“And this is your room.” I told him, opening the door. I looked at the off-white paint and unimpressive furniture and was suddenly doubtful. “Is all of this okay?” I asked, turning to face him. He peered into the room and then looked at me.
“It is perfectly adequate. I don’t need much, don’t worry.” He stepped into my spare bedroom and turned in a circle. When he returned to face me, he was smiling. “Thank you, Abrielle. For letting me stay.”
“No problem at all.”
The next morning, after waking from a fitful sleep, I stood impatiently by the kettle as it slowly boiled. “Hurry up...” I muttered, needing my caffeine fix.
“Good morning.” Elijah said. He startled me, and I quickly turned around to look at him, my eyes wide. “I’m sorry, did I scare you?” He asked. I laughed nervously.
“Only a little; I need to get used to not living on my own!” The kettle clicked, and I turned to finish my drink. “Do you want one?” I asked.
“No, thank you.” He replied. I then filled a glass with water from the tap, and popped two painkillers into my mouth. I took my coffee to the sofa and sighed, cradling my head in my hands.
“Headache?” He asked me.
“Uh huh. It usually happens when I don’t get much sleep.” I told him. He sat in a green armchair and an awkward silence ensued. “Do you... know anyone named Klaus?” I asked him. He flinched slightly at the name.
“Why do you ask?”
“Well I don’t know anyone with that name, so I figured that maybe you might. He’s in London, in case you were wondering.” I told him. He looked puzzled.
“How do you know?” He asked me, staring at me. I shrugged.
“I just know. I must be psychic or something; or just good at guessing.” I laughed. “Who is he?”
“My brother. We don’t speak.” He told me. I smiled at him.
“Well maybe he’s trying to reconnect?” I suggested. He shook his head slightly.
“God, I hope not.” He muttered. I finished my drink, which burned my throat a little.
“Well, I’m off. I’ll see you later.” I said, grabbing my bag and going towards the door. “Bye!” I said.
“Have a good day, Abrielle.” Elijah said, and I laughed.
I walked into the house, kicked off my shoes and lay down on the sofa. A spring was lodged in my back and the itchy fabric on my bare arms made them burn, but all I cared about was relaxation and rest.
“Rough day?” Elijah asked casually, making me jump again. I grunted in response then opened my eyes and studied him. He wore a black suit and shirt, and was sitting in the armchair again. His floppy hair was in his face, making him seem more vulnerable and sweet than he usually looked.
“Essays.” I told him, then mimed putting a gun to my head.
“Sounds like fun.” He said, trying not to show that he was laughing at me. I scowled and got up to go to the kitchen. I flicked the kettle on then returned to the sofa. “So Abrielle, I was wondering about your mother’s family...”
“Why?” I asked him. He smiled, then held his hands up in a gesture that was as close to a shrug as he was ever going to get.
“I’m just intrigued. I am also a lover of history, and I thought that it would be interesting.”
“Hmm... where to begin?” I thought for a moment. “My mother’s maiden name was Mignon. Odette Mignon.” The familiar name felt odd and alien on my tongue. “I think that our family had been in England since the Norman Conquest, but in the 1600’s, with the witch trials, they fled back to France and grew wealthy. Unfortunately, they had to leave again when the French revolution started and they fled to Quebec. My mother studied in the UK and met my father, and here I am.” I smiled.
“So your family left England because they were witches?” Elijah asked.
“It is the myth that runs through our family, but it’s probably not true. I mean, it’s a bit ridiculous isn’t it?” I laughed.
“Well you do seem to be psychic; you never know.” He said. I raised an eyebrow at him in disbelief. He stood up. “I have to go now, but I will probably see you before you go to bed.” I laughed again.
“Sleep? What is that? Never heard of it. I’ll be here.” I told him, waving my hand at the room. He smiled, inclined his head and left, leaving me with butterflies in my stomach and a strange feeling in my chest.