Chapter 14 - Lost And Found
A week had gone by since Laurie’s walk on the beach with Tomas and after her weekly update on his mother’s health she hadn’t spoken to him. Part of her felt as though he was avoiding her, but then thinking about it, what reason could he possibly have?
Today was her day off. She had woken up early in hopes of checking in on Teresa before heading to the local town. Hearing Silvia describing the place over their usual on and off dinner together really made her want to explore and see everything that Sicili had to offer.
As Laurie made her way to Teresa’s room, she could hear voices coming out of the closed door. She hesitated for a minute, shaking her head at how wrong it would be to eavesdrop on a private conversation but her feet froze in place when she heard Tomas’ voice.
“I’m trying mama but it’s hard. Being here, it’s ...” he stopped, the pain in his voice caused Laurie’s brows to creased lightly as she pressed her ear to the door.
“I know Tomas. I’m reminded everyday. I live here remember? So how do you think it makes me feel?” Teresa said, her voice was so soft and gentle that it tore at Laurie’s heart.
The hallway was clear but it still made Laurie nervous to stand there and listen, and yet she couldn’t walk away. Her curiosity about Tomas and Teresa and their weird relationship made her wanted to stay on more, to hopefully understand what was going on.
“Let’s not do this now,please. It’s been three years.”
“Yes, three years Tomas. I feel as though I’ve lost my son too.”
Her son too.
Did that mean? Laurie gasped. Did Tomas have a son?
Her name came as a warning to Laurie’s ears. She swallowed and leaned furthermore in to the door.
“How are you going to heal Tomas? You don’t want to talk about it. Not with me, not with anyone. Please Tomas, let me in.” Teresa begged.
“I will not do this with you today!” Tomas roared, startling Laurie.
“Then when? You keep on blaming me and I know that I deserve it but Tomas...”
“Stop it mama! If you don’t then I will leave. You’ve been asking me to come back when I wasn’t even ready but I’m here now and you keep pushing and pushing. Just stop! Stop reminding me what a failure I am. Just stop, please.”
Tears burned through Laurie’s lid as she heard those words coming out of Tomas’ mouth, it held so much raw yet painful emotion that it pricked sensation in her throat.
She had been right. Something did happen to Tomas, the glaze of sadness in his eyes that he tried so hard to hide had told her so.
“I’m not,” Teresa’s voice croaked, “I just want my son back.”
The sound of footsteps walking towards the door was Laurie’s queue to leave. Embarrassed by what she had done and heard, she sped down the hallway and was out the door within minutes, with her heart racing against her chest.
Running towards the garage, she blinked, blinded by the unshed tears in her eyes. The sound of bird churning in the trees and the distant sound of the wave gently crashing on the shore made her lips quiver, saddened by their hurt.
After drawing in a few breath, she spotted the red bicycle that Silvia had asked Mario to leave out for her by the fountain. She grabbed quickly onto its handle and was off.
The narrow road from the Carsigni mansion was steep as it lead down the curves but the more Laurie pedalled the less troubled she felt. The warm wind blew against her face and it felt therapeutic, her nerves dissolved into a warm blissfully sensation ; and yet she could help by frown at herself. She had been right the first time around. Teresa wasn’t the only one who needed help, whatever happened in their past still had an emotional strain on Tomas.
Maybe they both needed to heal.
Tomas paced the floors of his kitchen. It was getting dark and a storm was fast approaching, so where in good heavens name was Laurie?
Silvia sat on the kitchen stool, sniffing away into her handkerchief, her eyes glazed with freshly formed tears. They had been searching for over an hour and it was now almost close to seven... and yet, still no signs of her.
“Silvia, calm down.” Tomas said running a hand through his thick black hair.
“It my fault Tomasa. I tell her go town. She lonely and wanted to visit island.” Silvia stammered back through her tears.
Great! His lips formed a thin line as he sighed inwardly. But she could have atleast let them know that she was leaving. He could have dropped her off then later on arrange for Mario to pick her up, or even he could have done that.
“It’s not your fault. She probably got lost.” He said in hopes of soothing her, only he was having trouble believing in his own words.
Sicili was paradise to some but it still didn’t mean that they weren’t any danger lurking around.
“Oh Dios mio.” The old cook cried, “What if she fall some where?” Her eyes widening in fear, “she take la bicicletta.”
Tomas paled and his pacing seized. Some how during the hours of wondering where she was, Silvia had failed to mention that Laurie had gone by bicycle.
“I’m going to go look for her.” The words were ripped from his throat. Shaken and unmasked with fear.
By the time Silvia looked up, Tomas was gone.
This wasn’t happening.
Laurie huffed, narrowing her eyes from left to right trying to spot something if not anything that looked familiar. It was already dark and for the life of her she couldn’t distinguish between the two roads in front of her.
Oh, why did she have to stop for a late lunch at that 'Vittorio’ restaurant?
She looked up and blinked when a few drops of rain splattered against her cheeks.
“Oh no.” She cried
As if she wasn’t in enough trouble as it is and now it was starting to rain.
Giving the two roads a final glance, she quickly picked one at random. Either way it must lead up to a house and if it wasn’t the right one then she would just have to asked for help.
With her mind made up, she got on her bicycle and began to start pedaling.
The rain wasn’t showing Laurie any mercy. She had to stop several times along the way because the road way starting to get a little bit slippery and a few rocks and branches debris was making it quite impossible to carry on. After going half a mile further she finally gave up and got off the death trap for good.
Throwing another glance around her, she could feel her anxiety starting to kick in. It was pitch black, with the wind blew fiercely against her cold skin. She was wet, alone, lost and scared.
A small cry of an animal in distress pulled at her attention. It was coming from the bushes from across the road where she stood.
Tomas tried to drive as carefully as he could. The visibility was poor and the chance of finding Laurie, slipping by the second.
His jaws clenched at the idea of her body being found dead by the road or even much less in the bushes.
Lord! His fingers tightened around the wheel, if he found her alive she wasn’t going to hear the end of this from him.
It had been long since he had been placed in this situation. Feeling helpless, scared and hoping that he wasn’t to late. And now, it felt as though he was faced with his haunting past again.
As he drove past an old chestnut tree, his eyes squinted down to a red bicycle that had been left abandoned by the side of the road.
Tomas pulled the car to a stop and cursed out loud as he yanked the door open, standing in the pouring rain.
“Laurie!” He yelled, but nothing.
He walked closer to the tree and yelled once more.
Laurie’s head jutted up at the familiar sound of Tomas’ voice. She sprang to her feet, her arms wrapped around a small furry canine.
“Tomas?” She cried in relief coming out from behind the bush.
A breath of relief drew out from Tomas’ mouth. He stormed over to her ready to spit all kinds of hell but then furrowed indisgust as his eyes caught the most ugliest shivering mutt that she held so possessively to her chest.
“What the hell is that?” He barked.
Laurie winced at his tone, “It’s a puppy.” She announced, her body shaking for the uncontrollably, holding it closer to her chest, “I think it’s lost, Tomas.”
Tomas fumed as he gazed down at her. She was drenched, shaking like a leaf and still somehow managed to save a stray. He gritted at his teeth, fist clench at both sides trying to keep his anger at bay.
She had no idea how worried Silvia was! How worried his mother was!?
He was this close to shaking some sense into, then hold her tight just long enough till she stopped shivering as so.
But instead his eyes narrowed on the dog.
“It’s ugly and it’s not coming back with us.” He snapped.
Laurie took a step back, keeping the defenseless pup out out of his reach. “So it can’t have a home because it’s ugly?” She challenged him, face red from his absurd statement.
“He’s not getting in. Now put it back where you’ve found it!”
Her nose flared, backing up another step from him.
“I won’t leave him, Mr. Carsigni.”
Tomas closed his eyes, praying for strength.
“Get. In. The. Car!” Tomas roared, still Laurie didn’t budge.
“Not until I have your word that he can come too.” She returning just as evenly.
Dear lord, she was trying his patience.
They were both wet, tired and arguing over some stray.
“Laurie.” He warned her.
“No!” She said managing to shake her head at him. “You can drive and I’ll follow you behind.”
That was it!
Tomas stormed over to where she stood and lifted her up into his arms. Laurie let out a small shriek of surprise then blushed as he placed her on the warm leather seat.
“It’s like talking to awall.” Tomas muttered making his way over to his side.