The Legend of the Blue Eyes(3)

By: B. Kristin McMichael

Arianna hurried back to her waiting friends. She hated to lie to them about the notes, but she kept reassuring herself that she wasn’t lying, just withholding information. From the initial note experience, her friends thought she should tell her aunt about it, and if she told her aunt, she would never get the answers to her questions.

Arianna sat patiently though the movie, daydreaming in her own world. Who was this person that knows so much about her mother and father? Was he or she a friend or someone trying to set her up? How could they know so much, and yet, her own aunt and uncle always replied that they didn’t know the answers? As a child Arianna could tell from early on that the subject of her mother and father was painful for her aunt to even listen to, so she turned to her uncle. He, on the other hand, just outright refused to answer any questions. When Arianna searched the home for photos or memorabilia of her parents, she found nothing. She always thought it strange that the photo albums started when she was five. Later, through her correspondence with her mystery friend, she found the photos were all a year after her father died. Arianna couldn’t understand how there could be nothing of her parents or her life before those albums.

“So, you leave tonight?” Mary Ellen asked as they walked outside into the wet air and fading sunlight.

“Yep. It’s a bit strange, but we leave at midnight,” Arianna replied as she halted near the bus stop.

“We can give you a ride home,” Tish offered, as her mother pulled a car to the curb and waved to the girls.

“Don’t worry about it,” Arianna replied. “I live in the opposite direction. Fred should be back soon, anyway.” Arianna had found, after her first few trips, that the bus she rode to the theater could make its loop in three hours and return to bring her home. Her friends climbed into the waiting green car.

“We’ll see you in a week,” Mary Ellen called. Arianna nodded as she waved to her friends.

She had told her friends she would be home in a week, but her aunt had only said it was possible they would return in a week. The whole trip was very strange. They refused to explain why they were leaving so late, where they were going, where they were staying, how long they would be gone, or even why they were going in the first place. Arianna was beginning to feel that even her secret correspondent knew more about her trip than she did. For weeks they refused to even give her a time they would return. It wasn’t until Arianna bugged her aunt every ten minutes for an entire day that she was finally given a tentative return date.

“So, was it good?” the bus driver asked, opening the door.

“If you like that lovey-dovey stuff,” she replied.

“Your choice next week?” he asked, as she sat down near the front door.

“I’ll be gone next week, but the week after I’ll choose something much more interesting.” Arianna sat and stared out the front window. She had ridden the bus so many times she could picture each stop without looking out the window. The rain began again, lightly. Arianna sat in silence for the remainder of the ride home. Who was this writer? Was it safe to just go meet someone who obviously didn’t have her guardian’s approval?

The rattling of the empty bus didn’t help calm her nerves. Arianna always knew she was an orphan. Every time she was asked what her parents did for jobs, she would have to explain that they were dead. Her lack of parents affected her attitude, and made her want to please her aunt and uncle. Without them, Arianna felt she would be homeless. This was the first time she had ever thought of deceiving them.

“I’ll see you in two weeks, Fred,” Arianna said as she cheerfully bounced off the bus. The driver nodded.

“Then have fun in those two weeks, Ethel,” he replied. “By the way, happy birthday, kiddo. Soon enough you won’t need me to drive you around.” Arianna smiled and waved to the older man as the door shut.

Arianna ran around the diner to the back door. It was past eight o’clock, so the front door would be locked by now. Briefly, Arianna peered into the kitchen before heading upstairs. As expected, it was almost empty. Aunt Lilly was done for the night, and was in the living room folding laundry as Arianna opened the door to their apartment.

“How was the movie?” she asked.

“Okay, if you like love stories,” Arianna replied.

“You just wait,” Aunt Lilly responded. “Someday you’ll fall in love, and your opinion on love stories will change.” Arianna rolled her eyes. Aunt Lilly always preached about the benefits of falling in love and how love can change a person. “Have you finished packing yet? All the laundry is done, so if you need something here, just take it.”