Behind These Eyes - Part Seven

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Alyssa had spent most of Monday morning sprawled on throw cushions in her new reading corner, sun filtering through pink and blue sheer fabric to lay in coloured streaks across the page. She had spent a good deal of the time with text books, a lecture pad and coloured highlighters in front her, while she daydreamed about laying in Luke's arms. Every so often she would force her eyes back to the page, only to find herself drifting off again only sentences later. She checked her watch. She was due to leave for a lecture in half an hour, and she was still no where near getting the reading done. Alyssa sighed and shifted on the cushions, trying to get into a position that would make her concentrate on her reading, rather than everything but, if such a position existed. As she shuffled things around, getting into a more upright pose, something on the floor caught her eye, just peeping out from under the corner of a throw rug. She stared, and leant down to pick it up in her fingers. It was the little worry doll ... the little one that she had found on the beach and forgotten to take back. It must have surfaced again with all the furniture removals. She looked down at her other hand, and realised she had been writing in her notepad, an agry scrawl slashed across the page that in no way resembled her own curved writing. The words "I had a little dolly, I told it my little worry" were scratched on the paper, the pen strokes had broken through to the next page in spots, as though the words were trying to escape out of the note pad. She dropped the pen as though it were red hot, and turned to stare at the doll, then she dropped that too, as if it had burned her.


Belle, with Rudolph in tow, arrived home to find her mother singing in the kitchen. An event which, ordinarily, would not have been remarkable, was now. The past week or so Belle had been aware that her mother was not acting her normal self, most of it was probably loneliness - it was clear that she wasn't happy being at home all day long on her own. Even though Belle thoroughly enjoyed having her around when she got home from school - an event that she couldn't remember ever happening before - she didn't enjoy having her mother feeling so unhappy. Mandy tried to hide it, but Belle could tell, nevertheless. She wondered if any of it had to do with the worry doll that Alyssa had brought home and then stopped herself - where on earth had that random thought come from, how could it have made a diference? Belle had not told her mother - or anyone else for that matter - about the worry doll that she thought Rudolph had found on the beach. There was no evidence that that was what it was, anyway, she told herself.

Belle dropped her bag in her room, and took Rudolph's harness off so he could go and have a drink. She wandered into the kitchen and stood just outside the entrance, smiling as she listened to her mother singing a bad rendition of "Murder on the Dancefloor". After a little while, she staged an entrance, plugging her ears theatrically and saying "Just what is that awful noise? Mum! I think someone is trying to strange a cat in our kitchen!"
Mandy stopped mid-wail and cuffed Belle as she walked in. Belle ducked at the last minute and asked if there was anything to eat.
"There's bread and vegemite, biscuits in the jar, just the normal fare, I'm afraid. But," she gave a dramatic pause for effect before blurting out, "I've just been offered a job!"
Belle was already raiding the bisuit jar, feeling through them for the ones she liked, and she shoved one in her mouth whole before replying, "Mm Mmm Mmmmm?"
"You're spraying crumbs everywhere, Belle!" Mandy exclaimed, "Didn't your mother teach you anything?" but her voice was smiling, even as she chided her.
Belle swallowed hurriedly and repeated, "A job where?"
"Riverview Medical Centre. I'm going in tomorrow to sort out the paperwork and everything. I'll start next week."
"Hey, that's excellent news, Mum!" Belle gave her Mum a hug. As much as she loved having her Mum around the house a bit more, it was worth her going out and getting a job, if only so that she acted herself again. Hopefully, this meant that things would start to get normal again. A little voice added in her head, quite unexpectedly, "and no more worry dolls ..."


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