Aftermath - Cover


Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

Chapter 14

I had fresh-brewed tea for Weena when she got to the kitchen.

"What's up?"

"Well, first, please go and talk to Martha. She was red-eyed and teary when I got home. Patrick's most likely napping."

"Okay. Back soon." She left, mug in hand. She was back in only a minute or two, trailed by a "draggy" Martha. I put the kettle on, set up a mug with a tea bag, and sat down.

"Martha's confused," Weena said.

"About what?"

"She wants tell us both at the same time." The kettle whistled, Weena got up and brought back the mug. Martha looked down at the table top.

"Angus wants to take me to New South Wales. He wants me to meet his parents."

"And the problem is... ?" I asked.

"I don't know. I want to and I'm afraid to."

"Vorrei e non vorrei," I said.

"What?" asked Weena.

"In Mozart's Don Giovanni Don Juan asks Zerlina to give him her hand and come to his castle. She responds: 'I want to yet I don't.' Bloom misquotes it in Joyce's Ulysses. Sorry."

"Well, I don't think Angus is much of a Don Juan," Martha said. Then she gave a little laugh. "Not much of a Don Juan at all."

"Did he do something to upset you?" Weena pursued.

"No. I think I wish he had. He says he's totally infatuated."

"He hasn't pushed you into bed?"

Martha giggled. "No. He wants me to be sure. And today he just started talking about getting married."

"That's bad?" I was puzzled.

"I don't want to make him into an outcast, married to a half-breed."

"You see it that way? Is it our fault?" Weena took her hand.

"No, no. You've been great. And so have your friends. They just treat me like a person."

"Well, you are."

"In Brisbane we were separate — and that meant bad."

"What's Angus going to do when he leaves Perth?"

"Oh, he's got his Master's. And a job offer from Wollongong."


"In NSW-- ... about an hour south of Sydney," I responded.

"How would you get to where his parents are?" asked pragmatic Weena.

"We'd fly to Sydney. His parents would pick us up from the airport."

"Right. I guess Tamworth's two or three hours."

"That's what Angus said."

"Do you love him?" Weena probed.

"I don't know. I don't know what 'love him' means. I've never felt like this."

"Do you want to go? To take your chance with his parents? To take a chance with yet another uni?" Weena was really pushing. I shut up.

"Yes. Yes, I do!"

"Well, there you are. Now go phone Angus!" Martha looked transformed.

"Oh! Thank you, thank you!" She ran out of the kitchen.

"Well, that's done," said Weena. "Now, tell me about your day."

So I did.

"Well. Quite an adventure!"

"Yes. Do you have any advice?"

"On whether you should do it? Or... ?"

"No. Just that. What am I careening towards? I'm blind. You've always known..."

"Right! My crystal ball is as opaque as yours! But ... in five or six months we'll have a fourth in the family. That means I'll be completely out of work in about three or four. And with two under four at home, I won't be going back soon."

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