I've always wanted to go on a Treasure Hunt - Part 55

Here’s the thing...

Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.

I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.

But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.

Once again there's a new installment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.

...

After a night with Nadia


Was it a revelation to discover there was a side to Nadia that I would never have suspected?  All those years of being terrified of her, and her brother, had hidden it, from me and probably a lot of others.

Perhaps she hadn’t known any better, and that time away from her parents and family had opened her eyes to another world, one where you didn’t have to be the scariest person in the room.

I was going to wait until she went to sleep, but she asked me to join her on the top of the bed and then snuggled into my back.  At first, I was terrified, of what, I was not sure, but after a while, realizing I was not going to get away at a reasonable hour, I relaxed, and overcome with tiredness, fell asleep.

When I woke, she was on the other side of the bed, changed out of her clothes and into demure pajamas.  Had she been waiting for me to wake?

“You have a contented look about you when you’re asleep,” she said.  She was facing me, awake but a certain weariness had come over her.

“My father used to call it the sleep of the just.  I never quite knew what that meant.  I try not to have dreams or nightmares.  Please tell me you haven’t lain there watching me.  That would be far too creepy.”

“Just for a bit.  I’m not used to being with a man, even if there’s nothing happening.  Which is good, by the way.  I want us to remain friends, and soon as something else starts, that’s where it all ends..”

Obviously, she had been thinking about stuff, like all girls seem to do, making a simple friendship into something a lot more complicated, and the last thing I needed was complicated.  Or Vince knocking on my door.

“I’ve got a few hours before I have to go to work, and I was going to visit a few churches.”

“Why?”

“It might help to track down the Ormiston relations and see what they’ve got to say about the treasure.”

She sat up, a more serious expression taking over.  “You think there’s more to the story.”

“What story?”

“Well, it’s obvious you know about Boggs’s grandfather and old man Ormiston, the chap who owned all the land from the mountains to the sea, at one point in time.  It’s where we bought our property at Patterson’s Reach.  It’s a dump of a place that smells because of oil shale and gas leaks.  There’s a fault line through the middle of it and makes all the land near it unsellable.  The people who negotiated the deal with Ormiston were cheated, or so it goes, so there’s no love lost between the families.”

Interesting, and probably why Patterson’s Reach was an undeveloped backwater.  No residential or commercial zoning.

“Good to know, and definitely a reason to stay away.”

“You want coffee?” She asked, changing the subject.  “I had some sent up earlier.”

Which sent an alarm bell off in my head.  What if the room service person saw me in her room?  It wouldn’t take much for him to tell her father, or worse, Vince.

“He didn’t see you if that’s what you’re thinking.”

My mother said I had an expressive face.

“We have to keep this thing, whatever we have, under wraps, otherwise Bogg’s might get upset, and at the moment he’s not very happy with me.”

“Because of me?”

“Partly, but more because I have to work, and I’m no longer at his beck and call.”

“Then you’d better get up so we can trawl the churches.  I could do with a religious refresher.  We’re Roman Catholic by the way, and my father doesn’t believe in mixed marriages.”

“I’m not converting, nor are we getting married.”

“Pity.  I reckon I’d make a good wife.”  And then she laughed.  “You should see your face.”

Right.  Sometimes it was hard to know when she was joking.  But just the same, it would never work.

I shrugged.  “You could do a little better than a warehouse clerk.”

“Sometimes it’s not what you are, but how you make a person feel, and right now, I feel happy.  But, as you say, I could do a lot better.”

Oddly, after hearing that, I felt a little disappointed.

...

© Charles Heath 2020-2022

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