The Surprise at the Party

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay Petey hated parties and she hated that her best friend, Sarah, begged her to attend this one. At 61 years of age, Petey was too old to “do” parties. She’d met enough people in her life, thank you very much, and there were few she liked.

Sarah was one person who Petey admired, but as Petey stood on one foot, and then the other in the back corner of Sarah and Don Tavish’s living room along with a stray red balloon floating above her, she wondered if even Sarah should be crossed off her list.

Petey watched Don, Sarah’s husband of 39 years, flirt with some long-lashed woman of 50 who dressed as if she were 25. Giving a snort, Petey twirled the scotch in her glass and shot the steely eye toward Don. He was not on her short “like” list. Over the years Sarah had been emphatic that Don was harmless; a good husband and a wonderful dad to their now-grown daughters.

Petey didn’t believe it, but then again, Petey distrusted all men.

The setting sun glared suddenly through the window, momentarily blinding Petey. After blinking sudden tears away, she took a step back to escape the light and startled when a hand touched her elbow. rain, sun, rainbow, gnome, https://pixabay.com/photos/rain-sun-window-light-sunset-3940580/ Kranich17

“Hi Meme,” a voice whispered in her ear.

Petey’s eyes widened, her heart racing as she stared at the lovely young woman in front of her.

“Melanie?” she asked in wonderment.

The blonde woman nodded with an uncertain smile.

“But what? Where?” Petey didn’t know how to begin. Melanie, her granddaughter, had been lost to her over 11 years ago after a bitter contentious divorce between Petey’s daughter, Juliana, and Juliana’s then husband Ralph, who’d controlled his wife and daughter Melanie so completely that Juliana lost it. Literally lost her mind and attempted murder.

Ralph survived, and while Juliana spent years in a mental institution, Melanie was taken away by her dad, never to be seen or heard from again.

Petey snapped back to attention, frantically looking in all directions to see if Ralph was around, or anyone else, to dissuade Melanie from talking with her grandmother.

scammer, scammed, iPhone“I’m of legal age now, Meme,” Melanie answered. “I tried to call you, but you never answered the phone.”

Petey grimaced. She hated phones. Her cell was still in a dresser drawer where she threw it over a month ago, so mad at the spam calls.

“So how did you…” Petey’s words were black staccato.

“I remembered your best friend’s name was Sarah, and that she married a handsome man whose last name rhymed with lavish, and you used to tell me he smelled like cabbage.”

“Oh my god. Don Tavish,” Petey whispered.

Melanie glowed as if celestial. “And that’s how I found Sarah Tavish, and she told me you loved parties, and this would be the biggest surprise of your life.” Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Petey began to cry, big crocodile tears, and hugged this pretty woman who used to be the sweetest little girl, the person Petey loved most in her life.

“I love parties,” Petey agreed, and then hugged Melanie, happier than she’d been in a lifetime. 

130 thoughts on “The Surprise at the Party

    • Thank YOU, Brad. I know the story (and ones with similar “middle parts”), could have ended badly. But let’s sent out a cheer for people who believe enough in happy endings, and thus make them happen.

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    • I think when life gets depressing for us, we tend to put on our ‘shell’ and stay away from any connection. Sarah “made” her friend Petey pull off that shell (reluctantly) and look how the light shone in!
      That said, sometimes I’d like to put my cell phone away in a locked drawer too. 🙂

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    • Interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing, although I’m sorry you found Petey and Melanie’s story a “cliche.” As a writing teacher, I have listened to/read so many stories of families torn apart, lost, or forgotten. And sometimes I hear/read about how they are put back together again. I find these happy endings hopeful. Best, Pam

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    • So many of us have to contend with a person filled with spite or hatred, which spoils “life” for so many. I believe in stories in which light and friendship (like Sarah’s) tear down the hate and WIN for love. ❤

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  1. Pam strikes again with a lovely surprise meet up for Petey whose life seems to be going down an aging rabbit hole until her adorable granddaughter grabs her out! Aren’t grandkids wonderful??!!

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    • Hi Darlene. I have a feeling that Peteys’ story could fill 25 posts… and more! She’s had quite a life, and it was going downhill until her amazing friend Sarah, and her ‘lost’ granddaughter, helped put it to rights. ❤

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    • Smiling in agreement, Janis. I’m not a big partygoer, either. But when the other guests are friends, I end up having a fine time. (But I always leave early.) In this case, I’m glad Petey stuck around. 🙂

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    • You know what? That’s it, exactly, Elizabeth. We should know to never take “life” or our “routines” for granted, because something can come up suddenly and turn it around. What we always hope for is that it’s a GOOD ‘turn around.’ 🙂 Many thanks for your comment. ❤

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    • What a fabulous comment! My dad was the same way. He hemmed and hawed about going to (or hosting) a party, but he was the ‘life’ of it once it started. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading about Petey and her reunion with granddaughter Melanie. Thank goodness Petey stuck around during the party!

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    • I’m usually averse to surprises. (Call me chicken.) But in this case, I think Petey deserved this incredible surprise. And yes, I think this story was lifted from knowledge of some grandparents who are unable to see and even know their grandkids. A tragedy, indeed.

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    • I know you like happy endings as much as I do, Teagan. Oh, how I loved the ending of your series that I read each time a new part came out with bated breath. What an ending, and yes, you brought happiness into it. ❤

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      • You are so kind, Pam. Thanks so very much for being such a wonderful part of the Journeys of “Dead of Winter.” Your encouragement and reviews really mean a lot to me. That story… finally publishing it after a decade, it was a big milestone for me. Big hugs.

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        • A HUGE milestone. And many of your fans, including me, hope you continue it in some way. I love the way you did the series and kept us hooked “episode” by “episode.” Brilliant.

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    • Although I write stories with light, I always include reality and “real” life into them. This tragedy of Juliana is heartrending. Mental illness is a horrible disease, and the cure is often not found for the sufferer. Thanks so much for enjoying the story, which thankfully found joy for Juliana’s mother and her daughter. ❤

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  2. What a beautiful story, Pam.
    Now, I’ve got a couple questions… Petey is short for what?…I’ll say Pierrette, because…
    And Meme is pronounced how? Because here in Quebec, we would say Mémé for grandmother (MayMay)…

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    • Awww, thanks for enjoying the story. I love writing into a character’s mind (in this case, Petey’s) and seeing the world (and others) the way she does. Many thanks for reading and commenting.

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    • Truly, when I wrote this story, I didn’t know what the twist would be (or if there WOULD be a twist). But life is twisted, much like a DNA strand. The more I write, the more I understand that. THANKS for enjoying, Donna. ❤

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  3. Pingback: Oh, that happened: Aug 14 – A Silly Place

    • Thanks, Ann. I’m afraid there are many grandparents out there who never get to spend time with/or know their grandkids. I’m celebrating that, despite so many years without her granddaughter, Petey has been reunited.

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    • Truer words were never spoken!! I’m so sorry for “mature” people who decide to hide from life and hide from the new things younger generations bring to our world. We must always be engaged to have engagement. THANKS so much for stopping by and visiting.

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    • Hi Lauren. Always wonderful to see your name pop up here on my blog. THANKS for reading my flash fiction about Petey and granddaughter Melanie. Seemed quite real to me, and for some, I believe that sad scenario is. Thank goodness that it worked out in the end for “Meme.”

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