Chapter eighteen: Home again
I looked around at the crowded airport, searching for any familiar faces. My plane has finally descended and I was now in Oregon. I searched around, occasionally checking my watch. My family was late.
After about fifteen minutes of waiting, I saw my mother jumping up and down and shouting my name. I grinned and ran towards her.
After I weaved through the very big crowd of people, I got to my mother. For a moment I just looked at her, and then I gave her a very big hug.
For a moment she looked surprised, but then she was hugging me right back.
“I missed you, Mom.” I said, stepping back. And then I gasped.
I knew my mother very well, and one thing I knew about her was that she hated makeup and fashion. She always wore sweatpants, a sweater, and a pair of sneakers. She was a no nonsense lady and never missed an opportunity to lecture me on how fashion was useless and that clothes were for keeping us warm, and nothing else.
But she had changed. She had highlights in her hair, so it was a light brown and lemony. She was wearing gigantic earrings and so much makeup that it looked like she was dressing up for Halloween. Her clothes were very fashionable, and she was wearing about ten rings on each hand. Her shoes were high heeled, and her nails were painted blood red.
“Mom!” I gasped again. “What happened to you?”
My mom waved her hand as if it was nothing.
“Come on, Viola.” She said, smiling. “I’ll tell you all about it once we are in the car.”
After collecting my luggage, I followed my mom out of the airport. I was expecting to see some sort of taxi, but when I got out I gasped again.
There was a pearly white limo parked right outside of the airport.
“No way…” I said, hardly taking it all in. “Mom, are we rich?”
“Yes, we are.” Mom said, laughing. “Come on inside and I’ll tell you all about it.”
The limo was huge. I could actually stand up and take a short walk around it. There were soft sofas lining the sides of it, and there was even a TV.
Once we were comfortably seated inside the limo, my mom began to talk.
“Well, about three months after you went to work in that circus, your father lost his job. The toothpaste company that your father worked for suspected that he was stealing their money.”
“Was he?” I asked, shocked. Dad was sometimes silly and did weird things, like keeping batteries in his pocket, but he would never steal.
“No, no, of course not. Dad suspected that his arch enemy, Mr. Kingster, who was another co worker, was setting him up. We never found out if he was, though, but the company fired him anyways.
“So after he was fired he immediately began to search for jobs. Your two sisters who were working for your sister Lilly’s college education were using the money to support the family. We sent a letter to tell you, too, but perhaps it got lost in the mail, since you never replied.”
I tried to remember if there was a letter about that. It must have got lost in the mail, because I had not gotten any letter of the kind.
“Go on.” I said, urging her to speak more.
“Well, after a while, your father had an idea. He thought about opening up a delivery service. It all started with a website. At first Dad did all the deliveries himself, but then the orders were so demanding that he had to hire some helpers. He soon had a lot of money. Then the landlord that was renting his house to us said that he was going to sell it, so we had to move. And then we ended up here.”
Mom paused and stared out of the window. I cleared my throat and then she began talking again.
“Then Dad’s business was such a huge success that we became very wealthy. All of your sisters stopped sending money to us. They put their jobs on hold and went to college, since we had the money for it. The only thing left to take care of was you.”
She stared pointedly at me.
“So now you can stop working at the circus, and you can go to college. You can forget the circus business and live a normal life. You can be something sensible, like a typist or an editor.”
I guess my mom is still sensible on the inside.
But then I felt worried. What if my parents forced me to stop learning to be an acrobat? I had worked so hard in my lessons, and I was beginning to actually be good at them. I didn’t want to leave, even if my boss was kind of mean.
“No.” I said.
“I beg your pardon?” Said Mom.
“I said no.” I exclaimed. “Mom, I’m going to become an acrobat. Just think! It’s been my dream for months, and I do not want to give it all up now. Please, let me just visit and then go back to my lessons. This is what I really want to do.”
“At least think about it.” Mom said. And then we were in silence for the rest of the journey.
When I got out of the car I gasped (again). My parent’s house was so big it was like a mansion. It was a bright white color, and there was a stone pathway leading up to the great big oak doors. There were fountains lining the pathway, and in between the fountains were rose bushes that had yellow roses on them. There were balconies sticking out from the house, and when you looked at the whole thing, the theme was definitely elegance.
My father was standing outside of the door, his arms spread out wide as if he expected me to run to him and give him a big hug. I calmly walked towards him, smiled, and said “hi Dad.”
My dad didn’t look much different than the last time I saw him. He was balding on the top and was wearing a grey business suit. He gave me a gentle hug and said, “welcome home Viola.”
Inside my three sisters were in the living room. Hannah, My biggest sister, was doing something on the computer. Daisy, my second eldest sister, was knitting a pair of socks, and Lilly, my younger sister, was writing a letter. They all looked up as I walked in.
“Viola!” They all shouted, running towards me. I was entangled in a lot of arms.
“We missed you!”
“Why didn’t you write?”
“How come you didn’t come to visit?”
“We missed you!”
I gasped for breath. “Let—me—breath!” I exclaimed. Everybody was hugging me too tight.
“Oh, sorry.” They mumbled, looking a little embarrassed.
“Well, um, how are you?” I asked, looking at the three glowing faces staring at me. Then they all started talking at once.
“We’re rich now!”
“I’m a marine biologist, Viola, did you know?”
“I went to college!”
“And we have a brother!”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” I held up my hand at that last one. “Who said something about a brother?”
Hannah held up a hand, told me to wait a second, and she ran out of the room. A few seconds later she returned with a bundle in her arms. With a jolt I realized that she was carrying a baby.
“Meet little Bailey.” She said, holding the bundle out to me. I slowly put the baby in my arms and stared down at him in wonder.
He was the cutest and fattest baby I had ever seen, with cheeks that were so cute I just wanted to pinch them. His eyes were an amber color, and his hair was gingery. He was so adorable, I just couldn’t stand it.
“How old is he?” I said softly. Bailey looked up at me and gave me a toothless smile.
“Only three weeks.” Whispered Hannah.
Just them Mom came into the room and smiled.
“I see you have met Bailey. Why don’t we have some tea and catch up.”
After tea and cookies, Hannah showed me her room, which was where I would be staying.
It was a fairly cozy room, with white walls and a knitted brown and red rug on the floor. There was a bed with a quilt over it, and there was a couch under a window.
The window overlooked a lake, which was shimmery and beautiful. There was a fountain in the middle of the lake, and water shot out of it. It was very pretty.
“Well, how is it?” Hannah asked.
“It’s very nice.” I said. “But where am I going to sleep?”
Hannah walked over to the couch under the window. She lifted up the couch cushion, unfolded something inside, and the couch turned into a bed.
“Oh.” I said.