A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing
Bradley and Neilson slammed down on the buttons of their game controllers.
“Oh I am so kicking your ass” Bradley said as they furiously smashed on the buttons they stood up from a leather sofa in front of a large flat screen TV.
“The hell you are” Neilson said as they focused on the game in front of them.
“Here you guys are” Natalie said entering the room.
“Go go go!” Neilson yelled at the TV.
Natalie looked at them irritated “Guys!” she said once more.
“Yeah just a second” Bradley said to her.
“No no no!” Neilson yelled.
“OH! WHAT?!” Bradley said to Neilson “Totally just kicked your ass!” Bradley said.
“This is a really unattractive side to you” Neilson said to him.
“I’m not even going ask what this is about…” Natalie said.
“Rematch?” Neilson asked.
“You’re on” Bradley said to him.
“Have you guys been here the entire time? I’ve been waiting for you at the library for hours!” she said irritated.
“…Why?” Bradley asked her.
“Yeah when have you ever seen us in a library before?” Neilson asked her.
“I thought we were going to start on our history project together” she said.
“What history project?” Bradley asked.
“The one we were assigned this afternoon?” she asked.
“Oh that” Neilson said.
“Yeah that” she said.
“It’s not due for like three weeks” Bradley said to her.
“Yeah we got plenty of time, don’t worry” Neilson said.
“You do know that this isn’t something you can just slap together at a moment’s notice right? You need to do actual research” she said to them.
“Sixties, JFK, hippies, Vietnam, all that stuff” Bradley said.
“See? We’re half way started” Neilson said to her.
“Alright fine, good luck” she said leaving the room.
“What’d she say?” Bradley asked.
“…Who?” Neilson asked looking around.
2 weeks later:
“Alright guys remember, projects are due next week and you will be presenting them to the class” their teacher said as everyone groaned “I know, I know, pure torture” he said as the bell rang.
“So I’m almost done with my project…how’s yours coming?” Natalie asked Bradley.
“Don’t worry about me alright? I got this” he said opening his locker.
“Bradley, it’s due next week, you have nothing, you really think you’re going to pull this off?” she asked.
“Like I said, don’t worry about me, I know what to do” he said.
“Hey mom” Bradley said entering Vicki’s office later that day.
“Hey, to what do I owe the pleasure?” she asked looking at a file.
“Is grandma home? I’ve been trying to get ahold of her but she’s not answering her phone” he said sitting in a chair.
“Oh yeah she’s out of town” Vicki said.
“What? What do you mean out of town? Where is she?!” Bradley asked.
“She’s in Seattle visiting your great-grandparents” Vicki said to her.
“Well when’s she coming back?” he asked.
“Don’t worry she’ll be back this weekend” she said as he breathed a sigh of relief “Something wrong?” she asked.
“No I just…I have a project due in history and I need her help.”
“Oh yeah? well maybe I can help, what is it?” she asked, he pulled the paper from his bag and handed it to her “You made it all the way to the sixties? I always got stuck in the Industrial Revolution” she said to him.
“Yeah I figured I’d talk to grandma since this was her era and all” he said.
“Don’t let her hear you say that, she’ll smack the blonde right off of you” she said to him “But yeah those were her glory days” she said.
“Oh yeah?” he asked.
“Yeah she was about your age back then.”
“She still have anything from back then? Pictures? Anything about Vietnam?” he asked.
“I don’t know maybe…but I’d tread lightly, this subject is kind of…touchy for your grandma” she said to him Vicki said to her. “God this is due next week? They’ve got to give you more time than that” she said, he looked away from her “Bradley…how much time did they give you to do this project?” she asked.
“…I don’t remember” he said.
“Bradley!” she said.
“I had…more than just a week…” he said.
“How much more?” she asked.
“A week or…three” he said.
“Three weeks?! You had three weeks to do this and you’re just starting now?!” she asked.
“I had a plan!” he said.
“Asking your grandmother questions does not qualify as research” she said to him.
“I know!” Bradley said to her “I looked it up on Wikipedia” he said.
“Oh my god” she said to herself.
“Doctor McAdams, your next patient is here” Marian said.
“Thank you Marian” Vicki said to her “Here, you take this…” she said handing him his backpack “And you go to the library” she said to him.
“The library?” he asked “You mean that place Harry’s always hanging out at?” he asked.
“Just go do your homework” she said ushering him out of her office.
Bradley stared at his computer screen, the words running together as he played with a pencil between his fingers, there was a knock at his bedroom door “God please come in” he said in desperation. Vicki opened the door and stepped in “I’m doing my project, see? I’m working” he said.
“Yeah you look like really hard at work there” she said noticing the Wikipedia page on his laptop “Here I brought you something.”
“What’s all this?” he asked as she handed him a box.
“I went by your grandma’s house and found some of her things that just might help.”
“Oh great” he said looking into the box “Wow, this is grandma?” he asked.
“That’s her, in all her teenage glory” she said.
“Who’s this guy? Doesn’t look like grandpa” he said.
“Because it’s not, that’s Tommy he was your grandma’s high school boyfriend” she said.
“Oh” he said “They break up or something?” he asked.
“No, he enlisted in the army and was sent to Vietnam” she said “He was killed over there” she said.
“Oh” he said.
“Yeah, sweetie, like I said this is a very touchy subject for her, she’s never really gotten over it” Vicki said to him.
“So, she wouldn’t be able to talk about it?” he asked.
“I asked her and she agreed to come over this weekend and give you the full story but like I said just try to tread lightly with this okay?” Vicki said.
“Yeah no problem, thanks mom” he said to her.
“You’re welcome and hopefully next time something like this comes up you won’t wait until the last minute” she said.
“I probably will” he said looking through the pictures, she shook her head and left the room.