look at her. Cindy was a somewhat plump girl. Her hair was bright red and her eyes were a warm brown. I hated her.
"Are you going to come inside soon?"
I turned the question over in my head and gave her a warm smile that never reached my eyes. I wasn't sure when I had stopped smiling naturally. Maybe it was after my brother, Aaron died in that accident all those years ago or perhaps it had something to do with the departure of my late mother, Jill. It didn't matter anymore, though. It was all in the past.
"Yes, I'm just waiting for the sun to finish setting. I'll meet you inside soon," I told her, my whole body hoping, wishing that she would leave me alone.
Cindy took the hint not much later and got up from the swing. As it gently rocked back and forth I watched her retreat into the house before finally breathing a deep sigh that had held itself within my lungs. Whenever she came around I found myself holding my breath. It was as if I was waiting for her to deliver news of my father's death.
I turned my attention back to the scene ahead. The way the sun set was no match for words. The warm orange color layered itself against the blue sky as it darkened and the yellow that complemented the orange made my heart swell. Since when had the setting sun caused such heartache?
At eight that evening, I had retired into the pale white farm house my great grandfather built. The interior of the house was average. The living room had a brick fireplace with a maroon colored couch placed just a few feet away from it, a large chair with gold lining to the left of the couch, and another to its right. A coffee table filling the rectangle within the room's design.
The dining room across the hall had a similar set up without the fireplace. Its chairs and table were made of hard pressed oak. The table -which sat within the square of the four chairs-, had a white lace cloth placed on top of it. Even though Cindy hated it, I adored the cloth that was so neatly places on the table. It added to the beauty of the crystalized centerpiece.
"Have either of you girls seen my pocket watch?"
Hearing the question, I walked to the back of the house where my uncle, Jonah often worked. He had a home of his own along with his daughter, Cindy, but had often spent nights at my home. They said it was what my father requested of them, but I knew better. Even though my father had gone off to war, I knew that he would never ask such a thing of Jonah or Cindy. At least, not after the stunt they pulled with my Aunt Mary, but at my young age of sixteen I wasn't allowed to back talk my elders. I was just glad they only made it a habit of coming over twice a week. I was sure it would have been more than that if not for my cousin Joel on my mother's side of the family. He was a nice guy who looked out for me after my mother died.
"Did you check your pocket?" I asked, reaching the room just minutes before Cindy.
Out of all the rooms in the farm house, I had a special connection to the study where Jonah worked. It was where I had learned to read and write along with other little memories I had stored. My favorite memory being the time my brother and I convinced our parents to bring us to the carnival.
"Don't you think I checked my pockets already, Amy?" Jonah asked skeptically. He always thought I was a little denser than others.