Previous Chapter: The Castle.
We have lived in this house for a couple of weeks now. We, surprisingly, had already tidied up all our stuffs. When we moved to the house we have just left, we needed over a month to tidy up everything even though there were four of us back then. I guessed the tidying up sort of made Mom, and us I supposed, able to forget the fact that Dad wasn’t with us anymore.
Mom was right when she said that our new house was bigger than the old one. My room was twice bigger than before. There were a wooden cabinet and a bed left by the previous owner. We kept the cabinet but got rid of the bed. Mom thought that the cabinet looked antique and still in good condition, so she decided to keep it where it was. The bed, on the other hand, already looked very old and Mom didn’t like the look of it. She changed it with my own bed.
The cabinet was empty and clean, the previous owner was kind enough to not leave any junk in it. It had four rooms and two drawers on the bottom. I put my clothes on the four rooms and used the drawers to put my other stuffs. The cabinet was dark brown and didn’t have many craving. I thought the cabinet was really good and I wondered why they left it. Mom said maybe it was too bothersome to bring along. I thought it was not a good reason considering the house was empty except for the cabinet and the bed in my room.
A good house with mysteries, I thought, or maybe I was just imagining things. I was full of imagination, she said, and it came from my dad’s side.
“Mia. What are you doing?” Mom caught me staring at the cabinet, “I told you to get ready half an hour ago!”
“I am still thinking which shirt to wear.”
“Just wear anything! You have ten minutes young lady!”
We went to the market to buy food for a week. Mom had to start working next Monday and she wanted everything prepared for us because she couldn’t be the mother she used to be, the kind of mother who stayed home waiting for the kids to come home from school and made sure they had warm food to eat.
“Mom, why did you have to work there?” Andy asked her on our way home. “Can you just work at home like before?”
“We’ve talked about this before, Andy!”
“But Mom, we could still use Dad’s money, right?”
“Andy, I am not going to use his money because I am saving that up for your college. I don’t want to talk about it again, ok!” Mom looked at Andy through the mirror. “I will cook every morning and put in the fridge, Mia will heat it in the microwave after you two got home from school.”
“No BUT!” Mom stopped Andy before he could say anything more.
“Will you continue writing your novel, Mom?” I tried to change the subject.
“I don’t know, Mia. Maybe.”
“Dad said yours was good, I thought so too.”
“Well, not as good as his.” Her eyes lose their shine whenever dad was mentioned. I decided to stop talking. No one talked till we got home.
“I am going to put my stuffs in my room first, Mom” I told her after we had put everything in the kitchen.
“Don’t take too long. I need you to help with dinner.”
“I won’t be long”
I put the new clothes and bag I had just bought on my bed unceremoniously. When I turned around to head back to the kitchen I saw something on the right side of the cabinet. It was a photograph. One third of it was underneath the cabinet but I could pull it easily. I was sure the photograph was not there when we left the house.
It was a black and white photo and looked really old. The picture was a bit blurry like it was shot in the middle of a foggy afternoon. I could see the shade of a tree on the right side. There was a girl standing under the tree. She was facing the other way around, I could only see her backside. Her right arm was stretch sideways and she was holding an old lantern. There was something about her and the way she stood. I found myself glued to her image.
“MIA!!! HURRY UP!!” Mom was shouting from downstairs and it broke my attention.
“COMING!!” I put the photograph on the table next to my bed.
Who was she was the only thing I could think about as I walked to the kitchen to help my mom.
Since I am not a native, feel free to correct my grammar I need all the correction I can get. And I am also open to all the critic you can give me. This is my learning process.