Continued from Fiction#6
That evening I went home, packed quickly and hoped on the train. I was only going an hour out of London, what was the country, was actually a suburb now. I got off the train and took the local cab to the house. There it was, it hadn’t changed, a great big stone house with a bright turquoise door. I spent many happy summers in this house, we spent hours running around the yard, and fishing in the stream behind it.
I gathered my wits, and knocked on the front door, before I could finish, Elsa swung it open, a cocktail in hand, huge smile yelling behind her “she is here!!” She instantly wrapped her arms around me, splashing her gin from the martini on my jacket. Andrew came in shortly afterwards, his voice booming “I can’t believe you are here, and posted non the less, what do you want to drink, food is already in the dinning room, drop your bags where you are.” I couldn’t really comprehend what was going on. A crazy black lab came running into me, sniffing me in inappropriate places.
William came out wearing a ghastly hat and clashing socks, with Henry, his eldest brother shortly behind. I was very confused, I had this idea I was only going to see Elsa and Andrew. A gorgeous tall redhead came around the corner, with only a slightly noticeable bowling ball protruding out of her belly. As I began to get hugged, and handed a stiff drink, the chatter was overwhelming. Henry finally interrupted and introduced me to his expecting wife Grace. I was a little stunned, of course, he was 5 years older than Wills and 7 years older than me, it just seemed surreal that he was married and having his own family.
As I was ushered into the dinning room, force-fed, and more drinks arrived by my side. I was caught up in all the light details of their lives. Henry was a doctor, Andrew had risen up in the Foreign Office, and Elsa had written to books on some part of history I couldn’t recal. I was drained. After clearing and helping to clean up. I excused myself to go upstairs. I was overwhelmed.
I went upstairs to my usual white room, with the periwinkle blue and yellow Laura Ashley motif. I grabbed my purse and searched for my iPhone. I just wanted music, I got my earphones, and blasted M.I.A. and settled myself into a trance. I woke with a start. I had fallen asleep and no sooner had woken from a nightmare, since seeing Will again, every night I had the recurring nightmare of not saying goodbye to my parents, and them leaving me so quickly. I had broken into a sweat, and tears were rolling down my face. I went into the tiny white bathroom off of the bedroom and began to splash my face. I sat on the toilet and kept a cool cloth on my face. I remember vividly leaving the Philippines after the service, my brother Philip and I had been stripped of our diplomatic status, Philip couldn’t come back to the Philippines, and my Aunt couldn’t make it, she had no passport. We couldn’t access any money, my parents Canadian account had been frozen until my Aunt could prove my parents had actually died, but having died abroad with no official death certificate issued for another month. I was left in a house I wasn’t supposed to be in, waiting for a regular passport to be issued. Andrew and Elsa had been taking care of me, making sure I had food, and I had money.
When I finally made it to Vancouver, my Aunt was waiting for my at the airport. Both of us looked like shattered souls. She had lost my Mother, her sister, and somehow had to figure out where and how I was going to fit into her life, I Canadian life I didn’t understand.
I took the now warm towel off of my face, looked around, and chuckled. I always ended up in the loo!
I got up, and decided to head downstairs, I needed some water, and maybe find a stiff drink and a butter tart I wasn’t able to eat at dinner. I crept downstairs, and realized it was 4am. My favourite time of morning it seemed. I put on some coffee, grabbed a butter tart, and sat on the window sill, it was so quiet, I wasn’t used to it. I never lived in quiet spaces, I was always a little terrified of them. When the coffee was finished, I took a cup and poured a massive cup, and went back to the sill. I remembered sitting here in the mornings listening to Andrew and my Father arguing about politics. As they got more coffee in them, they would switch languages and get more heated. They would only pause for bites of food, then keep going.
I must have been sitting there for a while, because I didn’t notice Elsa come in. She quietly got a cup of coffee and refilled mine, and sat on the sill with me.
“You know, I fought to keep you. I wanted you to stay with us. I tried to convince your Aunt it would be best for you. She refused, wanting you to come to Vancouver as soon as possible. I was heart-broken. Andrew convinced me he would be able to keep an eye on you, but then, you disappeared. Don’t leave us again, my heart couldn’t handle it again.”
She took a long sip of coffee, I was shocked. I had no idea they wanted me to stay with them, I had no idea they fought for me. I had always thought that they wanted me to leave. Elsa and William didn’t even see me off to the airport. In my strange logic, I thought they were glad to be rid of me.
To be continued