I have toyed with the idea of putting this up or not for the past few days and as you can see I have finally decided to. I have edited it twice but after a while - as all of you who write long stuff will know - you eventually become a little blind to the errors when you have stared at it for long enough, so consequently this is not as polished as it will eventually be. Am acquiring my friends services for this.
I hope you still enjoy the next installment of Dione and the world of Arroba though... Am dying to know what you think. Here's the first three chapters.
For the hundredth time that hour I was trying to understand why I was even on the road, why I was going to a funeral of a so say relative I hadn't ever met and why on earth I was putting myself through the torture that is the London M25!
Looking at the computer screen at the dashboard of my BMW convertible I can see the endless blinking of the thermometer, constantly reminding me it is a record breaking 35c outside in the middle of November, a first for a very long time, which is unquestionably due to global warming. Lucking I have the air condition on but that does not relieve the endless burning glare of the sun as it glances off of every shiny surface along the motorway and nor does it help my impatience at the heavy traffic all around me.
I turn the stereo up in a feeble attempt to rid my mind of all of the angry, impatient thoughts that are slowly but surely consuming what was a reasonably good mood at the start of the day. Now though, I'm starting to scowl at every passerby, aspirated by the fact that every lane I had just moved out of then seemed to move faster than mine.
The traffic ahead comes to a complete stand still and I throw my hands into the air. It is now eleven am, I am supposed to be at the church by one and I just know I'm probably not going to make it. So yet again I would be the one all of my family will be waiting for, whispering to each other impatiently at "Dione's lack of time keeping' until inevitably my mother will phone to give me an ear full. As soon as I think it that thought alone starts to make my stress levels soar. I have never liked disappointing people especially when the very place I am going to is full of familiar family and more. Is it vain to say I desperately want to make a good impression to those I haven't even met yet? Well I do unfortunately and that chance is ultimately ticking away with each minute I spend on this damn road!
My phone bleeps a second before I feel the vibration through my black jacket. I pull my mobile out and flip it open.
Hey, I just popped by your apartment and obviously you're out, working?
So I thought I'd text to say hello.
In all of my rushing around this morning I had completely forgotten to tell Ali that I was going to the funeral. Normally I wouldn't have worried him but I guess I should have considering I was travelling all the way to east London for the funeral and I might be staying until Sunday, today being Friday.
Ali is my" partner, that really doesn't seem like the right word because he is so much more than just a "partner' he
, himself is so much more than that.
The traffic hasn't moved an inch so I use the free time to text back.
I'm so sorry I completely forgot to tell you that I'm going to be in London probably until Sunday but I will let you know.
I apparently have just lost a great, great aunt. I know, I will explain when I get back.
Take care of yourself
Beeping from behind me quickly brings me back to reality and out of my tangled thoughts. I quickly press send and then lurch the car forward, my hands shaking slightly. We only move a couple of metres, was it really worth tooting at me over matey
, I think to myself and seriously debate whether I could get away with flipping him off, but eventually decide that if I did, I would have to look at his angry face all the way down the motorway, completely unable to get away from him or off of this damn road.
I take a couple of deep breaths and try to calm my raging thoughts, it eventually works and I am able to open my eyes without frowning for the first time in hours.
I lean over and grab the CD Ali had given me off of the passenger seat, putting it into the player.
The deep thrumming of the bass guitar fills the car and my head; I turn it up louder and then decide to ban myself from my own mind for the rest of the journey, concentrating on the complicated melody of guitar and drums instead.
After little over an hour the traffic begins to filter out and off we all go. At just the point of what ever had been the holdup decides to get out of the way, hundreds of people in front of me and behind begin to cheer, holler and clap out of their windows. I can't help but join in, after all we were moving!
I arrive into the car park of the cemetery with literally less than five minutes to spare. I see the time and then drop my head to my hands, taking several large breaths.
You can do this Dione, you'll be fine! After all what is a room full of people any how considering you've faced far scarier things in past few weeks!
I stop the sarcastic voice in my head and begin to touch up my makeup, adding a little more sheer lip gloss and eyeliner. I pull my fingers through my straight brown hair and force myself with everything I have to exit the car.
My legs scream at me to "just get back in the car
' but I know I can't. It's a sad occasion, I had been invited, and I have a duty to do.
, I say to myself, you know why you're here - curiosity really did kill the cat Dione.
I straighten myself out and then try to walk to the entrance as gracefully and calmly as I can manage. I think I must have succeeded because by the time I get there, and see my mother just inside the door she has a contented "happy to see you' smile on her face. My shoulders visibly relax and I'm free to hug her.
"Hello sweat heart, did you have a good journey?"
"Oh don't ask me that." I moan.
"Why what happened?" The alarm in her voice is instant and I have to fight what has become a natural reaction over years of this, to not roll my eyes.
"No, no, nothing like that, it was just very busy, long and hot. I'll tell you later."
I wink at her and her face instantly brightens.
My mother and I have always been more like friends than mother and daughter and I cherished that a lot. After all not everyone out there could say the same, so frequently families would fall out or distance themselves from each other so I was quite proud that after everything that has happened in our family over the last few decades that I'm able to say we all still get on brilliantly. Well with a few minor exceptions of course and that particular exception is walking straight towards us right that very minute. I look down and search my mother's eyes.
What had she been thinking?
For obvious reasons I can't ask her so I steel my eyes away from her sheepish ones and try to compose myself for the hundredth time that day as my worse night mare in any social situation approaches.
I just stand, staring into his dark brown eyes feeling totally blank and completely unable to even guess at what is the right thing, or more accurately, the polite thing to say.
"Hello Dione, it's good to see you again."
His voice purrs from his annoying pretty lips and I sigh, dragging my eyes away.
"Hello Drew." I try to keep my tone light but a little bitterness seeps in around the edges.
He holds my gaze for a moment longer, a confused expression crossing his handsome face. I say handsome because I have an entirely different league of beautiful to consider now. The thought makes me think of him
and wish I could magically disappear into thin air like he can. Damn him and his supernatural superiority.
I huff to myself slightly and then motion to the seated guests.
"We had better get seated."
"Oh we have a couple more minutes yet sweet heart, the priest is late." My mother says rolling her eyes.
Yes, Ok the priest is late but I can't help thinking she is trying to get me and the illusive Drew to talk. Yep, that's definitely something she would do, she can't ever resist a chance at meddling just a little. I mean that in the nicest sense of the word of course but what my mother doesn't realise is that by stalling us and evidently making me talk to the annoying man from my past she is opening up the flood gates for me to be rude.
"Alright, why are you here Drew?"
He fidgets with his jacket for a few moments before answering me.
"Your mother invited me; after all I was a part of this family as well for a few years."
I look down at my tiny mother and sigh; I really don't need this today.
"Mum can I speak to you for a moment please?"
I don't wait for her to answer, grabbing her arm and leading her off around the corner anyway. When we are far enough away to prevent any ease dropping I turn and face her, my body ridged with anger.
"Why on Earth did you invite him mum? And I want the truth" please."
There at least I said please.
"Well I wasn't trying to meddle honestly Dione. I rang him last week to see if he wouldn't mind mowing my lawn and we just happened to get on to the subject of the funeral, he asked if he could come and so naturally I invited him."
I put my head in my hand and shake it from side to side, sighing as I go.
"Mum don't take this the wrong way but the last few months have been difficult enough as it is so please understand that I really do not need him anywhere near me right now and what's more, I now know I really shouldn't have bothered coming."
"Dione," My mum hisses in her motherly disapproving tone. "Be respectful." But her face still shifts into confused lines.
I was just about to lean in and say something like "respectful, hah, do you call asking my ex to an aunts funeral I haven't even met, respectful?' but my mother is saved by the bell as it were.
She is moments away from asking me a hundred and one questions when luckily for me some unfamiliar voice calls from around the corner. "Lillian, the priest has just arrived."
"Oh. Good, good."
She is still wearing her confusion but she readies herself to move off and I catch her arm, preventing her from walking off on yet another of our disagreements.
"Don't think I won't want to talk about this later mum, because I will."
"Oh Dione, stop it, there isn't any harm done is there?"
I sigh again; there really isn't any getting through my mother's logic even if she is devastatingly wrong most of the time. So I nod, keeping my mouth firmly shut and follow her in because after all she is my mother and thankfully I do still have a little respect for what that means.
I feel my phone vibrate just as I'm about to sit down in one of the pews. I sit impatiently debating in my head whether I can get away with reading the text in the church, part of me desperately wants to because let's face it, that is likely to be the only high light of this whole occasion but the other part of me knows how extremely rude it would be to do so.