‘Yes, you’re house,’ he repeated. He leaned back, ruffled his hair and watched me.
I did not know what I felt first. Shock? No, that was not possible. Interest? No, that was not possible either. My interest had already been fulfilled once I walked down that secret passageway. Fear?
The wider his smile got, the more uncomfortable I became.
‘I think I should go home,’ I said.
‘Oh, please do not leave just yet. I have a history of my own,’ he stood up walked around his desk.
Yes, I knew his history. Unless, it was all just a dream.
He sat on the desk and looked down at me. ‘They say my family has some Duke in the family and he was related to the priest. Remember the priest I mentioned? Some also say that the Duke of the family fell in love with the child’s mother. Personally, I don’t know how she looked like, but he was in love. My grandfather used to say how she would ignore him. How ungrateful she was. That she knew the power of her beauty,’ he jumped off the desk and walked towards the shelf. He pushed a book in place, looking over his shoulder, ‘women.’
‘The woman was not married?’ I asked
‘A widow. But, you’d expect someone to say yes to a Duke. I’m assuming you know your history,’ he raised his eyebrow at me.
I nodded. ‘Are we talking about the Victorian Era or Edwardian Era?’ I asked.
His lips tipped up slightly. ‘I’m not sure. Either way, apparently she refused him. They eventually married. She realised the mistake she was making, I guess,’ he turned to me. ‘There you go, that’s my history.’
I stood up and looked straight into his hazel eyes. My mind was reeling with all the new information. How? Why? Really? No, it can’t be. He looked too innocent and too nice. But it had to be done.
I was supposed to meet this man. I sat back down and looked to the distance. This meant looking at the book shelves. I needed to develop a strategy. I also could not stop thinking about the woman. I knew how they dressed during that time. Tight sleeves, puffed up on the shoulders. Such thin waist, with a wide dress. Something like that. The more I thought about it, the more the vision of the woman pushed through into my mind. I pulled out my purse and looked at my family portrait, focussing solely on my mum and Jamie. Closing my eyes, I imagined my mum dressed in such a manner, imagined Jamie in such a suit. But Jamie was loud and friendly. He was not closed off. He could make friends easily. Although, for the past few days, he did seem like that he was in his own world. We both were.
Mum, of course, was beautiful. She could fit in such as dress. Suddenly, my skin began to prickle. Tilting my head up slightly, I realised Derek was leaning over me, staring that the photo.
‘She truly is beautiful.’
I did not like the sound of his tone. ‘Well, yes she is. She is my mother,’ I stated. I shoved my purse back into my bag.
‘Although,’ he began and stood straight, looking down at me, ‘apart from the cheekbones, you look nothing like her.’
I shook my head and smiled. ‘No one can compete with my mum, how on earth will I? Besides, I like everything I got from my dad.’ was my simple response.
‘Hmm, your dad?’ He scrunched his eyes. Was that contempt in his voice? This man may be handsome, but my dad was from another world. I’ve seen how women fall at his feet when he’s at work.
‘Anyways, I should be going. I will be back tomorrow,’ I said. I gathered my things and looked up at him.
The smile was no longer there. He seemed angry.
‘Yes, tomorrow. I’ll show you everyone that lived here at the time,’ he turned his back on me.
He threw his spectacles across the table.
Not knowing what to make of it, I walked out.