Chapter 20. Farewell Party
Seven months later. The first week of June.
The mirror reflected her silent reverie. The blue sapphire stayed warm in her grip. She didn’t want to expect something beyond the circumstance. Things changed. The connection she embraced was more than justified from the beginning into her soul. There was something to decode and her heart nodded into it. The dream callused in her outer mind. She remembered what it was.
Fallen stars. Green aurora.
Her soul beckoned at the greatest hope that her heart embraced, even her contemplation couldn’t be undone. Her brown eyes stared again at her white sweater. Her mind rolled out like messy wools. At the time, she noticed the knowledge between good and evil. It was the truth. The journey she got through had last for its momentary supreme.
She recalled everything, included of what was written in Emperor of Souls. That book was in front of her, laid above her dressing table. At least she noted that it was covered behind a fiction label. The history treasured no word that more than reverberation. All the flashbacks she saw were part of someone memories—Princess Kathleen.
A knock had startled her. The white hair angel opened the door to say hello. Cathy stared at her movement who leaned on the wall.
“Your mind is louder than anyone. I can’t be annoyed, though.”
Cathy chuckled in a guilty feeling somehow, and they stared at each other in this quiet room.
Elle had her eyes so sharp now, and she spoke, “My conjugation must have been wrong, but you still can’t believe it, can you?”
It was a sudden question to make Cathy flickered confusedly.
“The dream—it’s bugging your sleepless night,” Elle said again. “Won’t you believe me if I told you that it’s not just a mere analogy?”
“Even if it’s not an analogy—”
“It’s the truth, Catherine,” Elle shouted. “You saw them descended from the sky, the Chandeliers has compliance for the family’s sake.”
“Who’s descended?” She bewildered.
“You’ve heard me. Angels.”
“And the family must be… the Aloise?” Cathy got agitated with the idea. “How can everything is connected the way it is?”
“It’s a complexion of your belief system. I’d say, human’s basic nostrum is their pure soul,” Elle approached her closer, standing behind her as they gazed through the mirror. “This way, you saw a real thing.”
“My dream about Bisbee that was rained with stars and green skeptical aurora, isn’t everything like horror?” Cathy muttered. “I thought I wasn’t just dreaming.”
“They tried to tell you through a dream.”
“Is there something urgent if they’re coming?” Cathy worried. “I mean like a dangerous event.”
For a moment, Elle stayed silent like a statue. “There’s a mission to protect the royal children,” she smiled. “Yeah, they rarely show up to the human world.”
“My dream was a sign?”
“A message for you to understand.”
Cathy closed her mouth. There was fear, but her heart told her not to tremble, not in here with the angel.
“I have a very boring normal life, until I’ve figured out about what my mom has always hid. Do you think this will continue to haunt me?”
Elle narrowed her eyes, and asked, “The challenge?”
Cathy turned to stare at her directly. “The Aloise is somewhere out there with a bunch of secrets they hold. I feel like my mom is still hiding the secrets from me. Why?”
Elle locked her sharp stare at her. The atmosphere began to dense.
“There are certain things in life you need to understand. It’s just not easy,” Elle murmured. “You’ll know someday.”
Her eyes glossed while her heart pounded restlessly. Just at a time, another knock broke the silence.
Her mom came behind the door. “The dinner’s ready.”
They only answered her with a smile. Haile noticed the difference in atmosphere. “What are you two talking about?”
They didn’t answer.
Haile skimmed her eyes around the room, and paused at the thick book on the dressing table. “Have you done with the book?”
“I read it three times,” Cathy said. “But still, isn’t there something you want to explain by yourself?”
Haile stood silent.
“Mom, why don’t you tell me about the Aloise?” She confronted. “Carl Dalton is not even in the circle of the family.”
“You only need to know that there’s limit. There’s a reason why we should leave Bisbee,” her mom brought the topic again.
“You can’t do that,” Cathy disagreed. “I just adapt with this environment. Is it really not about dad’s nomadic work?”
Haile shook her head. “It’s more than that.”
“The culprit always run before get caught,” Elle shouted. “The witch and her demons are somewhere in a new show.”
Haile glared at the white hair angel for reminding that matter. It was a bit tragic to remember the incident that had caused her to lie down in the hospital’s bed.
“Can we just have a dinner?” She demanded.
The two of them went downstairs except Elle, who would like to stay at a windowsill alone.
Manson already sat in the dining room. His eyes locked at the lemonade salmon. Haile just dragged the chair beside him. It was past seven in the evening when they prayed before having a good dinner together.
“So, have you decided on what major will you take?” Her dad asked while chewing the red salmon.
“I have a dilemma for becoming an illustrator,” Cathy muttered. “I mean, I’ve decided to send my application letter to Arizona University.”
Just a second, they heard a spoon was thrown away by Haile who didn’t look happy. “Why didn’t you send it to New York?”
“Cathy, we have talked about this,” her dad said. “I’m sorry, because of my job you have to be a nomad as well as I am,” he stopped eating as he talked solemnly. “New York is also a great place to start a college life. I can help you to look up somewhere around Brooklyn.”
“Can we stick to the plan, my love?” Haile looked like she tried to calm herself instead for her daughter.
“We will leave so many precious things in here,” Cathy argued. “We haven’t told Josh and Martha yet—”
“They’ll know soon. We’ll move after your graduation,” Haile said.
“My High School graduation is tomorrow morning,” she reminded them.
“If only the Police Department didn’t transfer me to Brooklyn, I mean, being a detective in that place with a high salary, it’s a new challenge, and New York isn’t as quiet as Bisbee,” Manson felt guilty. “I’m sorry, both of you can choose to stay in here.”
“No, we will go,” Haile insisted. “None of us will be apart. The decision is final.”
Cathy gazed at her mom in annoyance. Even though there was a trembling voice in those distinct words, any argument couldn’t be won against her mom.
“Well, you’ve heard your mom, Cathy,” her dad said. “Let’s enjoy our food then.”
The fifth June, 2012. Bisbee High School Graduation.
The gymnasium looked spectacular, and random ribbons placed in every corner of the walls. The parents were waiting in their special seats behind those senior students who already dressed up beautifully in their black toga and cap. Everyone looked happy and sad at once. The parents seemed so proud for this last moment that their children finally grown up and got ready to be an adult.
The graduation went well as Liliana began her long speech to thank every single person in High School for their best moment.
After she finished, everyone stared at the next student who walked on the stage. He could stand against the podium calmly while speaking up his graduation speech. Martha cried to see her grandson dressed in his black toga. Josh spoke as the representative of the most reliable baseball captain in Bisbee, but it turned out as a comedy. He made people laughed out loud. It was like usual, he made a stupid joke that someone like Scott could also laugh.
In there, Cathy could see a glimpse of happiness on his face since he always looked sad after they returned from Austria. She didn’t see his mother coming in this graduation party, the detective h gone away.
After the teachers had given their personal speech on the stage, the headmaster closed the graduation event officially, and everyone clapped together as they rose up from their chairs. Soon, the room filled with the chattering sound of the crowd.
Cathy walked out from the gym to the parking lot. She needed to breathe the air while everyone got reunited in a small environment.
Someone knuckled her arm. “Miss Charlotte.”
“Ah, Martha,” they hugged each other. “I’ll miss you forever.”
“Time seems to run quickly, and you have grown up along with my grandson—Josh Kingsley is my only life,” there was a teardrop in her cheek when she mentioned his name. “Haile told me that all of you will leave Bisbee for good.”
Cathy couldn’t say anything. She wanted to cry too. “Do you tell him?”
“Not yet,” she hated the goodbye part. “He’ll be hurt.”
They stood along with nothing to debate more than that. Cathy didn’t know if this confusion about moving forward might be complicated her thought.
“I should go, then,” she tapped her arm lightly.
Cathy saw her parents were coming out from the gym’s door to greet her after Martha went away. In the middle of the crowd, they surprisingly saw someone familiar who walked out from the gym too.
“Isn’t it our famous Fam Burk?” Manson greeted as he tapped his shoulder. “How kind of you to visit my daughter’s graduation party.”
“Let’s celebrate it together,” Mr. Burk said, he smiled at them.
He looked a bit different though. His facial expression didn’t say so, it wasn’t about visiting a friend’s daughter. Wendy Jones was beside him with a face who wanted to show something unspoken.
“We want to visit my husband’s son,” she helped to explain.
“What?” Manson astonished. “I thought you don’t have a child.”
“No,” he needed to tell the truth in the end. “I have a son with my previous wife.”
“His son never like the idea of being known—”
“Honey, it’s enough,” he did seem to avoid the topic, and his face didn’t look pretty happy.
“Mr. and Mrs. Burk, is there anything wrong?” Haile asked, as she felt the oddity.
Just for a second, Fam Burk waved his hand in the air at a boy. “Oh, Scott!”
Every single pair of eyes looked at him astonishingly. No one would ever guess so until this afternoon.
Scott sighed for a while as he looked hesitant to approach them since there was Cathy that stood in between. “Hi, dad and—”
“Wendy Jones,” she said and shook hands warmly with him.
“Yeah, daddy’s new wife,” he smiled. “Both of you look happy together,” he made Fam Burk astonished with that nice and polite reaction.
“You know Cathy Charlotte, right?” His dad asked further.
He stared back at her. “Of course. Who don’t know the most beautiful and shy girl in this school?”
Cathy narrowed her eyes oddly at him. That was his first admiration that went public.
“It’s a good start for us to get to know each other,” Manson giggled. “You look exactly like your father.”
“Ah, how about lunch in my restaurant?” Fam Burk said. “It’s a treat from the owner.”
Before they went together, someone called out her name so loudly; it was Josh. He was panting hardly, and he hugged her forcibly in front of everyone, making Scott deliberately jealous.
“When will you guys move to New York?” Fam Burk asked suddenly.
The two boys astonished and disappointed. Their faces looked as if they got hit by a thunder.
“In late June,” Haile answered. “Unfortunately, we should live in a different city.”
“The two of them will be staying in New Rochelle while I’ll be staying in Brooklyn,” Manson added.
Josh had his jaw fell opened, and then he whispered, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I was just about to,” Cathy felt guilty. “Don’t you remember that my dad is a nomad detective?”
“What a complexity!” He snarled. “At least it’s not tomorrow you will disappear.”
“I’m not like ashes,” she giggled.
“Why it should be in a different city?” Fam Burk continued to ask.
“I just miss my little hometown, and my younger sister,” Haile answered, but her shoulders were shrugging on the contrary.
On the other side, Scott finally had a courage to approach both of them who still had a debate. “I’ll miss you, friend,” he managed to say. “I just want to let you know too that I’ll move to Los Angeles.”
“Your hometown,” Cathy murmured. “Why don’t you stay with your dad?” She suggested. “He looks lonely even though he looks happy from outside.”
“I’m an adult now,” he chuckled. “I have a plan to be a worker in there, maybe a police?”
“I think you’ll be suitable as a detective, just like your mother,” Josh was talking without a joke, his jaw clenched. “Where is she after the incident?”
“I don’t know,” he shrugged. “But surely she’s still alive, hiding somewhere just like she would usually do,” they knew how sad he was to say it like that. “And I’m sorry how bad my mom was hurting you—”
Cathy managed to smile, although there was a sorrow that she felt. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I’d wish you to be happy in your new place,” eventually, she offered a warm hug, and he accepted it reluctantly, it became a good moment when Josh could chill out from his own temporary feeling.
“Hey kids, Mr. Burk will treat us a big toast of drink. Come on!” Manson hollered at them with a happy heart while walking away with the others.
It was already twelve in the afternoon in the restaurant, at the same time the space got crowded with some visitors, which some of them were fresh graduated students, along with their parents. There was a discount program, written on a blackboard. Fam Burk had his waiters to prepare everything for their customers.
The restaurant filled with the smell of cinnamon. The environment stayed in tranquility when there was no fifties song played on the background. In order to celebrate their graduation party, the owner gave them the best menu to be served. Wendy had prepared all the cuisine while they had a conversation.
“Frantically, this is amazing, Mr. Burk!” Josh shouted as he tossed a drink with him―Tarantulla Grapy Juice.
Cathy stared at his tall glass that contented with a violet delight, and somehow it looked like a bubble gum blender. She grinned for a while as unsure if that would taste okay.
At that second, he stared back. “What… you want some?”
“I doubt that,” Scott muttered.
Josh got annoyed eventually to sit near him. “Hey, who am I talking too?”
“Kids, don’t fight. We should have a great farewell party by now,” Manson shouted as he tossed a drink with his wife.
“Can I ask a question?” Cathy stared back and forth at this father and son reunion. “How come this is your first meeting with your son after moving from California?”
Fam Burk narrowed his eyes at her, surprised. “How do you know that?” He smiled curiously at Scott. “My son must have told you a lot.”
“I’d like to confirm here,” Scott said. “I’m the one who don’t want to meet you just at any time. I need some time to comfort myself,” his eyes glossed. “For what she has done to us.”
All of them gazed astonishingly at his confession. Especially for Wendy, who didn’t want to feel guilty over these men’s sorrow, since she always felt sympathy to anyone with a broken heart.
“I shouldn’t have said any of personal matters in front of you guys,” Fam Burk said pathetically, and he glanced at his son “—but I can’t help to let you go, just stay, you can help me to run this restaurant business.”
“That’s a good idea,” Manson supported.
“Right, it’s better than living alone in Los Angeles,” Cathy added.
Scott stared at her in confusion while he couldn’t choose any better option for himself.
“Yeah, man,” Josh swooped. “Make yourself worth at least. Helping your parents is a great opportunity to stay close.”
His humorist tone sounded like a satire, it made Scott annoyed.
Cathy and Haile stared back and forth to share the same amazement when he became the center of attention now. Josh was too easy going with no shame to mumble his true words. Most of the time, Cathy felt proud when he could say the right thing in the right moment. At least it was the truth. Josh lost his parents from the car accident when he was still a kid. He definitely knew that yearning feeling of a warm company.
“Anyway, who is the woman behind this contradiction?” Manson continued.
Fam Burk chuckled as he glanced at Wendy who tried to hold her breath. “My former wife, huh?” He glanced at his son. “I heard she move to your house, Scott?”
“She’s gone after her retreat to German,” Scott built an alibi for his mother since he acknowledged that a detective was sitting at this table, it would be complicated to tell further despite his mother brutality, he did still care for her safety.
“She is the finest female detective I ever met, knowing the fact that she arrived a few months ago for a job in Bisbee,” Fam Burk murmured.
“Wait, Chantel Herron?” Manson guessed it surprisingly, along with Haile and Wendy who went disbelief over the information.
“Precisely,” Scott shouted.
“What a coincidental, she’s my co-partner that I’ve told you, before my boss introduced her name to me.”
“After she got transferred, she just went retreat?” Wendy wondered. “Is that true?”
“Uh, I’m still not sure,” Manson said. “My boss said that she’ll return in three weeks. Well, that’s the exact time I’ll move to Brooklyn.”
“Don’t hope she’ll return to work again, she always detached to other place,” Fam Burk said and chuckled like he knew it for sure.
The farewell party went well. The old song played in the end of their afternoon hours. People danced for their happiness. It wasn’t a boredom that Cathy felt. She just remembered the thought of leaving Bisbee seemed like a hard decision now. It became harder. At least, the memory she treasured was still there with them.