Friday, January 24th, 2014
I know it’s a cliché but living here is so different to just visiting and the saying ‘the grass is greener over the other side’ can be applied to any geographical move. My first two weeks were a bit of a blur, the weeks were spent with Iain and Margaret who helped me get used to the public transport system. I’d always thought the British rail system to be very efficient but with privatization it’s decidedly inefficient what with train cancellations, late trains and everyone’s favorite, line maintenance. God forbid you get a train at peak periods because you’ll be standing for the whole journey. One of the things that frequently confuses Americans is the announcement when you get to the end of your journey, where they ask you to make sure you’ve got all your belongings. Because we Americans are often painfully polite we translate that as being extra polite, but few realize that if you leave bags behind they’ll evacuate the station and call the bomb squad to blow your bags up. Thankfully I’ve never left bags behind yet!
We can’t get over how small everything is compared to America and we’re not being boastful, we’re just entranced by how neatly everything fits together. They have some truly ingenious fittings in their houses, washing machines that fit under a kitchen bench and fold down benches just to mention two. Mom has a fold down clothes line inside the house and a combination microwave cooker. I think I watched the BBC news most nights for the first few weeks because I just love the accents, first the English news and then Reporting Scotland. I’m a big EastEnders and River City fan as well now, much to mom’s disgust!
…that August it seemed tantalizingly close when I went through the evidence Elizabeth had given me. There had been regular money transfers every year, all were for $5000 and seemed to suggest someone was drawing an income from the account but that isn’t a lot of money, unless you’re living in a Third World country and that was where I began to read up on Peru, Chile and Colombia. Was it possible she’d just moved there? I began trawling hospitals, gathering names of doctors and consultants before finally moving onto Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia. Oh there were names that caught my eye. Most were Spanish but if she’d dropped off the radar then why wouldn’t she take a Spanish name?
There were clues aplenty, a postcard from Pampico postmarked 1993, an English Spanish dictionary and pictures of Mexico in a photo album belonging to Iain and Margaret. They were there in 2004 and stayed in Pampico at that house.
“We knew the title was in her name,” Margaret confessed, “we stayed there in the hope we could find out more.”
She showed me pictures in her photo album of the surrounding area. They’d been back there in 2007 and 2010.
“We’re hoping to go back there next year,” she smiled, “it’s a lovely house with a great view of the beach and it has a backyard pool, the gardens are just gorgeous.”
…“Love you lots, Sammie.”
“Love you too,” I watched the screen go blank and glanced down for a split second at the photo of Katrina next to Cat and for a second because my eyes were still a bit blurry, it seemed as if they merged into one photo. I blinked again and the illusion faded.
She was right. I was too close. Time for a little perspective.
Saturday, January 25th, 2014
There are dates that stand out for all of us; the day we started school, our first exam, a special vacation or our first kiss. These events become part of who we are, not even a national or global disaster occurring on that particular date can taint the memory. My Uncle Joe proposed to Deborah on September 11, 1982 and the attacks that occurred many years later can’t blunt their celebrations. They’re both in love with each other. For me there are quite a few dates, the date I first met Cat, the wedding and the day she disappeared. There are other dates of course, some more memorable than others but I’ve added another date to that list, Monday, September 9, 2013. It was the day I came face to face with a woman I thought had died in that plane crash and was officially introduced to my very first vampire.
…“me too,” he stared at a woman leaning on the railing with her back to us.
“Be gentle with her, she’s got a story to tell that might curl your toes but there are things that need to be said. She needs to feel safe around you too. Remember, keep an open mind and keep your mouth shut about this.”
The woman turned around a moment later and I came to a dead stop.
It was Cat.
When my stepmom’s plane went down a part of me died, Cat was my world. In her place she left us to her friends, the Grey Ravens. Over the years I slowly came to realise her death was a mere facade. When we were reunited I learned the truth about Clan Grey Raven and her remarkable history. Some people will always love. Some people never lose hope. Some people never die…