Darling Daughters

Chapter Sixteen

 

The next few days passed in a hectic blur. The girls both had to balance work, school work, homework and preparations for the debutante ball. Without the looming threat of Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. There never seemed to be enough hours in the day and they looked and felt exhausted.

Thursday morning saw Summer reach across her table to turn her alarm off to find a hot cup of coffee scald her fingertips instead of the alarm button. Summer jolted awake and saw the figure sat at the end of the bed, Elizabeth. Elizabeth stood and turned the alarm off silently and pointed at the kitchen.

Summer followed Elizabeth into the kitchen and her jaw dropped, before them was a beautifully restored kitchen with sparkling new appliances. Everything seemed to be a balance of the notes they had made and left on the counter top during their arguments of what it should look like. It had somehow turned into a kitchen that voiced both of them equally. Most importantly the question on both of their minds, “how the hell did this happen? When did this happen?”

Summer’s phone rang, on the other end was Stuart. He asked them how they liked the new kitchen, he had the men fit it yesterday while they were out. Summer opened the fridge door, it was full stocked for the first time. With a lot of healthy products. Elizabeth had begun to make breakfast by the time Summer came off the phone from thanking them.

Summer had a moment to herself, locked in her bedroom after breakfast scanning a document from the file that had been relegated to the box again after the arrival of their grandfathers. That file contained deeds to an apartment block, in her name. Summer examined the dates, her birthday, behind it attached with a paper clip was a letter from Archie. Archie had transferred the building in her name, and provided that the excesses and profits were deposited into the attached account with all tax, insurance and maintenance already removed. Summer found herself undecided whether to laugh or cry. Suddenly it felt like an overwhelming weight was sat on her chest.

Summer put the papers back into place when Elizabeth knocked on the door. She asked if Summer wanted to come and help her pick up the desert for the dinner with the grandfathers. Summer slipped her coat on and followed after Elizabeth passing the gazebo she thought of Archie, he had built it. Feeling momentarily closer to the mysterious man. The gazebo was now covered in reds, ambers and golds, twinkling lights and decorations for the season.

“This place, it feels like a whole other world. This new start and everything that has happened feels like a dream like I am reading a fairy-tale. The draw contents are just remarkable like a through the looking glass story. There is so much I don’t understand. Like you can feel these giant holes, things that he hasn’t said. He wants so much for us.”

“I know. Sum, there is something I wanted to talk to you about with those draws, and as wonderful as the stories are, he has left me some deeds to an apartment block with an account. I don’t know how much it is, I only saw the papers last night, and well I just wanted to be honest with you.” Guilt bubbled in Summers throat as Elizabeth continued. “So when I read that I couldn’t sleep, so I went to make coffee and saw the kitchen and well, then I sat in your room and waited for you.”

Summer looked into Elizabeth’s eyes, “relax, I found a similar set of paperwork this morning too. But its ok, so we got the same birthday present, it can only be a good thing. But Ellie, sitting there while I sleep thing, stop it, it’s a bit creepy, like the appearance of the kitchen out of nowhere.”

Leaving Oaks they passed the Diner and watched Simon bouncing around serving customers. “Hey Sum, I bet his meal tastes good.”

“I bet that’s not all you want to taste.”

“Shut up. It’s a bit weird isn’t it, not going to the Diner today?” Summer nodded before they waved at Simon as the passed by. Elizabeth fired off a quick text on their walk back home.

***

They were running about ten minutes late to the holiday home. The architecture was amazing and imposing, looming over them like an intimidating monster. A stout maid answered the door and they were ushered inside where they were quickly welcomed by Stuart.

The meal was celebrated without a hitch, and controversy was avoided. Until they retired to the living room for drinks and began to take charge of conversation. Summer’s education took the highlight when she was informed that she “simply must experience Darling College” and was told she must at least take a tour and of course, apply. Summer squirmed throughout the conversation until their attentions turned to Elizabeth.

Well, all hell broke loose so to speak, when they found out Elizabeth had never graduated high school. In an instant they had strong armed her into getting some form of equivalent. By the end of the evening both girls returned to the manner feeling numb and exhausted.

Thanksgiving dinner had gone exactly as they had expected. And now, with only a day’s break between now and the ball Elizabeth and Summer were forced to prepare themselves for total embarrassment.

 

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