Ceramic picture tile of Glastonbury Tor. I made this a while ago when I was still attending ceramic classes. The frame is based on the mirror frame in ‘Friends’. You can see it has got a crack – this may be due to a cat accident….The original painting I did for this chapter didn’t work and I tore it up in a temper (haven’t done that in a while ) 🙂
CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR
The next morning Kallis was on her mobile phone early, calling the airline and arranging a flight. There was a seat available on the afternoon flight and Kallis booked it. She packed her bag and had a quick shower, scrubbing the Nile out of her hair and skin. She thought about leaving a note, but decided against it. She didn’t know quite what to say. Kallis let herself out of the apartment quietly. Nobody was up. She managed to find a passing taxi and headed off to the airport, knowing she would be early but just wanting to feel she was on her way. ‘I can sit in a café there until my flight,’ Kallis thought. Once there, with a coffee and some toast in front of her, she texted her friend Mel. Mel texted her back straight away that she would pick her up from Bristol. Then Kallis changed her mind and decided that she would get a bus to Glastonbury and texted Mel back again. ‘I want to see Dave,’ Kallis decided.
It was a long morning at the airport. Kallis just sat and thought through what had happened to her. She wondered how she hadn’t seen what was coming. ‘That woman in the market was right,’ she thought, ‘but I survived the bad event and I’m o.k.’
How good people are, thought Kallis. Judy would have done anything to help me last night and she had never met me before. The kindness of strangers. Kallis pondered upon this and thought she would send Judy a long e mail very soon and thank her again.
Eventually, the flight was called and Kallis was on her way home. The five hour flight seemed endless and the turbulence woke Kallis several times. On one occasion she was embarrassed when she realised that she had been crying in her sleep. She thought about her father a lot and remembered how she had heard his voice in her head, guiding her up towards the water’s surface. ‘He died a long time ago but he lives on in my mind,’ thought Kallis, ‘and in times of need he is there for me.’ It was a comforting thought.
Once in Bristol, Kallis rang Mel. ‘So, Cairo not all you thought it would be?’ asked Mel.
‘No. Not really. Have I got a lot to tell you.’ And Kallis told her the whole thing while she was waiting for the bus.
‘Bloody hell, Kal, come on back to Newport. Don’t go chasing off to Glastonbury again.’
‘No, no, I’ll be o.k. I want to find Dave. Then I’ll come back.’
‘But, Kal, come on, be reasonable. You’ve had a bad time. You need to be here with your Mother, with me.’ Melanie pleaded with her friend.
‘I’ll call you soon, the bus is here.’ Kallis hung up.
CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE
Kallis arrived back in Glastonbury at a very late hour. It was dark and the streets were quiet and empty and shining with rain from the last downpour. She got off the bus, breathing in the cool night air. It was a relief after the oppressive heat of Cairo. She headed over to The Travellers. Luckily they had a free room and she checked in for the night. Kallis was exhausted and jet lagged and still in a bit of shock. She spent a fitful night full of strange, disturbed dreams, a mixture of drowning and running away from something horrible.
Back in Newport, Charlotte was up early and on the phone to her work colleague, Jill.
‘Jill? Listen, sorry to bother you so early but I’ve got a bit of an emergency with my daughter and I need you to cover my classes today. Would you mind?’
Jill of course agreed and the work for her students was sent by e mail. Charlotte quickly drank down a cup of coffee and set off in her Citroen Diane.
She had got a phone call from Kallis’ friend, Melanie, last night and was feeling slightly alarmed. Melanie, she felt, had not given her the full story but it seemed that Kallis was back from Cairo and was staying in Glastonbury, and something awful had happened to her. Charlotte had tried calling Kallis’ mobile but had just got a message that the phone was not switched on.
‘I don’t suppose you ever stop worrying about your child,’ thought Charlotte. ‘I had thought that Kallis might be settled down with children of her own by now, but, still, there’s time for that yet.’
Charlotte turned onto the suspension bridge over the Bristol Channel. It was a grey and misty morning and there were lots of lorries about, slowing her progress. Charlotte tried to concentrate on her speed but it was hard. She just wanted to be there with Kallis and to know she was ok. Trying to remember Glastonbury, Charlotte thought she had been there once before but usually she stopped over at Street, the town next to Glastonbury. There is a large factory discount place there called ‘The Village’ and Charlotte had spent many a happy shopping afternoon there with her friend Jill.
Charlotte sped down the M5 and turned off at Bridgwater, blasting along the ‘A’ road, swerving to miss a lone fox in the road, and on through to Street where the Tor was visible through the morning mists as she drove over a small bridge and past a sign welcoming her to Glastonbury, ‘The ancient Avalon’.
Kallis woke in the morning starving hungry and realised that she hadn’t eaten very much the day before. She headed across to the café over the road and ate a hearty veggie breakfast and drank lots of coffee. On her way back to ‘The Travellers’ Kallis spotted a tall, blonde lady heading into the reception area. ‘She looks a lot like my Mum’, thought Kallis. As Kallis walked in she realised that it was, indeed Charlotte.
‘Kallis! Thank goodness.’ The two women embraced.
‘Mum, what are you doing here? How did you know where I was?’
‘Well, Melanie rang me, of course, and don’t be angry with her. She’s very worried about you. She wouldn’t tell me what was going on so I thought I’d better and come and find you.’
‘Oh, Mum, I didn’t want to worry you. Well, Cairo didn’t work out for me. Come on, let’s walk and I’ll tell you about it.’
They headed off slowly through the town. It was still quite early and not many people were around. Kallis told her mother the whole story; she didn’t really have to time to think of an edited version. Anyway, once she started talking, the words just all came out.
‘Oh, Kallis, darling. Look, never mind, you were brave and you dealt with the situation, and you are o.k. Shamiela was pleased to see you and in a way it is nice that you got to see her again.’
Both women were quiet for a moment, lost in thought. They had walked a long way and were standing by an old building that had a small field with apple trees and some Jacob´s sheep in it. One of the sheep had worked out a technique for scrumping the apples. In spite of its large woolly bulk, it was able to stand and balance on its hind legs and thereby reach the apples on the lower branches. It looked both strange and comical. Kallis and Charlotte both started to laugh at it. It broke the sombre mood.
‘Kallis, I can’t believe you jumped in the Nile. It’s a miracle you got back out ok! Thank goodness for that Judy. What a thing to do, although I agree the alternative was not attractive either. I wonder what Shamiela told Yusef when he came home.’
‘Yeah, well, she would side with him and try and keep the peace, I suppose.’
‘I hope she had a go at him. In fact, from what I remember about Shamiela, he would have been in a whole lot of trouble.’ Charlotte rubbed her eyes. ‘What a morning! But I am glad I came, darling, and found out what had happened to you. Why don’t you come back with me now and spend a few days at least, in Newport? And we probably ought to get you checked out by a doctor; the Nile is none too clean’
‘Mum, I feel fine, really I do. And I want to stay here and try and find Dave. I feel he will understand what has happened to me and …well; there are some other things I need to talk to him about. But I’ll ring you soon and let you know my plans.’
They started to walk back to the town.
‘Well, knowing you, Kallis, I don’t suppose I will be able to change your mind. Make sure you ring me, mind, and if you feel strange get to a doctor straight away.’
‘I will, Mum, don’t worry. It’s been good to talk to you and I am glad you came over to find me.’