|The Family Tree|
"Kevin. Wake up. You're having a nightmare."
He awoke with a start, banging his head against the wall in the process. Maureen's face hovered over him, concern etched in her expression. With a great deal of difficulty, he tried stretching his tall frame from its cramped position on the floor, finding it painful to shift his casted foot. His sister stuck out a hand, and with a great deal of awkwardness, he pulled himself to a standing position. They were alone in the hallway, his house guest no longer in the spot in front of the bedroom door.
"He's downstairs in the kitchen, watching the coffee maker. I put a pot on when I let myself in.
I was surprised no one was up yet." She brushed some dust off the back of his shirt, and added, "You do know it's ten to seven, right?"
"Shit! Is it that late? I have Mass in ten minutes!" He looked down at the clothes he was wearing the day before, and then at the door of the bedroom. The thought of having to face Roxanne this early in the day was daunting, and he considered just going over to the church in what he had on. Chances were no one would see them under his vestments.
As if she could read his mind, a skill he was sure she always possessed, Maureen gave him a nudge toward the bathroom down the hall. "At least go shave, brush your teeth, and comb your hair. I'll grab some fresh clothes from the bedroom. If you hurry, you won't be too late."
He mumbled some thanks, turned and made his way toward the bathroom, his body stiff and achy from the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. Before he could escape into solitude, his sister called to him. "And Kev...later I expect you to explain to me why the two of you were sleeping on the floor outside Roxanne's room."
Fr. Kevin wasn't sure which saint he should offer his thanks to, but he owed one of them a great debt of gratitude. By some divine intervention, one thing after another kept him busy at the church for most of the day. Mrs. Arturo had fainted at the end of Mass, and by the time the paramedics arrived, and the decision to take her to the hospital was made, it was after 9 AM. A budget planning meeting with the Parish Council took nearly two hours, at which time afterward, it was decided the group should celebrate their success over lunch at the the Happy Crab Cafe a few blocks away.
Sated with his fair share of chowder and lobster rolls, he returned to the church just in time to meet with the parish youth group who were replacing the rickety back fence as part of their summer service project. Rolling up his sleeves, he joined them in their work, happy to fill his head with teenage chatter, and enjoying the camaraderie of physical labor. At 3 PM, he left them to finish up and headed back over to the church to hear Confessions, as was his routine on Wednesday afternoons. It was apparently a slow day for sin sharing, as the summer months usually were, and after a few visits from penitents at the top of the hour, he was left to doze in the quiet calm of the confessional for nearly an hour, awoken by a text from his sister inviting him to dinner back at the rectory.
Fr. Kevin headed home, tired but peaceful in the way his vocation often left him. The first floor of the rectory was quiet, though the kitchen showed signs of his sister's culinary magic. He could hear laughter from the second floor, and figured they must all be visiting with Roxanne, which in his mind meant she was well enough for such festivities. He hesitated a moment, contemplating what he'd say when he saw her. Maureen stuck her head over the banister, and called to him.
"Hey, Kev...I'm glad you're finally home. We're all up here having a picnic in Roxanne's room." She giggled, and added, "I mean your room. Come join us."
There was no way he could ignore her invitation without looking like a complete jerk, so he lumbered up the stairs, stopping in the doorway to ponder the scene in front of him. When his sister had mentioned picnic, she hadn't been joking. The furniture in the room had been pushed against the wall, a checkered blanket covering the empty space, providing a resting place for a summer feast. Beckett sat in the arm chair next to the bed, a loaded plate balanced in his lap. He acknowledged the priest's presence with a wave, and continued his quiet conversation with the current duty nurse, a bland young man who apparently had replaced the scary woman with the Glock.
Ian sat on the floor, his back resting against the bed, a chicken leg in one hand and a glass of Guinness in the other. He tried a congenial smile, and when it wasn't returned, shrugged instead. Pointing to an empty glass, he offered a try at conversation. "Grab a pint, Reverend. We are toasting Miss Roxanne's excellent recovery. The doctor says she shall be up and around in no time."
Maureen was already on it, pouring him a glass, tilting it at a 45 degree angle, and allowing the surge to settle, in the manner they had all been taught by their father. He smiled at the memory, and took the glass, more relaxed then he imagined he might be in a situation such as this one. Ian was right. Roxanne did look truly excellent. She was sitting up in bed, wearing a refashioned Boston College sweatshirt over her hospital gown, her dark chopped hair combed back and held in place with a green polka-dotted head band he was sure he had seen once on his sister. There were dark smudges below her lashes, and her coloring was a shade paler, but there was a sparkle to her eyes, and just the tiniest bit of blush to her cheeks.
She raised a plastic cup with a straw, obviously filled with lowly tap water. "No Guinness for me yet. You'll have to drink my share, Kev." Her light hearted expression grew a tad more somber, and she added, "It's really good to see you, Kevin. For awhile there, I thought I might have to wait until the here after."
Her honest affection caused his throat to tighten, and it felt as if he was choking on his words. "I'm happy to see you too, Rox. You look...well...awesome."
She waved her hand in the direction of the IVs still running from her arms, and laughed. "You're being far too generous, O'Kenney. Unless you're into the Frankenstein look, I'm a complete mess."
Ian wiped his mouth a paper napkin. "I am unawares of this Frankenstein person, but if she bears a resemblance to you, Miss Roxanne, then surely she is a beauty you supersede ."
Roxanne turned a darker shade of pink, and Maureen giggled. Seeing Ian's confusion at their reaction, the patient explained. "Actually, Ian, Frankenstein is the main character in a classic horror story about a monster made up of dead body parts. But I do appreciate the compliment."
The young man made a face, suddenly looking far more serious. "It seems I have much to learn of your time and ways if I am to properly court you, Miss Roxanne."
There was an awkward silence, at which time Beckett suggested to the nurse that he take a much deserved break, though not before Maureen fixed him a heaping plate of food to take with him.
He waited until the man was safely out of ear shot before he continued. "This seems as good time as any to discuss some plans going forward. If Ian stays here in 2015 like he proposes, then arrangements and precautions need to be made."
The man at the center of the conversation stood up, and brushed the crumbs off his clothes. "Aye, Constable. I am committed to making a life here in your time. I do not wish to impose on the good nature of you all, but I would be entirely grateful for whatever help you could offer."
The direction of the discussion was more than Fr. Kevin could bear on an empty stomach, so he helped himself to a hunk of sub sandwich, and refilled his empty glass. He had his piece to say, but would hold those cards close to his chest until the right moment. In the meantime, he perched himself on the edge of his dresser, and listened to the debate.
Ever practical, Roxanne stated the obvious. "Well, he can't live here in the U.S. without some type of proper identification. He'll need a birth certificate...a social security number, and such, if he ever hopes to have a job of any kind."
Beckett nodded. "I agree. I can take care of that for him. It's not as difficult as one might think. I think it best we keep everything as close to the truth as we can. It will be easier for Ian to avoid slipping up when questioned." He took out his phone, adding the information to some kind of app as he asked the questions. "What's your full name? The one you were born with."
" Ian Thomas Beresford."
The group looked at him oddly, and Beckett continued, "You told us your name was Sawyer. Ian Sawyer."
"Aye. I meant no deception. It is now for all purposes indeed 'Sawyer'. I took my mother's name when I came to the colonies. It is my way of cutting all ties to my life in England."
There was more to the story than what the young man was saying, but the Sheriff was familiar with cutting ties, and so he let the statement go, cutting in before any of the group could further the discussion. "Date of birth?"
"February 20th, 1753. I am sure of it, as it was recorded in our family Bible, though my father was not a believer of frivolous celebration."
There was another moment of silence as everyone scrambled to do the math. Beckett was first. "So...that means you are currently 22 years of age."
"Aye. That would be correct." No one spoke, and the young Patriot could see the rest of the group look at one another. He sensed his age was in some way a problem. "Is something amiss?"
Maureen jumped in. "Not 'amiss', Ian. We're just...surprised is all. You seemed...well...older."
"Is my youth a problem? I can be whatever age you wish." It was his turn to be curious. "How old are the rest of you."
Maureen offered, "I was 26 in May."
Beckett continued, "Currently 36."
Fr. Kevin took a slug of his Guinness, the "I told you so's" bouncing around in his head. He forced them back in his mouth, simply adding, "I'll be 33 in a few weeks."
They all looked at Roxanne, who sat picking at a stray piece of lint on her blanket. She said nothing at all, and to save her from the moment, Beckett continued his informational quest. "Let's move on. The more information I can use, the better. Your father's name, Ian?"
He seemed to spit the words out, rather than let them roll off his tongue. "Sir Tristram Beresford, 1st Baronet of Coleraine."
Maureen stopped chewing, words spilling out before she could reign them in. "Holy shit, Roxanne, your new boyfriend is English nobility."
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2015
All Rights Reserved
Dollhouse Chit Chat...
For those of you who started following this blog for the photos of miniature scenes, I apologize for the lack of them in the past few months. The remodeling of my RL house has put the mini world in storage for the time being. Lest you think I've given up on my mini passion, I'm posting a few photos of things going on here.
The dollhouses...all nine of them...have been moved out of storage, and are being displayed in the two bedrooms that were once occupied by my sons. They have since grown up and moved out, though youngest son has returned to us for several weeks as he transitions from one job out of state to another here, and finds a new apartment. He hasn't said if he enjoys waking up to this view every morning.
In the meantime...
I need to start unpacking the dozen RubberMaid totes that contain all my furnishings, a huge job that took me several weekends to pack up. I suppose I should start in the room youngest son is not occupying, but we will see how it goes.
While I waited for the remodeling to be finished, I was busy adding to my mini collection.
My sons presented me with this selection of goodies for Mother's Day, the result of several afternoon shopping trips to the antique malls of Bloomington, Indiana, by my youngest and his girlfriend.
It is a lovely assortment, and the gramophone, by Bodo Henning, actually plays music when you crank the handle.
On my recent road trip to Lake Geneva, I found this darling table and chairs, a vintage Strombecker piece from sometime in the 1940s. Too cute! I also bought the little Basset Hound under the table. Couldn't resist his soulful expression. Ian will surely need a dog companion, don't you think?
I have been busy at work on a new needlework rug for a house I'm currently decorating. Can't say more than that, as it will be revealed in a future storyline, and I wouldn't want to spoil anyone's read..
This is what the finished one will look like, the pattern most graciously designed and offered by caseymini.blogspot.com Thanks Casey! Here is my work on it so far this summer! Only 14,000 stitches left to go!