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   Chapter 9 No.9

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 14413

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


A new home

Rain poured from the clouds as the taxi stopped in front of the apartment building in Somerset Street. "Can't get closer, squire, " said the driver apologetically, "can you manage the suitcases?" He clearly had no desire to get soaked.

"Not a problem at all, " said Paul as he paid the driver. He told Sandy to dash to the entrance and stay near the door where the rain could not get to her. "You'll only get a little wet." As she ran off, he pulled the suitcases from the trunk, closed that and walked to the entrance.

"You're all wet, " Sandy observed.

"Not the first time, not the last. Welcome to England, " he said as he unlocked the door and let her in. The elevator didn't take long to take them to the twelfth floor, and soon they reached his apartment. The door swung open and Paul was surprised at finding a few lights on. He was certain he had switched them all of.

"Oh, there you are." It was Wilma's voice.

Sandy stared at Paul. "I thought you weren't married?"

"Oh, don't worry, child, " said Wilma as she came into the hall. "I'm his sister. He was adopted, and trust me, that's as close to family as I shall ever get to this man. You must be Sandy? I'm Wilma. Wilma Daniels-Carmichael."

"Oh." Sandy dropped her backpack on the floor and shook Wilma's hand for a moment. "Oh. Now I see. Sorry, I'm tired. Long trip." Despite her tiredness though, she noticed how much Wilma emphasised the adoption part of her relationship with Paul.

"Of course you're tired, child. That is why I'm here. I doubt that Paul would know what to do with you." Wilma tried to help Sandy out of her rain coat, but the girl shook her head, sending the blue rim of her hair dancing and spraying raindrops around.

"I'll first help with these suitcases, Paul brought them all the way up."

"Using the lift, no doubt, " Wilma smiled.

"And from the taxi inside, in the rain, " Sandy elaborated. She picked up one of the suitcases and then looked a bit lost. "Where should I put this, Paul?"

Paul, who had taken off his coat, shook his head. "Back on the ground. Take off your coat, and your shoes too if you like. First come in, have some tea, and relax. Really, the suitcases won't run away. And if they do, they'll be world news." He hung his coat away and kicked off his shoes. Avoiding the small puddles that had seeped from their coats onto the linoleum that was near the front door, he took Sandy's coat and put that away as well. "There's that."

Sandy looked at her shoes before she took them off. "Oh, that's nice, " she giggled, wiggling her toes. She had not expected the floor heating. It was on, even though the weather wasn't half bad, because Paul had yet to find a way to turn it off.

"Now, come in, child, and make yourself comfortable, " Wilma said. It clearly did not please her that Sandy again looked at her step-brother for some form of confirmation. Only after Paul nodded she followed Wilma further into the living room, Paul right behind them.

As Sandy sat on the big, comfortable couch, Paul asked what she wanted to drink. "I'll make you some lunch too, it's past that time already."

"Can I have some coffee?" the girl asked.

"Of course."

"I'll see to that, you should sit with your guest, " Wilma said as she went into the open kitchen and started opening cupboards and cabinets.

Paul shrugged. "She means well, she's like that. Are you too tired to look at your room?"

"Never!" Sandy jumped up. They both picked up a suitcase and Paul showed her the room.

"It's rather basic, but you should be able to get through the first days here, " he excused the simple furnishing.

Sandy stared at the bed, the chair and the small writing table, the wardrobe. "Oh, but this is really nice!" She dumped the suitcase and dropped herself on the bed. "Thank you!" Then she saw the poster that was on the wardrobe. Leaning on an elbow, she took in the picture. It was the Horsehead Nebula, the same one Paul had seen during their Skype conversations. She looked at him. "I love that view. How did you know that?"

"It was quite prominently behind you every time we talked on Skype, " he grinned. "Even I could do that math."

Sandy rolled from the bed and wrapped her arms around him again, making him feel slightly uncomfortable with that ges

er laptop. "Damn, the battery's almost dead and my plug won't fit the outlets here. I should go now."

Adele smiled. "Yes. Get some more sleep. Take care, child, we love you. And thank you for staying in touch."

"Of course. I just wish we could do this more easily. For Paul I mean. Good night, mom. Love to dad and Angela and Travis."

"Nothing happens without a reason, Sandy. Our love for you. And Paul. Sleep well."

The Skype conversation died, and Sandy quickly shut down her computer, to prevent problems due to the failing power. She shoved the laptop and her headphones on the pillow and stared into the slit of light that came in from the living room. "Why do we have to do this the hard way, " she whispered to the faint light in her room, coming from the small desk light in the corner.

Sandy slowly got to her feet and changed into a night gown. As she tossed her clothes on the chair, she smiled. He had not dared to undress her, but he had put her on the bed. That was good. He could have left her on the couch with a blanket. Barefoot she walked into the living room and crossed to the kitchen. After some searching she found a glass, and filled that with water three times to quench her thirst. Not knowing if he had a dishwasher, she left the glass on the counter and quietly walked back into the living room.

"Where are you?" she whispered. She tried the door next to her room. It was a dark small closet, overflowing with a collection of stuff. "Not here, " she concluded. On the other side of the living room was another room, against its wall was the cabinet with the radio and the television. The door to the room was slightly ajar. "Ah..." Soon this would be easier.

Sandy passed the couch and the big reclining chair to get to the door and carefully pushed it open just far enough for her to look inside. Yes, this was Paul's bedroom. He lay on his side in a large double bed, his eyes closed, his face illuminated by the digits of an alarm clock that was on the bed side table. The girl smiled as she tip-toed over to the side of the bed, where she kneeled down. Soundlessly, she talked to him. "Nothing happens without a reason, Paul. I apologise for all the confusion that will happen. We don't want that, but you are not ready yet..." Sandy wanted to take his hand and hold it against her lips, but that would not be the smart thing. He might wake up. Instead she lightly kissed his cheek and went back to the door. After another look she went back to her room, put the laptop on the table and switched off the desk light. She slipped into the bed, wriggled about until the covers were snug and comfortable around her and then lay still, staring into the darkness. Thoughts of discussions past and things to come flooded her brain, and no matter how hard she fought to get rid of them, it took her a few hours to fall asleep.

***

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