What if I Fly?

Free What if I Fly? by Jayne Conway

Book: What if I Fly? by Jayne Conway Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jayne Conway
beside her bed, holding and kissing her grandmother’s hand.
    A few minutes later, Gram woke up and her face lit up when she saw Julia sitting by her side.
    “Julietta! My angel.” Julia burst into tears. “No, no. Don’t cry.”
    “Gram, don’t ever do this again!” she cried, scolding, then kissed her sweet face.
    “My Juliet, we all have to go sometime.” Gram laughed, “But don’t you worry, my time isn’t up yet.”
    Her grandmother has been upbeat with her many visitors, and the nurses adore her. Gram spends her days watching her soaps and gossiping with family and friends, much like she does when she’s holding court at home.
    Every day over the past two weeks, Julia has driven to Newport Hospital to visit her. The family takes shifts throughout the day and Julia is due at the hospital for the six to nine o’clock evening shift.
     
    Today, she made it to the hospital in record time. Summer traffic in Newport sucks. It can be a nightmare with the influx of thousands of summer vacationers congesting the roads.
    She pushed opened the door, her eyes scratchy with fatigue. Whenever she comes home to Rhode Island from the city she has a hard time sleeping. It’s the silence. She’s become accustomed to city noise around the clock, sirens, horns blaring, people yelling, and music booming through the walls of her dorm room. The first few weeks she spends in the absolute quiet of her hometown, the ringing in her ears seems louder than the noise she left behind.
    “She’s doing really good today Jules.” Her aunt and uncle greet her as she walks into the room. She kisses them both on each cheek. “Looks like they’re going to spring her Friday.”
    Oh thank god! They fill her in on today’s doctor’s visits, her vitals, medications, and meals.
    “She doesn’t like the chicken salad,” Auntie Linda whispers.
    “That isn’t food!” her grandmother chimes in, “Who cooks this shit?”
    Julia bites her lip. Gram’s back!
    “So fill me in,” Julia settles into the chair beside the hospital bed, “Who’s running around behind whose back today?”
    Her grandmother is obsessed with One Life to Live . Julia doesn’t watch soap operas, but Gram loves to share their evil doings.
    “I know you don’t like the soaps Julietta.”
    “Oh, but I love listening to you tell me about them!”
    “Not today my sweetheart. I want to talk to you.”
    “What’s wrong Gram?” She leans forward and stares at her grandmother’s face.
    “With me? Not a thing. With you? A whole lotta something.”
    “I’m fine Gram. Really. Just tired.” She takes a deep breath, holding her grandmother’s hand.
    “Don’t bullshit me Julia.”
    She frowns. Gram never calls me Julia, only Julietta.
    “It’s boy trouble, yes?” Reluctantly, Julia nods. “Is it that boy you brought to the house?”
    Again she nods. Julia brought Will to her grandmother’s house over Thanksgiving weekend. Every Sunday morning, dozens of relatives and friends cram into her grandmother’s tiny apartment to partake of her legendary meatballs, and before Will dropped Julia off at the train station that Sunday, they made a pit stop. Will wanted to see for himself what the fuss was about. He wasn’t disappointed.
    “Tell me what happened,” Gram said, squeezing her hand.
    Gram listened to her talk for close to an hour, patting her hand sympathetically, and wiping away Julia’s tears.
    “I thought I loved him, Gram,” she sighs, “I’m so confused. He’s two different people.”
    “Who is he when he’s with you, my Juliet? That’s what’s important, the person he is with you. He was raised in a different world, but it sounds like he wants something different from what he knows. He wouldn’t be with you if he wanted more of the same.”
    “Even if that’s true, Gram, it could never work.”
    “Julietta, mi amore. Says who? Some nincompoops who don’t know you? Forget about them. There are only two people who matter. You and your

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