Tarnished - Chapter 44

Viola makes some progress on her route out of the mansion; while a blast from her past provides some much-needed inner strength.
I helped Annette and Carlos sweep up the floor, and then returned to my work space. I finished the chains I needed to make and then bid goodbye to the other workers who were going home. Staring at my watch, it was now 6:30 in the evening.

I sighed, feeling lonely but at peace, walking over to the waiting area sofas. I grabbed a cushion and hugged it, sitting down on the edge of the sofa. What was I going to do...?

Korbin was mad... He was so mad... Completely out of his mind... In his head, everything he was doing must have been justified. He had no soul or heart any more... He expected me to take whatever he gave me... He expected me to go along with his plans... I didn’t want that. I never wanted that. Yet it seemed that no matter how much I told myself that I wouldn’t go along with him and his business; that’s exactly where I ended up going. I stared gormlessly at a tulip, deep in my thoughts. I needed to get out of that mansion as soon as possible, to get away from him. To get away from all of them. In fact, ideally I needed to get away from this village. If I went back to that mansion tonight... Would I leave it feeling the same? Would I ever leave the mansion at all? What would Korbin do to me? I hugged the pillow tighter, as a tear droplet fell from my eye. If he hates me so much... Why doesn’t he just do anything in his power to get rid of me? Why does he make me suffer like this?

Another voice spoke in my head... The voice of reason and optimism. My power voice. Telling me I could go back to that mansion, and declare that it was half mine, and half Korbin’s. Thus, I had a full right to be there, and in peace too. The question that appeared then was: Did I want to be there? The voice of reason answered: Yes... For the moment, I’d have to be. Besides, the house was full of people that Korbin hated, and those same people wanted to bring him down... If he tried to do anything to me there, I would have no choice but to become a part of the team that would be bringing him down... And that was something that I did not want. I didn’t want anything to do with any of them. They were all as messed up as each other, and they were messing me up as well. I suddenly realized that if I wanted to leave that house in peace, I would have to stay there, in peace. Would Korbin allow that to happen?

"Ahhhh..." Fazio woke me from my trance thinking. "Are youz okay? Youz staying latez?"

I attempted a smile. "I’m sorry, I was just hoping that may be I could use your computer?"

Fazio nodded passionately. "Of courze!" He held his hand out for me and walked me to the office.

He let me use my mother’s login details to get on the system, and he also taught me how to use the admin folders. He asked me if I would prefer to do computer work rather than work with the flowers, but I told him that I did a lot of computer work for my real job... I would much prefer just assorting flowers all day. Fazio was kind, but he had coffee breath, and I was extremely happy when he picked up his coat, and left me with my mother’s copy of the shop keys.

"Lockz upz once you iz done!" He called, putting his white leather jacket on as he walked out the door. He was such a diva. "I willz leavez youz to itz!"

"Obrigada!" I thanked him in Portuguese, only to hear him start singing to himself happily as he closed the front door of the shop behind him.

I sighed, finally, I could concentrate.

I searched on the popular property websites. Being that I lived in a village, a village full of barn houses and large mansions, finding a small house or apartment was going to be difficult. However, despite the odds being against me, I found a small cottage that seemed rather nice. I put in an application for it. I looked on the available times for open visiting... One was tomorrow afternoon... Perfect.

I logged off the computer and then perused the little office I was sitting in. There were photo frames on every inch of the walls... Photos of flowers... Of vases with flowers in... One photo in particular caught my eye. It was of my mother and father, Rerm, my brother and me, looking extremely young.

Tears... A sudden influx of emotion... A sudden attack of the waterworks rushed over me like the tidal wave of soft, salty oceanic emotion. I wiped them away, but eventually covered my face with my hands.

I missed my family. I wanted my family. I wanted to see my mother. I wanted to see my brother... I wanted to see my... Dad... I cried harder. Was my dad watching me? Was he up in the sky, above the clouds, out of this universe, watching me? Could he see what I was doing? My mind flashed back to one of the last conversations my father and I had...

"Dad..." I ran to him and hugged him, burying my face in my daddy’s shoulder.

He patted my head and squeezed me tight. "You silly wombat." He laughed heartily, as my eyes leaked a few tears.

I stepped back and observed him. He wasn’t mad at me... I had just crashed his favorite 1980s' car... And he wasn’t mad at me?!

"You’re not... You’re not angry..." I murmured... Nervously...

"Of course I’m not!" He raised an eyebrow sarcastically and then popped a jolly smile on his face. He pinched my cheek and wriggled it around. "Your health is more important than that car! I’m just glad that the car got smashed up and you didn’t!"

I giggled. "Really dad?!"

"Really." He beamed at me. His smile could light up the universe. "Listen to me my precious little girl, even in your darkest hour Viola... In your deepest thought... In your harshest words... In your most painful tear drop... I will be there." Another tear rolled out of my eye as I listened. "When you sleep at night... When you wake up in the morning... When your heart beats... I am there... So do you really think I care about an old granny car?"

I let out a chuckle, and then he disappeared from my eyes... And I again saw the office around me... I could still hear the rest of his words as I spoke them out loud... And for a moment, I could hear his voice saying them with me...

"When you’re in a crowd full of people... When you’re deserted, stranded or lonely... When you think... You’re all alone and no one is there..." A fresh load of water droplets gliding softly down my cheeks as the soft whisper faded and echoed through my heart. "I am there."

I buried my head in my hands once more as I whispered into the palm of my hands. "I am here."
Published: 11/29/2012
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