Still your girl

I wasn’t made to have fancy tea parties. The mini spoons and forks don’t cut it for me, or my sister.

Today we had morning tea with Poppy’s cousin Kim and her new…husband? Fiancee? Boyfriend? I don’t know.

She’s 61, same age as Dad. She wore cool red/purple glasses, and a big fancy glittery necklace she had beaded herself, with matching emails. I definitely got a cool, hipster, old Mom vibe from her. Her…boo looked a lot older than her. A lot older. He was talking about a back surgery he was going to have soon, Poppy actually recently had the same surgery. Poppy is going to be 90 on his next birthday, this guy looks like he could be either 80 or maybe even older.

Anyways Nana had made a gluten free vanilla cake, scones, Christmas cake, and she’d brewed green tea and coffee. My sister and I served it to everyone.

I drank some tea, ate a scone, quietly listened.

Kim’s a headmistress at a school, she’s traveled to Japan many times with her students which is pretty cool.

Poppy just came in to the office. He said:

“I don’t know if I should tell you this or not, but a few years I made an offer that if you would come live over here in Australia that I would pay for your private education and University, all for free. I was just wondering if you knew about it?”

I’d tensed when at the words: I don’t know if I should tell you this or not… because it could literally, be anything.

I nodded my head. I remember Mom telling me about Poppy’s offer, way back in 7th grade. She wanted me to go. That hurt me, really bad. She immediately was like: You need to go. Let’s just not tell your Dad. In that moment I felt rejected by my own Mother. She just wanted to get me out the house so she wouldn’t have to pay for me anymore. It’s always about money with her. And I wasn’t  ready to leave my family, and my friends. Even though I was hurting real bad in seventh grade. That was a hard year for me.

Poppy said: “Well okay. I got an email from your mother saying your offer has been rejected. You can imagine how I felt about that.” Then he turned to go.

My stomach tightened and I said: “Oh Poppy-”

But he muttered: “No, no,” and sort of waved his hands as he walked out the door.

Now I have tears in my eyes as I type. I didn’t mean to hurt him. But I was only twelve at the time. And Mom was telling me that I couldn’t say a word to Dad or he wouldn’t let me go: I just had to go, poof, without saying anything. I couldn’t do that to Dad. He was going through a rough time too. I’d have loved to live in Australia, go to a good school here, and University. It just couldn’t happen under the circumstances. It would have broken my heart, Dad’s heart, and Lizzy’s heart if I had just left them like Mom had.

I’m going to go now. I’ll write about tea later, or maybe not. I leave early tomorrow morning. I don’t think I’ll ever see Nana or Poppy again. This is breaking my heart. I hate saying goodbye. I love them both so much. I don’t even know if I’ll ever come back to Australia again. I don’t want to think about how the last time I saw my grandparents Nana made us tacos, we played Rummikub- I almost won but Poppy moved a tile I needed, and Nana won of course-she’s the champion, we swam in the pool, or Nana, Lizzy and I swam while Poppy sort of paced in the water because of his knee, we had cookies and cream ice cream, we talked about travel, accents, and Bundi- talking about him brought tears to Poppy’s eyes. I don’t want this all to be the last “day”, I don’t want this to be the last “time”. I pray that I get to see them again.

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