Login   Sign Up 


Rose Lane Ch21

by Jubbly 

Posted: 24 February 2004
Word Count: 1244

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

Chapter Twenty One

Sarah and Pete's only neighbours in the isolated little Cotswolds village were the two Simons. A gay couple who owned the house overlooking theirs. Simon T did something in law and Simon B was a theatre producer. Sarah wasn't sure if they'd be up for the weekend or not, but she'd asked Melanie to take them an olive plant, the finest , apparently they'd been dying to get their hands on one for ages. It would look just so right in their conservatory and yield fresh olives for their Vodka martinis, wouldn't you know it Sarah just happen to find the very rare thing and bought it on impulse. Simon B was thrilled and Sarah promised she'd deliver it as soon as she could. This task now lay with Melanie.

Melanie had been painting all morning, then after a quick lunch of bread, cheese and apple washed down with a bottle of local cider she'd curled up foetal like on the sofa with a magazine, the page fell open on a list of quotes by famous people. The words floated about in sketched speech bubbles. Melanie's eyes stopped on one in particular. 'There were always two in me, two women at least, one desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene as upon a style. Conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair and present to the world only a smile an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest. ' Anais Nin.

Mel soon dropped her magazine on to the floor and drifted off to sleep. The door bell rang startling her awake.

The Simon's she thought, sitting bolt upright immediately aware of what a fright she must look. They might be calling to see how I'm getting on, and pick up their much wanted plant and quite possibly invite me over for a cocktail or two.

She checked the mirror in the hallway while passing, fiddled with her hair and adjusted her top, right should pass as exciting, witty artist up from London , let's go.
When she opened the door instead of greeting a stylish, affable, gay couple she was met by the wide eyed panicked stare of a young girl.
"Elise!" she cried, "What are you doing here?"
"I had to see you, please can I come in?"

She ushered the strange girl through to the kitchen and made her a cup of tea, the great British panacea for everything.

"You'd written down the address of the cottage on a note pad by your computer, it stuck in my mind so I hitched a lift here ."

"But why didn't you just call me on my mobile, make sure I was here, let someone know where you were, you can't just go around jumping into strangers cars, anything could happen to you?"

"Oh Melanie, you sound just like someone's mother."

"That's because I am Elise, and you have been very, very irresponsible"

"I didn't ring you because you might have told me not to come."

Melanie nodded. "I would have, you're absolutely right."

"Oh please let me stay a few days, please. My Mum's still in hospital and my brother's at his girlfriends and I haven't got any money, just for a few days, until my friend gets back from holiday, then I can move in with her."
Melanie stared at Elise dumbfounded, while her life's woes spewed out in a tragicomedy jumble of self pity.
"What do you mean your mother's in hospital?" Melanie asked Elise. "What's the matter with her?"

Elise told Melanie how ill her mother had been, how the doctors had discovered a ball of blood in her throat, they didn't know what it was, never seen anything like it before, a real medical first. How she'd gone to stay in a special home for awhile where she could get the treatment she so badly needed. How the nurses didn't want Elise to visit as it was to disruptive for their mother.

"What can you expect," shrugged Elise and lighting up another cigarette. " She's an addict well to be fair, she's got an addictive personality, drugs, drink, sex, shoplifting, anorexia, bulimia, she finds a disorder and sticks with it till she gets bored then moves onto another one."

"When will she be home?" asked Melanie.
"Oh, we haven't got a release date yet, is it a problem me being here?"
"I'm only here for the weekend myself Elise, I don't mind you staying tonight but I was hoping to get away from things, just chill out and paint."
"Of course and I won't in anyway interfere with that, you won't see me, not if you don't want to. Oh , please please can I stay too, it's so nice here, so peaceful."

Melanie had always attracted odd girls as her mother Pattie was so often remarked, "You're such a silly girl Melanie and so are all your friends, silly, silly girls the lot of you."

"Well there's not much to do, the telly's on the blink."
"I don't care," snapped Elise, "I hate television, it breeds violent morons and fuck ups, I'd rather read."

Elise rose from the table and began sorting the dishes. Melanie relented and said she could stay the night. She hoped she might be able to talk some sense into her, it hardly seemed fair that this girl had been dealt such a bad deal in life.

While the sun was setting and Melanie generously over watered Sarah's garden, Elise appeared at the back door and began chatting like nothing was unusual.
"What will happen if Matthew marries Kim will your boys have to call her mum?" Elise suddenly asked.
"Good god no, I can't see that happening, "

"She's young enough to want a family of her own, have you thought of that, your boys having step siblings?"

Melanie sighed.

" Of course I have, well she probably won't be as compliant as I was, she'll make him help her with all that dirty baby stuff."

"I hate men who aren't interested in their own kids."

"Oh he did his bit, he was a bit squeamish that's all."

"Rubbish don't make excuses for him, he was an arsehole, still is."

Melanie was shocked., "Elise, please, I'd rather not discuss this with you, ok, just leave it."

Elise mumbled apologies and fled indoors - the rest of the evening passed in peace. Melanie reading one of Sarah's many glossy magazines and Elise disappearing into a slim volume of Russian poetry.
After Elise went to bed in Sarah's strongly scented boudoir Melanie set about painting. She opened the curtains permitting the night sky to invade her space.
Her subject was coming to existence, the girl in the painting stared at her, imploring her to continue to breath life into the canvas. The figures arms were outstretched and in the palms of her hand instead of the expected traditional sparrow, or flower was a miniature form of herself, another tiny girl rested on her head, one more lounged by her foot in all there were six mini me's surrounding their mistress, the angelic maiden gazing back from the canvas all with the same eyes, hair and features as the girl in the painting, yes of course, there she was.....not a girl called Mimi, as Melanie had christened her but someone else altogether. Melanie had gone on to create as many Tara's as she could.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

roger at 14:04 on 24 February 2004  Report this post
Lovely tight writing Jub, without being too tight, if you see what I mean. Nice character building with good detail touches. Impressive. Just a few very minor things that pulled me up -

para 4 - a comma after 'upright'?
para 5 - the first sentence confused me until about the third reading. Would it be better to have a full stop after 'top' then a comma after 'right'?
para 15 - A comma after 'Elise' rather than 'and'?

As I said, very minor stuff and maybe just a matter of opinion. Whatever, good stuff.

Jubbly at 14:46 on 24 February 2004  Report this post
Thanks Roger, I'm very flattered you've taken time to read and comment at this stage. Reading the 21st chapter must be very difficult but your thoughts have been extremely helpful indeed.

All the best


Account Closed at 06:52 on 25 February 2004  Report this post
Hi Julie,
Liked the two Simons and look forward to meeting them!

She checked the mirror in the hallway while passing, fiddled with her hair and adjusted her top, right should pass as exciting, witty artist up from London , let's go. = punctuation?

"She's young enough to want a family of her own, have you thought of that, your boys having step siblings?"

Not sure about this, coming from Elise? Where's her dad? Perhaps a comparison? Otherwise, their relationship building up nicely.


Jubbly at 07:30 on 25 February 2004  Report this post
Thanks Elspeth, good to revisit this, more to be getting on with.



To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .