“The North witch is gone, it’s time to come home Emily” were the only words on the pale blue note she held in her trembling hand. Her Aunt’s shaky writing lit fires in her mind, it had been over ten years but she still recognized the strong loops and eloquent penmanship of her Aunt Emma. She sat the letter down on the side table and gazed out at the sea that lay beyond the ancient glass. Bringing the glass of Cabernet to her lips and inhaling the scent she hoped it would shore her up a bit. “Courage, yes that’s what I need most of all now”, she said out loud and Jinx the cat opened her wise Siamese eyes and glanced at her the way all cats seem to, stretched out her paw to make contact with the paper and then pulled back abruptly, as if sensing nothing good. Jinx jumped off the table and stalked off without a backward glance.
It was news Emily had already known from the call she had received that morning from her mother’s lawyer, but seeing it in Emma’s writing, it finally hit home with a resounding smack. She hadn’t spoken to Elizabeth, “the North witch” in over ten years. The witch, a teenaged nickname concocted between Elizabeth and her twin sister Emma, affectionately known in tighter circles as the South witch. Emma had moved down South to go to college and had only returned back North when Elizabeth fell ill, now Elizabeth was gone and Emily knew the time had come to head back home, was basically told she must by the lawyer Mr. Johnson esq. Sounds like a snob she thought to herself, “esquire” she said aloud and laughed, only her mother could find someone with such an uptight name. The arrangements had to be finalized with the lawyer, although Elizabeth being who she was, persnickety and polished and strict on every detail of her life, and for a while, that of Emily’s too until her departure ten years ago, would have covered everything with the lawyer years ago. Every detail would have been set in stone, that’s just how Elizabeth worked. No one would have any say in what she wanted, never had for that matter, and Emily knew no one would have any say now. “Just along for the final ride” she said to the silence in the room. There was no sadness, that bridge had been burned too many years ago, two souls that were just too far apart to ever come together again, but Mr Johnson esq. had insisted that Emily needed to be there for the reading of the will and it was decreed in the will that she attend the service also. She lifted the remains of the glass and swallowed it with a tight gulp and grabbed the half empty bottle to pour another. It will be nice to see the South witch again she thought as she sat the glass down, yes, she and Emma had always gotten along and it had been too long since she’d seen her. If she had to look forward to anything, it would be that.
Her plane landed with a painful thud and Emily removed her earplugs and raised the sliding window beside her to see the grey drizzle that fell on the runway. It’s always gloomy here, why did I think today would be any different? Well mother, that’s one thing you can’t control now, can you? , receiving a raised eyebrow from the woman sitting beside her, she realized she had spoken out loud. She smiled at the elderly woman and gently said “I’m home to bury my mother” and seeing the understanding look from the woman turned to gaze back out the window. “I’m home mama, for the last time” she said as she leaned her head back on the rest while the plane taxied to the gate.
To be continued……