The lunch was grand affair. They were seated in the second floor dining room as the one on the first floor was enormous and was used when parties or occasions were held. Even though the second floor dining room was used mostly as their eating space, it had a twelve sitter table with a huge chandelier hanging above it. The room was wide and open with six big windows so that enough light could enter the room. The room was creme coloured and it was beautiful. The table was filled with so much food that it could feed a small army. Norman was sitting on the head of the table and on the other, was sitting Jennifer. They decided to sit girls and boys seperated. So on Norman's right side, Scarlette's father, Charlie was sitting. On his left, Jason. Beside Jason was Jamie and then Augustus. Next to Augustus was Danny beside whom was his mother, Usha.
On the other hand, on Jennifer's right side was Usha and on left was Kelly. Beside Kelly was Lucy and then Scarlette and Charlotte beside whom was Charlie. Thus, Scarlette and Augustus ended up sitting infront of each other. Scarlette wanted to switch seats with Lucy so that she could sit beside her mother and wasn't left to stare at her would be husband slash fiancé while eating. But Charlotte stopped her and then Lucy said she liked her seat too much to switch with hers.
Charlotte is such a pain in the ass sometimes. Scarlette thought grudgingly.
So now, she was eating quietly with her head down so that she didn't have to look at him. Jamie was blabbering beside Augustus to Scarlette but she wasn't hearing anything. She looked up at him eating with his head down like her and thinking. Scarlette was so busy observing her would be husband that she didn't hear Jamie trying to get her attention. Something poked at her side and she looked at her right to see Lucy nudging her with her elbow.
"You know, you being too obvious with your staring." Lucy whispered.
She pointed at Jamie who huffed at her before trying to talk to Augustus and failing. Then he turned to Charlotte who too was suspiciously silent being the blabber mouth she was. Scarlette narrowed her eyes at Charlotte who looked up from her food innocently and was listening to Jamie and talking to him. Scarlette then looked at Lucy and at her pointed stare, blushed and then started to talk with her. Lucy was surprisingly easy to get along though she was a bit shy at first. She eventually, eased up and Scarlette was surprised to find out that she too was a blubber mouth like her younger brother. And as she watched her talk, she saw that both Lucy and Jamie was quite alike when they were talking. Scarlette tried to give all her attention to Lucy but her eyes would fly to Augustus every now and then like a magnet. He was totally silent and talked to no one. Not that anyone even tried to talk to him, except for Jamie, that is. His expression seemed to be carefully blank. Like he was thinking of something but didn't want anyone to know what he was thinking about, so he kept his face blank. It was fascinating how someone can control their emotion and expression so well.
Scarlette was debating whether she could do that or not when she heard a throat clearing. Maybe he felt her gaze because when she again looked at him, he was looking at her with a raised eyebrow. Scarlette held his gaze which was still blank showing none of his true emotions. Jamie was still talking to Charlotte who was for once silent and listening, Charlie, Norman and Jason were still talking the evening plans, Lucy had stopped talking a while and was hurriedly typing away on her phone, her mother and Usha were talking to each other. No one was paying attention to them. They were still looking at each other. No one wanted to back down first. It was silent battle between them.
Jason suddenly asked, "Scarlette, what do you plan to study? "
Scarlette diverted her gaze from Augustus to look at him but saw everyone looking at her. Even Jamie had stopped talking and was looking at her.
"Law." She said.
Her parents smiled proudly and the others also looked quite happy . She saw a look of brief surprise appear on Augustus' face before it was gone. Scarlette was not sure if it was really there or if it was just a trick of light. But before she could contemplate it, Norman gave a joyous laughter and said, "Oh. This is good. Two lawyers under my roof."
"Yeah. Now it would be so easy to get away with anything with two brilliant lawyers at our home....." Jason trailed off and gave a mischievous wink towards Scarlette. Scarlette blushed at the blatant compliment. She never got used to of anyone praising her for her academic achievement or intelligence. Charlotte was smiling so widely at her sister that it almost looked painful to Scarlette.
"Oh off with you, Jas..." Usha started and then looked at Scarlette, "Don't mind him, Scarlette. He can be such prat sometimes."
"Hey, I'm your husband..." Jason yelled from the other end, "..How can you say that?" He gave a mock hurt look to which Usha rolled her eyes.
Scarlette couldn't stop herself anymore and burst out laughing. Augustus' family was so warm and welcoming that Scarlette already felt that she was already a part of that family. She wondered for the rest of the meal what type of person Augustus really was. Something about the way he looked at her felt like he was analysing her, judging her actions and then making rude comments. He didn't seem like a bad person though, but she wasn't sure why she felt so wary of him. But they did say to never judge a book by its cover. So, she would wait and see for him to reveal himself. She was a patient person after all.
After lunch, everyone settled in the drawing room except for Augustus, who went to his room after lunch without saying anything to anyone but nodding toward Norman and her dad. Of course, from what Scarlette had seen so far of him, he was not at all a social person. In all honesty, she was not either. Lucy stayed with them after lunch as she got over her initial shyness. So now, she, Charlotte, Jamie and Lucy were sitting in one corner of the room where armchairs were set around a small coffee table. Clearly, it was a place for private conversation. All the adults were sitting on the couch. Charlie and Kelly were sitting on the couch opposite to Norman and Jennifer where, Charlotte, Scarlette and Jamie were sitting earlier. Jason was occupying his usual armchair which he had taken from the sitting area near the fireplace. Danny was already taken upstairs for his afternoon nap. Usha came after ten minutes and took a seat next to Jennifer.
Jamie and Lucy was talking about their home life. Scarlette was pretty much wanted to ask about Augustus but she didn't want to come across as too curious. Eventually though, she didn't have to ask as Charlotte beat her to it.
"So, tell us something about Augustus."
Lucy and Jamie shared a look that Scarlette and Charlotte didn't understand and Lucy nodded before starting, "Augustus is an orphan."
Scarlette and Charlotte sat stunned for few seconds. They had been really curious about what happened to Augustus' parents and why they were not present here. They hadn't got the time to talk about it as they were never alone but both of them had thought it as a possibility. They looked at each other and an understanding passing through them. The relaxed atmosphere disappeared completely.
"Oh. We're sorry to hear that. What happened to them?" Charlotte couldn't help but ask.
"We really don't know what happened. We just heard that they were murdered and it was a burglary case." Jamie spoke this time.
"What do you mean by you heard?" Scarlette was the one who asked this time.
"Umm...This happened I was two years old and Luc wasn't even born then. Augustus was seven then." Jamie replied.
Both Scarlette and Charlotte let out a small gasp. Being shocked to speechlessness was an understatement. Scarlette didn't know what to think.
SEVEN SEVEN SEVEN SEVEN SEVEN SEVEN
This was the only word that was repeated over and over inside her head.
Augustus was that young when he lost his parents. And he wasn't that young that he won't remember them or that old enough to understand the meaning of death. She couldn't comprehend what he went through all those years. How was his childhood after that? What he was told when he wanted to see his parents? Did he have friends? Was he alone? All these questions were swarming her mind and she felt suffocated. Scarlette couldn't even imagine her life without her parents. Suddenly, she felt the urge to know him inside and out. Scarlette met Charlotte's eye over Lucy's head and Charlotte nodded at her. Scarlette excused herself from the room in lieu of needing to go to bathroom.
When she was out of the room, she shook her head out of the thoughts drilling in her head and decided to give herself a tour of the second floor as she hadn't got the chance to look around when they had lunch in the second floor dining room. Scarlette walked up the huge staircase and when she reached the landing there was three corridors going in three directions. Augustus's room was on the left corridor. Just two doors away from where she stood. Jamie told her that when they were going to the dining room which was on the right corridor. She bit her bottom lip trying to figure out which corridor to take and explore first. She decided to take the right corridor first to explore further when her ears caught a voice almost yelling coming from somewhere behind her. Though the voice was not too familiar to her but she could tell the owner of it in a second which caused her to follow it curiously.