A note: Enjoy. Day fourteen of the fourteen days of Sam's grounding between AOS and AOW.
And it is…dun dun dun…the end of this mini-arc.
A bit lighthearted, and a bit of foreshadowing, to prepare us for everything that is to come. I hope you all enjoyed this short story of the last two weeks of Sam's summer and that you will keep an eye out for the start of the next Arc in The Art Of series:
The Art of War
Love to you all and thank you for all the support, kind words, and wonderful reviews that you've send my way!
Lots of love.
Endings Are Just Beginnings
"And so, I hit him over the head so hard, he dropped the little ring over the edge of the Eiffel Tower," Ida Manson chuckled, taking in the slack jaw stare of her granddaughter.
"Grandma, I don't believe you," Sam shook her head slowly, a tiny smile creeping over her lips, "You used to tell me all the time that he took you out in a row boat on a lake and when he was proposing a fish popped up and ate the ring right out of his fingers."
"Well, that happened too," the wizened woman nodded wisely, "That was the second time he tried to propose. The first was the Eiffel Tower, the third was on an airplane, the fourth was-"
"Wait, wait, wait!" Sam held up her hands and shut her eyes as she tried to mentally calculate just what her grandmother was throwing at her, "He proposed four times?"
"Five actually, but really, who was counting?"
"So you finally said yes on the fifth time?" Sam wasn't one to stare in flat out amazement, but really with the tale her grandmother was weaving for her, she couldn't help it.
"Oh no, of course I didn't say yes, I turned him down flat out," a smirk hovered over the old woman's lips and in her eyes, "I was quite in love with your Grandfather at the time dear."
"Of course dear, did you think I'd just let him think he could court me when I was in love with someone else?"
"But…but the story…and Grandpa…the ring!"
"Well, William was certainly a caring man, but he wasn't Izzy," she sighed here, and then finally seemed to take pity on her grandchild who was currently having a rather difficult time sorting out her confusion, "Samantha, the story I used to tell you was about a proposal to me. You never asked how Grandpa and I were married, just how I was proposed to."
"Never proposed to me. He was too poor to afford a ring and too shy to ever dare approach me in that manner without one."
"Well there goes sixteen years worth of childhood memories in a flash of smoke and half-truths," Sam teased, not at all bitter, but rather surprised, "So…how did you and Grandpa get married then?"
"Oh, I drugged him one night, hog tied him, and took him to my cousin who happened to be a Rabbi," Ida smiled fondly at the memory while Sam sat perfectly still with her eyebrow raised in stark disbelief, "Going to call my bluff on this one?"
"Alright then Bubeleh," the old woman chuckled good-naturedly and reached for her glass of tea, "The truth is he went off to seek his fortune and ended up making that darned machine. I was already well off, which kept us apart in the first place, but then came the toothpick obsession and well...a ring half the size of Wisconsin was on my finger quicker than I could say 'No' like I had to William. Izzy didn't really give me a choice, and I really didn't mind."
"So he didn't propose, just stuck a ring on your finger?"
"Something like that," Ida fell away into memories for a moment and brought a finger up to the hidden smile in the corner of her mouth, "And you know the rest. We had your father and then you came along were the light of our lives for so long. Izzy treasured you Sam."
"I know," she smiled softly, "I miss him."
"Me too," her grandmother ran a loving hand through her hair, then began to smile, "So when are you ever going to introduce me to your young man?"
"Oh…well," Sam began to nervously toy with the hem of her shirt. She couldn't very well lie to her grandmother and tell her she didn't really have one, but then again she couldn't admit to it and risk her parents finding out accidentally. This would call for some special measures of precaution that Sam hadn't taken in years, "Cross your heart and pinky swear you won't tell Mom and Dad."
Ida chuckled again and held out her pinky, hooking the finger with her grandchild, "I swear on all the neatest stuff in the world."
That little line had been Sam's way of ensuring a secret when she was about five or six, and it had stuck between the two over the years. It was silly and slightly childish, but that didn't matter. What mattered was the trust and bond that was between the two.
"His name is Danny Fenton, and he's been over a few times…I just haven't introduced you to him yet because…well…"
She trailed off and left Ida fighting a knowing smile, "Because your parents probably already had a fit over that. I swear my little Jeremy always has been overprotective. They'll get over that soon enough Sam, and I know that whomever you pick, he'll be wonderful. Or at least he better be or I'll be telling him off and running him over with my scooter, so help me!"
"Grandma!" Sam laughed, their pinkies still locked together. This, this moment of time, was one of the only reasons she hadn't gone crazy for the two weeks she'd been under house arrest. Her grandmother, the time she was allowed to garden, and Danny.
It had all started to become a very comfortable routine in which she didn't really have to think about anything other than what she should do and how she should entertain herself in the limited space she had. This place that she arrived at was good to her in some way; it slowed her down, made her relax in a place where she didn't usually do anything but reside and it suddenly became much more of a 'home' than it had ever been.
The stories that her grandmother had been telling her today reminded her of her days as a child, not the awkward teenager she had become, when she would sit for hours as she listened to the woman before her weave amazing tales and stories, some true and some wishful thinking. How long had it been since she'd spent time with her grandmother, or even her family in general, like she had over the past two weeks?
Surely too long had past, as the longer she was around her parents, the less they seemed to push her towards their ideals. At what point in her life had they really been so demanding that she just couldn't stand being in their presence anymore? Sam honestly couldn't remember, and so this time had been an odd transition for her.
It was one of those blade thin balancing points in her life where something was waiting for a change, for a chance to bloom, and Sam could almost taste the anticipation of it, though she had no clue what 'it' was. Her thoughts continued along this line as her grandmother wished her goodnight, as she cleaned up the table they had been chatting over, as she wished her parents a good night and congenially meant it in an honest way that she hadn't in a very long while, and as she slowly ascended the stairs to her room.
There was an epiphany waiting to be had, but, as the temperature dropped, she put it off and decided that maybe summers were better suited for memories and some other time of the year should be reserved for enlightenment.
Because, as she reached out for Danny's cold, gloved hand…
"Hi Sam. I missed you."
…she realized that whatever thought was trying to reach her,
"I missed you too."
…scared her slightly,
"Are you ready for tomorrow?"
…and she had no idea why.
All she knew was that change was waiting around the corner, and she could taste its anticipation…
"Ready for a whole new adventure?"
…whatever 'it' was.