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The summer and the heat that came with it was unbearably hot. Hotter than they were used to and it was miserable. But wasn't much they could really do other than try and stay inside, go for swims and other "simple" things. It felt to Rose like they were living in hell. Which in a sense some were.
Her eyes were on the letter she had recieved from her brother and she sighed. Everyday she was worried about him. Worried that she would find out that he was dead or a Prisoner of War. But she was able to push that down because she was known to be srrong and also her mother relied on her to help take care of her younger sisters. And so that was what she did.
In the last couple weeks she had thought of the young woman she had saved. Wondered what her stort was and why she had tried to take her life. But she also had been lost to her beauty too. Neve had anyone caught her attention in the way the woman had. And she wondered if she would come across her again.
It was Saturday when she did finally see the woman again. She seemed a bit better than she had, but still there was that shadow of sadness that surrounded her. Rose had to draw her eyes away as she had been staring and not paying attention to the elderly woman who was wanting to make her purchase. [#e515cc "I'm sorry ma'am. That will be a dollar."] She said quietly, putting the vegetables into the basket for the woman. She then went to young couple to see if they needed any help, picking up the "chipper" nature she was known for. But every now and again, brown eyes would find their way back to the woman she had saved.
The impossibly hot summer continued for the next two weeks in utter misery. Every time there was a knock on the door Ida expected it to be the man that delivered the message of her husband's death. The Irvings continued their reign of terror, slowly and surely, yet she wasn't allowed to attempt to support herself.
Ida thought of her savior a few times, immediately regretting the shame of her perfect life knowing someone knew. It was a Saturday when she was shopping at the local market when she saw her again.
She was a vision of perfection and lively eyes, Ida looked to her for a few seconds, wondering why the others around made noises.
The woman's words didn't strike her as something she hadn't heard before. Everyone around seemed to feel lost in one way or another. She knew she did with Nathaniel gone. But what did it matter to say any of that to this woman? She didn't even know her.
[#e515cc "Perhaps, perhaps not. Don't know unless you give them a try."] Rosalie inwardly kicked herself for those words. But instead of getting up, the woman continued to rirng her ling auburn hair out and her pale yellow dress. Oh her mother would be giving her a scolding when she came back a right mess.
She tried to think of something else to say. But nothing came and when she looked to where the other woman had been, Rose could see her walking off. Would their paths cross again? It was what she found herself wondering as she stayed sat in the patch of sunlight, knowing the heat would have her dried soon enough.
Ida could feel the clothes bunching uncomfortably to her body and the organized waves laying limp to her face. Mostly she felt the shame and anger burning through her like mad. Any person would say that when caught in this situation.
[b "Hm,"] The woman scuffed taking off the annoyingly wet shoes. If she was going to try again, she'd do it at night it seemed. [b "I doubt anyone would understand right now."]
Ida grabbed her bag, that was more for props for her in laws starting out. Her feet would get dirty but what did she care.
[#e515cc "Trying to save you. Why on Earth would you be trying to kill yourself for anyway?"] Rosalie asked as she sat on the bank, ringing out her hair. Dark eyes were on the other woman. She didn't know why she was scolding this woman to begin with, but something made her.
Rose stood and shook her head. Well this was about to be fun. And her arms crossed as she continued to look at the woman. [#e515cc " Times are hard as they are...but that does not mean this is the way to go.."]
Anyone would say that this would be a burden to bear, those people didn't know the Irvings or her family. While this should have been wonderful news it only meant longer years. The water was cold and it felt amazing on the muscles and it took everything to not rise back up like her body was pushing for.
Ida began to feel the warm fuzziness. The darkness sweeping in front of her eyes amongst the panic. And then there was a lifting feeling, before she felt air enter her lungs. The attempt to protest on resulted in painful burning her lungs. Coughing heavily she felt as if her lungs were going to burst and very much alive.
"What-what...what are you doing?" Ida asked between gasps of air. Irrational irritation filling her completely.
Sunday, another Sunday and more deaths were listed as were the prisoners of war that they knew of. The day was hotter than was normal and hardly a breeze was in small wood near the lake. She had gone to get out of the town and to be alone. It was easier than thinking about the war, though the young woman knew that was what most minds were on.
She stopped upon one of the rocks and sat with her head on her lap, auburn waved hair draping her knees. Brown eyes were watching the scene before her and for a moment she thought she was imagining things. But there was a soft splash and ringlets appeared upon the lakes surface. Maybe the woman would come back up? Maybe she was deciding a swim was nice on the hot day.
For a few moments she watched, keeping her eyes trained where she had first seen the ringlets. Rosalie shook her head. Her first thought was to go. Another person's affairs was not hers to bother. But then there was a nagging feeling as she didn't bother to strip from her dress and "dove" into the lake to pull the woman she had seen out.
On this Sunday afternoon it was still and unusually hot. The lake looked so calm and inviting, beyond the reasons of it was a hot day. Ida stared into the water, the letter falling into the water. Watching it listlissly she breathed in the air. What affairs she had was arranged, and her husband was likely dead and their Matthew.
Taking a breath she took one more step forward enjoying the breeze before she took the stepped off letting the water start to move around her. Yet she didn't move, not seeing a reason why. This was planned and the eerie calm was reassuring. She'd die in the lake that she feel in love with, where happy memories were.
Having him home for dinner was both bitter sweet. It was what she used to wish for, but he wasn't him. Not really. Sometimes they were able to strike a conversation but nights like this one it almost seemed like they were lost in their own worlds. Nat missed the man he had been and the girl she had been. She missed the kids who had been best friends and had fallen madly in love. The people who had been ready to take on the world. But now they seemed so tired and like they had fallen into a rut.
The day had been a hot and sticky one. And it still was. The young woman had switched into a pair of shorts and white tank top as she crawled into the bed and sat at one side, reaching to one of the journals. He was trying, he really was. And a small smile came to herblips, a ghost of the old sparkle in her bright blue eyes.
[#f1be0e "Here...I think at the end they follow the other a bit. Looked ahead while you had been brushing your teeth."] She said, sitting cross-legged and staring at the old bound books.
Being home for a dinner was different. The man was up early in the morning and home towards six at night, the long shifts did work, as sometimes he actually acted like a salesperson. Despite not being cheerful he felt free. What was needed was a new damn job hopefully with the same pay, or more affordable living.
Aside from a simple dinner it was a hot one though they didn't speak like they used to. He missed his best friend, hell, he missed himself. Half undressed for bed he settled down.
"Alright, so let's read these journals," he said for her sake.
Yes she felt bad about him being in the office all the time. It had REALLY did suck out his soul and make him more bitter. But could she blame him? No it was her fault in taking up teaching since it was what her parents had wanted. If she had done what she wanted, Nat would have gone with being lawyer or maybe a doctor.
[#f1be0e "The van and a dog.."] She said quietly, chewing at the corner of her lip. Her eyes did go to John for a second as the man did seem to be watching them. She then shook her head to Seb's word. [#f1be0e "No I've got it. Why don't you relax a bit? I did kind of throw you through a loop."] She said before she went inside, her mind going back to how they had tried for a child in the last couple of months and nothing had happened. It always made her think something was wrong with her because it wasn't the first time either.
"I did until they thought the office was a better fit. Now it's just that Damon office with the same terrible jokes," Sebastian couldn't hide that bitterness in his tone. That job sucked his soul out but it paid for their house and cars while teaching didn't.
His eyes followed John before looking back to her. He felt terrible to a degree. They had tried for a child two months ago but there had been no results. "We only need the van," he replied with a little dryness. "Yes, let's look at them after dinner. So you need help?"
If there had been the money he would have gotten a Damon television but it was stupid expensive.
For a few minutes, Nat was silent as she sat with Sebastian on the elder woman's couch. Bright blue eyes were on the woman as she asked the questions of the young couple and a few she had let Seb answer. The man was always better about answering on the spot than she happened to be.
[#f1be0e "Seb travels a lot with his work but I hardly get to. When I was a little girl my parents would take me to the lake often and I loved it. A friend showed us a brochure and so here we are."] It was not at all a lie. The only thing that she had left out was the having to convince her husband to take the trip.
From there, the conversation was the normal flow. The whole "what do you do?", "have you got any children" and the likes. Though it bored her, Natalia kept the smile on her face and answered the questions. The woman was old and so she was humouring her.
It was late afternoon and she could tell that Sebastian was almost at his wits end. And that was when something interesting happened. They were told how the house was bad luck and even cursed by the sins of sinners. Oh how she wanted to ask, but soon they were walked back home by John.
[#f1be0e "Well that was...odd. what do you think could have been meant? Because this place doesn't seem bad at all."] Her words were soft as she turned to face the man, her eyes dancing with her curiosity. [#f1be0e "Want to try and find out? Or is this a 'We're not in Scooby-Doo and we don't try and solve mysteries' kind of a thing?"] Her lip was already between her teeth by the time she had done with her words.
Sebastian didn't feel as if this place was that old, or small, it had what was needed. Even a theatre from his walk to the groceries. People didn't give knowing looks so everyone didn't know the other. Then answer of what could have been just didn't seem right.
"We saw a brochure and my wife loves lakes," Sebastian answered. The man had little need for adventure, he had moved and seen enough to be happy with one place.
He could practically map the conversation.
What do you do? Oh, you both work? Oh, college, we didn't need that in my day. Kids? Never stopped to try.
It was the same with their parents and the older people. It was at the end of the long afternoon when he would have dug himself out when it actually got interesting.
"I wouldn't stay in that house. It's bad luck for couples...cursed with sin..." Mrs. Baker said steadily, leading them out.
John walked them to their house. "Don't mind ma, she hates that place like most of the older ones do. I wouldn't ask either," the man gave a laugh. "I don't even know the story."
Most times his jokes didn't seem funny to her anymore, but even she could admit the one of the neighbour was a bit funny. [#f1be0e "I'm not sure how to answer that. Something you'll have to see for yourself, sweetheart."] Nat said, her tone filled with a hint of humour.
When the two had come to the neighbour's home, the woman seemed the classic elderly woman. She looked and smelled normal enough, the the young woman had known from the invitation that afternoon. [#f1be0e "He's not much into candy, but I'll have a piece."] Again with her and her habit of having a hard time saying "no" to people.
The old woman led the couple into the livingroom and smiled. "Make yourselves comfortable. I was wondering what brought such a young couple to these parts?" She didn't seem to waste any time and seemed curious of the two.
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