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Hidden - Part 3
Published Apr 22, 2010


Written By

shaml_sim

Storyteller
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Here is the third and final installment of my story, Hidden. A big thank you to all those who have given me such positive feedback on the previous parts and I hope you enjoy this chapter!

A big thank you again to Cyclonesue for her amazing 'junk' sets which can be seen in all parts of Hidden. Coming across these sets gave me the idea for this story and I had a lot of fun writing it!

Here is the third and final installment of my story, Hidden. A big thank you to all those who have given me such positive feedback on the previous parts and I hope you enjoy this chapter!

A big thank you again to Cyclonesue for her amazing 'junk' sets which can be seen in all parts of Hidden. Coming across these sets gave me the idea for this story and I had a lot of fun writing it!
Josie arrived home in record time, her little lungs gasping for breath. She quickly scanned the driveway for her father's car but the space was empty and dark. Despite knowing there was nobody home, she slipped inside the house quietly and locked the door. Until now, Josie hadn't noticed her tummy grumbling and she suddenly felt ravenous. She made her way to the kitchen where she opened the refrigerator door and peered into its illuminated interior.
In relief, she found her organised mother had left several plates of food for her and her father while she was gone. There was stir-fry, goopy carbonara and Josie's favourite, spaghetti. Without hesitation, she grabbed a plate of her favourite meal and put it in the microwave for two minutes.
As she sat eating her dinner alone, Josie thought it strange that her mother was not hovering around nearby. It was not often that she was sent away on business but when she did go interstate or abroad, the house was eerily quiet.
Josie's father, Edward, wasn't a bad person for not being a great father, he was just very dedicated to his work. Josie had accepted this a long time ago when she realised her parents hadn't planned for her arrival into the world.
Her mother had relished in her her new role after Josie's birth but her father had always found it difficult to be the 'family man' he had never aspired to be. All of Edward's satisfaction came from his successes as a businessman and, as a CEO, he had celebrated many of them. He did not realise he was failing as a father but Josie still loved him dearly. Sometime later in the evening, a breeze swept past Josie as she lay sleeping on the couch. Her eyes tried desperately to open but they each seemed to weigh a ton and she gave up quite quickly as sleep consumed her once again. It was easier to give in to the enchantment of dreams to come.
Unbeknown to her, Edward placed a quick kiss on his daughter's cheek. She looked so precious when she slept and he resented the idea of waking her just to put her to bed. Instead, he brushed a strand of her hair out of her face and went to find a blanket he could cover her with.
On Sunday, after Josie and Edward ate breakfast together, she found herself alone once again. Her father briefly mentioned he had paperwork to take care of and disappeared into his home office. Josie could hear him now, tapping away on the keyboard. Deliberating over what to do, she finally decided she had the perfect opportunity to visit her new 'friend'. As long as her father had peace and quiet, he didn't mind where she went or what she did. He knew she would always come back in one piece.
So, with her mind made up and excitement bubbling through her, Josie called out, "I'll be back later, dad! I'm just going out for a walk."
Without waiting for a response, she ran out the front door, pulling it closed behind her.
Josie appreciated being out in the fresh air and she watched as two birds flew playfully around each other, chirping happily. The sky was blue and unblemished, the song of nature filling her ears. She broke into a run, wanting to feel alive just as much as she was eager to reach her destination. As she ran, she wondered how Davina could keep herself locked away from the beauty of the world for so long. Obviously, she had been witness to some of the ugliness lurking in the shadows of life but maybe she didn't know that it was still possible to appreciate its great aspects whilst still mending an emotional wound. It may even speed up the process and this was exactly what Josie was intending to do. It was easy to side step around all the littler and junk filtered throughout Davina's front yard now that her heart wasn't beating a million miles an hour. Making her way up the stairs quickly, Josie rapped on the door.
Hearing footsteps on the other side, she said, "Davina, it's Josie."
The door opened slowly until one of Davina's cat-like green eyes appeared in the crack. "Josie...yes, come in."
Before either of them knew it, two hours had passed while they sat chatting across from each other at Davina's small table. To those who did not know them, it would not have been apparent that they had only met for the first time, two days prior. And it hadn't been under the most natural of circumstances but it now seemed that a higher power had brought them together. Josie sensed that Davina had become much more comfortable in her presence than their last encounter and for that she was glad. It was almost as if she was talking to her long lost grandmother the way they conversed so easily. Davina showed genuine interest in how Josie was finding school, how she felt being an only child and why she had no proper friends, amongst other things. And Josie felt confident enough to venture into Davina's past; though she only received snippets of information, it was enough to know Davina had once been married with a young daughter but for a long time, neither of these had still existed. As Josie began heading out the door on her way back home, she turned to Davina and smiled. "You know, I'd really love to take you through town one day - maybe to the park?" she suggested. "It must have changed since you've been out there and I know you will love it."
Uncertainty and fear washed over Davina's face. "Oh...n-no, Josie, I don't - I can't."
Josie had expected the older woman to reject the idea at first but she was surprised to see her react with so much fear in her eyes.
"Of course you can," Josie reassured her. "It's not so scary, I promise. And I'll be with you."
"No, you don't understand - " Davina began.
"I do, believe me. I know it must be so hard to even think about going outside after being hidden away in here for so long but it will be so great for you! There's so much to be appreciated and you will love the fresh air."
Arriving back home half an hour later, Josie still hadn't received a 'yes' from Davina but she knew she would be taking her outside one way or another. She wasn't about to give up that easily.
Now though, she had to prepare for her mother's return home the next day. The house was still fairly clean but she felt it necessary to clean the dishes and complete some other small chores so her mother could rest when she got back.
The next day, Monday, Josie got herself ready and off to school as she usually did each weekday. But by the time the school bell rang that afternoon, signaling the end of the day, she had decided that when she got home she would tell her mother about Davina and prayed she would understand. As soon as she opened the door, Josie could smell her mother's fragrance; fruity and fresh, it was a pleasant smell to the senses. It was the only smell Josie associated with her mother because she had been wearing that particular fragrance for years and years. "I thought I heard the door."
"Mum!" Josie's smile lit up and she rushed into her mother's arms. "I'm glad you're back."
"And I'm glad to be back, pumpkin," her mother replied. "How was your weekend?"
"It was good." Josie shrugged.
"What about school today?"
Josie shrugged again. "Ok."
Her mother chuckled. "Well, it sound like there was a lot of excitement while I was gone."
"Actually," Josie said, looking at her feet, "I want to tell you something."
This sparked her mother's interest. "You do, huh?"
Josie nodded and led her to the couch. She spent the next ten minutes explaining why she had gone to Davina's house despite her mother's orders and about the strange but sad, old woman she had met there.
To Josie's surprise, her mother listened attentively to everything she had to say. She didn't interrupt, didn't look disappointed, and much to Josie's delight, didn't look at all angry.
"Josie, I can't say I'm happy about you going against my orders," she said. Josie sighed, her mother was disappointed. "Things could have gone a lot worse and thank god they didn't. I'm not sure I want you going back there on your own, even knowing that just a lonely, old woman lives there."
"But, mum - "
"Sweetheart, your heart's in the right place but you're too young to be looking after a virtual stranger, even if she seems harmless," her mother added, gently.
Later that night, Josie sat watching the TV absently. She could see the picture on the screen but no sound was getting through. She was too busy thinking about Davina.
There was no doubt she would be very disappointed when Josie didn't return but that was nothing compared to the disappointment Josie herself felt. The feeling of letting Davina down was all encompassing but worse was the fact she couldn't do anything about it.
By the end of the school week, Josie's heart had almost completely sunk as she trudged slowly home. She had conjured up an unlikely friendship with Davina and already she missed her, despite only knowing her for such a short amount of time. She thought her mother would have understood and seen beyond her ten years of life experience...but she hadn't. Arriving home, she let herself in and closed the door unenthusiastically. It clicked shut and suddenly Josie found herself holding her breath; she was sure she had just heard soft voices being carried out from the kitchen.
That's unusual, she thought, we rarely have visitors.
Her curiousity quickly got the better of her and she silently made her way to the kitchen entrance, even though she was sure her arrival would already be known.
Peeking in, she got the shock of her life. Surely her eyes were playing tricks on her - that couldn't be Davina seated at the kitchen table with her mother! But, after blinking several times, she still saw Davina seated in her very own kitchen. And now their eyes met. Josie's mother followed Davina's gaze and smiled.
"Guess what?" she said. "Someone's here to see you."
Josie's jaw dropped. "You came here to see me? How did you know where I lived?"
Davina smiled nervously. "I had some help, of course."
Josie soon discovered that her mother had actually comprehended the fact that Davina had made quite an impression on her and that she desperately wanted to help her. Without risking the safety of her daughter, Michelle had gone to visit this mysterious old woman to form a judgment of her own.
Fortunately for Josie, her mother had also felt an instant need to help this woman get her life back.
Within minutes, Michelle left Josie and Davina alone after conveniently remembering she had some washing to hang out.
"I can't believe you're here," Josie whispered, still in shock.
"Me neither," Davina replied, and Josie noticed her hands were shaking.
"What persuaded you to come out of your house?" she asked. "I know how hard it must have been...you wouldn't even come out with me!"
Davina nodded. "I know, and it hasn't been easy. It took a long time to step out the door." She didn't mention the loss of breath, rapid heart rate and strong nausea she felt at doing this. "But what your mum told me made me face my fears."
"What did she tell you?"
There was a silence before Davina spoke again. "That since she had stopped you from visiting me, the life seemed to have seeped out of you. I couldn't let that happen to someone else...not again. I couldn't let you down."
Josie kept her eyes focused on Davina's aged face. Every crease, every wrinkle, seemed to symbolize an ache of her heart."You didn't let me down, not at all. I actually felt like I was letting you down."
Josie stood up and took Davina's hand in hers. "Can I give you a hug?"
Davina bit down on her lower lip and tears sprung to her eyes. She couldn't believe how much love, how much kindness this child had in her. "Oh, o-of course."
They stood there, holding each other, as seconds and minutes ticked slowly by. It had been a long, long time since Davina had been hugged or felt any type of human touch like this. This little girl had succeeded in doing what she could not; the wall she had erected around her heart and soul was inching its way down and it almost felt like she was breathing fresh air again.
The relief and utter astonishment at having someone that cared about her proved too much to comprehend. Tears spilled over her cheeks but was not aware of them until Josie brought it to her attention.
"Do you want a tissue?" she asked.
Davina smiled, choking on a sob. "No, thank you. It feels good to let this out, it's been much too long. And thank you for making it happen."
From that day onwards, Josie and Davina were inseparable. No longer were friends important, they had the greatest friendship of all. People often assumed Davina was Josie's grandmother and the two of them were more than happy to go along with it. In fact, Josie was pleased she had a grandmother figure in her life who she had such a close bond with and Davina felt as if Josie was a second daughter to her, giving her another chance at loving a child.The large generation gap between them was never a hindrance on their friendship, it actually helped bring them closer as they spent many hours talking about the differences in their lives.
They remained very close for the rest of Davina's life and when it was time to say goodbye, Josie held her two daughters close, thanking the heavens she had had the privilege to be such a close friend of Davina's for so many years...her life was so much better for it.

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#33xEleqanceApr 30, 2010

Lovely story and ending as alwayss \:D ! can't wait too see you make more stories \:wub\:

#34haiduongMay 1, 2010

I love the front page of your story and the story too.

#35D34n3May 6, 2010

wow... an amazing story... just as always... love it!!!\:wub\: \:wub\:

#36dolphin.laughterMay 10, 2010

I meant to comment earlier, but I was painting my nieces nails and watching a movie on my laptop at the same time. But the way you worded the story was really, really good. Tell me when you post a new story...would love to read it. \:\) 

#37bzanna2May 21, 2010

Aww... what a sweet story and a sweet little girl Josie is! I admire your detailed writing \:wub\:

#38dorienskiMay 22, 2010

love the story!

#39jonialNov 10, 2010

WOW. I love this. Wonder job\:rah\:

#40Dec 15, 2010

thank you

#41emilymarie0201Mar 8, 2011

absolutely wonderful story!!\:wub\:

#42taxa08Apr 1, 2012

\:rah\:

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