It was the first day of the holidays and Grace was two minutes away from losing her shit. They were all going on a trip to Spain and she wasn’t packed yet. Finals had drained her soul and the will to even live, let alone think about the future. Everything had been planned to the last detail by her dad, he was the planner in the family and her mum the worrier and the one who made sure it was all possible. It worked between them somehow. Her brother, Kevin, didn’t have to worry about packing anything because he was young enough that Mum did it for him. Sometimes Grace envied Kevin, oh to be that young again.
Not that Grace was super old or anything. She was seventeen! Yes. Pretty old. At least compared to her brother anyway.
Grace looked around her room and sighed the sigh of the people who have lost all hope. Her room was a bit of a mess and she was supposed to find the appropriate clothes for Spain in the summer and pack them and make sure her room was at least nearing the tidiness her mother expected from her. It was a lot of work for one girl in her opinion. Of course, her mum wouldn’t be helping her out this time, she had her own chores to worry about.
She sighed again and reluctantly started to wade through her room, clothes were strewn about every which way, her books had suffered through abuse (she found two of them on the floor below the bed!). She wrinkled her nose when she smelled something absolutely horrible, it turned out to be garlic bread from two days ago. It looked like some new and alien creature had come of it. She gingerly toed it towards her bin and quickly disposed of it as she squeaked in disgust. As soon as that was done, she wondered if there was more food she’d managed to ruin in her room. God, she hoped not.
Collecting every piece of clothing she found, she made sure they were in the laundry basket, she moved on to books. Those she put on her bookshelf haphazardly, she didn’t have the time to be obsessive over it the way she usually was. She made a face when the final look at the bookshelf told her all it needed to tell. It looked wrong from every sense of the word. Her academic books were crammed in with her Stephen King and J. K. Rowling and she hated it but she turned her back to them all. For now, she had to let it go.
After about three hours in, she had put her clothes in the machine to wash, cleaned her bed of anything that looked like it didn’t belong there and made another round of her room to make sure there wasn’t any leftover food left lying around. She did not want to come back to some dystopian horror reality where bacteria or worse had taken over her room. She looked around again and grinned tiredly. She might look a proper mess now but at least her room was alright.
Dragging herself out of her room and into the bathroom, she freshened up and looked in the mirror. A small faced young girl stared back. Grace wasn’t tall but she wasn’t short either, she was awfully average in the height department. Curse of the average height of her parents, she supposed. Her light blue eyes looked as tired as she felt and her lips quirked into a half-smile at the thought. She wasn’t too bad looking for someone who had slaved over her room for almost three hours.
The fact that it took three hours did bother her a bit but she turned away from that.
She ran down the stairs, calling out, “Kevin! Kevin! Are you ready to go to Spain? I am! You better be!”
She found Kevin in the living room, sitting on one of the quartet of the comfy chairs they had in front of the huge window. The window showed their garden in all its glory. They didn’t have a proper garden, really. But they pretended they did, and tended to it as such. They had a tiny herb garden in the corner near the kitchen and the rest was basically pretty bushes and some well-maintained (by their neighbour’s son, Jeff) lawn and a few chairs.
Kevin was nodding off, in his hands was a book clutched loosely. Lucky Kevin, Grace thought fondly. He got to sleep pretty much anytime he wanted and she envied him for that too. Running her hands through his hair, she sighed and flopped into the next chair after a moment. Sitting down, she closed her eyes and thought about Spain. She wondered if she would meet someone awesome there, and she didn’t even mean it in the boyfriend/ girlfriend sort of way either. It was her first time traveling to Europe, hell, it was the first time her parents were going out of the country at all. They had saved up for this, they had planned to the last detail.
They started with Spain because her dad’s family still lived there, he had never managed to go but Gran had and she had told them all the grand stories of her time there. She didn’t realise when she, too, fell asleep dreaming of sunny beaches and the food and the people. The endless possibilities.