TITLE: A Pocket Full of Grace
GENRE: Contemporary Middle Grade
Grace has just ruined a found art sculpture--in the form of a crane that her mother made--in order to get at something inside of it. The crane belonged to her estranged grandmother, whom she has just moved in with after the sudden death of her mother.
I paced back and forth trying to think of what to say next, Grandma watching me like I was a slow motion tennis match. Then her eyes stopped on the canvas bag I'd thrown down. She walked to it, slid the bolt cutters out, and touched the plastic bags I'd hacked out of the crane. She held on to the one with the jeans inside.
"What did you do?" Almost a whisper.
How was I supposed to tell her that Mama, who had supposedly passed along, was hovering near, like that wavering heat coming off the freeway asphalt on a hot day? That she was leaving me signs? Grandma would think I was worse than crazy. Maybe I was.
"What did you do?" Her shout was a slap.
"What does it look like?" I shot back. "Are you going to send me away now, too? Or do I need to get pregnant first?"
Grandma stood tall. "Is that what you want, Grace? To leave?"
The shame came over me in a wave. A nauseating, suffocating wave. What had I done? Seems I'd wrecked something Mama made, something beautiful Grandma loved, for a few trinkets she probably would have told me about if I'd just asked her.
"Yes. That's what I want."
But it wasn't true, and the sudden knowing would have knocked me into a chair if there'd been one close by.