Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A journey - final part

That night she and Bob went to a pub that played karaoke every Thursday. It was a lively crowd and they sat getting acquainted with each other. Bob had never been married. He was American and had long retired from his army career. He owned a  sail boat and a small place by the ocean. He had no regrets he said.

"Decide on a song from the list Alanah. I would love to hear you sing."
She was going through the list offhandedly since they had been given the list. She looked up and smiled. And wrote a number to the bartender.

Now you say you're lonely
You cry the long night through
Well, you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you

Her voice was mellifluous and carried the poignancy of the lyrics beautifully. Bob was quiet after the song.

"What happened to Pegaso?" he asked as he drove her home that night.
"Another day maybe. If we meet again." she smiled
"A man can hope," he said as he stopped at her gate and she got off and waved.

The next morning Lila arrived.

"Mom you seem distracted, are you okay?"

"Distracted, how do you mean?"

"Well for one, you have not spoken about Hazel like I thought you would."

Lila seemed upset. Alanah looked up from the plate of salad at her gorgeous daughter. Youth glowed on her face. The skin aflame, the eyes ablaze, how beautiful Lila was she thought.

"I am not talking about Hazel because I don't want to upset you more than you already are my angel,"

"No, it's something else mom, I can feel it. You would have been distraught, besides yourself, but you are not. Your mind is not even on our lunch date. You are elsewhere Mom. Talk to me," lila coaxed holding her mother's hand across the table.

"Well , if you really want to know, I have met someone," Alanah shrugged with a smile and an eye roll.

"Good for you Mom. Do you like him? Who is he, is he from these parts?"

 Alanah nodded to all the questions but kept looking down at her plate. She felt she needed time before she could really talk to her daughter about this. But Lila was excited and that was her age.

As they walked inside the house after Lunch Lila asked if she could meet Bob on this trip.
"We will see," Alanah said casually. She had not allowed herself to take it to any other level than karaoke night.

"Will you unpack the boxes in your room sweetheart and take the things that you care for. I really must sort things out and clear out unwanted junk. The boxes have been there for ages," Alanah told her daughter. They were sitting in the patio looking at the sun set over the sea.

 "Lila nodded and got up, " better late than never Mom," she smiled and went in.

It must have been a while before Lila's voice woke her up from her slumber. She had dozed off in her rocking chair on the patio.

 "Mom look what I found,"
She was holding a picture of the three of them. It was taken in this patio and everything was the same including the furniture placement. Only time had passed. Alanah looked younger than Lila was now and Lila was a baby gurgling in Pegaso's arms. It was a very happy picture.

Putting on her glasses Alanah took the picture in her hand and looked at it. She made her daughter sit beside her on the sofa and said, " I loved your dad. You know that, don't you?"

"Of course mom. You were the best thing that could have happened to him and to me."

"I still love your dad sweetheart, I always will. No matter what I choose to do in the future. "

"Mom I am surprised that you didn't like someone earlier. I am delighted for you Mom and please don't think otherwise"

"Dad left you mom. He went away to find his happiness. He chose someone over what he had with us. You deserve the same. I don't know what took you so long mom,"

Alanah laughed softly at her daughter's youthfulness, "Life is a bit more complicated than that darling, and love, well, love is a different game altogether. There is no place for spite in it. It flows in and out of your life like a river with a mind of its own. You cannot control it, only accept it when it comes knocking on your door. You will realise one day."

Bob and Alanah waved as Lila went in the airport to board her flight back to Ireland. As the airport gates closed behind Lila, Bob put his arms around the frail woman beside him and kissed her softly.

"Would you like to go sailing with me?" He asked.

"Yes," She nodded and they walked back to the car hand in hand.