This chapter is decidated to thebirdsmelody for her many comments and votes on both of my stories. Thanks so much for your support.
"Attention, officer on deck." I hear my grandpa's booming voice through the corridor before he steps into the room with a small smirk on his lips.
I salute as he studies me from top to bottom.
"Very good, soldier," he praises. "Your clothes are impeccable. Now let's see if your room can hold up."
Pride swells through me that I finally got it right. I have been up since dawn, ironing and starching my shirt and pants to pass today's inspection before tiding the bedroom. It is the third week of vacation and I have been spending a lot of time at my grandparents' house as I usually do during the summer. My grandfather was a retired Army colonel and has high expectations when it comes to discipline and order.
His hand slides into a white glove and he begins to slowly walk through the room. His fingers glide along the top of the door frame and he squats down to check that there is not a speck of dust under the bed. All seems in order until his eyes fall onto my wellies in the corner. He picks them up and examines them closely.
"There is still mud on the soles, Brent," he scolds. "You have to do better than that."
My heart drops in disappointment. I didn't pass the inspection again – this will mean no treats for breakfast for the third day in a row. The whole morning, the scent of my grandmother's Belgian waffles has made my stomach grumble and I was looking forward to a large helping with her homemade cherry topping. Now, the only food I will get will be grits and a dreadful grapefruit.
I scrub the wellies clean before going downstairs. My grandpa is already at the table, enjoying his waffles and coffee and reading the morning paper. I climb onto the barstool across from him and a bowl of grits is placed in front me next to the glass of orange juice.
"I added a few blueberries." My grandmother winks at me fondly.
Grandpa rolls his eyes. "You should not always spoil the boy. He is fourteen and should know how to keep his things in order. When Ryan was his age, there were never any complaints."
My grandmother adds some sugar to the grapefruit, causing more wrinkles to appear on my grandpa's forehead.
"Ryan lived under this roof 24/7 and had a good teacher," she reminds him. "Brent is only here a few weeks out of the year and Charlotte has never taught him anything useful. It's not his fault that his mother is an incompetent slob."
I cringe under her disparaging remarks. She and my mom have never gotten along – she has always felt that my dad was way too good for her and that my mom tricked him into marriage when she got pregnant with my brother. If I hadn't come along, they would have probably split after his death.
I poke at my grits without joy despite the blueberries, eying the grapefruit with disgust.
Grandpa gazes at me over his newspaper. "Eat up, soldier. I have something special planned for us today."
My heart beat accelerates in anticipation – I am hoping we will go fishing again. "What is it, Colonel?"
His eyes twinkle with excitement. "You are almost a man now so I thought I'll take you to the shooting range."
I gasp as my heart skips a beat. For two years, I have begged him to teach me how to handle a weapon but he always refused, insisting I wasn't old enough. I bite my lip, barely able to suppress the biggest grin. My hand automatically begins to spoon the grits into my mouth.
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Brent's Story (A "Living With The Choices We Make" Novella) ✔️General Fiction
My name is Brent Parks and I have just about driven my girlfriend Rena to her limits. In a few days, she will take my life. I can't necessarily blame her because I have abused her on and off during our relationship. Before I met her, I faced my own...