Saturday, 30 March 2013
THE JOURNEY - CHAPTER 5 (MINI SERIES)
(If you missed Chapter 1 read it here. Chapter 2,read it here. Chapter 3, read it here. Chapter 4, read it here)
I watched her go up the stairs and realised I was already half in love with her. I turned to leave, wondering for the umpteenth time how a great day had turned out this way.
“You alright Love?” Nan said from behind me.
“Sorry we woke you up.” I said, feeling even worse than I already did.
“I’ll put the kettle on and you can tell me what’s bothering you.” She said heading to the kitchen. I sighed and went after her resignedly.
“Nan, you don’t have to…”
“It’s Francesca, isn’t it?” It was more of a statement than a question. I ran a hand through my hair in defeat.
“I messed it all up.” I said staring dejectedly at my feet.
“I’ll be the judge of that Love. You start at the beginning and take your time.” She said bustling around the kitchen. I just stood there watching her without really seeing her, suddenly feeling very tired, like I had the weight of the world on my slumped shoulders. Nan motioned to me to sit at the kitchen table when she was done and I did so resignedly.
“I had a dream.” I said cupping the warm mug in my hands. I stared into the brown liquid, thinking vaguely that Nan hadn’t added any milk. Frankie doesn’t have any milk!
“It was one of them. I knew it was.” I heard Nan take a sip of her tea but she said nothing, giving me space to pull my thoughts together.
“I saw her, long before she came here, before we even knew she existed!” I looked up at Nan then, wondering if she would understand, wondering if she would think I was losing my marbles like I’d thought I was.
“The first time was a little over a year ago, after Grandpa died. I’ve had it several times since then, and each time it was always exactly the same.”
I wondered what Nan would think of that sort of seeming obsession with someone I hadn’t even known. I’d had dreams in the past and usually, they were about trivial things, like being able to tell when Mum would come home with surprise cup-cakes for me and Amanda or about the trip to Florida mum and dad were planning for the summer I was seven. Then it became big stuff like dreaming Aunt Marie was going to have a baby before she even told Nan and mum she was pregnant. I’d come to accept it, even if I didn’t really understand it. I’d learned to live with it, especially in the times when I didn’t like the things I saw, like the time when Grandpa died.
I told Nan about the dream and how spooked I’d been when Frankie showed up here. Nan had always been the one person I talked about it with and she always listened to me, no matter how silly or unrealistic I thought the dream was. She was the one person who really seemed to understand, right from the cupcakes up until Grandpa walking through the door that wasn’t. I also told her about how badly I’d handled things this time around.
“I don’t know what I was thinking, heck, I wasn’t even thinking at all! I just went with the moment! Now I can’t even imagine what she thinks of me!”
Del was right, I really was a big idiot!
“Well, Darling, you know your gift comes with great responsibility.” She said when I finished my little long story.
Nan had said that to me several times over the years but I failed to see how it fit in with my current situation.
“It takes a great deal of discipline to patiently wait for a future you have already seen.” She continued, ignoring me. “You were given Sight for a reason William, and it definitely isn’t so you’ll barge head first into the seen before it is ready.”
She got up to make a fresh pot of tea when I failed to proffer a reply to her words.
“Life is a journey, Love.” She continued over her shoulders. “It requires a process to get from one stage of the journey to the other.”
“She said she wanted to run with our dreams, didn’t she?” Nan asked, changing tracks again. I mentally shook myself, trying to catch up.
“Well, yeah, she said something along those lines.” I replied.
“Then take the time to show them to her!” Nan said earnestly coming round to take my hand. “She said you were her best friend, not just an acquaintance of a few months!”
My mate of heart and soul, my brother…
“You need to earn the rights to that title; it isn’t something you lay claims to just because you had a dream!”
“I’ve ruined everything!” I said looking across the table at her. “I lost it all!”
“There might still be hope yet, but you have to let it happen in its own time.” Nan said giving my hand a squeeze.
* * * *
“Okay, what’s going through your head?” Ama asked after I’d told her the whole story.
“What are you beating yourself up over this time?!”
“I’m just wondering if I came across as that kinda girl!”
“As what kinda girl?!” she asked pointedly.
I threw my hands up in frustration. “Dunno, the sort of girl a guy makes a move on in two minutes!”
“It makes me feel, how do I put it? Easy!”
“Okay, stop it this minute!”
“At first I was shocked! Then I was livid! Now I’m just tired, I want to crawl into a hole and hide.”
“Francesca, you listen to me!” she said sternly and I had no choice, I had to do just that. “Get all that nonsense out of your head!”
For some reason, I had the urgent need to cry.
“What if I sent out the wrong message?! What with the whole silly Mark Petersburg thing!”
“Sweetie, don’t do this!”
“I feel like such an idiot!”
“Don’t make this thing what it isn’t.”
“It’s almost been a week and he hasn’t been here, not even to see Nan. Even I know a brush-off when I see one, I’m not that dumb!”
“Well, if he’s avoiding you, that’s because he probably feels bad about the whole thing, like he should!”
“I dunno, I just wish I could…”
Just then, there was a knock on my door. We both frowned and looked in the general direction of the door.
“Who’s it?!” Ama asked in a dramatic whisper.
“I have no idea! I’m not psychic!”
“Well answer!” she retorted. Yes ma’am! Sometimes I wondered why I put up with her bullying!
There was another knock on the door, louder this time.
“Frankie?” Well, talk of the devil!
“Go on then! I’ll call you later.” She said finally ending the skype call.
I took a deep breath and opened the door.
“Hi!” I said, feigning a nonchalance I was far from feeling.
“I come bearing gifts!” He said holding up two bottles of milk. I couldn’t help it, I smiled and it eased some of the tension I was feeling.
“Come on in, I’ll make us some coffee.” I said and he returned my smile.
“Frankie,” He said, hesitating in the doorway. “I just want to say sorry about last week.”
“No, I …”
“Sorry I acted like a jerk. I want you to know that I respect you way too much to intentionally do anything to insult you and that your friendship means a lot to me.”
“And your friendship means a lot to me too! I just hope I didn’t come across the wrong way or…”
“No you didn’t. I got ahead of myself and I’m sorry. Can we just put it behind us, start over?”
I smiled. “I would love that very much.”
“Great! My name is William Harding. It’s my pleasure meeting you!” he said offering his hand.
“I’m Francesca, but everyone calls me Chesca.” I replied taking his proffered hand.
“Hmmnnn, I think Frankie suits you better!” he said and I laughed.
“That’s a boy’s name!”
“Chesca’s just fine, or Chezza like Bells says or plain old Francesca!”
“Nope! Frankie it is!”
“Whatever! Are you still up for the coffee?”
“It’s a bit late for coffee, I’ll be up all night!”
“Haha!” He said sarcastically. “By the way, I told Bells the full story about the Cheerios!”
“No! you didn’t!” I gasped.
“Yup! And I bet by now, she’s told the others.”
“Expect never to hear the last of it!”
“I’m so going to kill you for that!”
He had the audacity to laugh at my threat and I wanted so much to throttle him!
“Hey,” he said when his laughter subsided. “Friends?”
I smiled, heaving a contended sigh. “Yeah, friends.”