Disclaimer: Alice is Stephenie Meyer's. Cynthia is Stephenie Meyer's. I'm just playing with them.
Summary: What cause Alice's parents to give her up and how was she changed? This is the story of Alice's human life up to the point that her protector changed her.
Author's Note: So much for a week! I don't think I lasted an hour without having to write this down. Like I said, this will be very different from what I originally wrote. However, I think going about it this way makes a bit more sense given the new information on Alice that came out. I hope y'all enjoy!
I sat down at my computer once more with a sigh. I had promised Grandma that I'd complete the family tree back at least to the Civil War for my sister's wedding. I didn't get why it was so important but I decided to do it anyway. What else was I going to do while the rest of the girls were all worked up about what color sash went best with the God awful brown and pink dresses we were all going to be forced to be wearing? I swear to the Almighty that if Heather even thinks of making me wear those shoes she wants, I will become the Bridezilla's worse nightmare.
Not that I don't love my sister totally –truly, I do- but her idea of pretty and my idea of pretty are two very different ideas that shall never intersect. Just thinking on what I was going to be wearing made me hotter than a Texas chili dog in July; so I stared at the infernal beast my Grandma called a computer and started looking up what she had.
I was there. My name was spelled out in typical black letters, Leslie Emma Boyer Born August 15th 1982. Living. Of course, my sister's name was there too Heather Anne Boyer Born January 12th 1979. Living. Seeing her name just made me glare at the screen. I don't care if all this wedding business is the reason she's more irritable than a shaved housecat, that doesn't mean I can't have my say in what I'm supposed to be wearing.
I sighed as I went about looking over the list of names, they only went back, on Great Grandma Cynthia's side to her parents and nothing more. Actually, it barely even did that. There was Great Grandma Cynthia, her husband Great Grandpa Peter, but only Great Grandma Cynthia's parents' names were done. It seemed a little odd that even her father's birthdate wasn't put in, only the year of death. It was like my grandma, Great Grandma's daughter, had managed to dig up everything on everyone else –Momma's side was rather complete except for one or two individuals going back to the Civil War already- and had forgotten completely to put down more than the bare bones of her own genealogical history.
Pursing my lips, I figured this was the way to start. I'd see what I could find through the good old internet. I knew to search the ancestry sites, like I am sure Grandma figured on doing, but I also knew to see if any of the local papers had their archives up yet. They didn't. The Sun Herald only went back to 1995 which wasn't much use if you were trying to find someone who wasn't even born in the past century, let alone this one. Too bad great Grandma died a good couple of decades ago. I recall a few of her stories, just bits and pieces, since she died when I was practically still in diapers.
I recall hearing one of the "great family secret", something even Grandma had repeated thought I doubted she knew much about it. All I could recall was Great Grandma Cynthia saying she had a sister but that it was part of a secret that no one was to know. I had asked Grandma and even my mom but no one seemed to know much more than Great Grandma had an older sister who died sometime before WWI. Of course, even she wasn't down on these lists. She probably died of the flu or something else that is totally treatable today but nothing could be done back then if she even existed.
Logging into the ancestry site, I began to search for any Brandon living in Biloxi back at the turn of the century. I decided to focus on Great Grandma when she was a little girl so I might catch her parents. Too bad all the 1890 records were long destroyed, not that I needed them for this since the 1920 ones will hold what I was needed to finish this infernal thing so my sister could have her picture perfect wedding before I give up and kill her. I just might. I don't see why I need to be wearing the same shoe as everyone else. I'm 5' 8"! Courtney is 5' maybe if she stands on her toes! I'm not wearing some killer heels for God knows how many hours just so we can all look like alike. Damned Communist. That's what my sister was becoming.
Searching through the old records, I saw an entry for a Merrill Brandon and a Helen Brandon but the age for Helen seemed wrong and that wasn't the name Grandma had written down nor the name I remember from the family Bible. The name there was clearly Amelia, not Helen. Looking at the date of birth in the records, Helen must have been 19 when Great Grandma was born –which would make sense but why the disparity of names? It was then I saw the wedding date – 1919.
Ignoring the calls from the various other family members through out the house, I placed my headphones on and listened to my iPod. Listening to that all day was far better than listening to Heather Anne bothering me about practicing my sitting habits. I'm not going to sit there all sweet and dainty if she's acting like a total… huh.
As I scrolled through another search, I found the wedding certificate. It was clearly Merrill Brandon's second marriage based on what little was in the court report. So, I figured I'd jump a decade back. Maybe the 1910 census might have something more useful. I'm not sure Great Grandma would be listed in that one since she would have been only a baby but she might. Besides, I had firm evidence of Merrill Brandon now –I could use him and his birthdate of 1878 to find him again.
Searching through the 1910 census records took a bit; my eyes were weary of the constant nearly illegiable handwritten I was going through just to find my ancestors, but I found him. Again. And Cynthia, and her mother, Amelia. Of course, no birthdates were given on this one for anyone other than Cynthia and...a Mary? I looked at it and there, below the head of the household line for Merrill was a Mary, born 1901. The line over said "daughter", same as Cynthia.
I was in shock. All those old stories Great Grandma told were true? She did have a sister at some point? A Mary Brandon, born 1901. What happened to her? What caused her and Amelia to both disappear between the 1910 census and the 1920 one?
"Grandma!" I shouted loud, ripping my headphones off in the process.
I heard her coming in from the living room, followed by a "What?" shouted back at me.
"Come here!" I stated the obvious. I could practically hear her grumbling from here about making an old lady move but I ignored it. She'd come. If for no other reason than to get away from that sister of mine right now.
Thinking on my sister and her wedding, an idea popped into my head. Maybe Mary didn't die –maybe she got married. She'd be about 19 by the 1920 census –plenty old, particularly in those days – to find a husband. Unlike me. I'd be an old maid. Though, I'd rather an old maid than some dumb tramp like Courtney. I don't get why that slut gets to be the maid of honor. I'm Heather's sister for the love of God.
Still, it didn't explain Amelia.
Grandma shuffled into the room wearing what I'm guessing was a house dress back in the 1970's – I really wish she'd let me dress her; Great Grandma Cynthia had excellent tastes. Maybe it skips every other generation. "What is it Leslie?" she asked before shaking her cane at me. "Your sister is trying to fit into her gown," she informed me. I suppressed my urge to roll my eyes. It's only the fifth time she's tried the gown on this week. She still needs to loose ten pounds before the end of the month if she even expects to zip that thing up.
"Ah found Amelia," I stated, pointing to the computer screen. I moved back so Grandma could see. She got up real close and adjusted her glasses on her face as she looked at the scanned in piece of paper.
"And Great Granny was right. She did have a sister. A Mary Brandon," I told her proudly as I saw some shock color Grandma's face.
"Mary Alice," Grandma whispered softly. I tilted my head in confusion. Did she know something more than I was told? What else did she remember?
"What was that?" I asked in curiosity.
"Mary Alice. Momma always referred to her as Mary Alice," Grandma told me before sinking into her chair, shaking her head. "I never thought those stories were true. I thought it was part of her dementia as she was getting older, mixing up everything," Grandma continued.
"So she told you about her?" I asked. Grandma smiled, her dentures a pristine white.
"That she did. Mary Alice Brandon didn't die, momma always said. She told me that her sister ran out into a storm, saying she was heading to her Aunt and Uncle's and wasn't seen again," my grandma told me. I blinked.
"How'd she know that Mary Alice didn't just die in the storm?" I asked thinking on the flooding we saw during the hurricane. It wasn't like people didn't die all the time still in storms.
Grandma shrugged her shoulders. "Momma was sick by that point, sugar," she told me, standing up as she did so and patting me on the head. "She would confuse things like hospitals and funeral homes all the time," she continued. I muttered an "I don't blame her" but Grandma pretended not to notice.
"Well, I think you've done enough work for one day," Grandma said as she turned towards the door only to look back at me. "Why don't you come back out into the living room and see your sister's pretty gown?" I knew she wasn't asking, she was telling. I sighed but got up and followed Grandma out towards the evil Heather. I wonder if Mary Alice ever though Great Granny was a pain but still loved her? Honestly, I just wondered who this Mary Alice Brandon was and why her family forgot about her.
Author's Note: Yes? No? Maybe you like it? Please tell me!