[A/N: Please excuse the formatting! I copied and pasted this from Google Docs.]
Sabrina was tasked with cleaning out the attic. She loved her great-great-aunt Ida (everyone did) but Ida was a bit of a hoarder. Anyone who saw her attic would agree.
Great-Great-Aunt Ida was moving to a retirement village down in Florida and the family was helping her move her boxes out of her house to the moving truck. Uncle Harrison was cleaning out the kitchen and dining room, Mom was doing the backyard and shed, Dad was doing the two bedrooms, Quincy was cleaning out the living room, and because she was the smallest, Sabrina was assigned the crawl space. Grandpa and Grandma were already in Florida, settling into their own home.
“I do not see why I have to move!” Sabrina could hear Ida exclaim through the floorboards, “I am perfectly happy in my own home.”
“I know, Auntie Ida, but you can’t get up and down the stairs no more,” Quincy said, “Besides, you’ll be with Gramps and Grams near the beach.”
“Quincy, I have lived in this home for seventy-five years. I am not going to live much longer and I want to live my final days in my home.”
Sabrina shook her head and returned to the boxes. She understood Ida’s point, but what is the point of staying in your own home if you can’t move around it?
Sabrina continued to work as she listened to the conversation below. Dad joined it as Sabrina took the first round of boxes to the moving truck. There was nothing important about them. They were just filled with old junk from mom’s childhood. Sabrina climbed back up to the attic and was taking the second round of boxes, which held photographs, down in no time. Sabrina took a few pictures of photographs that interested her with her phone.
The third box was different. It was dusty, and covered in spiderwebs, as if it had been forgotten for a long time. The light shining through the windows for years had faded the box. Sabrina pulled it out of the corner it was sitting in and began looking at it. It had a name written on its side: Philip Edgar Fields. Edgar? That was Sabrina’s middle name. She hated it, mostly because it was a man’s name, and she had thought her mother had a stroke while deciding it.
Sabrina opened the box and began looking through it. At first she thought there were just more photographs, but as she dug farther, there was more. Medals, letters, and a journal. A singular journal, with a green leather color, beautiful decals, and the same name as the box. Philip Edgar Fields - 1943. The cover was torn in some parts, and the edges of the pages were dirty, but it looked well cared for. Sabrina began flipping through it, careful not to tear any of the pages, and ignoring the letters and photographs all together. Only a third of it was full and some pages were so badly damaged that Sabrina couldn’t read most parts.
After a while of flipping through the first pages, Sabrina set it down in the box and rushed downstairs, where Ida was sitting on her couch, holding a picture frame in her hand. The couch was the only thing in the room that hadn’t been moved.
“Auntie Ida?” Sabrina asked, rounding the stairwell and walking over to her.
Ida sighed. “Yes, dear?”
Sabrina paused for a moment, contemplating her next words. Ida had never talked about her life before Grandpa Otis was born. Sabrina had thought she had just forgotten about it, as old people do, but looking through the box made her realize that may not be the case.
“Sabrina, dear?” Aunt Ida said, setting the photo down, “May I help you?”
“Can you tell me a story, Auntie Ida?” Sabrina asked.
“You are nearly sixteen, dear,” Ida said, “Are you not too old for stories?”
“I don’t think so.”
Ida smiled and motioned for Sabrina to sit next to her, “What would you like a story about?”
“If it’s fine with you, I’d like a story about Philip.”