“You have an amazing home, Constance.” I added conventionally.

“Thank you, you are very kind.”  She replied modestly.  “Would you care to see your room?  You must be exhausted from your travels.”  Constance’s offer made me feel suddenly tired but, I wasn’t ready to sleep yet.  One face was still missing from the Hamlin family line up; Alex.

I followed Constance to a double door room just off the south side of the kitchen.  In a single, smooth motion she glided through the doors and turned to face me, inviting me to enter.

“I hope you find that it’s comfortable, and please feel free to make yourself at home.”

Evie followed behind me as I walked in and placed my bag next to the bed.  The only time I had seen a room so elegant was in one of those interior design magazines.  All of the colors were varying, complimenting hues of white except for the huge bouquet of my favorite flowers on the night stand.  The subtle pinks and greens of Peony blossoms took over as the centerpiece of the bedroom.  I was afraid to touch anything-worried that I might leave a smudge or something.

Evie enthusiastically swooped up my sea bag and invited me to follow her to the bathroom, which was also very large and very institutionally white.  With a single arm, she lifted the bag that I struggled with and tossed it over her shoulder, as though it were filled with nothing more than Styrofoam peanuts.

“Thanks,” I said, awed by her freakish strength as she set it on the closet floor.

I continued looking around, trying not to look shocked at the palatial guest room.  The closet alone could house a small village.

“We’ll leave you to unpack and get settled,” Evie chirped.

She turned quickly and left me alone standing in the middle of the bathroom.  I was tempted to yell Hello, to see how many echoes would return to me.

I was finally alone and, I felt alone.  It was cold, and there was no sound coming from anywhere.  I wasn’t used to so much quiet.  At home I’d be able to hear the chatter from the television in the living room, cars driving up and down the streets, and the steady shrill of cicadas.  Here in this house, there was none of that.  It was eerie.  Perfect time to call dad, I thought.

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