As the sun drew its blanket over the day, Ariane grew restless under the weight of the memories of the past. She had found the key, just as the instructions said in the note that she had found in her father’s Bible – under the ancient olive tree about a quarter of a mile away at the end of the cobblestone path, past the unkempt yet beautiful white rose bushes and the weed-filled herb garden. She had dug out the little silver box that held a silver bookmark, a frayed note and a key – grease and dirt covered the silver objects.
Ariane walked back up the hill to the house and reminisced of a time long ago when she and her cousins ran around these hillsides in the Mediterranean sun every summer among wild anemone and poppy in the garden of olive trees… After a light dinner she retired for the night with a book from her grandpa’s study, “Memories of My Alter Ego” by Victoria Moss, which piqued her curiosity. She fell asleep to the sound of a distant cricket orchestra overlaid by intermittent mouse squeaks.
Ariane awoke before the sun did the next morning, she re-read the note from her father again “Ariane, I’m sorry, I wasn’t the kind of dad you wanted me to be. See the back of the bookmark.” Her father was a man of few words, like so many of his time. she tried to blink away the tears… Between sips of coffee, she cleaned her treasures and found an address on the back of the silver bookmark.
Later that afternoon, Ariane left to drive up to the location of the address. She was getting closer, driving along a single lane road snaking along the river, about two miles down she took a right up a hill, she wondered if it was a relative’s place, and if her dad had a message for her, maybe an heirloom, he had said something about a vase in the note. Ariane was awoken from her thoughts with the sight of a stunning house painted white capped with a forest green tiled roof and forest green trimmings that stood atop the hill surrounded by wild flowers and olive trees… a slide show of faces flashed across her mind as she wondered who was going to meet her at the door.
Knock…knock…knock… Seemed like no one was home, then Ariane noticed something – the striking design on the key matched that of the door knob, confused, she inserted the key in the keyhole, it worked! She walked into a space that was at once calming and awe-inspiring, the late afternoon sun filtered into the living room at just the right spots from the French windows and skylights illuminating the room in a sort of magical way, she almost saw the fairies of her childhood flitting by. Ariane’s eyes rested unknowingly on the electric blue vase on the coffee table, she walked up to it and stuck her hand in and found another note – “Ariane, my child, this house is my final gift to you, I will be with you always. Love, Dad.