I'm sorry I haven't posted this earlier today. I've had a little head cold that's set me back a bit - nothing major and I am feeling pretty good at the moment. An extra special apology to @katie_NMO who has been waiting in anticipation on Twitter! ;)
This week's instalment I could have absolutely FILLED with my usual [comments in red brackets like this]. It's a corker. I've tried not to take to it too much. It's tempting and all, but it would take me FOREVER to write the comments and just as long for you to read them.
If you're just joining in on the fun now, you can catch up with the story so far by following the links on the RHS of my homepage. Just look for the pink ballet slippers.
Ok, let's get in to it. Good luck. Have fun. Comments afterwards welcomed. ;)
THE DANCE OF REVENGE
LOUINA stood in the doorway of her new room that would be her home for the next six months. This is where she would soon become a different person. Her past would be put behind her now, for the moment.
Louina walked over to her bed and sat down. It was very comfortable and soft. Very different from the hospital room she had stayed in for a month. It was like staying in an apartment. Her room was white with yellow curtains, quilt, door and windowpanes. [I recall at the time I wrote this, I was obsessed with the idea of having a yellow room with all white furniture.] The carpet beneath her was an off-white and it matched well with the room.
Marianna had gone for a while to choose some new clothes for Louina. Louina trusted her choice, she knew the lady ran a highly fashionable business namely, of course, Madame Silk. [Here’s an interesting thing to note: the alternative name for this book was going to be ‘Slippers of Silk’. Now you know why. ;) ] Once, a long time ago, Louina had gone to one of her shops and she knew it was very expensive, but the fashions were excellent. [There goes my shot at ever writing up a review on any fashion lines. Sigh.]
Louina felt tired after her tour of the clinic. It was really nice and already she felt comfortable with Frannie. She hadn’t yet met her doctor though. He had been in surgery at the time of arrival. Everyone was friendly though, and bright. [Perhaps they all wore yellow clothing or something?] She wished she could feel the same way. Her mother had let her down. Greatly.
Louina was just about asleep when she heard a rap at her door. [Yo, wassup? Break it dowwwwn. Oh hold on, I think I meant knock by that. Yes?]
“Oui?” she asked.
“It is I, Louina. It’s Frannie.” [I literally had to read that three times before I could make sense of it.] She walked in to the room gracefully. [I can’t help it. I’m picturing someone in a long flowing gown, arms outstretched walking on their tippy toes and smiling brightly.] “Etes-vous fatigures Louina?” Are you tired? [Well, I reckon seeing that she was ASLEEP and all, that maybe…YES. The girl was TIRED.]
“Un peu.” A little.
“Voulez-vous manger quelque chose?” Do you want to eat something? Frannie asked politely.
“Je n’ai pas faim, mais j’ai soif.” I have not hunger, but I have thirst. [Now, I very much doubt a young girl of Sherrie/Louina’s age – French or not – would talk like that. But that’s what I had to work from with my French dictionary. Ok?]
“Lemonade?” Frannie asked.
“Oui, merci,” Louina replied thankfully. Frannie left the room and then returned minutes later with a tall glass of lemonade complete with a long straw. It was still hard for Louina to drink out of a glass.
Frannie left, closing the door behind her. Louina sipped the drink quietly, wrapped up in her own thoughts. Minutes later there was another knock at the door.
“Frannie?” Louina called. The door opened.
“Non, ma chere. It is me.” Finally Marianna had come back with her clothes. Louina was getting tired with the old shorts and top Madamemoiselle Shonti from the hospital had found for her to wear.
“Come and look at your new clothes, Louina Silk, and tell me if you like them. If you don’t, I will take them back and buy some different ones.” [Isn’t that every young girl’s fantasy?] Louina moved quickly to the end of the bed and one by one opened all the different packages of clothing that Marianna had bought her. They were all fabulous. Louina loved them. She thanked Marianna graciously and was about to try on some of them when Marianna walked out the door and brought some more in.
“You can’t forget underwear, Louina. I brought them from my own shop, Madame Silk. You like?” Louina looked at the silk underwear and smiled as far as her mouth could [huh? I think I meant, ‘as wide’ maybe?], and then jumped up and hugged her foster mother. Then she quickly drew away, embarrassed by her show of emotion. [I think I was going for ‘affection’.]
“It is alright, Louina. I would like you to embrace me now and again. I hope we can get on well together. You are a wonderful girl Louina, and I want you to know that you can converse with me about anything you like. Understand?” Louina’s eyes brimmed with tears. [*dabs eyes with tissue*]
“Thank you, Marianna.” She hugged the lady affectionately and then turned to her wonderful gifts. “These are wonderful.” Marianna smiled at her and then hopped off the bed.
“I will leave you now to put on some of your clothes and you must rest before dinner. Dinner will be served in here at about six, alright? I will see you [then…?].” Louina smiled.
“Will you join me for dinner, Marianna?” Marianna smiled and nodded.
“Of course, Louina. I look forward to it. Now I must go and move in to my room and unpack. Bye for now.” She waved briefly and then hurried to her own room. Louina smiled happily and then hurried to put on some of her lovely clothes. [Everyone was in a hurry, it seems.]
* * * * *
A rattling sound awoke Louina from her sleep. When she opened her eyes, she saw Marianna setting up the table with the silverware.
“Ah, Louina. Did you sleep well?” she asked brightly.
“Oui, merci Marianna. Very well. Is dinner ready?”
“Oui. It is six o’clock.” Sherrie widened her eyes in surprise.
“Six already? I slept quite a while.” Marianna laughed and patted a chair.
“Come, Louina. Dinner is ready.” Louina climbed out of the bed and settled down to eat her dinner. It was a little hard to eat so she ate slowly.
“I met the doctor that will do your face, Louina. His name is Doctor Pierre Meunier. He is a young, good-looking man. He has quite a sense of humour and is generally a nice man. [What is this…Perfect Match?!] He said he will look at you tomorrow. You realise, Louina, that once he starts he can’t turn back, so your mind must be made up now.” Louina nodded.
“I want to do it,” she replied quickly.
“Bon. He will start tomorrow by examining your face and then sketching will then take place. [Presumably on paper, and not on Louina’s face.] Then when he thinks he has the right face designed, he will start the surgery. After that first piece of surgery there is no turning back. Do you understand that, Louina?”
“Marianna,” she corrected. “Alright, your appointment is for eleven o’clock so you can sleep in to about ten and then we will go for a quick swim and then head to the surgery.”
“A swim?” Louina asked.
“Oui. It is part of the programme to get you well again. I have decided to work with you. We also have exercise class at two, alright?” Marianne asked firmly.
“Oui, Marianna. You don’t have to do the class with me if you don’t want to.” Marianna shook her head thoughtfully.
“No, Louina, I want to do this with you. I could do with the exercise anyhow, and maybe if I lose a few pounds, Pierre Silk will say, ‘ooh la-la’ and faint!” Louina and Marianna laughed heartily and then finished their meal in silence. [Firstly, could I have gotten any more clichéd? Secondly, how funny is it that one minute their laughing and the next…silence!]
Marianna was the first to put down her fork and knife.
“Ooh. I am filled finely. [For goodness sake, who talks like that? Actually, I might start using that after meals. The trend could catch on.] That was quite a good meal for a hospital. Do you like yours, Louina?”
“Oui. It’s delightfully filling. [Come on…! I can’t even use the French dictionary as my excuse this time.] I think I’ll just leave the rest on that plate. It’s…”
“Ah, ah, ah, Louina. It is doctor’s orders that you eat everything on that plate. It’s…”
“Part of the programme?” Louina asked brightly. Marianna chuckled.
“Oui, that is correct.” Louina shrugged and began to eat. In no time at all she had finished.
“Fini!” she exclaimed.
“Bon! Now drink your milk and we will play chess for a while.” Louina was about to say she loved playing chess, but then remembered her amnesia act.
“Chess?” she asked casually.
“I’m sorry, I forgot. I will show you and maybe you will remember. Alright?”
When their night of chess was over, Louina lay in bed feeling the happiest she had in ages. Marianna was a lovely lady and Louina liked her very much. Her new silk gown felt soothing around her body. It didn’t take her long to fall asleep.
* * * * *
Marianna watched Louina floating on her back in the pool. Her long legs healed greatly from the burns. Her face was the only seriously burnt part of her body. Marianna watched carefully so that if Louina got in any trouble she could quickly call for help. Frannie had just gone to fetch their breakfast so Marianna stayed to keep an eye on the young girl.
Marianna wondered how old she was? [Louina, that is. Not her own age, I imagine.] Louina didn’t know how old she was herself. Marianna decided to ask the doctor. Marianna knew she must have been between thirteen and maybe sixteen.
Marianna noticed that Louina had a way of drawing people to her. She had a wonderful personality. Marianna noticed that Jim Wilder had felt close to her.
“She reminds me somehow of my daughter. She was a lovely child and so is the kid. I like her,” he had said. Marianna liked her too. She herself had had a daughter, but when she was only a week old, she had died of heart failure. Then she had her son, Paul Silk. Marianna and Pierre had a lot of problems with him. He seemed to hate everyone they liked. He was a bastard of a child to get along with. [Okaay…] Louina was a pleasant change.
Paul Silk had grown up as a real little rebel. He always hanged [hung, perhaps?] around the meanest and dirtiest kids. Marianna thought it was probably because the kids would think he was some sort of snob if he didn’t act as if he hated his family.
Paul had demanded that he be sent to a college in Australia, so he was. He was thrown out after a month. He want sent back home. So then Marianna and Pierre sent him to America so he could attend a college there. He hadn’t been sent home yet. He had been there for little under five months. He had not written but he had rung [telephoned might have been better]. He reversed the charges, of course. Marianna back-tracked a little. He had written. Once. He had asked for money, of course. They had not sent it to him yet and he hadn’t written. Marianna and Pierre decided that he should learn to stand up on his own two feet.
“Marianna?” Louina’s soft voice interrupted her thoughts. She looked up dazed to see Louina standing in front of her.
Louina laughed cheerfully.
“My, my. Weren’t you in a daze? Breakfast is ready.” Marianna smiled. Yes, she thought, she’s a wonderful child.
“Merci, Louina,” she said when Louina pulled out her chair for her. Frannie set down their breakfast in front of them.
“Merci, Frannie,” they said in unison. They were both hungry and ate their meal quite quickly.
“Delicious!” Louina exclaimed. “Did you like your breakfast, Marianna?” she asked cheerfully.
“Oui, Louina. Aren’t you in a cheerful mood today? Anxious to see the doctor, I presume.” Louina nodded enthusiastically.
“Yes. I can’t wait to start on my face.” They both laughed and talked a little before getting up and moving towards the shade to lie on the grass.
Marianna looked at the young girl’s face closely. The awful scars were deep and you could not tell how her face was before. It would be wonderful when she had a clear face. Marianna noticed her cheekbones were high. That’s all she could tell.
“Well, my child, it is ten forty-five. Time for us to start walking to the main office where Doctor Meunier is waiting. Are you ready?” Louina was quiet for a moment.
“Yes.” They walked slowly to the main office.
So, there you go. Tune in next week when Louina meets her 'young, good looking' surgeon with 'a sense of humour'.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I don't have hunger, but I have thirst and I'm off to make myself a cuppa.
Until next week!