Today is my second writing class and I've just finished my homework! Here is the second part of the story I began last week 'A Story About a House, A Ring and Love'- Part 1.
A Story About a House, A Ring and Love - Part 2
The following morning, after finishing my marmalade toast and a cup of steaming coffee, I rummaged through an unpacked box in search of a notepad and pen. Today was the day I had decided to begin my detective duties in an effort to find out the story behind the beautiful, old diamond ring I had found in the garden.
Heading out on to the shady front porch, I paused a moment as my eyes scanned in both directions of the street. With it's meticulously kept flower beds, the old rambling yellow house next door seemed a sensible place to start my investigative journey. Perhaps the owner had been friends with the wearer of the ring since they had shared a love of gardening.
Surrounding the old yellow house was a wrought iron fence with a creaky old gate near the driveway. There was a buzzer on the gate post which I rang numerous times with no response. Thinking that it might not be functioning anymore, I decided to go through the gate anyways and ring the side door. At this point, what did I have to lose?
The old wood side door fortunately still sported it's heavy brass lion doorknocker, which I was glad to see since the door bell seemed to be smashed in and likely was no longer functioning. Using the heavy old door knocker, I clanged 3 times as loudly as I could.
After several minutes of waiting, I was relieved to hear the creak of floorboards from within the house. I paused in apprehension as the heavy old door slowly swung open to reveal a tiny, elderly lady dressed in a faded housedress and flour strewn apron. Her soft white hair was piled up on her head and held in place with a myriad of hair pins and clasps and her brilliant blue eyes twinkled from within crinkled old eyelids.
She wiped her floury hands on her apron and struck a delicate hand out to mine when I introduced myself as her new neighbour. Apologizing for catching her in the middle of her baking, she shooed-shooed me and replied 'Nonsense! Nonsense! Not at all!!' in a squeaky voice that seemed to shake some as the words came out.
Opening the door wider, she motioned me in onto the faded old oriental throw mat that lay in the side vestibule of the old house. The place seemed homey, but dark, with most of the blinds still drawn even though the sun had been up for hours.
She insisted I come in for a cup of tea and a piece of her freshly baked apple streudel. Being more than pleased to oblige, I slipped off my blue flip-flops and followed her down the darkened hallway which led to the stuffy, old kitchen.
The ancient linoleum on the floor looked original to the house and I noticed that it had worn through in many places to show the rough, wood floor boards beneath.
The cupboards were plentiful and as I gazed around at the well-used kitchen, I couldn't help but notice a collection of old, cobalt-blue bottles and glassware lining a tall shelf in front of the window. The brilliant blues shone in the streams of sunlight that eked their way through the dusty old window panes and cast a blue reflection on to the soft mint green kitchen cabinets whereever the lightbeams found a path to take.
As I stood at the thresh-hold to the kitchen, I stopped and said in an apologetic tone, 'I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name when we met at the door.'
She replied that there was no reason to be sorry at all and that the reason I hadn't caught her name is because she hadn't yet given it to me. Then she laughed and said her name was Amelia, an old fashioned name her Mother had just loved and since she was the only girl from a family of 8 children, her Mother had jumped on the opportunity to use the name when she had been born.
I replied that it was a lovely name and had been the name of my French Grandmother. She smiled softly and pulled a green enamel chair out from an old melamine kitchen table as she motioned me to please have a seat and make myself comfortable.
I settled in on the small kitchen chair and then remembered I had left my notebook and pen on an old wicker chair outside next to her side door. Oh well, best not to have my first visit appear to be an interrogation so I resigned myself to the fact that I would spend most of my visit just getting to know her a bit better and perhaps hearing a few stories about the neighbourhood, or perchance, the house I now lived in.