Mittwoch, 1. Mai 2013

Chapter five - Le Anh

Le Anh. Quiet one, not so bright? Come on. You were not really going to trust Heather´s judgement, were you...

I wake up with a start- something is wrong  "Grandfather?!"

Oh no. I overslept, seems I forgot to set the alarm
I hate it when I have to rush in the morning. Hurriedly I make the bed

No time for a proper breakfast, today some cereal will have to do

God this is annoying. When will I ever get used to living on my own?!
Move it, move it... running out of time...

Oh dear. Just as I expected, class has already begun

But... this can not be, Heather is not in yet?! It must be way past nine, surely?!
"Good moring Miss Su" 
Oh dear. Mr. Ashtree... 
"Good morning Sir" I sqeak and throw myself at my computer "How can I be of assistance?"

He steps up to my desk while I boot 
"Actually I had a question that is more Ms. Sweeney´s departement, but as she is not in yet..." 
He makes an impatient little sound in the back of his throat 
"... I do in fact have no choice as to bother you with this, I am sorry..."
" Good morning Mr. Ashtree! - Le Anh..." 

Enter, the Queen.  God, I never thought I would be able to bear sudden grudge towards somebody, but since when I met Seamus in the park I can not stop thinking about how scared he was. Scared. Of is own mother. Dear god. I never considered her a very nice person, but this has certainly changed my attitude towards her for the worse 

"Good morning indeed Ms. Sweeney. Glad you could make it- regrettably to late for my task, Ms. Su is already looking into the matter for me now"

"Oh I am sure that she will be up to it, Sir. Up to help you with any matter that may ... arise" she counters with the sweetest smile

Gritting my teeth, I stare at my monitor and search feverishly for the file Mr. Ashtree needs while Heather makes herself comfortable at her desk with a nice cup of coffee

"Ms. Sweeney, I do not doubt Ms. Su´s ability to deal with this, not in the slightest. But I do have a problem with your attitude- both towards your co- worker and the working hours here. Am I understood?"

Ooops. Out of the corner of my eye, I try to get a glimpse of her reaction 
"Yeah alright Sir, I do understand"

Hm. She looks more miffed than humbled as she starts typing away, if you ask me...

"Sir?" 
Reluctantly he turns to me 
"... yes, this is it... please just mail it to my account, as usual..."

"Alright then ladies, I will no longer keep you from your duties..." 
Am I imagining this or is he winking at me behind Heather´s back?!
"... hm, Ms. Sweeney?  And by the way, I think I will need to talk to you first thing Monday morning. Say, at eight at my office?" 
Heather grimaces 
"Yes Sir of course"

The door has hardly closed behind him as she starts to complain 
"I don´t believe it! The guy is such a pain in the ass! Why is he ALWAYS picking on me?! I work my fingers to the bone to raise the boys on my own- "

God I can not listen to her ranting anymore 
"Heather, please? He has a point there, you are late often..."  
Seeing her expression change I suddenly know what she will coming up with next

"Well of course, YOU are his pet anyway. Come on, you must think I was born yesterday- did you really think I wouldn´t notice you two got something going?"

Oh dear, she is still on that track. I normally just deny that I have an affair with the boss, but as this - obviously - has not worked... hmmm... I pretend to stiffle a yawn 

"Ah Heather, why don´t you mind your own business for once...  you should have made your move earlier if you were interested, Sweetheart. Finders keepers"

Ha, that hit home 
"Ah alright, alright, you play your little games with who you want, just leave me alone with that crap!"

"No idea why you think I might be interested anyway"

I do not respond to this, but inwardly I fume 
 Let´s think, where might I have gotten this idea... maybe from your constant comments whenever I as much as talked to Ashtree on the phone?

Around lunchtime, I thoughfully watch her while munching on an apple 
Heather ignores me completely, which comes a a relief
It´s hard to believe how two- faced this woman appears to me now 
I frown 
Can she really be such a nasty person?

"Le, I have.. eh, an appointment on monday and won´t be in, could you eventually take care of the Starck dossier...? It´s due on tuesday, yanno..."

Alright, enough is enough- resolutely I hit the switch of my PC 
"Oh I am sorry Heather, I have to go now, I have a date to keep- have a nice weekend, though"
She mumbles something under her breath 
"I beg your pardon?" 
"Oh nothing, you too sweetheart" she breathes

Have a nice weekend.... yes, it´s nice to know that I will not have to spend time in one room with her, but still.  I hate weekends. I really really do.

Weekends. 
They are so... long

Ah so what, I still have so many books to read. I constantly buy books, it´s like a habit

I read for while until I realize that I can not remember what the last few pages have been about

It´s useless. I can not concentrate in this quietness

Maybe...

I make my decision and grab the car keys
As always when I come here, I feel eager with anticipation. Today, I will start!

And as always, my heart drops as soon as I enter the appartment

It´s Grandfather´s place, and although he has been dead for almost three years now it is still full of his presence 
We lived here 
I grew up here... 
he taught me...

"Grandfather can you please have a look?"

"Well naturally Lily, what... oh. Still struggling with Shang Simla Simlish, you are?" 
"Do not worry, I am getting better, but still -"

"I know that you do not fully understand why I insist you take lessons at all, but..."

"But I do, Grandfather. It´s because it´s family heritage"

"It is where we come from. It is where you were born, and it is where our ancestors are buried. As are your grandmother and your parents. They are not to be forgot. And they are best remembered in our own language"

"I am never going to forget ANY of you" 
"Now, now..."

No, I can not do this.  I can not throw away all my memories. I can not clear out the appartment to sell it. I just can´t. I am not ready to let go
I brace myself and wash the tears of my face 
I am not going to spend tonight home alone, bawling!


So I get in the car and drive down to the bar where I met Seamus uncle first

I just hope he will be playing tonight... the place it not that charming in itself that I would love to spend the evening solely in the company of some complete strangers, again. I feel my shoulders tense at the memory

I am lucky, Nick will be providing us with some decent live music tonight

Hm. He is on his job, so I can hardly walk over and chat him up.... contemplating, I take a look around 
Oh. 
That sad looking man from last week appears to be a regular

Hey, they finally had the game machine fixed

Wait a minute?!? Oh my god 
"Seamus? That you?"

He looks at me with those hollow eyes like he has no idea who I am 
"Oh hi Le...how are things"

I carefully slip into the seat opposite of him 
"I am doing fine, thank you. How about you?"

He shifts a bit and avoids my eye
"I am good. I am always good. No worries. All fine"

"Seamus... it´s me, Le. We met in the park, remember? When you were skipping school? And now we meet in in a bar way after dusk- and you tell me you are alright?"

 He is looking everywhere but my direction 
 "Yeah, exactly. I am good" 
No getting trough here 
"Ok, if you say so, that´s how it is. But you really should be going home now, it is almost curfew"

With a sudden jerk he gets up from his chair - surprised, I jump up myself  
"Le please leave it alone. Leave me alone. There is nothing you can do"

"But... Seamus... surely there must be something..." 
I babble like a fool

"No there isn´t. Good night Le, you are right. I´d better be off now" 
I can not possibly let him go like that

 "Seamus if you want to talk, call me at the office, it´s the same number like... her's, just with an eight at the end"

If he heard me at all, there is no way of telling 
Dear me. This is so none of my business, but still... I sigh a little

Just as I decide to listen to Nick for a while, he takes a break and looks at me expectantly

After a moment of awkward silence, I try my hand at a joke 
"Good evening, Guy who happens to be Seamus´uncle"

He lets out a throaty laugh 
"Evenin´ self, Lady who happens to be friends with my sister"

Friends. With Heather, me? Surely he can not be serious? 
"I beg your pardon?"
Now he is laughing out loud 
"Christ, Lady Le, relax. I was just... ah nevermind. Fancy a toast? I´m starving. And I feel generous today, so I´ll treat you if you want" 
"I´d love to... try one, thank you"

I can not help but smile as I follow him to the bar. This is the strangest invite I ever had, by far.

As soon as the barmaid serves us, he greedily starts to eat... ew, this is...

... gross! He is eating while still holding a cigarette in his hand?!

Not that I was very hungry to begin with, but this sight takes away what is left of my appetite 
"Nick... no offense,  but are you planning on eating that cigarette of yours, too?

"Eh, what?!?Ahrghoeheh!! Arhg"
Oh dear, hope he is not choking

"To be frank, it´s disgusting how you do not even take a break from smoking while you eat... are you ok or do you want me to slap your back or something like that?"

He catches his breath and starts to scratch his beard, considering 
"Hm, getting slapped by you sounds tempting... but no, not today. Thanks for the offer, though..."

As I draw a sharp breath, he rises his hand defensively 
"Hey just kidding, just kidding. I know it´s a bad habit, but I just can´t seem to let go of a cig once I lighted it- I guess I picked that one up while I was..."
Abruptly he falls silent and slips down from the barstool 
"... sorry Le, need to get back to work...

Huh? What on earth was this about?!

"Don´t worry Lady, not you fault"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Nick. That he left you sitting here. Not your fault"

"He does it all the time. Trust me, I know, I sit here every night. Not quiet right in the head, this one, spent to much time overseas... eh, no offence"

"None taken... " 
Not quiet right in the head? I don´t think so

"Thank you..." 
"Darren..." 
"...Darren, very kind of you to care to let me know. Good night to you" 
"Night to you, too..."

I think Darren is wrong about you, Nick




And I will be back to find out

"Great. Just great, I screwed up again..."

Alright I went out for some sort of distraction, but this... gee, must be one of these days...

What is wrong with Nick? He is joking around, next minute...

And what on earth am I going to do about Seamus? I guess I should talk to Heather, but...

As I walk into my bedroom, it strikes me

All my life, I have tried to be invisible. Never speak up, never interfere, never take a side 

Well those days are over

Kommentare:

  1. Awww so sad about her grandfather's apartment.

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  2. Ah, so you met everyone by now... more or less *g*
    Glad you like it so far, but the actual story is just about to begin in the next chapter. Frankly I am pretty curious to hear your thoughts on that part right now ^^

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