Calling

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three.

The dinner is finally over and I can breath as far as my dress will let me.

Penny and Levi say their polite goodbyes to my parents and my Father makes his usual excuse before sauntering out of the room to pour himself another whisky. Staring down at my shoes, I chew the inside of my lip, wondering what side of him we will get to see tonight once our guests leave. I can only hope that if he will drink himself into a stupor and spend the night snoring in the lounge. It’s better than the alternative.

I cringe inwardly as my Mother gives Levi an awkward hug and returns to the dining room, no doubt to give out more orders to the staff. Heels furiously tapping against the floor as she goes.

Penny shoots me another one of her sunshine smiles as she sweeps over, embracing me. She speaks low and quiet, so not to be heard “At least say you’ll think about the internship and coming to stay with us Ellis?”

“The internships begins in the autumn, so if you want to escape this hell hole, get in touch and I’ll help you with a visa and the paperwork. We’ve love to have you.” Levi adds, his eyes crinkling in the corners, a warn smile takes over his face.

“I will. Thank you both for the offer and for thinking of me.” I smile back. It feels unfamiliar but genuine.

“Even if you don’t fancy working, come and visit us at least. Get away from this shitty London air and this shitty society.” Penny almost pleads, her hands clasped around mine. “You need to find yourself again love.” She places her hand on my cheek. I’m almost startled by the contact and affection but there’s something unspoken in her eyes that I stops me. Before I can question her, Brian, our doorman announces the arrival of the taxi.

We quickly exchange phone numbers and I follow them out, waving them off as the black cab pulls away from the kerb, a part of me desperately wishing I could jump into the back with them. A longing and sadness envelopes me as I watch the cab disappear into the London night. I take a lungful of the cool night are before turning back to the house, Brian wishing me a good night as I pass. If only you knew Brian, if only you knew.

The house is silent and cold. My parents usual night-time routines have already begun, so I slip off my shoes so as not to break the quiet and slip upstairs, hoping they are too busy being themselves to notice.

There is no moonlight to illuminate my room tonight. It’s like the night sky matches my mood, I laugh to myself as I get ready for bed. I pop another of my tablets and drain a glass of water before crawling into bed, pulling the covers right up to my chin.

I stare at the inky blackness of the night, feeling the effects of the tablet kick in before darkness takes me.

***

“I’ll say it again Levi, I’m really not comfortable leaving her there. It’s just not right!” Penny announces, from the leather armchair, glass of wine in one hand and her feet propped on the foot stool.

Levi nods, leaning against the fireplace of their hotel room. He turns to look at his wife, “I feel the same Penny, but there’s not much more we can do until she decides to leave. We can’t force her back into our world and we certainly can’t force her to embrace this lifestyle or who she really is. Poor girl, it’s clear she’s completely unaware of it all.”

Penny sighs, “I know. You’re right. I’m just so angry for her! It breaks my heart to see her so lost, so ...broken.”

Penny places her glass on the table, her head drops into her hands. “Camilla may have chosen to walk away from it all, but she should never have allowed this to happen to the girls. It’s not natural for them to live like this. We were already too late for Helena. Goddess knows much longer will this go on before the damage is irreversible and we lose Ellis for good too!”

Levi crosses the room, placing an arm around his wife. “I know it’s hard, but we just have to keep faith.” He squeezes her arm gently. “She’s on enough medication to knock out a horse! She shouldn’t be able to walk, let alone have a functional conversation with anyone, but look at what she’s been getting up to this past year! She’s still fighting. Ellis is hanging on in there.”

“How on earth do we break this to her? That’s if she even calls! Oh Goddess, do you think she will call? Before we leave?” Penny glances up at her husband. Her eyes tinged with sadness and hope.

“Like I said, we just have to keep faith. Would you like to hang on a few more days? I’m sure Rick won’t mind if I call him and explain the situation.” As always, he was powerless to fight those honey eyes.

“That would great, thank you love.”

Levi nods, standing and heading towards the bedroom, his phone already pressed to his ear.

Penny walks towards the balcony and steps out into the night, closing the sliding door behind her. She takes a moment to absorb the bustling city below.

It was quite literally worlds apart from the sprawling landscape and forests of Wyoming that she had called home for two decades. Over the years she had never enjoyed visiting her sister here in London, the bustle of people, the sounds and smells were too overwhelming. Although she was born and raised in the UK, it never felt like home - Wyoming was where she was meant to be.

Penny’s thoughts returned to her niece. Closing her eyes and she whispered a prayer to the Goddess. When she opened her eyes the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end.

The new moon tonight was an omen, that she was sure of, but what worried her most was that she wasn’t sure which kind. Would this signify the beginning, or the end?

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