I knew my cousin’s health was declining when her hair lost its shine.  Her hair had always been her pride and joy and there was no way she would let it go.  I just knew I needed a way to be able to approach her about it without her blowing me off.  She had been burned too many times in the past.  The worst was what our grandmother said to her.  I don’t think Jasmine ever got over what our grandmother did and said.  Most of Jasmine’s hurt feelings have to do with the fact she had idolized our grandmother.  Until the day she broke Jasmine’s heart just because of who she was. 

Growing up, our grandmother, Fran, lived in the house every child wanted to live in.  Jasmine and I would spend a month with her every summer and there was never a dull moment.  The house always smelled like cookies and always filled with laughter.  Until the summer it wasn’t.  The summer we turned thirteen was the last summer we spent an entire month with Fran.  We usually dreaded the day we had to leave, but that summer was different.  There were no cookies baking or friends visiting.  Fran stayed in her room most of the month with the lights off.  It wasn’t until two years later that we found out the truth.  Fran wasn’t technically our grandmother.  And our parents weren’t our parents.  It was the first and last time the word kidnap came up in conversation. 


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