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“Aunt Abby handed me a warm plate of cookies  with a steaming cup of tea.  I sat down at the kitchen island with her and devoured the cookies.  After finishing our cookies, Abby grabbed my hand and pulled me close.  She walked me all through the house telling me of its history.  The home had been built by her husbands grandfather.  James, her husband, had inherited the home when his father had decided to move closer to the city.  It was beautiful.  They still kept a thatched roof on the house in keeping with its original exterior aesthetics.  Although the exterior reflected the homes original design, the interior had been completely modernized.  Abby said that was the one stipulation she had made with James about the house. If she was going to raise her family in the house, she needed a great kitchen and bath.  Once she had walked me through the house, she began the tour of the grounds.  They were simply outstanding.  She told me all about her boys, Charles and Alex.  It was obvious that she was proud of both of them.  Charles had just finished his junior year at Oxford and Alex would be starting there in the fall.  They had both done very well in school and were both accomplished riders.  Just the mention of Charles’s name had made me blush.  Abby didn’t seem to notice and just kept rambling on about them.  I would not meet Alex for a few more days and Abby warned me that he was much more shy than Charles, but not to worry that he would warm up to me.  I spent the next few days slowly acclimating myself.  The home was right outside of Chipping Camden, a village that seemed trapped in time.  The village was said to have been built by wealthy wool merchants.  I spent my first week walking around the grounds and venturing a little into Chipping Camden.  I found St. James church on my second venture into town and found it comforting to visit.  The staff welcomed me with open arms and cookies. Charles wasn’t around that much.  He was technically just home for the summer from college and like most rising seniors at Oxford, he was working the bar circuits in town and sleeping most of his days.  Mama had purchased a Eurail pass for me, but gave me strict instructions not to use it without Abby or one of the boys accompanying me. By the second week I was itching to see more.  Abby had taken time off to take me to see Stone Henge and Buckingham Palace and a few other sites, but she was saving most of her vacation time in case mama could join us later. She assured me that Alex would be happy to take me to the other must-see sites.  I was so excited.  Touring with Abby was the best.  She seemed to know everyone no matter where we went.  She reminded me so much of mama that I was a little homesick.  I called mama every other day and talked so fast that she would just laugh and tell me to breathe.  Just as I was beginning to feel comfortable, I ran into Alex in the kitchen.  And I do mean that I ran into him.  I was walking full speed on my way in for a snack.  I was famished from a morning walk into Chipping Camden.  Although Abby had warned me he was shy, I didn’t expect him to be rude. He looked me over and made a snide comment about me watching where I was going. I apologized and tried to act excited to meet him. He was nothing like his older brother. Charles was tall, blond, exceedingly kind and had the most amazing eyes. Alex wasn’t much taller than I was, with brown hair, and he certainly wasn’t exuding kindness. Luckily Abby walked in with her bright self and immediately lit up. She was so happy that Alex was back and was bubbling over to introduce me to him. While Abby was doting on him, he seemed embarrassed and annoyed. Aunt Abby started up about Alex taking me out the next morning and she had quite a few suggestions for where she thought Alex should take me. He clearly wasn’t happy that he had been tasked with showing the sixteen year old from North Carolina around. Alex barely acknowledged my presence for the rest of the evening and when I excused myself after dinner to my room I fell on my bed and just wept. I wasn’t used to being ignored. This trip might not prove to be as amazing as I had thought if I was going to be stuck with Alex.” 

7 thoughts on “Leaving the River -Part 3 (a fiction story)

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