Troublemaker by Trice Hickman

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Authors: Trice Hickman
    â€œI can’t argue with you on that point. And that’s all the more reason why we all need to go to Nedine, and especially Christian.”
    â€œI worry about him so much. He called a few days ago and I know without a doubt he was either drunk, high, or both.”
    â€œAre you serious?” Alexandria ran her fingers through her heavy mass of curls as she thought about how out of control her brother was becoming.
    â€œI’m afraid so. There was loud music and laughter in the background, so I guess he was having a party.”
    â€œWhat did he want?”
    â€œNothing,” Victoria said in a heavy, frustrated breath. “He claims he just wanted to say hi. He mumbled a few incoherent words and then hung up.”
    During Alexandria’s last conversation with her brother a few weeks ago she could tell that something wasn’t quite right, and he’d sounded drunk or high, as her mother had just said. She didn’t want to use her gift to peer into his life, but she also wanted to know exactly what was going on with her brother.
    â€œI’ll have to pack my patience in order to deal with your brother right now,” Victoria said. “Your father nor I will tolerate him using drugs, period. And he better not bring any to the house.”
    Alexandria didn’t put it past her brother to do exactly what her mother had just said, but she refrained from telling her. “I pray that he gets some help. Hopefully next weekend will be a start toward it.”
    â€œWait a minute.... I just glanced at my calendar. Do you realize that your wedding is two weeks away from next weekend?”
    â€œYes, I know. But it’s going to be such a quick trip, and all the wedding plans are finalized so there’s nothing pressing that needs to be done that can’t be taken care of when we get back. Besides, I know you’ve got everything ironed out to a tee.”
    Victoria let out a small chuckle. “You better believe it.”
    â€œThere won’t be any problems, Mom. I’m going to focus on the positive side of this trip. I think it’ll be a good getaway for us.”
    â€œTo tell you the truth, your father and I haven’t had a getaway in quite a long time, probably a year or two.”
    â€œEveryone’s schedule is so busy that none of us have taken time to connect and unwind. We can use this trip to bond as a family and come closer together.”
    â€œNow that I think about it, it would be nice to have a break and a change of scenery to slow things down before the rush of your wedding. I haven’t been back to Nedine since your grandfather passed away six years ago.”
    â€œI wish I’d had the strength to travel down there to attend the burial,” Alexandria said with a little sadness in her voice. “But it was all I could do to sit in the church at the memorial service you planned. Back then I was still terrified of the spirits that might come to haunt me if I went to Nedine and saw the actual gravesite. But I’m not afraid anymore, and I have Grandma Allene to thank for that.”
    Victoria’s voice filled with the same sadness that had just overcome Alexandria’s. “I wish I could see her, and my parents, too. Sweetie, your gift is a blessing.”
    Alexandria wanted to tell her mother that at times, her gift could also be stressful and disturbing. But just as she was going to claim a bright outlook on their family trip, she was going to do the same about her gift.
    â€œYes, I do feel blessed to be able to see, feel, and connect with their spirits.”
    â€œJust thinking about the fact that we’re going back to the place where my parents were born and raised makes me feel good. I used to love going there as a child. The more I think about it, maybe there’s nothing wrong at all. Maybe Grandma Allene simply wants us to enjoy each other as a family. Putting an end to old things and

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