Cilia

Chapter 2

     

 Accueil   Home  

5

Right after they had all arrived back home Lilly went upstairs into her room. Sophia and Kelly had started to talk about old times and the men discussed commercial things. Because she didn't feel able to follow them in any of these topics, she decided to look for a quiet place all for herself. Ted had given her a canary the week before and in moments like those, when she felt such misplaced the bird turned out to be a good companion. Not that the others tried to avoid or exclude her sometimes she just thought if it would be better to have her own home with Ted alone. Leaving all this trouble with Rafe behind her and concentrating on their marriage. No mother, no father in the house or as close neighbors just the two alone.

Lilly heard steps on the floor.

"Please God, don't let it be Sophia or Kelly. I don't like to give explanations, now." She thought by herself.

The door opened and Ted entered.

"Hey, what's up? The family is wondering where you are. Dad and Kelly are discussing how the perfect  "Capwell-son-in-law" has to be like. And Connor is just sitting there, making faces with Mum. The two......"

Ted noticed that Lilly didn't seem to be much interested in the story. He came up to her to the window, where she stood close to the birdcage feeding "Birdy" with grains.

"Did I say something wrong?"

"That's Ted!" she thought. "Always blaming himself directly. Never thinking that the problem could be me. Cute of him, but ....."

Ted asked himself what Lilly's reasons for being so quiet could be. She had been absent with her thoughts all evening long and so he tried to reach her from another side. Putting his arms around her waist and putting his head on her shoulders seemed to be a good idea.

"I had so much fun tonight. Actually the whole day. But it seems that you didn't like it at all."

Lilly had enough and turned around, slipping under Ted's arms away. She had to say it. Right now. Although it wasn't the perfect moment, because Ted had spent "such a marvelous day". It had to be outspoken.

"Ted!" She wasn't sure how to start.

"Perhaps I should shout the truth right into his face" she thought.

"I'd like to move out of this house."

There it was the words almost standing between them.

Ted's face showed how surprised he was and that he couldn't follow.

"I would like to move together..... all alone with you into a new apartment. To be able to keep a certain distance from the family."

"I thought you would be happy here with my family. Now that Mum is back again and everything became relaxed and peaceful" Ted said exited.

"But I am not, Ted. I am not."

Lilly crossed the room and walked towards her bed. Ted followed her and both sat down. Lilly was not able to go on talking while sitting close to him, so she made sure, that there would be some space between them. But soon she noticed, that Ted had no intention to move closer. He was shocked by her words. Lilly knew, that she would have to go on now.

"Sure. I feel fine with your family. I love them. But that doesn't mean, that I like to have them around me all the time."

Courage came up in her and so she turned to Ted and looked in his face.

"I don't have to remember you what kind of troubled times we had in the last weeks, do I?"

"You mean the story with Rafe?" Ted supposed. Lilly couldn't mean anything else.

Lilly's courage diminished again. She felt like getting up and walking and so she did.

"Yes! At the very beginning I didn't feel sure at all if I had made the right decision. And when I finally became and we both trusted and loved eachother I had no chance to enjoy this time. I wanted to be with you. Just with you. Wanted to get used of my ... our new life. Wanted to built up our life. But everytime I had made plans for us both, a family member came with a brilliant, much better plan. And every second day this question about a grandchild."

"Right O! That's it!" Ted thought.

He stood up and took her in his arms again.

"Lilly. If they ask you about a grandchild, they want to play jokes on me. Our family is fulfilled with the intention of building an American Dynasty. And of course they like me to deliver the next baby."

"Deliver?"

Lilly was upset about Ted's expression.

"O come on. You know I didn't mean it that way" Ted tried to defend himself. "It's no secret that they like to have another baby and it's also no secret, that I like to have it with you." Carefully he came closer. "But just, when we are both sure that the time is right. When we both want it."

Lilly started crying.

"Try not to listen to them ignore them when they start again. Connor is going through the son-in-law-story himself right now downstairs."

Ted had no success. Lilly couldn't stop crying, shaking her head and pressing her body closer to him. But then she looked up.

"Ted. I ..... we need this distance from your family to start a life on our own. Let's move into a cozy little apartment where we can discover ourselves."

Ted was amused by her words.

"I thought we have done this already. Shouldn't people do this before they marry?"

"It doesn't have to be at the other end of this world. Perhaps at the other end of the town ...... and we will come to see them every Sunday for a coffee or so."

Ted started laughing and Lilly couldn't avoid joining him.

"We will build a little world just for us and from time to time we'll take the shuttle to visit the other planet with its extraterristics."

"Now you got me!" Lilly answered happily.

"Well, Dad won't be glad about that. You know, he likes to keep his family always close around him. Close enough to control them."

"Ted. Noone has to control us." Lilly corrected him. "I know we are clever enough to make it  on our own.."

"OK! If it makes you happy, I will talk to Dad tomorrow morning. But now ..... would you like to join us downstairs. I know Connor would be delighted to know you on his side."

When Lilly agreed, Ted kissed her softly on her nose and they went down to see the others.

 

6

In the early hours of the next morning the bus reached Santa Barbara.

Cilia had to wait for night bus, because she had barely missed the evening service. When she could take her seat at 5 am she got no chance to find some sleep. Her neighbor had been asleep already and showed it with a loud, enoying noise.

"OK!" she said. "My chance to read it allover again. Perhaps I will need it."

Again she pulled the big envelope out of her bag. When she turned the page with her travel instructions she looked at CC Capwell's photo and a short biography. She read it patiently to make sure, that she had kept most of the information in mind. On the next pages photos and biographies of the complete Capwell family and their confidantes and friend were located. She had a short look on these pages, too before she turned them back and looked at Sophia's photo intensively.

"It seems, that you didn't change at all" she said quietly to herself, but loud enough to make her seat-neighbor to twirl and to clear his throat.

When the bus had reached the final station everything worked out fine. She took a cab and told the driver the destination : the Capwell residence. A few minutes later she had a wonderful view of a landscape, she had only always dreamt of. Palms, magnificent flowers, splendid houses with their own swimmigpool in the garden. Except of the plans she had seen this shine already at the Armonti residence in Italy. But the trees were part of this special Californian flair or however you would like to call it. 

Suddenly she got a wistful feeling. Was it right decision to leave Italy?  After all, she had an almost perfect life there. The Count Armonti was dead for many years and his widow Sophia had left the country. The children had moved to bigger towns to be closer to the social and commercial life. So it became more and more quiet in the halls of the big house and one day the administrators decided to reduce the staff drastically, before they dissolved it almost completely. Cilia had been one of only a few people that were allowed to remain there. But when she found the letter, where a rich German industrial made his purchase offer, she knew that her days in the  Armonti residence were finally counted. If she wouldn't have known about this letter, she probably would have never agreed to this adventure later on.  But it was too late. She had made her decision.

The cab bent into a narrow way and a short time after a security station in front of a gigantic gate came to see. Two uniformed men were there as security guards and Cilia remembered that she had seen some guys like these in American police movies before. One of them approached the car. He carried a radio set and on his belt a holster with a gun. Cilia didn't feel comfortable at all.

"And now he will ask me something. What I want or so." she thought. "And if he will get any doubts about my answer, he will pull this gun directly" Cilia starred at the gun  "and will tell me to vanish immediately. Or he will call the police and they will arrest me." Cilia wished to be somewhere else.

"Hello, Miss."

Right now he didn't sound like one of these TV-guys at all.

"Is someone expecting you?"

OK! Now it was her turn. Should she really tell him this story about Rosa's friend at the east coast? Cilia decided to start slowly.

"I'd like to see Rosa Andrade."

The security officer was surprised to hear that she was asking for the housekeeper and not for a Capwell.

"And Rosa knows that you are coming?"

Next step. Now the story about the old friend?

"I have been told to ask for her. I'm looking for a job."

Cilia didn't mention the "east-coast-friend". She had no good feeling doing this. But how long would she be able to avoid it? With a surprise she heard that the man seemed to know what she was talking about.

"You are here for the job as a  maid. Why didn't you say so?"

"What is he talking about" Cilia thought by herself. She was totally confused but recognized that he had just given her free way to the Capwell house. Shyly she twitched with her shoulders and smiled.

Casually she  went with her fingers through her dark, curled hair and saw that the man leant against the car. Somehow she had managed to get his full attention.

"I hope you will get this job" A certain kind of offer was conspicuous. "We could need someone like you here."

Without taking an eye off her he told his partner to open to gate.

"Hope we'll see again, Miss"

Two fingers tipped on his cap and saluted her.

"At least when I pass the gate again. Whenever this will be."

She couldn't believe what she had just said. This was not the time for playing games. But finally she got what she wanted. The cab drove on, along the long driveway to the Capwell main-house.

And there it was. The Capwell house. The huge door looked more repulsively than inviting to her. What, if someone would come through this door now, right towards? What should she say? Slowly the cab driver passed by the door.

"Excuse me. I'd like to get out here." Cilia shouted.

"Miss, as far as I heard are you looking for a job in this house and also as far as I know is the servant-entrance at the back of the house. Believe me, I dropped of a lot of girls there and I took the most of them with me again. Can't remember that I ever saw them again" The driver smiled sarcastically.

Then he stopped the car.

"That's $15.20, Miss. Expensive for an attempt."

Cilia ignored his last remark. But she remembered another saying from the TV.

"You don't have to wait.......and keep the change!" she said and gave him $20 Dollar. A bit nervous she waited if he would answer something, but then she heard the wheels in the gravel. She took a long breath, turned the head  from the left to the right and rang the bell.

 

7

Julia stood in front of the mirror and stuck out her tongue.

"I hate you, when you look like this!" she grumbled.

Then she took her make-up from the little bag next to the mirror and tried to get rid of the dark lines below her eyes.

"Just a bit more and you are suitable  for the world again."

Julia had another critical look on herself and was finally  OK with the result. Two soft slaps with the flat hand right in her face and she also had rosy cheeks again. At last a cheering-up smile and then she went back to the breakfast table, where Mason and Samantha were waiting for her. She opened the door to the kitchen and could see how Samantha just ran out to play on the terrace. Mason was still sitting at the table, making himself another bread with jam. Julia took a seat and just tried to continue with her breakfast when she heard Mason saying:

"Well, could we make up some space for a second breakfast?"

Mason could be so rude and Julia remembered how long it took to finish the make-up.

And she was much too proud to agree with him and so she gave him an ironically look and bit into her chocolate-croissant. But the bit got stuck in he throat this thing didn't taste at all like a French breakfast institution. Mason could recognize her arising reluctance.

"Don't you like the taste of croissants this morning, Darling?" he asked and had another tasty bit into his bread.

His mouth still full he couldn't stop to go on.

"I can remember very well because it only happened a few hours ago that you said you couldn't live without these tasty, fresh, little croissants and made me to get dressed to get you some at 1:30 am in the middle of the night." Again he had a big bit of his bread.

"Eat your bread!" Julia shouted. "You are so nice quiet then."

Mason was obviously very amused about Julia's fury and he had to admit that he liked it to  get her that far from time to time. It happened to give their relationship this special "kick".

"It seems to me that your "moods" are starting earlier this pregnancy as at the time you were expecting Samantha" he mentioned.

"I didn't know that you can put yourself so  well into the moods of pregnant women, Mason. Did you get these experiences with one of your last pregnancies?"

Julia looked so cute when she got mad with him. But Mason had learned when to finish and so he didn't continue this conversation.

"You're having an appointment with Dr. Elander today, haven't you?"

Dr. Elander was gynecologist, new in town and had opened his practice recently. Julia had been recommended by a friend and was delighted by his way of showing interest and understanding for her right from the start.

She noticed Mason's intention to change to subject in their conversation and accepted it hesitantly.

"I don't know yet if I will be able to make it."

"Could you please tell me what that means and what for heaven's sake seems to be  more important to you than the precaution of our baby?"

Julia didn't like if, when Mason tried to give her any advice for her pregnancy and how to handle it. But after all he was the father of the baby and she was happy that he cared more this time than he did when she carried out Samantha. Should she really tell him about the appointment with a client and to take the risk to wake up his father-instincts? He wasn't happy about her decision to go on working at all. For many days they have had discussions about this topic which ended that way, that one of them took a long walk on the beach.

"Julia!"

Masons tone became forceful.

"Darling. You know I would never do a thing that could harm our baby. It was too much work to make it. But ........"

She knew that she was on her direct way into a lion's cage.

"But there's also another life I have to live. And as long as the little one doesn't need all my strength and attention I'd like to think of myself, too."

Mason got suspicious  and his face did show it clearly.

"If you would talk about shopping or sport now I could really understand. But you are talking about some unimportant case that ......"

"This case is not that unimportant!" Julia burst out.

Mason saw himself confirmed.

"I knew it!"

Really mad he threw his napkin on his plate. Again this  unpleasant topic. It almost seemed to him that she didn't trust him to take care of his family alone.

Mason walked around the table and looked out of the window. He could see Samantha playing with her favorite doll in the garden. He loved Samantha so much and he could never stand it, if something would happen to her, because he couldn't take care of the situation.

Julia felt sorry that she had started to talk about the case. She also placed her napkin on her plate she was not hungry anymore anyway and turned around to Mason, trying to make as  much noise as possible to get his attention and his understanding. But Mason ignored her completely and starred through the window.

"OK!" Julia said.

She stood up and placed herself right behind him. Although he could feel her breath in his neck he didn't show her that he had noticed her. Julia made another step and embraced him, leaning her head on his back. She hoped that it would be Mason's turn now and that he would talk to her. But she also hoped that he wouldn't turn around to harsh, because she would be pushed against the chair that stood only a few inches behind her. To get backaches just because of this stupid matter no, she didn't want that.

There was still no reaction from Mason, so Julia tried to use the diplomatic way.

"My mother carried a whole sack of potatoes into the basement shortly before my birth."

She had success. Mason turned around and Julia tried to keep the contact with him. Skeptically he looked at her.

"I never carried a full sack of potatoes into the basement myself, because we do know something so called "delivery-service" in the United States. And for another Dollar they would even dig a hole to carry it lower."

Now one lawyer talked against the other. If this had started once, it could take hours to the first result. Besides Julia would bring in some attractions, that could wake the human being in the lawyer Mason Capwell. So first of all : her look into his eyes wide open eyes looking at him from below. Next thing : the mouth she pressed her lips sulky on each other and leant her head to the side. Most important thing : don't say a word!

"I know what you are planing" Mason told her. "But it won't help you!"

He got free of her and turned to the table. There he laid one hand on the table and pressed the other in his hips. Julia kept her look and more and more he got uncertain. Almost afraid he turned around to her a few times.

"You don't have to look at me this way. I won't change my mind. A pregnant woman belongs into the house and not into a lawyer-chancellery."

Mason had to look away from time to time not to start to stutter. An unambiguous sign for Julia that he couldn't stand this much longer.

"You can stop this, really. You're looking like Samantha when I tell her that it is time for bed and she doesn't like to go."

Julia kept on just standing there looking at him without saying a word.

"That's typically! The mother behaves like the daughter" he protested.

He had to leave the room now to avoid that he falls for her female attractions. He wanted to keep a little rest of pride. And he wanted to have the final word giving her no chance to answer.

"If this child" he started and pointed at Julia's tummy, "becomes a girl, too and starts to behave like her mother, then I won't have any chance to point out my opinion in this my house ever!"

He said and vanished.

Julia threw her head in the neck.

"Silence is the best weapon" she said to herself.

 

8

Ted and CC's discussion was loud enough to hear it through the closed door of the study.

"Dad" Ted tried to justify himself "I came to talk you about this matter, but if you are not able to talk this through quietly and do react aggressive like this again I'm sorry to tell you, that I came here to inform you about our decision and not to ask you for your permission."

Ted was really surprised that this kind of statement came over his lips. Sure, he has had a lot of conversations like this with his father. And he wouldn't be CC Capwell if the conversation would not be able to turn the other way round within a heartbeat. Ted could notice that with Sophia's return into the family his father became more balanced and so it was Ted's wish that Sophia should have been present while they talked.  Unfortunately she had an appointment in town and so Ted had to fight this battle alone. As far as he could judge the situation the fight was tie.

"And could you please tell me the reason for your sudden decision!"

CC's voice sounded rude and aggressive . Till breakfast the world had been a beautiful place. Then Ted had asked for this conversation. If he would have had know what it was all about, he would have told him that he was too busy.

Ted tried to calm the atmosphere down.

"Well, it's no special reason......"

"If there is no special reason I don't see any sense in this intention or the whole discussion."

The discussion was over for CC. He went to his desk, opened his file and started to put some documents in. This was the sign for Ted that he could leave. But this time he didn't want to go. And this time he didn't want to loose.

"Even if the reason is not special or important enough for you it's special and important enough for Lilly and me. And we will go to an agency today and we will tell them to find us a home."

Ted had to notice that his father tried to punish him by ignoring him. He got closer to CC's desk and placed himself right in front of CC.

"Dad. I really don't wanna fight with you. But I am married and I have a responsibility for my wife and for our life together.

CC looked up to him.

I knew that this stupid thought wasn't your idea.  Lilly wants to go and she told you to come here to tell me."

He smiled ironically and  concentrated on his documents again.

"Oh boy! I thought this girl would have more self-confidence."

Ted was not willing to ignore this comment. His father had offended his wife and he had to choose a side now. Blankly, but with a solid voice he told CC:

"My wife's wishes are also mine. Just like Mum's are yours. We have a family on our own now, Dad."

CC looked up and their eyes met.

"I don't think that I have to explain to you what it means to a man to fight for his family. You even take the risk to get new enemies. Sometimes you regret that it has come that far, sometimes you don't care. But you always hold on your decisions."

Ted's words made CC speechless. His son had become a man. A man that was able to be head of his own family. From now on he would have to see someone completely different than just his son. He would never admit, but Ted's speech had impressed him and was very proud.

"We expect to be able to move early next week." Ted said quietly before he walked to the door. "I hope you will respect my decision even if you can't understand it."

Ted opened the door, left the study and closed the door behind him. Had he really won against his father, the great CC Capwell? It seemed so. He only wished that it wouldn't have ended that way.

While standing in the hall he could here a loud talk from the rear of the house. The first voice he recognized was Rosa's. But he didn't know the other voice, which  was a younger voice. The maid had left some days ago and he knew the voices of the rest of the staff quiet well. Ted got curious. It also couldn't be Santana. She had left to New York after her separation from CC and worked as a successful architect. And Ted would have recognized her.

Curiously he opened the kitchen door. Rosa was at the other end of the kitchen near the servant-entrance, standing with her back towards Ted. She had a hectic conversation with a young woman opposite her. Rosa, the "quiet angel of the Capwell mansion" got really fury and showed her the way out.  The young woman had problems to stand Rosa's aggressions.

"Lady. You had your chance and you have failed. You have tried to creep in here and I discovered your intention. And now you take all your thinks and you leave immediately!"

Ted hadn't seen Rosa like this for quiet a while and now he was impressed.

The young woman still tried to justify herself as Ted noticed.

"I will do so, but ......."

Rosa didn't let her finish the sentence.

"Then go! Just go!"

She passed her by and opened the door. Ted had the first chance to see all of the woman. She didn't seem like a tricky invader to him. Her dark, curled hair fell into her face and nervously she tried to hold them back behind her ears. Her shining eyes were slightly filled with tears and all the pressure Rosa put on her was shown in her face. She also didn't look like a tramp as well not much older than 20 and her clothes was neat. Knee-tall shorts, T-shirt and a light summer blouse over it. Yes. She looked like the typical "America tourist". The bag next to her fitted perfectly into that picture.

"Can I be of any help, Rosa?"

Ted had to interfere, because he was eager to get to know more about this woman. Something about her was fascinating.

Rosa noticed Ted and moved towards him. She folded her hands in front of her tummy just like she always did.

"Thank you, Ted. She was just leaving."

Rosa turned around again and looked at her intensively. Cilia took the chance to finish her sentence finally.

"I would really like to, Mr. ........"

"Capwell. Ted Capwell" he answered.

Cilia was happy that Ted seemed to be more peaceful than Rosa was.

"Mr. Capwell. I've been so dumm to let my cab go and now I would have to call for another one. May I use your phone, please. I will pay for it."

Cilia looked for money in her bag, but Ted gave her a sign to stop to search. There was something confidently in her and if there wouldn't be Lilly in Ted's life, he would love to get to know her better.

"But of course. Please, come this way."

Rosa wanted to object against Ted's invitation. After all she had just caught her creeping into the house by telling that an agency would have sent her. When Rosa had asked for the recommendation-letter she got uncertain and had to admit that she had none and that she had never heard about the job agency. But Rosa would never question the decision of a family member and so she had to remain silent.

Ted showed Cilia the way to the door, which lead them to the entrance hall and the telephone. Rosa was eager to ask Ted why she wouldn't use to extension in the kitchen, but she kept silent here, too. Ted seemed to be interested in her and that was something Rosa didn't like at all.

A triumphant expression in her eyes Cilia took her bag and walked with Ted through the door passing by a now very quiet Rosa. Visibly impressed by the huge hall Cilia mumbled "Madonna!" ,which Ted heard.

"What did you say?" he asked.

Cilia was not sure what to answer. Perhaps it was a good idea to tell the truth and so she started to explain.

"Madonna. I said Madonna. That might be the Italian version of "Wow!" " Cilia tried to bring in her American TV accent.

Ted had to smile. He couldn't understand that Rosa behaviors were that rude. She was a nice girl and person to talk to.

"Italy? Are you coming from Italy?"

"Yes. From a little place close to Milan."

"What a coincidence. My mother had lived there for a few years and we are still in contact with people in Positano and go there on vacation. Unfortunately not very often in the last months" Ted explained.

"Yes. Italy has beautiful areas there. Places, where you can find peace and silence" Cilia agreed.

Ted enjoyed the chat and had no intention to pick up the phone to call a cab.

"And what brought you to Santa Barbara? Or are you just passing by?" He pointed on Cilia's bag.

She had no chance to avoid an excuse. But this time she should be a bit more careful with her expression.

"I believe that every human being has once the ambition to seek for something new. To start a new life and to cut the roots."

Without knowing she had  hit Ted's sore point.

"I have seen so many pictures of Santa Barbara, have heard so many stories about it I had to come here."

Up to that point everything she said was true.

"One day I simply took the train to Rome, bought a ticket to Los Angeles and from Los Angeles the bus to Santa Barbara and here I am!"

Cilia opened her arms wide as if she would have conquered something.

And it was still the truth. But it was time to enter the world of fantasy and illusion again.

"Just arrived here, I started to look for a job. The people in town told me that the Capwell house was looking for a new maid and so I took a cab and when the security officer assumed that I'd been send by an agency I didn't say no. I wanted to be first for the job. Otherwise he would have never let me in." She smiled and Ted did, too. "This Lady in the kitchen discovered my lie very quickly and just showed me the door directly when you came in. She even didn't let me finish my explanation."

"That's Rosa. If she smells any kind of danger for house or family, she fights like a lion."

Both started  to laugh and noticed their spontaneous familiarity. Cilia lowered ashamed her head.

"Well, perhaps I should have been honest right from the start" Cilia mentioned.

Expectantly she looked at Ted,  who seemed to drown in her eyes. Embarrassing touched she looked away.

"Maybe we can organize something after all. After all, nobody applied for the job within the last few minutes and why shouldn't I act as the son of the house and simply give the job to you?"

Cilia couldn't believe what she just had heard. This was the ticket for the Capwell house and she would only have to enter. No mistake, yet! Modesty was required.

"I don't want to cause any trouble" she pointed out.

"Don't worry. Rosa will get used to you. And you will to her. Actually she is very nice."

Ted took her bag  was on the way to the kitchen when they heard the big entrance door closing. Something was thrown on the table and Ted already knew who it was, took Cilia's hand and showed her to follow him. 

"Wait. Let me get the permission of the Lady of the house."

They walked towards the steps, which came closer and closer.

"Mum, let me introduce our new maid, which I have just hired."

Coming from behind the big column Sophia Capwell Armonti appeared to face a young woman, who awakened a sudden and strange feeling of familiarity in her.

Chapter 3