I woke up late the next morning, Dad had to work today and Granny was cleaning out the basement.
I didn’t really have any homework to do so I just lay around reading about Stars and conducting them when I went outside.
“Yes Grandma, what can I do?” I asked.
“Take this to my room?” Granny commanded as she handed me a small laptop which was very dusty, I took it from her hands.
“What is it?”
“It’s just something that I found, go keep it in my room. I’ll be there in a minute” she said and then shooed me away. I kept the dusty device on her night stand then I grabbed a rag and wiped the dust off it. After being polished the laptop looked good as new, then something interesting caught my eye. It was the royal crest was on the device Granny had found. It must obviously belong to Dad he likes to embellish all his things with the royal crest.
I got hungry so I made a sandwich, Granny came upstairs and I couldn’t help but ask “Grandma, does that laptop belong to Dad?” She thought for a moment which is what she does when she doesn’t know what to say.
“Ummm....well....it...ummm....maybe....YES! Yes it does” Granny stammered.
“Okay” I said.
What was she up to down there? I didn’t have anything better to do so I should go and see what my Grandmother was doing down there. “Annabelle, I am going to go lie down for a bit. If you get hungry just heat up the chicken in the freezer” she stated “Okay” I responded. Granny, fell asleep in minutes because I could hear her snore from my bedroom, I sneaked down to the basement and I found a cardboard box full of something that my Father would never want me to find. The box was hidden in a cupboard at the back of the room. The box was titled “Eloise’s Stuff” a chill crept over my body and again I had that feeling like I was about to throw up.
I seated myself on the couch and placed the box on the other end. I just stared at it, if I wanted to know the truth it was sitting right in front of me but before I could open it.
“Annabelle!” Dad called. I was scared if he caught me down here with that box he would ground me for the rest of my life.
“Coming Dad” I yelled in response. I hid the box with a dusty cloth and ran upstairs. “Dad, you’re home” I said
“Obviously” Dad pointed out “What were you doing down there?” Dad thought.
I had to come up with an excuse, “Well.....Granny, found something of yours in the basement and I was just wondering what other things were down there” I lied. It wasn’t exactly a lie, it was just not telling the truth and also not lying.
“I have a headache, I want tea” he demanded. I set the kettle and in the mean time called Tristan from the landline to tell him about the box that I found.
“Hello?” said a cute little voice on the other end. It was Harper Capricorn, Tristan’s little sister. She was only five years old and I thought of her as my little sister since I had no siblings.
“Harper? Is that you?” I asked.
“Yes, who is this?” she whispered.
“This is Annabelle, I wanted to talk to Tristan. Is he there?” I say. An excited scream escapes Harper, and I have to pull the phone away from my ear.
“It’s Belles! Mommy, it’s Annabelle” she shouted like she hadn’t seen me in a million years. Actually, I haven’t seen Harper or Tristan’s family in a long time. Tristan answered the phone after Harper calmed down.
“Hello? Belles is that you?” he asks.
“Tristan, I have exciting and terrifying news” I gushed.
“Really? What happened? Did you find out something about....your mom” he whispered the last part
“Well, I found something of hers. But I’m scared to open it” I worried .
“Open it?” Tristan sounds confused “Yeah, I found a box in the basement with her name on it and.....”
“Annabelle!” Dad shouted. Not now! Dad was staring at me with a fierce look on his face. I put down my phone and cut the line. What do I do now?
“Dad, I was just...” I tried to come up with an excuse but I was stuck. I opened my mouth a bunch of times but nothing came out.
“Annabelle, whatever you were doing downstairs don’t do it again. In fact you are grounded, no going out with friends, no more phone calls and certainly no more talk about your mother” he lectured. I just stood there still and when I could no longer control my tears I ran upstairs to my room and sobbed on my bed till I tiredness came over me and I closed my eyes. In not much time the dreams kicked in but this time they weren’t good.
I woke the next morning still tired even though I slept for eight hours. I stayed in my pajamas till noon and snacked on popcorn and chocolate until I got a text from Tristan. He was asking about yesterday and that he was sorry about what happened. Which reminded me about the box I found with my Mom’s name, Dad was out of town and Granny has been locked in her room since morning. This was the perfect time sneak downstairs.
I found the box from where I hid it last time and opened it. Inside I found a framed photo of Mom, Dad and I immediately recognized the other two people, they were Tristan’s parents. Dad looked happy with Mom and their two best friends. Mom’s death was obviously very hard for him, I haven’t even seen him smile since...well...forever.
Tears dared to come streaming down my cheeks but I managed not to cry. There were mostly more pictures of Mom on her wedding day and this other one of her lying on a hospital bed with a little baby in her arms. I smiled at that one. It was me. There was a necklace woven with tiny purple stones, I recognized them as amethysts. I found a bottle of perfume which was the scent of stargazer lilies, the one that I used.
The other things were mostly jewelry and a hairbrush with long pieces of red hair stuck in it. My fingers touched a piece of paper at the bottom of the box, I grabbed it and it was another picture. I couldn’t really figure out if it was me or Mom, the girl in the picture was dressed in a white high neck sweater, skinny jeans and long leather boots. Her hair was flowing in the wind and I was happy to see the glasses on her face and the heavy book in her hands.
Granny could find me down here and then Dad...it was risky. So, I packed the box and sneaked it up to my room and hid it in the back of my closet. No one ever looks there anyway. I shed a few tears in the bathroom, I finally knew the truth my about my Mom. But there was still a lot more to find out, this was a start.
It was getting dark so I showered and changed back into my pajamas. For the rest of the evening I lay in bed thinking about how happy Dad was when Mom was around, that’s why he never talked about her. I still don’t get why he thought it was dangerous for me to know. I imagined Mom as a teenager, hanging out with friends, going to school.
I closed my eyes then heard the most wonderful sound ever, rain. I love the rain it makes everything smell nice and refreshing. I stepped outside and let the rain wash over me. The air was ripe with the pleasant, dewy petrichor.