Past Lives – Part 2

Prompt: I wanted to continue the story I was working on last night. It may go somewhere, it may not, but I thought I would add a little bit 🙂

Vancouver – August 23rd 2014

Joan’s hand rested once more on her heart. “I am afraid I am tired Love, will you come by on Thursday?”

“Oh.” Isabelle put her pen down. “Are you alright Nan? Do you want me to get one of the nurses?”

“Love, I am 93 years old. Tiredness is a fact, not an emergency. I will see you Thursday?” Isabelle nodded as she gathered her things, kissing Joan softly on the cheek as she left.

Joan pulled the old suitcase out from under her bed. The dust blew off into the air, making her wheeze slightly. The case smelt of London still; of fog, and exhaust, and terror. Joan lifted out a sun hat, placing it gently on the bed. Digging to the bottom of the case, she found it: William’s note, still signed, still creased from where she had crumpled it many years ago.

Liverpool – June 21st 1944

“My sincerest apologies Lady Marlay. I have had to leave on urgent business. I am hoping to return to our tea table in a few weeks. Should you not be at the hotel for that length of time, please leave word at the front desk as to where I might find you. Sincerely Yours, William.”

Joan crumpled the note and threw it into the bin. Joan was running out of time before she had to make a decision. Where she was going to be in a few weeks was a much as mystery to her as to Mr.McRae. Her hands found their way to her stomach, resting there protectively.

Joan ventured down to the front desk. “Hello Henri.” She smiled cheerfully at the attendant. “I was wondering if you know of anywhere that is hiring outside of the factories.”

“Well, Ms. Marlay, we here at the hotel are looking for another housekeeper. One of our girls has moved back to Glasgow to be with her family. The pay isn’t much, but you would get to live in the hotel downstairs.”

Joan bit her lip pensively. It’s not ideal, but it is a start. “I’d be very much appreciative of the work. When would you like me to start?”

“You could move downstairs today if you would like.” Henri smiled. Joan nodded her head and returned upstairs to put her things into her suitcase. At least I will be here when William returns.

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