Copyright Mark Christopher Garrett 2022
Sprout as people called her grew up on her grandparents ranch out in the country.
Her parents had died flying back from a business trip under strange circumstances, that as of yet not even the FBI has been able to offer any answers to the anomaly, but make no mistake an anomaly did take place.
Either way Sprout grew up under the loving care of her grandmother and grandfather without knowledge of any of this, that is until this day, as on this day unlike any other mail is delivered that is addressed to Sprout’s parents
As she takes the mail from the carrier she starts to read the fronts of all the letters, that is when she comes across the letter addressed to her dead parents . . .
“I wonder what this is for?”
“Hmmm, they are dead, they can’t be pissed if I open it for them, it’s not like they can open it themselves, . . . oh crap I’m talking to myself again”
Sprout then tears rips open the envelope carrying the letter to her dead parents, she drops all the other mail including the envelope she has just opened as she is now focused on reading the letter that was inside of it.
What she discovered amazed her, as she had always been told that her parents had died in a mysterious plane crash over the ocean and there were not much more answers than that, but this letter disproves all that, . . . and with evidence . . . .
Just then Sprout hears someone screeching down the drive yelling
“Baby, hold up we need to talk!”
“Oh, whats on your mind today that’s different than yesterday, or the day before that, or the day before that . . .
“I’m leaving Sprout”
“Leaving, leaving what, are you trying to break up with me again . . . ?”
“No Darling, I got a job, a good one and I need to leave immediately so I can start early next week.
“O.K., so don’t hold back, where is it, where are you going?”
“That’s the best part baby I get to travel”
Travel?!?!, please tell me you didn’t join the military?”
“No,no nothing like that, I have joined a cruise ship and it sets sail on Tuesday, so I need to leave now!” he kisses her passionately, then he storms off in a car full of some of his long time buddies.
Sprout breaks down and cries, she has already dropped the letter with the info on her deceased parents as this has upset her she runs inside the house as lightning cracks the sky, clouds roll in and the thunder rumbles
The storm last for days and so does Sprouts depression.
Her grandfather is currently out on a 2 week hunting expedition with some old friends so it’s just Sprout and grandmother sharing quality time together
Sprout had always dreamed of the simple country life, she loved the life her grandparents had provided for her and she wanted to raise her family the same way.
Every time she thinks she meets the right man, they always move away.
One day, she knows she will meet the right man, but the pain in between is still very real, and still hurts.
6 months goes by and like she suspected not a single letter from the man who said he was not breaking up with her, just taking a job offer, she saw that coming, but it did not matter for she had already gotten over him a long time ago and was now devoting her time helping her grandfather with the farm
Ole Gramps was getting up there and was enjoying hunting with his friends more and more.
Sprout needed the distraction, plus it kept her right where she wants to be, in the middle of the country, getting up with the roosters, and going to bed with the sunset.
One early morning Sprout was out mending a fence and one of the critters decided it wanted to make its way loose
“Not on my watch” says sprout
And she stops working and follows the critter
“I knew I should of mended that fence a long time ago, this overgrowth is rediculous, whomever owns this property needs to be shot”
“SHOT” replied a strange voice
“AAGGGHH!!” Screamed Sprout “Who are you?”
“Apparently I am the one that, according to you, needs to be shot
“What” said Sprout “could you please speak without code
“Yes Miss, let me introduce myself, I am the owner of this property, I recently purchased it from the bank, apparently as you know it has been abandoned for over a decade or so, which would explain all this over growth, glad we are in agreement on cutting it back, maybe we should have dinner tonight and see what other things we might agree on”
“O.K., 7:oo oclock at the dinner on the corner, and if you are even a minute late, I’m leaving”
“Yes Miss. . .?!?!
“For now “Miss” will do, see you at 7, . . . 7”
All afternoon Sprout couldnt get the image of the man she had met out of her head, his voice was so manly, not like all the kids she grew up with who were all men, but still talked like little boys, no this man was more sure of himself and that impressed Sprout
7 oclock on the dot rolls around and rest assured the new man in town is already at the diner.
The waitress on duty keeps trying to get his drink order but he insists he is waiting for some one
7 thirty rolls around and he begins to think that something might be up
He flags the waitress and orders himself a burger and fries to go, along with a vanilla shake, the waitress begins to walk off and he goes, “excuse me ma’am could you make that a double and make the second shake a chocolate”
After waisting several quarters in the video arcade the waitress brings him his order, he then leaves the dinner with a big grin on his face
Driving into town is no short distance, and it was everything he could do to not eat a frie or sip a milkshake, his pick up was smelling like a 5 star restaurant at this moment to a starving cowboy
He speeds his way to his neighbours house where he pulls down her 1 mile driveway
He pulls up to the front of the wrap around porch skidding his tires in the dirt
He grabs the 2 sacs of food along with the tray of 2 shakes one vanilla and one chocolate and storms up the stairs onto the front porch, since his hands are full, he licks the door mildly violent
Sprout goes to the door, since she was kind of expecting him to show up, well more like hoping he would, and then reacts with attitude
“How dare you kick my door, what is wrong with you, are you insane”
“No, my hands were full you drama queen”
Then he addressess her grandparents
“Good evening folks, it’s been a lont time since I have seen you two, I remember all those great times we shared, and one thing I never forgot, you Ma’am get the burger with the vanilla shake and you Sr. get the burger with the Chocolate shake”
The couple laugh and in unisen
“He never forgot!!, it’s good to see you again boy, now go, go and get out of here”
To which he nodded, then he grabbed Sprout by the hand pulled her toward him and kissed her until her toes curled.
“What are you doing you freak, Grandma grandpa, who is this guy, how do you know him”
The grandparents were busy sucking on straws and chewing on burgers and ignored her as they giggled
That is when the young man spoke up
“Kelly, . . . sorry, I mean Sprout, it’s me”
Sprout looked deep into his eyes
“Oh my . . . .
This cant be . . . .
Is it really you . . . .
She then jumps into his arms and begins kissing him passionately
The grandparents still enjoying their burger fries and shakes, smile, and take enough time to swallow and say:
“Don’t make us tell you again get out of here”
The young couple leave the house hand and hand and return to the dinner
As they sit to eat the two of them catch up on what they have missed out on
So the story goes, the young man was son to the caretakers of the property next to Sprouts grandparents, the young man as a small child was always doing favors for people and had a good reputation.
Some time ago the original owners vacated and with them the caretaker and the young child left, never to be heard of again, until today that is
“So, what made you buy the old property”
“Well you know, I remember that you and I said our vows to each other, I know we were only kids, but I never forgot it, and I wanted to come back, then I was going to figure out how to find you, bumping into you while you were chasing after your critter was a bonus, I am so glad you never moved,but the property next to you it’s as if no one has touched since my dad used to care for it
That because no one has, after you guys left no one ever moved in until you did.
“Wow your kidding me, I wonder why”
Over the course of the next couple of months the two couples were falling in love all over again,the young couple spending all their time fixing up the old property and the older couple rekindling their relationship and remembering it like as if it were the good old days.
Then one day out of the blue, Sprout was sweeping an old brick paver walk way that led into a secret garden and she noticed something that was in the bushes,
She reached down and picked it up,
It was the letter she had opened addressed to her parents, it was weather torn and hard to make out but she was able to read it,
It was a final notice to collect before foreclosure
It was made out in her parents name and it was for the property next store,
“I remember now” she exclaims, “It was my house, I lived there”
Memories resurfaced all at once that she had burried deep inside her
And tears of both sorrow and joy began trickling down her cheek
Sitting on the wrap around porch the elderly couple were swinging on the porch swing
Hey Sprout we did O.K., didn’t we?”
“You can call me Kelly”
The sun sets over the combined two properties that have now been unified back into one, the couple close their eyes and rest up as tomorrow plans on being a busy day
All the grandkids, nephews, nieces and children will be showing up for the “Sprout” family reunion.