Daisy jumped onto Sophia’s bed, puffing in her face. Sophia grunted as she sat up, a double chin formed as she pulled her face into her neck, pushing out her limbs; stretching. She rolled out of bed, and left her room, walking down the stairs to her kitchen. Sophia’s messy bun had turned to knots throughout the night. Her pajamas, a baggy tank top and underwear, was crimpled from the way she slept. She turned the corner into the kitchen, “Morning mu” She looked toward the bench, Calum was standing there. He was wearing a pair of coral shorts and a plain white tank top. He smiled over at Sophia, who had jumped back around the corner, “Why are you here?” She demanded.
“Well, I decided to come early.”
“I can see that.” Sophia’s cheeks burned red from embarrassment, only Tom had ever seen her in her pajamas.
“I didn’t think seeing me sooner would be such a bad thing,” Calum smirked, walking over to the corner, leaning against the wall, “Good Morning by the way.”
“Morning to you too.”
“I like your pajamas.” Calum smiled.
Sophia blushed, “Oh shut up.” She let out a quiet sigh.
Calum stepped around the corner, eying Sophia up, and then down. He smiled at her, “I’m not kidding. They’re really sexy.”
Sophia whacked Calum in the arm gently, and brought her finger to her lip, “Shhh, my mum’s here. You can’t say things like that.” She stepped away from the wall and started walking up the stairs, “I’m going to get ready.” Calum laughed his usual laugh as he watched Sophia walk away. ‘That was so embarrassing!’ Sophia shut her bedroom door behind her. ‘I look gross, why the hell is he here?’ Sophia put on the pale yellow sun dress and bone wedges. She walked over to her dresser, looking in the mirror. She undid her messy hair, brushing it, causing the curls to become fuzz. Sophia pulled her hair up into a high ponytail, then using half a packet of bobby pins, secured a bun. She loosened the bun, moving it around atop her head using her right hand. She pulled out two curls, one on either side of her face. After applying her makeup; some foundation, cover, mascara, eyeliner, and pink lipstick, she grabbed her bag, containing her phone, some perfume, her purse and her house key, and headed down stairs. Calum was sitting at the bench talking to Pauline.
“You look so gorgeous!” Pauline exclaimed, her attention on Sophia who had just entered the room.
“Thanks mum.” Sophia walked over and sat beside Calum.
He leant in close to her ear, whispering, “You really do look good.” He laughed, “You’re beautiful.”
Sophia nodded, her cheeks burning red.
“So, have you had breakfast Calum?” Pauline asked.
Calum shook his head, “No ma’am.”
“Well, we can’t have ya looking after my baby girl on an empty stomach, can we?”
“Certainly not.” Calum laughed. The trio sat and ate their breakfast, eggs and bacon. “Thank you for breakfast ma’am.” He stood from the stool, “We best be heading off now Sophia.”
Sophia nodded standing from her seat walking behind Calum, “Bye mum.”
Pauline smiled, laughing, “Be safe kids.”
The drive to Calum’s was long, he lived out of town. Calum turned left beginning up his drive way, it was long, tree’s lined either side of the dirt and gravel road. They pulled out front of a large, Victorian styled house, there were formally cut hedges around the circular drive way, a stone path led from the driveway to two large wooden doors, it was lined with beautiful roses of white. Sophia looked around the area in awe, ‘It’s so big,’ she thought, ‘These are the kinds of houses you see in movies.’
Calum looked over at Sophia as he unbuckled his seatbelt, he opened the car door and climbed out. Calum laughed as he opened the passenger side door, “Well Sophia, do you like it?”
Sophia smiled up at Calum, climbing out of the car, grabbing her bag, “It’s gorgeous!” She was struggling to contain her excitement, it really was like a house from a movie. ‘It’s like a house from a movie.’ Sophia watched Calum as he gestured for her to follow him to the front door, ‘Who is this guy?’
Calum turned back to Sophia, “Something the matter?”
She shook her head and ran up to his side, “It’s nothing.”
Calum smile as he reached out pushing the door open, he stopped the door from shutting, gesturing for Sophia to enter.
“Hello Miss.” An older looking man, his hair had begun to gray and he had a few wrinkles, said to Sophia as she walked in.
Calum, who stood just behind and to the side of the man lipped for her to curtsey. Sophia nodded, lifting the sides of her skirt slightly, crossing her knees and bowing her head, “Hello Sir.”
The man smiled at Calum, “She’s very polite, you’ve done well Son.”
Calum nodded to his father, “Dad, this is Sophia. The girl I told you about.” He turned to Sophia, “And this is my father.”
“Please, call me Sir. It’s easier for us all.”
Sophia nodded, smiling gently. She felt out of place, everything was so proper, so formal, but not her.
“Well, Dad, I’m going to introduce Sophia to the girls.” Calums dad nodded as Calum lead Sophia out of the room. They walked down a hall that was lined with photos of their family, there were always four people, Calum, Calum’s Dad, and two girls Sophia assumed to be Calum’s sisters. A few photo’s had an extra person in them, everyone was significantly younger in these photos. Calum looked about 11, and there was a baby in the photo’s too. Sophia stopped in front of one photo that caught her eye. It was a photo of the four, Calum, his dad and two sisters, they were dressed in all black and carrying flowers. They all looked a little older than the last photo, only by a few months, “Calum,” Sophia’s voice was quiet, “I was just wondering, where’s the lady?”
“Huh?” Calum looked over at Sophia, and up at the photo she was looking at, “Oh.”
“You know, the lady that’s in all the photos of you when you were younger. I’m sorry for asking.”
Calum shook his head, “Don’t be sorry.” He sighed, stepping closer to Sophia, “That lady’s my mum.”
“She’s beautiful.” Sophia interrupted.
Calum smiled, “I know.” Calum looked down at Sophia, and then sat, his back against the wall, his knees to his chest, “Sit down with me?”
Sophia nodded, sliding down the wall beside him.
Calum looked over at Sophia, and although he was smiling he still looked sad; his mouth smiled, but his eyes didn’t, “You asked where she was. Probably wondering why she wasn’t with us. Well, the photo you were just looking at, we were at a funeral, clearly.”
Sophia placed her hand on Calum’s, “I’m sorry.”
Calum shook his head, a tear now rolling down his face, “Don’t be sorry. I want to tell you.” He turned his hand and grabbed Sophia’s, squeezing slightly, “She died a couple of months after Rosario was born. That’s my little sister, she’s the baby in the photos.” Calum took a breath in, “That’s her funeral. That’s where she went. That’s where she is.” Calum looked up at the sky, “Well, physically, anyway.”
Sophia let go of Calum’s hand and wrapped her arms around him, “I’m sorry.” Calum shook his head, laughing quietly, he wrapped his arms around Sophia and stood up, she stood with him. They stood there for a minute, not talking, just standing there. Hugging, holding each other close, feeling more together than they ever had.
Calum pulled his arms away from Sophia, “Well, we should go to the lounge. They’re waiting for us.”
Sophia nodded, and per usual, she didn’t know what to say. She followed Calum down the hall a bit further until they reached a large wooden door on the right hand side. They entered the room, two sofas were positioned facing each other in the middle of the room, between them was a large wooden coffee table. Two girls walked in the room; one looked 26, the other 6. “Sophia, please meet my two sisters,” Calum smiled at the girls who were now standing in front of them, “This is Juliette. My older sister.” Calum gestured to the older girl, her hair was long and straight, it was brown on top, ombred into a blonde. She was tall, and fit, her figure was amazing and outlined beautifully by her long sleeved denim button up shirt and pail green skirt.
Sophia curtseyed, “It’s lovely to meet you.”
The girl smiled, her green eyes shined, “The pleasures mine Sweetie.” She looked up at Calum and nodded. Sophia wondered why she had nodded, why Calum’s father had also nodded, was that their way of showing approval? And if so, approval for what. Sophia and Calum were just friends. “Please, call me Julie.”
“And this is Rosario.” Calum lifted up the young girl, her hair was long and curled, she had the same eyes as Calum.
“I prefer Rose.” The little girl smiled, “Nice to meet you.”
Sophia laughed, “It’s nice to meet you too.” Calum looked down at Sophia and smiled, his admiration for Sophia was clear, in Julies mind.
“Calum,” Julie smiled, “Aren’t you going to introduce us to this beautiful young lady?” Julie’s look was curious.
“Of course,” Calum smiled placing Rose on the floor and an arm around Sophia, “This is Sophia, she’s the single most beautiful young woman I know.” Sophia blushed, “Well, shall we get some lunch?”
Julie jumped up, raising her hand above her head and waving it around, “I do! I want lunch! Lets get lunch!” She grabbed Sophia’s pointer finger and started dragging her out of the room, “Come on Sophia! Let’s get lunch!”
Sophia nodded, laughing, “Okay Rose.”
As Calum began after the two girls he felt Julie tugging on his arm, holding him back, “Sophia, aye?”
Calum’s cheeks began to turn pink, “What do you mean?”
“Oh Cal, it’s so obvious.”
He shook his head and smiled, “I don’t know what you’re on about.”
Julie let go of Calums arm and took a step in front of him, looking at the girls now walking down the hall, “The way you look at her, the way you are when you’re with her. She makes you happy.”
“We’re friends, that’s what friends do.”
Julie shook her head and laughed, “Friend’s don’t look at friends that way.” She turned back to her brother, “It’s so obvious. And neither of you even see it.” She started walking down the hall.
“See what?” Calum shouted at his sister, running after her, “What don’t we see?”
Julie laughed, “You’ll figure it out soon enough.”