Final day of NaNo. For anyone who managed to do 50k or more, congrats. I sadly did not, but oh well I'm going to continue with the story any way.
My brain kind of gave out on me this month so I have been keeping my writing to the bar minimum word count. I thinki the insomnia and the fact my brain feels like it is being cushioned with cotton wool is an indication I burnt my mental energy up a little. True what they say, you push tyo hard everything gives up on you. Happy to say that while I was walking in the cold, through the snow my brain started to wake up a little. So fingers crossed, my brain might be back in business within the next couple of days.
(Continued from previous snip.)
The smell of homemade cookies hit me as I walked down the stairs and into the kitchen. My mother was sat at the large kitchen table making wedding favours.
“Need some help?” I asked hovering in the doorway.
“I would love some.” She moved a box in front of the empty seat.
I sat down, glancing around the kitchen. Apart from a new washing machine it still looked the same. It was a stereotypical country kitchen. The main feature being the black aga sat within the kitchen alcove. The rest of the furnishings were all pine; the walls and tiles on the floor were terracotta. Pans hung from a rack in the centre of the room, while pictures of countryside’s and food hung on the walls.
I reached inside the box, pulling out a red and white candy cane. “Why am I not surprised?” I laughed softly, reaching into another box and pulling out a nametag.
“You know how Jess is. Christmas wedding. Christmas themed,” my mother laughed placing a cane gently into a third box. “You look good Maggie,” she commented, evaluating my black cashmere top.
“So do you,” I smiled faintly. “So, Jess told me… William will be marrying them,” I mentioned casually, placing the cane along with the others that were already tagged.
“Yes, he is the pastor of St Wynwallow’s now. Has been for the last year.”
“That’s good. That’s what he wanted.”
Silence. I could see my mother staring at me from the corner of my left eye. I picked up my mug of tea and took a mouthful, then continued with the next candy cane.
“Maggie, do you-”
“So how is Adrian doing?”
“He’s doing well, but you would of known that if you had decided to speak to him once in a while.”
There it was, my mother’s sweet sting of guilt. My mother didn’t handle things the way my father did. She doesn’t argue or lose her temper. She simply mentions things in a sweet and uncaring ‘matter of fact’ way and it irritated the hell out of me. Jess took after her in that respect. They were both giving and caring… Happy care free spirits. Where as I, ashamedly, took after my father. Stubborn and slightly straightforward, but thankfully not as opinionated.
“Is he coming to the wedding?” I asked wrapping another tag around one of the candy canes.
“He will be here tomorrow evening.”
“Well, I am glad to know he wouldn’t miss Jess’ wedding.” More acid slipped from my tongue than I had intended.
My mother stopped what she was doing and looked at me. Her dark green eyes full of patience as always. “Are you going to talk about this or not, Margret?”
“Talk about what?” As if I didn’t all ready know.
“You and William?” She put the candy cane in the box and picked up her mug.
“There’s nothing to talk about ma.”
“Is that what you have been telling yourself for the last six years? Because as far as William is concerned there are a few things-”
“You’ve spoke to him about… everything?” I almost coughed as the air caught in my throat.
“Of course I have. He is our neighbour, our pastor and he is a regular guest in this house-”
“Well despite what he has said to you, I explained everything to him.” I picked up a cookie and broke a piece off as I watched her take a mouthful of tea and place the mug back on the table.
“In the letter?” I didn’t answer. “The letter that you pushed through his front door the night before his wedding day? Your wedding day.”
“Yes.” I bit into the cookie, the chocolate melting on my tongue.
“And you thought that was an appropriate way to end everything with him?”
Not really. “Yes.” I could feel her eyes drilling into my forehead.
“I see.” She picked up another candy cane. “He told me he went to see you.”
“Busy?” she laughed grabbing a tag. “If your job is that time consuming I would look for another one. Otherwise you may never have a proper life.”
William had followed me to London. I had moved in with an old college friend. Carol.
I had been sitting at my desk in the living room, designing a new line of dresses when Carol walked through the front door followed by William. My heart literally jumped into my throat. It had been stupid of me to think he would just back off. Will didn’t back off if it was something he really wanted, not unless there was a good reason too.
It had been uncomfortable seeing him, to hear him telling me how much he loved me. I forced myself to say a few cold words to him and then I simply turned back to my desk, set my eyes on my designs and didn’t look at him as he tried so hard to win me back. I hurt him and it killed me, but I had made up my mind. I didn’t want to marry him. I couldn’t. It didn’t feel right.
I don’t know how long he stood there talking and I’m not sure when he left. All I remembered was finally looking around and finding him gone. That was the last time I had seen him.
I looked at my mother. Her eyes were fixed on the task at hand.
I faked a yawn. “I’m tired. I’m going to have an early night.”
A soft sigh broke from my mother’s lips. “You will have to face it all eventually, Maggie.”
I grabbed my mug and a cookie and made my way up the stairs. Two days, God help me.
Stepping Stones by Elizabeth Morgan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.