The following morning at breakfast everyone were gathered at the table, helping ourselves to pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs.
"Dad, I forgot ask...but who called last night?" Madelyn asked, innocently pouring orange juice into her glass.
"Oh just my cousin Rex, you remember me telling you all about him, don't you?" My dad replied not looking up from his newspaper.
"Rex ...does he live in San Francisco?" Melina added.
"No San Diego sweetheart." Mum said taking Dad's newspaper away. "Not at the table Yuri."
"My mistake, still San Diego I wonder what it's like to live there." Melina gave me a sly grin and Madelyn tapped my leg with her foot.
"How come we haven't met him before dad?" I questioned catching his eye. "Sounds like an interesting person from what you have said."
Our mum's laughed to herself and dad smiled with a faraway look across his face. "Interesting would be one word to describe him Marcella, his work keeps him busy and a long journey just to pop by and say 'hello'."
"Hmm I see...I just no...it's a silly idea but we all couldn't go and visit him...could we?" I sighed resting my chin on my hand.
"I'm sorry honey; I know it's the summer holidays but we couldn't close the shop up for a week's getaway. Maybe next year, or I'll see if Rex has time to visit us sometime." He left the table picking his paper back up and went to go and open the shop. I looked at my sister's glum faces and knew I had to try a different approach.
~ ~ ~
I heard the front door open as I lifted the tea bag out of the cup and waited for her to come into the kitchen.
"Cup of tea mum?" I asked sweetly placing the cup on the table.
"Thank you let me just put this shopping away."
"Leave it, the tea is going cold." She nods sitting down across from me lifting the cup to her lips. "Would you like a slice of chocolate cake?" Her eyes light up, it was one of her weakness and I knew it.
I cut each of us a slice and watched in delight as her face went dreamy for a moment.
"You can drop the act now." Her sharp eyes were back and giving me that all knowing mothers look.
"What act? Can't a daughter treat her mother?" I replied keeping my nervous hands under the table.
"Oh she can." She takes another bite and swallowed. "Especially when the daughter or in this case daughter's want something." Mum raised an eyebrow.
"I heard the three of you along the stairs last night while I was in bathroom, when I came out, the phone has moved on the table and I go down stairs where your dad tells me all about Rex's holiday offer for you girls." She explains while I sat there gobsmacked. "Then this morning Madelyn asks out of the blue who called us, please I may be old but I'm not daft."
I remember how to put words together and rethink what I was going to say five minutes ago.
"You know I'll take care of them, use our manners, stay out of trouble and please mum can we go. It'll be an adventure for us, finally get to see this famous Rex and masquerade ball! Melina and Madelyn will love that, getting the chance to dress up too, meet other witches and just think how much we would all learn!" I was breathless after I finished my speech and hope she will say yes.
"I know you will take care of your sisters, you do an amazing job of that and always set an example to them." She sighed pushing the cake away. "But that party...I remember going to events such as that." She stood. "I will speak to your dad about this."
"Mum, please talk about this, we really want to go."
~ ~ ~
That evening my sisters and myself were sitting in the lounge, Melina sketching in her notebook, Madelyn watching a Jackie Chan movie and I was trying to get ahead in my college reading list (doesn't help being prepared) when our parents came into the room.
"Got anything planned for Friday girls?" Dad asked causally putting his arm around mum on the sofa.
"I'm seeing a few friends from school." Replied Madelyn not taking her eyes of the TV screen as Jackie Chan took out four men within minutes.
"There's an art group in the local park so thought I'll go and check it out." Melina was busy rubbing out a mistake on her notebook.
"Sounds fun." Mum commented. "What about you Marcella?"
"I haven't decided yet, try and finish this book."
"Oh what a shame you're all far too busy." Dad said. "Oh well."
When none of us responded mum piped in. "Yes what a shame...such a waste."
"What is?" Meryl asked.
"Nothing just we've got some plane tickets reserved for Friday." Dad shrugged, he waited until three pairs of eyes were staring at him. "San Diego."
"WHAT?!" We said in unison.
"You girls better start packing."