"You sure, you know if the place is clean?" asked Kacey Troy with the phone pressed against her ear and while stirring a pot of Bolognese sauce in the kitchen.
After adding crushed garlic and freshly chopped herbs one after the other, stirred with a ladle. Preoccupied, though paused briefly by the gaze of a photographed frame of her parents. A young couple at the time and two-month-old, Kacey, held in her father's arms.
'They seemed so happy', she thought but shook her head to rid herself of those lingering thoughts.
"Yeah, I'm sure, Kace. The lawyers, well Uncle Mac, mentioned they have cleaners come in every month,"
replied Alison Jones, one of Kacey's varsity friends, engrossed by her 'boy toy' kissing her neck and lets out a feverish moan.
"Seriously, Ali we on the phone," Kacey retorted in annoyance.
"How old is he this time?" she added, rolling her eyes and continued stirring.
"Hold on," she replied while stopping 'boy toy' from going to kiss any further down her belly, to ask his age.
"Nineteen and a half," she answered while holding him by his hair up, in-between her thighs.
"I'm going to go, Ali," bewildered but not surprised by her friend's antics. Both Alison and herself, in their early twenties, and final year of varsity.
"Woo byeee" she winces, ending the call and before, Kacey figured, things would've really got started. Deciding to have the sauce simmer for some time, she wiped her hands on her apron, set her cellphone on the counter and left to the bathroom.
The phone vibrated and rang from an 'Unknown Caller ID' till it stopped, a notification popped up of one missed call, but seemingly disappeared as it appeared. Kacey, returned from the bathroom, walks over to the stove with the sauce and pasta ready. She grabs a dish and gets her dinner ready, settles on the couch, but burrowed her eyebrows in confusion, 'Did my phone go off?' She thought though proceeded to dig in to her meal with a 90s sitcom in front of her. A different scenery from her dorm room she once shared with Alison to hometown she grew up in.
The steam float about from the pots, fogged up all the kitchen windows and the slanted cross drawn on one of them, fitted right in place, soon to be gone before noticed.
Monday mornings, are the worst for Kacey and that's usually because of piles of unfinished assignments being due the Tuesday morning. She knew that starting when you get them is easier, but it has only been six months since the passing of her parents, and grieving can emerge in all forms. She pardoned herself. A mess of textbooks, clothes, book pages and coffee cups from AstroBucks Coffee in her room was evident of this; although that was always the case through the years.
"Your room is a reflection of your heart," she recalled a saying from her great aunt Elizabeth's way on "How to be a real lady," when she made her monthly visits from New England,
"Yeah, well then my heart looks like crap right now," scoffed Kacey and proceeded to dress herself in black jeans, black boots and cream pullover with a Greenhouse University emblem. She packed all essential textbooks and papers, and headed off for a drive to attend one of her journalism class.
Her mind buzzed with thoughts of the inheritance in- between the chatter of students and lecturer. After the passing of, Jonathan Troy and Natalie Troy, her parents; she received a notice of eviction for her their home she was staying in. The notice was not nearly a stun as the mansion she had inherited soon after. The Troy family had moved from England to the States when Kacey was born. It seems her grandfather, father's side, found it necessary to make their family the sole heir to his fortune and residence.
"Perfect timing," she reported to aunt Elizabeth after hearing the news,
"Oh, and please send my condolences to the grieving family at this time," she added in embarrassment and hung up the call.
The Troy's had passed away in a tragic car accident and not much could be said about it. The culprit, a truck driver, was never identified and the only witness to the crime, an elderly woman, passed away two days after the accident. After the funeral in New Hampshire, near her parent's previous home, automatically Kacey became the sole beneficiary, and she figured she would move out or rather accept eviction from their home and move into the mansion. Alison's family, an eloquence of lawyers including herself, took on the legal matters for her,
"That's one less thing to worry about," she whispered to herself while twirling a pencil in her textbook.
"I assume your paper on mass communication is what you're referring to, Ms. Troy?" a woman's voice announced behind her.
"No, I was talking about how Ali's lawyer background and helping out…"
Kacey answered, though trailed off, realizing who the speaker was. Her lecturer Ms. Roberts, a modest elderly woman, stood facing Kacey with pursed lips and a peeved expression.
"The paper is on the list too," she assured with a cheeky grin, Ms. Roberts sighed, retorted that it had better be and dismissed the class.
Kacey took the rest of the day off, a usual occurrence, for a much-needed break, and now drove back home. A three-hour drive, depending on the traffic, although one she enjoyed. A scenery of tall yellow and green forest trees motioned after each other, looking into the rearview mirror, she loosened her caramel brown messy bun of hair and stared quizzically at her face; dark hazel eyes a fawn olive tan and a face she thought to be rather plain.
A flash memory played in her mind's eye, of her mother chasing a toddler, Kacey, around the house to brush her unruly curls. She trotted about bare foot in a yellow frill dress, hem covered in patches of mud and giggling laughter, an atmosphere she wished she could return to.
A white swan stood in the middle of the road, momentarily cut off the lucid nostalgia, and left Kacey's car swerving off the road and into a nearby tree.