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Meeting Lizbeth - Chapter Five Part III
She drove for about an hour then realized she needed a destination. She really didn't care about much, but it was getting late and she was getting tired. She saw a good spot, a wide shoulder on the road, and pulled over.
She never knew why she had always kept Alice's phone number, but she did. She dialed it now and waited.
“Hello Alice, this is Louise. Louise Porter.”
“Hello Louise. What can I do for you?”
“I need a place to stay and thought you might put me up for a few days.”
“Sure, where are you?”
“I'm about forty miles away. Being nigh ttime and unfamiliar roads I should be there in a little over an hour.”
“I'll have the door unlocked.”
She drove up the tree lined driveway remembering her one visit here when she was a child. The bond she shared with Alice in boarding school was never forgotten. She called Alice because she knew Alice would be there for her.
Louise rang the bell and suddenly felt at peace. Why would seeing Alice make the hurt go away? She really wasn't sure, but she was glad she came.
Alice greeted Louise with open arms. They hugged briefly then both took a quick step back.
“My dearest Louise what has happened to bring you here at this hour?”
“Oh Al, its such a long and horrible story.
“Come in please."
Alice led Louise to the study. As Louise sat down Alice got a bottle of scotch and two glasses. She filled them both and handed one to Louise. They sat drinking in silence. Finally Alice looked at Louise, “Okay Louise, begin.”
Louise slowly recounted the dreadful story of her mother's death and then her father's revelation. All the while she was talking she was reliving it in her mind's eye. She shivered at the retelling and began to cry. She was re-living the whole dreadful thing. She murdered her mother.
“Louise, you're being dramatic. You didn't murder anyone.”
“How can you say that? She's dead because I pushed her."
“She's dead because she fell down the stairs. Your push was incidental.”
“But I am guilty!” she screamed."
“Okay Louise. You've had enough for tonight. I'll show you to the guest room.”
Neither woman slept. Both were overcome by thoughts of the past bringing them to this present.
Alice and Louise Together
At 8:00 a.m. Alice called up to Louise. “Breakfast is ready, come down Louise. You can dress later, just get your coffee first.”
Louise sat on the edge of the bed wondering why she came here. She had put all of this behind her years ago and yet it had never left her. She finally felt at home here in a house so alien to her. Alice was downstairs waiting for her. Just the thought made her feel warm inside.
“Come on Louise,” Alice called.
She put her robe and slippers on and slowly, very slowly, descended the stairs. When she reached the kitchen Alice turned and looked at her with such compassion she ran into Alice's open arms. Her kisses were warm on Louise's cheeks. Alice stopped. She pulled back and looked at Louise uncertainly. Louise leaned in and kissed Alice's warm, waiting lips and the years melted away. They were in each other's arms again and their feelings for each other were the same as they had always been.
She was back in boarding school and the security of Alice's arms. Alice was two years older than Louise, but Louise never questioned why they were in the same grade. She never knew that Alice's problems with other girls had caused numerous suspensions that kept her out of class. Of course, there were those girls that enjoyed her attention so they kept quiet, but many did not. Alice's parents were very rich, keeping her from being expelled and keeping the rumors to a minimum.
Louise may have heard a rumor or two, but she didn't care. Alice was the first person devoted entirely to her. Her warmth and caring soothed a sad and aching heart. Alice never talked about anyone but Louise. Alice never raised her voice, and was never cross. There were never any arguments. Each night they waited until lights out, then shared a bed, just the two of them.
At first they just slept, safe and warm in each other's arms. One night Louise woke to Alice kissing her and things progressed from there. They were inseparable and Louise felt more secure and loved than she ever had. The other girls whispered about Louise and Alice, but neither of them cared. Alice had been looking for someone like Louise for a long time and though Louise didn't know it, she had been looking for Alice.
When Louise's parents said they were bringing her home to attend a local school, she was devastated. She couldn't leave her beloved Al. She tried to talk her parents out of it, but they wouldn't budge. She knew throwing a fit wouldn't work, her parents were champions at arguing and they always won. She had no choice, she had to leave. They swore they would keep seeing each other since they didn't live that far apart, planning little get-togethers and long telephone conversations. They kept telling each other it wouldn't be so bad, and when they were older they could be together forever. They didn't know Alice was being sent to school in Ireland.
Their parents had been made aware of the situation and rather than make a scene, they decided separation was the best answer. Louise couldn't figure out why she didn't hear from Alice. Alice was in Ireland nursing a broken heart.
When they lost contact completely, and Louise's mother died, Louise felt lost. Meeting Tom at her mother's funeral gave her someone to latch on to. She didn't have any friends until Tom. He was the same age as she was and they got along so well. His good looks certainly didn't hurt. She thought of him as a friend but things happened, they saw each other more and more. He was so supportive and after all, he was there.
Back to the Present
“What're you thinking about Louise?”
“Thinking? Me? Oh, wondering what happened to us.”
“Really? Our parents, that's what. The school called our parents and told them about us. The four of them got together and decided separation was the answer. Why do you think they sent me to school in Ireland?”
Louise gasped. “Oh my God, how could I be so stupid!”
“You were fourteen Louise, and right after our separation your mother died. You didn't have a lot of time to think about us. I, on the other hand, never stopped thinking about us. I had a few girlfriends, but none of them ever measured up to you. Years later I came back from Ireland to wait for you. I didn't care how long I had to wait. I knew in my heart you'd come back.”
“And I didn't return your calls. Oh Alice I'm so sorry. You know you are the love of my life? Poor Tom was just a substitute when my heart was so sorely broken by my mother's death and the loss of you”
This time Louise took Alice in her arms and kissed her. “Oh Al, what's to become of us?”
“That, Louise, is up to you.”
“Yes, you're the one with a husband and child. I'm all alone. I'm not tooting my horn, but I waited for you. I knew in my heart that someday we would be together."
“Why is it you are the only one, in my whole life, who has ever understood me? The only one who has ever comforted me and been there for me?"
“Because my dear, I love you. We are soul mates. Whether we live together or not, no one can break the bond or love we share. It will always be there and I will always be there for you.”
“Oh, Alice, how have I lived without you? Why did I have to? Somehow, we will fix this. I will talk to Tom and explain things to him. I have to.”
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