Johan Love insisted on going for a walk with the family. He needled his daughter Anaya for weeks before she managed to get both of her children to join them. Darrius often grew impatient with his grandfather and hadn’t wanted to give in to the impulse of a family walk. Gloria didn’t mind it though. She had plenty of energy, and told silly jokes as they went.
At one point Anaya realized that she no longer knew where they were. She looked back and instead of seeing the city block she saw nothing but empty land. “Dad, I think we’ve gone too far.”
“No, we’re almost there.” Johan was in a good mood, which often wasn’t the case.
Darrius looked at his watch. “We haven’t been walking that long, but I’m fine with turning around.”
“We aren’t turning around!” Johan glared at his grandson. “This is the way to our new home.”
“Are we moving?” Gloria looked between her grandfather and her mom.
“No,” Anaya said quickly. “We aren’t moving. We’re just going for a walk.” She studied her father, wondering if his medications needed to be adjusted again. Sometimes things just stopped working altogether and he would hallucinate, the voices would start up in his head again.
Johan brightened. “We are moving! Your mother just doesn’t know it yet.”
Darrius let out a puff of air and mumbled something under his breath but Anaya didn’t catch the words. She saw a really unusual house up ahead. As they approached it she tried to decide how to get the family home and her father into the doctor again.
“Here we are,” Johan said, “Home.” He didn’t hesitate at all, just headed up the pathway like he owned the place.
Johan married a wonderful woman and they had two lovely children together. He was always good with the children, loved to goof around and if he had some eccentricities most people found them amusing. Then his wife and eldest child died in a car crash. From that day on Johan was never the same. He constantly spoke with people who weren’t there. Old friends found that they couldn’t do anything for him. His remaining daughter Anaya was the only one who could soothe him.
Anaya remained with her father through the ups and downs and Johan came to think of her as his best friend in many ways. He depended on her, and she didn’t seem to mind. It was always in the back of his head that he wanted to do something for her, give her a new beginning. One day he found a way to do just that.
Anaya is a genuinely good person who has been through a lot. Her father lives with her as a dependent and she’s cared for him since she was fourteen in various ways. When she was sixteen she fell in love, became pregnant and gave birth to her son Darrius. Unfortunately, his father wasn’t ready for the responsibility of a child and hasn’t spoken to her since her son’s birth.
In her early twenties Anaya met a sincere, quiet man. He was so different from her first love that she felt sure she’d met the right man. Again, it wasn’t until she was pregnant that she discovered how wrong she’d been. She was given an ultimatum, leave her father and he would marry her. Anaya knew that her father would have to go to a facility, he couldn’t take care of himself. To her it was an impossible choice. Anaya still desperately wants to find her soulmate, but she’s more uncertain than ever about the men she meets.
Darrius likes things, probably because he’s never had many of them. At five he tried making a leaf collection. When he was ten he had a rock collection, a sticker collection and a collection of papers he’d gotten an A on. At thirteen he gave away his sticker collection to his little sister and his rock collection to her best friend but he still kept the A papers hidden in a secret place. The one thing Darrius has the most trouble with is his temper. Sometimes he gets so angry that it actually scares him.
Gloria loves to draw, paint and sing. She also enjoys telling jokes, the goofier the better. Her grandfather is her favorite person in the world. When her mother looks at him in a worried way it makes Gloria worry too, but she doesn’t really understand what’s wrong. Darrius gets on her nerves because he yells too much. Someday, she hopes he’ll be happier. Someday soon would be best.