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Ghosts Of Who We Are

Grimes Family

She paced back and forth on the familiar porch before she found the courage to knock on the door. Vanessa couldn’t figure out why she was so nervous. Inside the house was her loving mother, her sick father. She should have been rushing into the house, but her feet wouldn’t allow her to go any further.

Vanessa heard a car run over the gravel that was spread over the yard, the sound caused her to turn her head around. In front of her, she watched the same police cruiser from earlier, pull onto the lot. She raised her brow at the sight, and saw Shane Walsh walk out the drivers side, and her brother, emerging from the passenger side.

Rick stared at her with his hands on hips, and shot her a soft smile.

With no hesitation, Vanessa ran off the porch and into her older brother’s arms. He raised her slightly off the ground and continued to examine her at arms length.

“You look so different,” Rick said studying his younger sister. He held up a section of her dark hair and laughed. “You’re not a blondie anymore.” His southern voice made her heart melt. Vanessa always loved her brother more than anyone in the world. She looked up to him. He was always the cool guy, the well-liked guy. Vanessa aimed to be as amazing as her brother- there was no one like him. She strived for his perfection.

She smiled at him. The emotions of seeing her older brother overwhelmed her. Her breath was far from steady, and she swore she was seconds away from crying waterfalls. “I needed a change.” She smiled in between soft sniffles and slowly streaming tears.

Rick pulled her in for another hug and smoothed down the back of her head. She cried softly onto his shoulder before she could regain her composure, “It’s been too long.” She whispered.

“C’mon, let’s go see dad.” He said, placing a hand on her shoulder, leading her to the front door.

As she walked by Shane, he tilted his navy blue cap that read ‘police’- as if the cruiser wasn’t enough to reveal his occupation.

“What’s he doing here?” Vanessa asked, trying to keep her voice low.

“To watch over and assist the Grimes family, Miss.” Shane said walking up from behind her. She turned to him, as he shot her a slick smile.

“What a gentleman you are, Officer Walsh.” Vanessa said sarcastically.

“So I’ve been told.” a smirk played on the bottom half of his face, as it danced ever so slightly in his eyes.

The three entered the house and they were immediately greeted by Rick and Vanessa’s mother.

“My darling baby! You’re home!” Her mother’s southern accent shining proudly as a smile cascaded across her face.

She engulfed her only daughter, her youngest child, into a large and warm hug. It had been years since Vanessa last laid eyes on her mother. The last time Vanessa visited King County (for her nephew’s fourth birthday) she hadn’t bothered visiting her parents. They never called, so she figured they wanted nothing to do with her.

Vanessa’s mom let go of her slightly and eyed her up and down. With her thumb, her mother wiped away at her own tears and tried to slap a smile back on her face. She let out a deep breath and smiled at her daughter.

“You’re such a grown lady now, Nessie.” her mom said, trying to hold back tears. “Your father is sleeping, stay put here while I go wake up.”

Before she walked away, she turned around and waved at Shane. “I didn’t forget you, Shane-y boy! Glad to have you over!”

“Always a pleasure, Mrs. Grimes.”

Vanessa rolled her eyes, and laughed a little at her brother‘s best friend. It had been an emotional day, one filled with unwanted tears. Vanessa didn’t want to cry anymore- but she knew that if she saw her father in his state, she would no longer have any control over her emotions. She walked around the small living room and looked at all the old pictures of her and Rick from when they were kids. There was one picture in particular that caught her eye. Seeing the picture, a scoff escaped her lips, followed by a shaking of her head.

“What’re ya’ lookin’ at, Ness?”

She laughed, “my senior year prom picture.” She stated matter-of-factly.

This gained snickering from Shane.

“Only you Rick,” she sighed. “Only you would be so over-protective over your baby sister that you wouldn’t let anybody take her to prom- except your best friend.” She studied the awkward picture of her and the one and only Shane Walsh at her senior prom. Rick liked to make sure his younger sister was safe at all times. When Shane and Vanessa went to take their prom picture, Rick made sure the two were at arm’s length apart from one another. The two people in the picture were so far apart, if it weren’t for the matching colors of their ensembles, one would think the two arrived at prom separately.

Rick laughed, “yeah, smart choice.” He said sarcastically, “I let the high school player take out my baby sister to prom.” He looked over at Shane, “had you not been my best friend, I would’a never let you near her.”

Shane stuck his arms out and his eyes widened, “Hey! I brought her home safely. I was a helluva date.”

“And she was completely wasted, mind you. I never thought I’d have to see her so drunk.” Rick laughed.

“I handled my alcohol pretty well that night.” Vanessa said crossing her arms across her chest.

“How could you know that? You completely blacked out!” Shane accused.

“So, you admit to getting my sister drunk?”

“Now, now. I didn’t say nothin’ along ‘em lines.”

Vanessa could do nothing but laugh at the interaction being exchanged between both men.

“Nessie, darlin’, your dad is awake now.” Her mom said as she poked her head into the living room.

She let out a large sigh before swallowing hard. She looked over at Rick who nodded her to go on inside. She was frightened, and she was damn sure it could be read on her face. Vanessa always got along extremely well with her father, though she was no Daddy’s girl, the two were very close. However, she knew that the past years have created a shift in their relationship.

Vanessa gave one last look to Shane, and then to Rick before walking in. Her mom left the room, letting Vanessa have some alone time with her father. She sat down on the chair that sat right next to his bed.

He opened his eyes as much as he could, and Vanessa could have sworn she saw the ghost of her father, the one from her memories, get up and dance around the room with her, swallowing her into one of his hefty hugs.

But this wasn’t the same man from years ago.

This man was sick.

But he was still the man that she loved.

Vanessa grabbed his hand into hers and gave him a soft smile, “hi daddy.” She spoke softly, her speech broken by her sobbing.

“My baby girl, you’re home.”


You're never going to update this, are you?

Please do more! This is great :)
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