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2.12 – All Together Again

March 12, 2010

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Allie felt her mother release her from the hug and reluctantly she stepped back.  She wanted to hold on forever.  Four years was such a long time.  She felt her mother’s hands on her shoulders, and realized her mother was inspecting her, a look of love and admiration on her face.

“Allie, my baby, you’re all grown up.  You look so lovely,” Bianca said.  Tears shimmered now in her eyes.

“Mom, I’m so sorry…” Allie began, but she was interrupted as her mother turned her around to face the woman walking down the stairs.

“Allie,” the woman said.  “You’ve come home.”

“Miss Emmy?”   It can’t be, thought Allie.  Miss Emmy was ancient when I left. This woman could easily pass for 40, and Allie figured Miss Emmy must be closer to 100.  The woman in front of her was rail thin, and the deep circles under her eyes indicated something more than just a bad night’s sleep.  As the woman pulled her in for a hug, Allie noticed the paper-thin feel of her skin.  She hugged gently, as if it hurt.  Allie figured it probably did.

2.12

“Yes, dear, it’s Miss Emmy,” the woman said.  “It’s been such a long time.  We’ve prayed you would return. Now, let’s get everyone in here.  The whole family’s back together again.”

Allie looked around, and noticed two more people in the room.  One was a teenage girl who was dressed for prep school.  Phebe, Allie thought.  The other was a young girl whom Allie did not recognize at all.

“This is Caprice,” said Miss Emmy.  “Your mother was still pregnant with her when you left.”

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Allie was stunned.  Another sister?  A whole new addition to the family she’d missed out on.  There was so much catching up to do.  The girls were shy, at first.  It had been so long, after all.  Phebe was just a child when Allie left, and now here she was, a lovely teen.  And Caprice, well Caprice was all new.  Allie was happy to know her baby sister had heard of her.  It was a good feeling, knowing her family had talked of her and missed her all these years.  She’d needed to leave, she knew that with all her heart, and she had made the most of her time away, learning and studying.  But it was so good to be back.

She chatted with her sisters until Bianca shuttled the girls upstairs to get homework done. “I’m making pork chops for dinner,” Bianca said. “I hope that’s all right.”

Allie grinned from ear-to-ear. Home-cooked pork chops? “That sounds perfect,” she said. “The only thing that could top it would be pancakes.”

Bianca laughed.  “Tomorrow pancakes for breakfast, then,” she said as she walked into the kitchen.

12.4

Emmy and Allie were left alone then.  The only one who hadn’t welcomed her home was her father, Joel, who had disappeared almost as soon as Allie walked through the door. Oh well, thought Allie.  This homecoming had been better than she could have dreamed.   She wasn’t going to let herself be too bothered by the disappointment.  Besides, she and her father had never really been that close to begin with, not that she remembered anyway.

“Allie?” Emmy was saying.  “Do you play chess?”

“Of course,” said Allie, and Emmy led her out to an old chess set on the back patio.

“So, my dear,” said Emmy, when the two were safely out of earshot from the rest of the family, “what have you been up to all these years?”

At last Allie was able to tell her tale.  She spared the graceful old woman none of the details, from her time wandering the streets, begging for food, to meeting Dominick, and entering La Fiesta Tech.  She told Emmy of her witchcraft studies, and all that she had learned.  Allie talked on and on, through an endless chess game, until the sun began to set and night crept in.

“Dinner,” rang Bianca’s voice out through the kitchen window.

Miss Emmy smiled gently.  “We best go in,” she said, putting the chess pieces away.  “We’ll call this game a draw.”

12.5

It was more than wonderful for Allie, sitting at the family table, chatting away, as if she never left.  She couldn’t help but notice, though, that her family seemed to gravitate toward the opposite end of the table. It will take time, she reminded herself.  She found it strange as well, that no one asked her where she had been, or what she had been doing.  The family simply chattered and laughed, keeping the conversation light and easy while enjoying Bianca’s delicious meal.

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After dinner, Allie tried to help clean up, but was ushered upstairs with her sisters by Bianca. Her mother showed her the guest room, where her bags had already been placed. Though Allie protested, her mother simply kissed her cheek. “You need your sleep, dear,” she said, before leaving Allie alone with her thoughts. After a hot shower, Allie realized her mother, as usual, was right. She was exhausted. She climbed into bed feeling somewhat unsettled in the floral patterned room. Her mother’s taste, she thought. Slowly she drifted off to sleep.

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Sometime in the middle of the night, Allie awoke. She sensed something, powerful and strong, calling to her. Down the stairs she went, and through the dark and sleeping house, to the back lawn. Allie gazed up at the large circle of rocks that had always dominated the landscape of her childhood home. There was something out there now, something watching. It had waited a long time, and now that Allie was back, it was ready. She only hoped she was as prepared.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. pieridae permalink*
    April 5, 2010 11:54 am

    This has to be one of my favorite chapters. I was so glad to have Allie home (and done with UNI)!

  2. Lissabry permalink
    September 23, 2010 3:10 pm

    It is a great chapter 🙂 Uni does tend to be long and drawn out though :-S

  3. pieridae permalink*
    September 23, 2010 11:26 pm

    Hi Liss! Good to see you still follow the DiPoteres!

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