Continuation from Fiction #2
William sat me down, ordered me fish and chips. My colleagues left me alone, knowing that eventually they will be caught up in the story, eventually. Heck, everyone at the department knew the basics of my story, it was never a secret. However, few knew the one man that ended up saving my life that day. As the fish and chips arrived, I eagerly ate the entirety of the plate. I rarely ate, in fact, I had careful controlled everything that went in my mouth since I was 16, it was like my appetite was shut off, and my need to controle the one thing I could, surpassed any rational thought to just go wild, eating everything and anything. I had been exercising non stop since I was a kid, heck, I had always been athletic, it was the only way to keep the anxiety at bay. William and I used to have competitions to see who would out run who on the track, under the tropical sun. We both knew each others anxieties, they were the same. We had lived mirrored diplomatic lives.
Our Father’s had met under hilarious circumstances, both were living in London, My Father had just joined the Canadian Foreign Service, and William’s Father had joined the Foreign Office, both were working on a file together, they quickly became friends, bonding for the most part that both had been born 2 years apart in Chichester, England. It was a strange coincidence, but their bond, seemed to unite them forever. William’s parents married first, and then, my parents married. Both keeping in touch depending on postings. In a strange twist of fate, both were posted to the Philippines the same year, each heading up their embassies. William and I were some how thrown together, young teenagers, his older brother was in University in England, and My Brother in Canada. We were attached to the hip, we were extended family. Many thought we would date, but that would have been disgusting to each of us. Just a thought that neither of us ever entertained.
At 16, I was a tom boy, I had long raggedy hair. I was skinny and muscular from years of dance, and gymnastics. I was never much into makeup, or clothes. It pained my Mother, she tried so hard to get me to love clothes, to pretty up, and to go on dates. I just didn’t care about that stuff. I had dreamt of being a Diplomat, just like my Father. He thought I was insane, but he decided to bring me into his world anyway. I had no time for fashion.
It was Friday night, I was carelessly getting ready to head out to a party. My Mother entered, and told me that she would be heading out for the weekend with my Father. They would be leaving first thing in the morning, and will be back on Monday.
I shrugged, and said fine. It wasn’t a surprise, this was just how it was. We moved every 3 years, and the higher up my Father got, the more receptions and extra events they went to. I just looked at her and said I was heading out, would see them when they got back.
The next morning, I woke up in my own bed, ran downstairs, I searched for my parents, but they must have figured to leave me sleeping. I felt a little uneasy. I went into the kitchen, and asked the cook for ramen, I figured I would just sit and watch t.v for a few hours, and then maybe I would move myself to another location. The phone rang, one of the maids came in looked shaken, she stayed silent, then said “Nina, some people from the Embassy will be here.” I looked at her and laughed, there were always Embassy people in the house, no big deal.
The phone kept ringing, it seemed the whole embassy was congregating in the foyer. I was not sure what was going on, I just kept thinking they must be preparing for a reception. It wasn’t until a low rumble arrived, and a stern British voice could be heard, I recognized it immediately. I quickly got up, it was Mr. Andrew MacMurchy, William’s Father, he slid the glass doors open, William standing nervously behind him, Elsa MacMurchy, came striding in, tears in her eyes, grabbing me. Andrew shut the sliding door behind him, giving us a little privacy. Tears welling up in his eyes. I knew, I knew instantly, my parents were gone. I never got to say I loved them.
Elsa held me up, I went limp, as Andrew began to explain their plane had been shot down above Jolo by the Islamist militant group. I didn’t understand, their plane wasn’t supposed to be going in that direction. I couldn’t cry, I felt myself slipping. I passed out.
When I came through. William was holding onto me, we were lying on the floor. I began to sob uncontrollably. Elsa was on the phone, Andrew was yelling at my Father’s staff from the Embassy. I had no idea what was going on. I had been warned by my Father, if anything happened to him on posting, I would be removed within 24 hrs, but that if I stood my ground, I did not have to hand over the house to the next appointed Ambassador until all things were packed, and my Aunt had arrived. I quickly gathered my thoughts, my Father had trained me for this, I stood up. Elsa turned to me after getting off the phone, and said my Aunt couldn’t get out to come get me. She looked worried.
I went towards the staff, there was strained silence. It was painful for them, but I knew, the embassy had to keep working. There was no time for grieving. I needed some time to process this, and time to pack, I was not about to leave my house at that moment.
to be continued…