the red queen [story part 40]
November 7, 2012 § 3 Comments
With actually knowing now that Regina was coming back, I started getting more and more energy to actually do stuff. I still couldn’t believe how much just the mere thought could affect me in every way. Not good, not good at all I remember I thought to myself. Nobody should have that much influence over others, should they?
So I did what any self-respecting person would do when expecting a vampire walking in their house at any point in the middle of the night.
I started wide opening the windows before going to sleep of course. It was summer after all, I didn’t need any ulterior reasons, did I?
But I had forgotten. I had forgotten that Regina no longer used windows, so on the third day of the week, and the fifth day of the month, on a late Wednesday, not far from my 18th birthday actually, Regina casually drove on the same road she was driving off a year before, parked the car on the alley leading to the backyard of the house, got out of the car and said hello.
All this happened while me, my whole family, plus a number of close relatives were in the garden, having a family get-together over a barbecue, some chat and all the other usual things people do in these kinds of setups. It was around 17:00 and the sun was still mighty high on the summer sky, although it had acquired by now that distinct September orange color that we all know and love.
To help you get a better mental picture of this, imagine you and your family having a backyard barbecue with kids running around and people chatting all over the place, not too big, about 10 people, when a stranger just casually drives up your alley, steps out of the car and says hello like he’s been a part of the family all along.
Of course, a my family knew perfectly well who she was, except my brother which knew her as in seen her before, but didn’t actually believe or know too much about it. I had tried to keep him at bay since all this started, although he’s my bigger brother.
In any case, it was clear why Regina had managed to fit in that easily in many situation. Totally uninhibited, she acted just like she was part of the family, and as a result, after small introductions, she became part of it rather fast. We’re friendly that way, the people living in these parts (well, more or less).
She didn’t say much (to me) past the initial “Hello” but as soon as things started getting comfortable I was pulled aside (rather forcibly), taken inside the house, where we could speak freely.
Instead of providing the dialogue line by line, I’ll summarize it because I find it easier to express.
As soon as we gained enough distance between the rest of the people and ourselves, she grabbed me by a shoulder, guiding me gently towards the house, while noting how much I had grown in the past year, and how I had grown into more or less what she was expecting. I wasn’t a late bloomer, but I wasn’t developed that much the year we left behind. However, by now, I was really, really close to my 18th birthday, a matter of weeks really, and it was obvious now that I think about it, the difference in size, aspect and pretty much everything else, between 17-year-old me and 18-year-old me.
She analyzed me several times, from top 3to bottom, not admiring, but more like analyzing, taking notes and just generally calculating whatever she was calculating in her head all the time, because that look on her eyes, the one that we have when we think about something really, really hard, that look never went away for her. She always looked like she was thinking about the answer to the ultimate question about the universe, life and everything else, which, as we all know, is 42.
She told me basically a really detailed history of the past year, something with which I wasn’t accustomed to, because she was usually much, much more secretive and less-detailed, and yet here she was “spilling the beans” without me even asking. Either something was amiss, either something changed radically, in her mind, about me. Whatever it was, although glad I was receiving much more information and was less required to put things together by myself, I wasn’t exactly sure this was a good thing. Time would tell.
I, instead, didn’t have that much to say. I didn’t provide a history of anything, just mentioned things here and there, and to be honest, again, something was amiss, because she seemed more than interested in listening basically to nothing.
In other words: She was willing to waste time on doing nothing productive (I thought at the time), something which didn’t usually happen. All talks, actions or decisions, eventually, lead somewhere. Maybe this one did too and I just didn’t see it at the time.
I’m going to cut this post short, because I’ve been asked not to leave you hanging, and I can’t do that if I don’t stop here before diving in deeper and actually getting to a more solid conclusion, which will happen in the next post.
For the next couple of posts, I’ll keep them coming more often, but shorter, because the nature of what’s going to be told is much, much better explained by separating the story into individual days, and as such, individual posts.
I’m just going to end this post with a few remarks.
We talked well into the night, by which point I realized that my already prepared question for Regina regarding her stay was not necessary anymore, because she was already making herself comfortable in and around the whole house. We talked about the initial subject which basically started the whole year off thing, which was what had happened in Turkey the year before, and we also talked about her whereabouts when Viktoria came in storming asking for the necklace and a bit of blood.
I’ll detail each of those subjects in the story, instead of explaining them, which I’m sure you’d prefer.
The day ended with Regina falling asleep before I did, which was a very comfortable and pleasant thought. Seeing her sleep in my bed with a small candle light lighting the room and barely touching her face was more than enough to put me in a “Christmas mood” in the middle of the summer. That feeling of warmth, familiarity and safety.
I laid in front of her and just before closing my eyes, she opened hers, smiled, and went back to sleep. I did too.
I’ll always remember that smile. It was the only one I got of that kind in all of the years with her.