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One week-end in late winter, when Gabriel was home, everyone was sitting on Charlie’s verandah listening to the early evening sounds and, also, to Gabriel’s idea. His living arrangements in the city had changed and he had found a large, rambling, old house in one of the alternative, inner city suburbs. He was proposing that everyone move there. Everyone being: Gabriel, Maria, Charlie, and Mary.

“It has three big bedrooms:” said Gabriel, “one for me, one for Maria, and one for Charlie and Mary.”

Ever since Mary first visited Charlie’s property, she and Charlie had become inseparable. Elizabeth was long gone. Mary was having a wonderful effect on Charlie. Charlie now had a calmness which had been absent before. Mary helped her to move forward more peacefully and it added to her, already, successful direction.

“Mary wants to start her university studies,” Gabriel continued, “and Charlie has so many offers in the city that she could spend all week responding to them. The house has a workshop at the back which Charlie and I can share and a shop front which we can use as a gallery. There is a closed-in side verandah which, I think, Maria should use. She could start to see people and help them.”

“How?” asked Maria.

“I don’t know,” said Gabriel frustrated by the question. “How would I know? You will work it out once we get there.” He stopped and then added, “Turn it into a Shrine. You know how much Charlie always loves going into your Shrine here and if she likes it then other people will too.” He said it as if only people like Charlie would want to go into it, not people like him. However, he was the one who thought up the idea and even found the space so he can’t have been that dissociated from it.

Everyone just nodded and that was that. They were moving. Charlie went to the local Waldmeer real estate and told them she would rent her property out. The rent would pay her mortgage for now. That way, she wasn’t completely cutting her ties with Waldmeer.

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