His office was in such a state of organized disaster, everything tossed everywhere yet in it's almost neat, placed fashion. The place was always so alive, windows open to the world so that shafts of light could stream in to the plants he had sitting on the sills. Their arms tumbled out of their pots, almost reaching for the sunlight with their half-opened blooms. It made the room smell like a greenhouse and a library, the aroma of dusty book pages and flourishing plants mingling as one.
Where there were not window opened out onto the world, there were shelves upon shelves, cluttered with books, maps, scrolls, and scientific items, vials and containers full of mysterious goo, that my father had collected over the years. It was an odd assortment of a collection forming the place where you could always find Sir Grey, almost always finding his daughter by his side.
"Will it be clear tonight, Father?" I stood at a window, gazing out into the day's cloudless blue sky hopefully.
"It should be, darling," he answered. "But simply standing there staring into the sun will not make the stars come out faster. Come, look at this."
Carefree, I moved from the window to my father's side, pulling my light form onto his lap as he beckoned me. Upon his heavy desk a map was sprawled, a map that I was quite familiar. "Where is India, Rose?" he asked me, almost pretending to become as serious and as stern as my governess, who would likely be angry at me for escaping her confinement and "playing around" with my father.
"Of course it is right....here," I moved my finger to its shape confidently. "Tell me another story about it, Father, please?"
"How should I know so many stories? I have never been there?" he inquired, glancing into my face with his all-knowing eyes. There was something sad in them, something sad in his voice as he stated this.
"Please, Father? You know all the stories," I pleaded.
He sighed, "Shouldn't you be working with Miss. Averhurst? I'll likely get in trouble for keeping you too long."
"How would you get in trouble, Father?" I laughed incredulously. "You are a grown man, even older than Miss. Averhurst!"
"Are you calling me an old man, darling?" he mocked a furious glance. He tickled me, nearly entrapping me in his arms before I leaped from his grasp, half giggling. "Go," he smiled. "I am sure you should be learning some lesson that Miss. Averhurst has laid out for you."
"Alright," I gave in, waving him a farewell for the time......
I hazily opened my eyes, beams of warm, morning sunlight streaming down across my bedsheets and warming them the slightest bit. The taste on my tongue was bittersweet as the dream-memory still lingered on my mind. To think that was so many years ago, and to think he was gone, that carefree, youthful, naive self gone with it.
I really did not feel like escaping the comforts of my sheets, feeling down and weighted with the misery that still remained. As I laid there listlessly, I stared out the window and into the pale winter sky warming with the hint of sun. I remembered what Father said often, to wake before the sun so that you may wonder at the coming of another day, so that you may witness the world's beauty as she opens up before you with all her offerings, set out to discover all new things she has waiting for you.
Sighing, I shook the blankets from me and stepped from bed, shuddering as my feet came in contact with the cold floor. I called for my handmaid, Mary, who brought me a warm pitcher of water to wash my face. Afterwards I readied myself for the day, pinning my hair and dressing so I may head downstairs to breakfast, though I had no one in particular to join.
My whole day's routine seemed thrown. I was always told death was part of life, and I had been affected by it in the way of my mother's passing, though it was at a time where I did not remember neither her or the event. Someday I was to move on, establish a regular life excluding the presence of my Father, to establish myself anew, almost.
I glanced to my reflection. I looked tired, my eyes bleary as if I had not slept well the past several nights. I shook myself, pushing a hair behind my ear as my father had done so fondly as he lay dying, telling me everything was to be alright, that he was going to be perfectly fine. My future life would not exclude the presence of my father, just the physical bit. All the lessons he gave me, the love he bestowed over me, would mark my whole self and the rest of my life. His words, his memory, his love would always live within. Something in that comforted me.