My New Home
It was official. Judy had made my decision for me. I felt like a child under the age of eighteen getting permission from her parents to do something. Nonetheless, I was quite happy. If I went into a home, I wouldn’t have to wash, clean, or cook. It would be done for me, and I would always have someone there when I needed them.
I remembered the Court News again. Maybe Judy was right. Though David didn’t cheat on me, I still didn’t have any idea what he was doing most of the time. He also should have reported me to the police the first day we met. None of this drama would have happened. I would have been locked up by now and wouldn’t have to communicate with anyone or meet anyone.
I guessed he felt like breaking the law. I wouldn’t consider him a troublemaker, though – except he didn’t tell me about his past. I would have imagined that he had troubles with his parents as he hadn’t seen them for ages when he introduced me to his parents. Maybe his was worse than mine, and he didn’t want me to feel any worse than I originally did. I guessed I could let it slide.
So practically speaking, I lost the two most important people in the world, Luke and now David. No one else could have been as important as they were to me. They changed my life. When thinking back to those days with both of them, all they ever did was help me or partake in a scheme that got them into trouble in the end. News reporters and journalists would fly everywhere asking multiple questions. I couldn’t handle fame. I still didn’t understand why I was famous in the first place. It wasn’t like I was the first person to run away and hide her identity. Why did my story stick out from the rest?
Judy helped me pack up my things after ringing the home closest to Fino Town. We left the house as it was, in case David was let out of jail. I grabbed my clothes, some toiletries, and my craft supplies. Some important memories such as photos and pieces of my writing were also packed into boxes for my transfer to the home. As we were walking out to Judy’s car, I left a note on the fridge for David. It read:
I am sorry for everything that has happened in the recent years being with you. It was love at first sight. I will never forget the day we met. I have to leave, though. I am causing you too much trouble. These days you’re not around a lot, and I feel lonely and isolated without you here. You cannot change the past, but you can change the future. I’m sorry. I had no other choice but to go to a home. I am doing what’s best for me, I think. I miss you and will never forget you. This was hard for me, but I guess it will be harder for you when you read this. I love you from the moon and back. Don’t ever forget me.
Your one and true love,
Fino Town Aged Care Home was a quick drive down the road. I had butterflies in my stomach and my face felt like it was going up in flames. I didn’t know what to expect. Would the others like me? I needed to make a good first impression. An aged care home didn’t seem bad, based on the ones I saw in movies. Quite luxurious and relaxing.
It was a large centre at the base of the hospital, around the corner from the beach. At least this place would have a better view than I had back home. At home, townhouses sat everywhere.
Judy walked me into the registration office to sign in and let the staff know who I was. The staff were happy and smiling. As they talked, it was in a modest and polite tone. Two younger looking men went out to Judy’s car and took my bags to my new room.
“Thanks,” I told the men.
Judy stayed for a few hours helping me set up my new room. The nurse entered the room.
“I will still visit every month, Greta,” Judy said.
“Thanks for everything you have done. See you next time,” I said.
After saying her goodbyes, Judy placed a kiss on my cheek and walked out the door, smiling warmly at the nurse.
“Hi, Greta Wilfred. I’m Loretta Thompson. You can call me Loretta, if you wish. I am going to be your maid and nurse for your time in this centre. If you ever need anything, press the red button on top of your bed, and I will be here in seconds,” she said with a smile, pointing to the button.
“Would you like to follow me into the dining room where I will introduce you to the other men and women who live at this centre? We have bingo night tonight too. It would be great if you joined.”
“Yes, that would be lovely. Do I need to bring anything?”
Loretta shook her head and led me out of my new room, down a long winding hall to the dining room. From head to toe, she was wearing what a maid usually wears. A bonnet around her head, a long, patch-worked white floral dress and closed in shoes. She left a great first impression on me. A warm, loving lady.
“Attention everyone. This is Greta Wilfred. She is new here and will be residing with us for the next few years. Please make her feel welcome. And please, boys, no hooking up or being cheesy like you always do when new women join us,” she said to the crowd sitting in the dining room.
Loretta left the room. I stood for at least ten seconds before I realised I knew someone in the room. It was Luke Hostile. I gulped. He wouldn’t recognise me, I hoped. What a coincidence ending up in the same place with him where I was to spend the rest of my life. Luke looked at me and I immediately averted my eyes.
I sat down with an old woman crocheting a blanket. We became friends instantly. She had a spare pair of needles and taught me a trick or two.
As the dining room was quite small, due to the fact about thirty men and women lived in this centre, I could hear a number of conversations going around from the whole room. I concentrated on the conversation Luke was in with his mate, whose name I picked up was William.
“I cannot believe you were on Court News the other day. You were so good. Why haven’t you found this girl yet? Do you think she is still alive?” William asked Luke.
“In my heart, soul, and dreams, I believe she is. She is a frightened and scared little girl who is trying to sort things out. I can understand why she wanted to run away.”
“Hey, if you ever saw her again, would you marry her?”
“William, my boy, I am a bit old for that, but I suppose I would. She would be different, though. I always loved her red locks. She always reminded me of a supermodel. A perfect woman, in fact, when we first laid eyes on each other.”
I was blushing. I wanted to laugh. I wanted to tell him it was me, but I couldn’t.
“Reds are always the feisty ones. I bet you she was the sweetest thing you ever met.”
“She was the love of my life. She was like spring. A flower in the meadow. She was also very adventurous. I swore to her I would never leave her when trouble hit, but I guess I didn’t get far in my life to help her. I should have fought with my parents to stay with her as we were to go to different schools. Instead, I let things happen naturally,” Luke sighed.
“Well, on the bright side, that new girl Greta seems pretty hot. You should go and talk to her. By the way, wasn’t that the girl they mentioned on Court News who was married to David?”
“Yeah, I think it might have been. I should go and find out more, shouldn’t I?”
I felt like crying. My face had tensed up. I tried to stop listening to them talk about me, but my ears still picked up their conversation. I felt horrible. He did love me, and I loved him, but I ran away from him and married someone else.
“Yeah, go on, man. Don’t be shy. Just do it. If it doesn’t work out, come back and sit with me. I’ll be watching you.”