The Depths of Hope and Revelry
(Read part one here.)
(Read part one here.)
“Yes, may I help you?”He stood silent. “Ah yes, I’m here on behalf of a friend ... well a relation really.” “Come in, would you care for some tea or coffee?” “Ah tea, if it’s not to much trouble.”
She left me in a small sitting room while she glided off to make some tea. My mothers eldest sister was on her death bead, and truly the last relation I had, so when I heard she was ill I got the earliest flight from my beloved England and I had now been living in Maine for almost two months. Aunt Ruth was a dear sweet thing, I wasn’t quite sure now what I would do when she passed. It was cold in the small sitting room, as I returned from the thought rooms of my mind I discovered a rather fluffy gray cat sitting at my feet as if awaiting an invitation to invade my lap. I smiled, patted my leg, and up it jumped, purring loudly like a boat motor.
As I returned from making the tea, I tried my hardest not to appear shocked at my normally skittish cat’s boldness in invading this gentleman's lap. “So sir what is this business I might help you with?”I asked as I poured the tea and sat. He pulled out a faded photograph of an elderly woman I knew well from my years by the sea.
“How do you know dear Ruth?” “Ruth is my mother’s oldest sister and my last living relation, I moved to Maine several months ago to help take care of her.”
“And your name is?” “Oh how rude of me! My name is Edmond Greyham.” “You can just call me Anne I’m not a big fan of Degratino.” “Likewise, just call me Ed.” “Now do tell me what it was dear Ruth wanted?”
“Well, I’m afraid she couldn’t quite remember what it was called, but she said it was her favorite with your fresh english muffin bread.” “ Ah, yes I know what it was. Come on, I’ll show you.” I stood and Edmond followed me to the pantry. The white shelves were stocked with jars of preserves and other things. Her favorite being the lavender and rose petal jam which sat on the top of the far left shelf. “Being that I’m short I need a stool to reach, but I think you can manage it.” He reached past me and gingerly lifted a jar off the shelf.
We returned to the sitting room and after a few minutes of conversation there was an awkward pause fallowed by an invitation. “ I know you don’t know me Anne, but I’m sure Ruth would love to see you and as I understand the jam goes with the bread and I’m not much of a baker.” He smiled and I found I couldn’t say no, this spontaneous behavior was completely out of character for me, but all I could here was my own voice responding with “ I’ll get some cloths.” He smiled, sat down to the piano and began playing a sprightly tune. Which sent me skipping upstairs with the wings of laughter under my feet.
I pulled the vintage blue suitcase from under my bed, it needed a good dusting and I did so with gusto! As packed my things I felt like a giddy school girl headed home for the holidays.
As I came to the base of the steps I found Ed standing in the hall cat perched on his shoulder admiring a painting I had done the last summer I live by the sea.
“Ah” he said, “ Can we bring the cat?” “If you want, it’s your car that will be destroyed by angry grey fuz not mine.” I smiled and with everything turned off and locked up I headed out on a new adventure.