Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pearl: A Mini Novella ~ Part 2

Miss Part 1? ~

Pearl reclined the airplane seat and closed her eyes.

"Oh no you don't." Heather hit the recline button, causing Pearl's seat to bounce upright. "You're going to explain that letter."

"Heather, I don't want to talk about it. It's none of your business." Pearl hit the recline button again.

Heather slapped her hand behind the chair not allowing it to go back. "Mom, I'm on a flight to Scotland for you. The least you can do is talk to me."

"I didn't ask you to come," said Pearl, folding her arms and looking out the widow.

"Mom, how could I not after reading the letter?" asked Heather.

Pearl continued to stare out the window. This was something she alone had to fix.

"Should I read the letter out loud?" asked Heather, pulling the letter out of her purse. "I'm sure the rest of the plane would like to hear."

"Shhhh..." Pearl scolded, snatching the letter. "You're a stubborn little fart, I'll give that."

Sighing, Pearl closed her eyes. The truth was going to come out, Heather might-as-well hear it from her.

"I was 17 when we lived in Scotland. Papa had a job running a profitable coal mine, so we lived better than most. We had a nice house, which included a stable. Papa had acquired a pair of beautiful Friesians horses. The black beauties needed special care and required a lot of time, so Papa asked around the coal mine until he found the savviest horseman."

"Liam?" asked Heather.

Pearl shook her head. "No, Liam's father, Gerard was hired for the position, which included lodging in the bunkhouse. Liam's mother had died during childbirth so it was just him and his father who moved into the bunkhouse. Liam and I became close very quick, since I didn't have any siblings, I was thrilled to have someone my own age to talk to. We'd spend hours with the horses and soon became lovers."

Pearl choked back a sob. "Then there was an accident at the mine and nine workers were killed. The townspeople blamed Papa, said the conditions led to the explosion. Papa was just as distraught over the death of those men as their families, but he worried for our safety. Liam and his father hid us in whiskey barrels to get us to the port. Before boarding the ship, Liam begged me to stay. Said we could go to the city, be married, and live a happy life. My Papa was so sad over the loss of the men. I knew he couldn't bear the loss of his daughter too. I promised Liam I'd come back. Promised I would marry him one day. Papa gave Liam and his father our Friesians horses as thanks for their loyalty. Liam went on to open a very lucrative breeding operation with the pair. That's how I've kept up with him all these years."

"But that still doesn't explain the letter," said Heather.

"Within a month of returning stateside, I married your father. He was a man of means and my family had nothing after the disaster at the mine. I wrote Liam to tell him and that was his return letter." Pearl leaned her chair back. "I'm tired Heather, let an old woman sleep."

"I'm still confused, Mom." Heather leaned her chair back too.

"I know dear. I'll explain the rest when we land."

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