Grandma’s House

Grandma’s House (500Words Round 2, Week 3, Day 2, 1/30/18)

Laney hung up on the third ring and backed away from the phone as if it had bitten her. Pressing both hands to her forehead she began pacing the room while her grandmother watched, amused, and kept her rocker moving gently.

“You know, you need to give the boy a chance to get to his phone, Laney.” Grandma Sue said with a small smile. “This town isn’t set up like you’re used to.”

“I’m painfully aware of how different it is here, Grandma. You don’t need to remind me.” Laney let go of her forehead and shook out her hands as she continued to pace, failing to avoid the noisy boards in her agitation.

“Well, all I’m saying is that his phone couldn’t have rung more than three times before you ended the call. If he’d been across the room he wouldn’t have had enough time to get up and walk over to it. Seven is the number you should aim for. Seven rings gives a person time to get themselves to the phone without being out of breath on the first hello. And you know that seven is a lucky num-“

“Eight is MY lucky number, Grandma,” Laney said, cutting her grandmother off mid-sentence and stopping abruptly to face her. “Eight, not seven.”

Grandma Sue stopped rocking for a moment. “You’re right, Laney. You’re right. I’m sorry. Eight is the number for you, not seven. Please forgive this old lady her mistakes and imagine that you just might make some of your own by the time you’re my age.”

“Ugh. Grandma! I totally make mistakes – I don’t think I’m perfect or anything.” Laney resumed her pacing, a bit calmer this time. “I just don’t like sevens.”

“I know, I know. I wasn’t thinking about you and your numbers. I was just thinking about old wives tales.” Grandma Sue started rocking again. “And we old wives have been known to get some things right over the years. You have to agree with that!”

Laney smiled as her grandmother lost herself in laughter at her own words. She did love the old lady and didn’t blame her for forgetting. There were so many grandchildren it was a wonder that her grandmother remembered them all by name. And Laney knew that seven was considered lucky by pretty much everyone else. She’d had a different experience with that number, though, and it always made her uncomfortable to have it linked to her in any way. Being trapped in this backward town was getting to her. Laney wanted to go home.

“Why don’t you try him again, Laney? And give him eight rings to answer this time, just to test out what this old wife has to say.” Grandma Sue tilted her head towards the phone a few times. “Come on, humor me. I want to see what happens when he picks up.”

“Grandma!” Laney felt her cheeks flush and clapped her hands to them in an attempt to hide the color.

Grandma Sue chuckled and said, “Oh, Laney. Don’t forget that your old grandma was young once. You know the phone is older than me, right? So I might have been in your spot, pacing across these very floorboards once, waiting seven rings, hoping HE would pick up.”


* All 500Words are fiction.  Any resemblance to people or events is strictly coincidental. *

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