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Kenwood

by Michele Jones 12 days ago in Short Story

Life Restored

Kenwood
Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Kendra couldn’t believe how much Kenwood had changed. Peeling paint, half doors flapping in the wind, broken windows. The years had not been kind. The charm Kenwood once had was gone. Not her fault, but she still felt guilty. The stalls no longer occupied by horses, no hay to be shoveled, and brick needed to be pointed. She remembered hiding in the loft to get out of chores, listening to music with her friends, and spending time with Dale—her boyfriend. A tear rolled down her cheek.

A flick of her hand wiped the tear away, but more fell.

“Miss Kendra. Is that really you?”

She wiped her cheeks and turned around. “Mr. Calhoun,” she ran toward him. “Thanks for meeting me here.”

“Happy to do it. Do you plan on staying a while?”

“Sure do. We’ve got plenty to do.” She lied. Her plans didn’t include Kenwood. Fixing it up, finding someone to rent the farm, getting back to the city, those were her plans. There was nothing for her here.

“The Misses would love for you to come over for supper. We can talk then.”

“I, uh, don’t know. I, um, have a lot—”

“Nonsense. You know where we live. See you at five.” He got in his truck and left.”

How could she possibly go there for dinner? So many years had passed since— Kendra shook her head. Dale wouldn’t be there. He had a life, and it didn’t include her. His ultimatum made that abundantly clear when she left.

She walked inside the barn and looked up at the loft. So much happened up there. Skipping school, hangin’ with her friends, her first kiss, and spending time with Dale.

She needed to get moving if she wanted to be on time. Honestly, she couldn’t wait to see Mrs. Calhoun and sit at their table again. It would be like old times—well almost.

As Kendra drove down the dirt road, she looked at Kenwood in her rear-view mirror. It looked worn, old, and dilapidated, lacking the charm she remembered. This was her legacy, and she would restore it to it’s former glory.

Her car knew the way. Within the half hour, she was at their house. It looked the same. Truck in front of the house. The lilac bush. Rockers and swing on the front porch. Before she could get of her car, Mrs. Calhoun was out the door and down the steps to greet her. Kendra got out and Mrs. Calhoun gave her a big hug directing them to the house.

“Hello Kendra.”

His greeting was cold. “Dale. How are you?”

How could she have forgotten. The Calhouns always had Sunday supper together as a family and nothing had changed. Nancy, Barb, Steve, James and Dale all made their way to the dining room and sat at the large table with their families. The chair next to Dale was empty. Oh hell no. She couldn’t possibly sit next to him. He despised her.

Conversation at the table was pleasant. They reminisced about the old days and told stories about the things that got them in trouble. After dessert, Kendra took her plate to the kitchen and was told she was a guest and wasn’t permitted to help. That hurt. She remembered the days that she was doing dishes when she dated Dale. How things have changed.

“Kendra, let’s sit on the front porch and discuss this project of yours, child.”

Dale followed her out to the porch and sat on the chair next to his dad. She took the swing.

The three of them sat in silence for several minutes.

“What exactly do you plan on doing at Kenwood, Kendra?”

“I’m going to restore it and make it a working farm again.”

“That’s going to take a lot of money, and time. It’s hard work. Are you ready to commit to that?”

“What does it matter to you, Dale.”

“My dad asked for my help. If you don’t want it—”

“Enough. We are going to work together as a team and bring Kenwood back to her glory days.”

Mr. Calhoun was right. They needed all the help they could get. She would have to work with Dale, and forget the past. Maybe they could even be friends again.

“I’d appreciate your help, Dale. You’re right, it’s going to take time, money, and hard work. I’m willing if you are.”

“I said I’d help.”

Dale went to his tuck and brought over the plans he’d worked on for his dad. They were better than she could have imagined. She loved the color choices, and the way he added the small details that she had loved.

They talked for a while longer before Mrs. Calhoun brought out dessert. Homemade peach pie. Her favorite.

“Would you like ice cream, dear?”

“No, mom, she doesn’t like ice cream.”

He remembered. She looked into his blue eyes. They had that familiar twinkle. She missed that. She missed him. Seeing him brought back so many memories, most of them great.

“We’ll get started tomorrow. We can order the materials and start demo.

Kendra stood. “I need to be going. It’s an early day tomorrow.”

Dale stood and walked to her. “I’ll walk you to your car.”

“I’d like that.”

Short Story
Michele Jones
Michele Jones
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Michele Jones

Michele Jones is an author whose work explores the darker side of a character's psyche.

When she isn't working, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and doing charity work.

See all posts by Michele Jones

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