Tuesday, December 28, 2010

chaptre 13

Here lies
Josephine and Marshall
Loving children, parents and friends

I looked at the tomb where my parents lied. It’s been so long that I visited here. The flowers were still fresh. Had somebody come here before, I wondered. I put down the white lilies that I bought just now. It was mama’s favorite. I breathing became heavy as I touched the cold stone that bore my parents’ name. You were standing beside me, with your eyes closed. I pondered myself if you were offering a prayer in your silent. I kissed the tomb once, as I had done when I visited here. Then I got up from my knees.

“Are you okay?” you rested your hand on my shoulder, as if reassuring that you were there. But I hate the sad look you had, though I said nothing of it. So I gave a nod. You looked at the tomb.

“So your name, Jo Marshal, was the combination of your parents’ name.” you said matter-of-factly. I just smiled at your remark.

“How…” you stopped halfway. You seemed uncertain of something. But I knew what it was.

“They had an accident.” You looked at me. “We were on our way to a holiday when it happened. I was in comatose for a week after the accident. When I woke up, the funeral was already done.” My throat suddenly became sore and tears were starting to build up. I looked up at you and smiled. “It gave me a huge scar.”

When I said huge, it covered most part of my body. Every time I wasn’t wearing anything and stared myself into the mirror, the scar reminded me that what happen wasn’t a dream. The accident made my life changed my life drastically, turning my life upside down. The dream I had, night after night, kept haunting me till this day. Does mama blame me for everything? Because…

“Jo…” you touched my cheek. Tears were rolling down and you wiped it gently. Then you held me in your arms tightly. You felt so warm.

“They had a fight before they died.” I buried myself in your chest. It felt good as you warmth slowly heated my skin. “Of me.”

You hugged me even tighter, until there was no room between us.

“It’s not your fault…” time and time again I’ve told myself this. But somehow, this heart of mine couldn’t seem to see it. But hearing you said that, I felt somehow relieved.

# # #

“Welcome home, Lady Annabelle.” A middle aged man in a butler suit greeted us. “Master is waiting for you inside.”

As the butler ushered us in, I took a glimpse at the mansion. It hasn’t change since the day I left. Portraits of the previous head of this family were looking down at us, as if eyeing us with their eyes as we walk down the hallway. The gloomy atmosphere was suffocating like usual. The expensive decorations only made my eyes hurt.

“Well, if it isn’t the long awaited heir.” A familiar voice. As I looked up ahead there he was, standing with his hands crossed with his arrogant smiling face, looking at me. Cornelius. He was tall and had a good physic even though he was already middle aged.  Suddenly, my temperature started to boil. I couldn’t forgive what he had done to me last time. The real reason why I left this mansion in the first place. He came closer and stopped, barely two steps away from me. I could smell his cologne, and it was more suffocating than the air before.

“I see you haven’t change.” I said monotonously. God knows how badly I wanted to punch this bastard in front of me. He looked away with a smile, focusing on you.

“Can’t say the same for you, Annabelle. And who might this be?” he came closer to you and stared at you from top to bottom, as if you were an interesting species that he can keep as a pet.

“He’s a friend.” I shoved him away from you, giving him a glare.

“Now, now, is that any way to treat your uncle?”

“You…!” I couldn’t finish my sentence as I was interrupted.

“Papa!” a girl wearing a lovely flowing gown, with her long hair braided, lunged herself at Cornelius. When she noticed me, she hid behind Cornelius.

“Anastasia. Have you finished your work?” a gentle smile was fixed on Cornelius’ face. I never knew that he could pull that kind of face. But this man was capable of anything once he put up his mind into it.

“Lady Annabelle, master is waiting.” The butler interrupted. I held your hand and passed through them. You were stumbling as I was tugging you so hard. When we were far enough and they couldn’t be seen, I let you go.

“Stay away from him. He’s a dangerous man.” I gave you a hard look. You looked terrified when you saw my face. I let out a sigh before I enter the room of the current heir. My grandfather.

As the butler opened the door, the room inside was visible. It was surprisingly a simple room, compared to the other decorations in this mansion. There was a lazy chair near the fireplace, complete with its one-of-a-kind coffee table. Shelves filled with books of all themes lined up at one side of the room. I let out a sigh and a smile. This one place really hadn’t change much.

“Annabelle…” someone called out. As I looked at the oversized bed, there he was, with a family doctor. “Come, my dear.”

I got closer to grandfather. He looked thinner, and very unwell. I knew that grandfather had a frail condition, seeing him again after all these years in that condition, really took a toll on me.

“Gramps.” I gave him a tight hug. He smelled of medicine. I looked at the doctor with a worried look. Out of all people in this fake world, I love grandfather the most. He took me in when I lost both of my parents, even though I was only the mistress child.

 My father’s first wife couldn’t bear a child so my father was to be remarried. Even so, he was cut from the line and ran away with my mother because my mother was not up to the Blakewood status, and the one who broke it was Cornelius, the supposedly next heir to the fortune after father. My mother was actually my father’s lover long before he was married to the first wife. I heard that the first wife committed suicide after going senile, probably due to the testament of others of my father.

The fortune wasn’t what I after when I found out that I was related to this noble family. All their fortune couldn’t turn back time and made my parents alive again. I just wanted somewhere to call home, a person to love and to be loved unconditionally. A family of my own. And I was forever grateful for grandfather’s kindness to name me the heir, though I had repeatedly decline. But Cornelius misunderstood my closeness to grandfather, and he did something to me. Something unforgivable.

“You’ve returned.” Tears were building up in grandfather’s eyes. He looked hurt. I never wanted to hurt him like this. But I guess I come with the ‘running away’ territory.

“I’m sorry.” I gently caressed his cheek. He held my hand with his.

“A tearful reunion, I should say.” I was surprised by that voice. It was Kazuki’s. When I looked around, he was standing next to you, pretending to be crying. You were uncertain of what to do with him when he started to hugged you. Irritated by that, I quickly jump off the bed and pulled him aside.

“Glad you could make it safely.” Was all he could say?

“Don’t you dare touch him like that.”

“You’re still headstrong as usual, I see.” Grandfather gave a little chuckle. “I see you have made friends with my close friend’s son.”

“Friend? Isn’t he the spy that you sent?” I looked at grandfather for answer.

“True. He works as a private investigator, taking over Mr. Katsuragi’s job. You remember him don’t you?” Now that he mentioned it, kazuki really did resemble that man grandfather talked about. “And may I ask who might this be?”
He was referring to you. You looked agitated. I came closer to you, and held your hand tight. You looked at me and I smiled, signaling that it’s okay. That I’m here, together, with you.

“This is my partner.”