A beat up Audi sped through the main street of downtown Edenton and parked itself in front of the local bar. The car, once shiny and sleek 8 years ago, had gone through some rough patches. Dirt and mud covered most of it, bugs splatter the windshield, several dents punctured the once smooth body and the paint was scratched.
The driver emerged. First a baseball cap over a low ponytail, dark sunglasses, leather jacket, torn jeans and boots. She was also a little worse for wear, but unlike the car, her damages weren’t physically seen.
The door slammed closed, two beeps and it’s locked.
Avana surveys the street, taking in the familiar buildings and bustling people. Since she left, nothing has changed, save for some new paint jobs and updated signs.
Even the people were the same. Is that Mr. Walker who owns the drug store down the street? It had to be. She’d know that pot belly and mustache anywhere. It has more gray in it than what she remembered.
As he draws closer, Avana pulls down her baseball cap lower over her face and looks down and away as he walks pass. She doesn’t want anyone to know she’s here yet, because without a doubt they would tell her father. And she doesn’t want him to anticipate her coming.
It’s not that she was planning on surprising him, both she and her father, Adam, hated surprises, and that wasn’t the only way they were alike.
She didn’t want to tell him she was coming home because she didn’t want him to think that she was planning to stay. She didn’t want to have it built up in his head that she was back for good and will help him run (and take over) the family winery. And she didn’t want to give him any time to make a plan for her to stay either. She knew Adam, because she knows herself.
And why was it up to her to take over the winery? Her younger brother, Clinton, seemed all too eager to take up the mantle, once their dad decided he was too old to harvest. Avana knew Clinton was secretly happy when she decided to leave 8 years ago. It was the perfect chance to prove himself without her overshadowing him with the spotlight Adam always had on her.
Anyway, it’s not like she was back in her hometown to say hi. It came down to a last resort. She was fired from her job, she was broke, and the audi (a 21st birthday present from Adam to his favorite child) was one mile, one pot hole away from breaking down. She had no other choice but to go home and beg for help.
Avana would have driven directly to her childhood home as to not risk someone seeing her before she got there, but she couldn’t help herself. She had to stop for a drink before seeing her family.
Placing her keys in her back pocket, Avana walked up to the bar and entered.