An hour, or two, had pasted and Esther found herself in the garden, where the students previously had their tension-filled dinner, sitting under the shadow of a tree. The old book lay against her arched legs as the blonde girl's back pressed against bark. For most of the morning, she had been reading the old tome - goodness, since they went to bed, Esther has done nothing but read in solitude. She wasn't lying about the difficulty to interpret it either.
Upon the aged pages, the language the tome was written in was certainly English, by no doubt, but it used vocabulary and phrases that were exceptionally outdated but the time Esther was even born. And while the book was thick and heavy, the words on the pages were large and bold, but beautiful nonetheless. The style of writing could be considered to be ornate, but much of the rich ink and pretty patterns had since washed away, leaving the letters gray in shade. Aside from the words that littered the pages, sketches and illustrations - not as pretty as the writing, but they were realistic and detailed - came with the tome as well. The drawings didn't help her with the studying of book at all, mostly because they showed an object, or at times, faded figures of people with old clothing and old books, much like the tome Esther had.
Soon after repeatedly reading through the first dozen of pages, Esther came at stand still (of absolute irritation and fury). With a less than gentle nip to her inner cheek, she harshly snapped the book closed and huffed. Under the sun, high in the cloudless sky above her, she left her spot under the tree, marched along the stone path, and back into the cottage.
Dropping the book onto the coach in the decorative longue, she sagged along one of the antique daybeds. "Stupid old, piece of literature," she muttered to herself. With no company (in other words, Riana) to complain to since the three departed earlier in the morning, Esther talked to herself to fill the void of silence.
"'Lie to the eye's of a mortal' it said! It might as well tell me to become the object; be one with it!" and her ramblings went on for another ten minutes before she sighed heavily and the empty, soundless of the house became once again eerily aware to Esther. She almost began to miss Riana, Ivory, and possibly even Bishop, although it's amazing since they only knew each other for less than two days.
Ivory had given her no notice as to when they would be returning from their trip, but she had suspected that they'd be back several hours after noon, before dinner maybe. And now? Esther nearly regretted not going. An unknown, unfamiliar (yet graceful) cottage, far from the city she grew up in - far from her family...it all seemed like the ideal Eden for Esther, but since she had met her teacher and fellow students, her mind turned that fantasy into a picture of isolation that could share with them. Almost with the tinge of nostalgia, Esther felt lonely once again, but this time, the sea of people, who were painted in a duller, more suffocating shade than her, were not present.
It was just Esther and the silence of Illutic Cottage.
Her own troubling thoughts nursed and lured the blonde girl to sleep on the daybed, the tome and the open door to the garden left forgotten.
The brush of cold, late noon air against her uncovered arm awoke Esther. She was welcomed by the sight of the scenery outside, with some of the hanging lanterns already alit upon the heavy hue of leaves in the high trees. Slowly, the girl rose from the daybed, untangling the black, long skirt from her pale legs. Pulling at the arms of her t-shirt, she wrapped herself with one of the thin blankets that lay against the arm of a chair and picked up the old book.
She returned to the garden, enjoying the lazy mixture of orange, red, and yellow in the sky. Behind her, Esther heard no noise from the house, alerting her to the fact that they had yet to return. In the patio, dinner (for one) was served, with a single candle glowing among the food.
Esther stopped moving abruptly. "What the...?" Last night, their meal was already prepared, but without Ivory or any of the others to cook it, Esther was confused and intrigued by the mysterious food on the table.
"Okay..." she drawled, setting down the book on a nearby chair as she began to eat. But soon after, her spoon hit the plate and Esther squeaked at the sound that came from behind her. The small, but sure sound of a whimpering meow emitted from the bushes, and then a white and gold tabby cautiously walked out from the hedge. It took a moment or two for Esther to realizing it was a cat - a kitten actually, in front of her looking scared and cold and innocent.
Slowly she said, "A cat? Here? All the way in the countryside? Really?"
Esther reached out for it after a brief moment of staring at the creature. Since it made no move to move or run away, the blonde girl softly nudged the top of its head. The kitten curled into her palm, purring against her cold hand making Esther smile. Carefully she picked up the animal and held it to her chest; the cat was barely big enough than both of her hands.
"Oh, Ivory's going to kill me," she hummed, petting and stroking the tabby until the immediate bond was formed and Esther placed the tabby on top of her tome, and carried both up to her room.
Her dinner was left forgotten.