Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Laila wiped her eyes and took a deep breath. “All right. But what should I ask?”
Jack took her hand and gave it a small squeeze. “Dont worry. You have friends here to support you. Just ask questions that only you and your parents would know the answers to. Things that I, or Alise, would have no idea about. Maybe things that happened when you were young. That might be the easiest way to start.”
Laila nods and thinks for a minute. Her thoughts were scattered, her life had been turned upside down in a matter of a few minutes. Making herself focus on her younger years on the island she smiles. “I remember my father trying to teach me to swim, first in the pool and then in the ocean...”
“The first time you swam in the ocean you tried to catch some turtles and almost drowned yourself...” Jack watches Laila closely, careful not to push things too far.
Lailas eyes go wide. “And my puppy, the one with the odd name, but very appropriate...”
“Achilles. He thought he was invincible and was in trouble daily, usually with you right behind him.” Jacks reply brings a smile from the group. “Your father says you have a scar on your ankle, from saving the dog from a small shark. You slipped on some coral and cut yourself."
“The day my sister left. When she went to be in service of Lord Adrian...”
Jack listens for a moment to Lailas mother, “You were inconsolable, and after hours of searching they found you crying in the barn, with the cats."
Tears well up again in Lailas eyes and slip down her cheeks. “But now what am I to do? I always thought I could go home again someday. And now....”
Jack clears his throat. “Your father has a bit of a temper.”
Smiling through her tears Laila says, “Not with me... or my sister. But sometimes with other people.”
“He is telling me they cant stay much longer, but will be watching you always. He says do not go back to Rath. He has broken the contract by not caring for you and not telling you of your parents passing. He thinks you should contact Raths brother and let him deal with Rath. There is also a small inheritance for you, that Lord Adrian knows about. He says they love you now as they always have and always will...”
“Mama, papa, I love you too.' Laila replies brokenly, trying hard to be brave and not sob her heart out. She glances towards Alise who is nodding her head and whispering to someone she cant see.
Alise says goodbye, then turns to Laila. She kneels on the grass in front of her, takes her face in her hands, kisses her nose, then her forehead. “From your maman. And I have other things to tell you from her, when you arent so upset and we can be private.”
Laila simply nods, the gesture, a familiar one from her mother makes her unable to speak.
Rubbing her arm Alise quietly asks, “Would you like some time alone?”
Laila nods, then asks quietly, “Would Ramji stay?”
Alise looks over at him and he nods. “Of course.”
“All right then. The rest of us will go help Rowan clean up. I am jealous. You will have some tasty things for for a midnight snack or breakfast...”
Alise notices the small smile and sends to Stoney to stay out of the leftovers....