Rambunctious laughter erupts from the living room, and I immediately recognize the boisterous sound; Karl Vallemosso, grandpa’s life-long best friend. A moment later, I hear Gran’s hearty laugh as well. I take a peek in their direction from the corridor and I can’t help but smile in gratitude.

 

I’m glad she has so many good people around her who love and support her. I’m also glad to finally see a genuinely happy smile on her face after so long. I haven’t seen or heard her smile and laugh like that since before Grandpa passed—not since my dad, and her only son, was still alive.

 

I head back into the kitchen and my eyes dart over to the antique clock hanging above the sink. Its chrome pendulum swings back and forth in a slow and steady rhythm. It’s almost eight, and after several hours of good food, great music, and lengthy conversations, there are only a handful of people left, and from the looks of it, they’ll probably be leaving in the next twenty minutes or so.

 

Just then, the doorbell rings, removing my attention from the clock and its ever-swaying pendulum.

 

“I’ll get it,” I say as I spot Gran getting up from her chair.

 

What the hell?

 

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