Once again it is time for Prompts for the Promptless. This week, I am a bit later in my post as the new prompt will go online soon.
I deviated slightly from the meaning of Gezelligheid though I tried to stay within the togetherness and family theme. I apologize for the sad tone of this piece, unfortunately it was the only way to make it not sound extremely awkward.
“Carrianne, do you remember the village Grampy lived in? We stayed there for a few years when you were younger.” Wilhelmina’s hazel eyes seemed to focus on something behind Carrianne.
“I think so. It was called Winter right?” Carrianne shifted her chair closer to her mother’s bed. “I mainly remember Grampy complaining about the town’s name dooming it to endless winter.”
Wilhelmina laughed weakly. “The village is Winterwood and your Grampy only said that because he wanted to move to Florida.”
“Ok, but why are you bringing it up? Grampy died years ago and we have no other relatives.”
“Grampy owned the Bed and Breakfast in Winterwood. When he died The Flowering Rose passed down to you.”
“What? I thought you sold that.”
Wilhelmina held up a hand to silence her daughter. “I am unable to sell it as the deed was held in trust until you came of age. I hired one of the villagers to take care of the property until that time.”
“Well, I must have come of age by now. I can sell it and we won’t have to worry about it anymore.”
“It’s not that easy darling. There are several things you must do to come of age.”
“You mean besides getting older? Isn’t that what coming of age means?”
“Hush. There is more to be done. I am sorry that I failed to teach you our culture.”
Carrianne leaned closer. “What do you mean by ‘our culture’? Did you grow up in a different country or something?”
“No, nothing like that. I grew up in Winterwood.” Wilhelmina’s eyes began to drift shut.
“Rest mom. We can talk about this later; when you aren’t as tired.”
Wilhelmina shook her head. “I may not have a later. I need to tell you now.”
“Ok, but if you feel too tired, I want you to sleep.”
“The people of Winterwood are different from the ones I have introduced you to. They have different beliefs and values from the city.” Wilhelmina yawned. “I have raised you to be cynical and disbelieving. But to come of age, you must begin to believe.”
“Believe in what? I’m not joining some cult religion just to get the deed of a B&B I intend to sell.”
“You are a reflection of my own bitterness.” Wilhelmina spoke more to herself than her daughter. “Maybe Dad was right. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken you from Winterwood.”
“Mom, if Winterwood is a cult, then I’m glad you got out of there. Cults are dangerous.”
“If we hadn’t left, you would have grown up knowing your ancestry. You would have learned how to live rather than how to go through the motions of life.”
“I am living. I’m graduating from college in a few days. I’ve lived by myself for two years. I have a job I love in an industry that will use my degree. In fact, the only thing missing from my life right now is a boyfriend.”
“I thought Emma wanted to be your boyfriend?”
“She’s not my type; wrong anatomy. What I’m trying to get at is that I am living and I have a pretty good life.”
“No,” Wilhelmina said with a light shake of her head. “You only think you’re living because I failed to teach you otherwise. I’ve taught you to close your mind and disbelieve but I never told you what you would miss by doing so.”
“If I promise to open my mind a bit more, would it make you happy?”
“When I die-”
Wilhelmina gave Carrianne a look which silenced any protests she might have had. “When I die, I want you to go to Winterwood. Grampy’s term for you coming of age was that you learn about our family history from the village elders.”
“I will go to Winterwood but I don’t want to think about you dying.” Carrianne took hold of Wilhelmina’s hand. “I don’t like the thought of losing my mom.”
“It’s something you’ll have to think of soon darling.”
“Why? They figured out what was going on and they’ve already started treatment. If my bone marrow is a match then you can be treated for good.”
“No darling. My heart’s not strong enough for a transplant.”
Pleading brown eyes met steady hazel ones. “But the drugs will hold back the cancer until you’re stronger. The doctor said that the drugs will help you.”
A slight shake of the head was the only response. Soon, both women had tears flowing down their faces as they hung onto the only family they had.
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