Shattered Dreams

The little room in the small cottage was not elegantly furnished, but comfortably so. The small room had a couch and an armchair surrounding a small low table in which stood a vase filled with fresh water and blooming roses. The window to the West revealed a splendid view of Northampton countryside as the sky was blushing into deeper shades of red and orange, lingering behind the green hills of this fertile land. The evening, summer sun filtered through the naked window and blessed the ivory-color skin of a young girl silently sitting in the arm chair, staring at a fancy paper with elegant calligraphy on it. An envelope lay next to her feet, with her address beautifully printed on it, the same hand had written both. Her green, almond-shape eyes scanned the lightly scented page and her lips twitched in grave silent. Her long and slender fingers seemed to clutch at the delicate paper as if it was a token of reality and not the merry land of dreams.

She re-read the letter for the fifth time and the same expression and feeling of bewilderment fancied at her usually serious and composed demeanor. This precious letter was dated two weeks ago and they had received it just yesterday. Her brother had read it first and after reading it he folded it and placed it back in the envelope.

“This is not for your sensible eyes to read,” he told her and hid it from her, without even giving her a chance to glance at the writing. Now that her brother had gone into town, she could relinquish her painful desire and impatience of reading the mysterious letter that had caused such revulsion on Charles. The entire morning was spent looking for the cunningly concealed letter until finally she found it in the most obvious of places: the waste basket in his room. Her fingers had twitched with happiness mingled with dread when she slid the folded paper from the envelope and slowly unfolded it. She admired the perfect and beautiful calligraphy, deeming it an art in itself unworthy of her eyes, but she started reading it nonetheless.

Her first impression when she finished reading was of utter astonishment and sudden revelation. After reading it for the second time, everything seemed to make perfect sense to her and her world. She had known of her father from her beloved mother, she spoke highly of him even though he left her to attend problems that required his need and never came back after that. She cared for their children and every night she spent it beside the window, waiting to greet him when he came back to her. He never did.  

“Our father has not forgotten us,” she whispered with overwhelming joy. She leaped to her feet and spun happily on a spot, holding the letter close to her heart. The hem of her dress knocked on the vase of roses, spilling its content in the hardwood floor. The glass shattered on the floor and quickly snapped her back from her dreamy state of mirth.

“Amy, what on Earth are you doing?” a voice came from the doorway.

She immediately stopped spinning and faced her brother, and then she shifted her eyes toward the broken glass on the floor and the rapid spread of water on the wood.

“Oh my goodness, don’t just stand there dear brother, bring a towel!” Amy exclaimed, tossing the letter aside and kneeling beside the fallen roses to pick them us. Charles emerged from the restroom, carrying a white towel and a small waste basket. He knelt down beside her and carefully collected the broken pieces of glass whilst his sister was busily soaking the water with the towel.

“Where is your mind these days?” he asked playfully.

Amy blushed, “you startled me with your sudden entrance,” she said, and then remembered the letter on the couch, evidence of her crime. “I will finish with this, you must be hungry, and there is soup in the kitchen.”

“It’s okay sister,” he said, “I got it.” He took the last piece of glass and stood, his eyes were locked with an object on the couch. “Amy, did you read the letter?”

She winced at the seriousness of which his words were spoken, “yes, I did Charles,” she confessed, “I just couldn’t resist and it wasn’t fair or just of you for hiding it from me!”

He closed his eyes and took in deep breaths, “so, what do you think about it?”

His serene expression betrayed his shaking fist. “I think it’s perfect!” she exclaimed at once, “this man, our father, he is trying to get to know us and I think we ought to give him a chance…”

“He abandoned us, Amy,” Charles interjected, “how can you trust a man who left our mother alone with two defenseless children! He never came back, he didn’t even write a letter to us, much less sent some money to support our education or needs…” He also stopped because tears were welling in Amy’s eyes.

“He changed,” she whispered in a broken voice, “I am certain he did. He wants to meet us… Charles, please…”

“Going to meet him will be betraying our dead mother!”

Another painful sentence was inflicted on Amy’s aching heart. “You never understand Charles; you think it’s all about you…”

“I am looking out for you,” he set the waste basket on the floor and ran a hand through his dark, smooth hair. “I’ve always been and this man has never thought about us until his lonely moments close to his own funeral!”

“How can you be so insensible?” Amy stormed out of the room, clutching the letter tightly. She went into her room and shut the door behind her. Charles had just shattered her dreams of ever meeting her father. She collapsed to the floor and began crying, calling the name of her mother between sobs.

The End

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