The Last Flight Chapter 11

Amazing Ass

The sound of my scream brought nurses running from whatever they were doing. I was staring at the door, terrified of who I could see. Two of the nurses came to my side, speaking gently, trying to calm me but I couldn’t understand them. I was shaking and whispering to myself. “It’s a dream, it’s a dream,” over and over. Françoise appeared beside me. “Karen,” she pleaded, “What is it? What is wrong?” I pointed an unsteady finger at the man by the door, the man with the now sad face. “Françoise,” I said, “tell me it’s a dream, please… ” “No, my dear, you are not asleep. What is wrong?” “That man, by the door. Do you see him?” She looked in the direction I was pointing. “Yes, I see him. Why? What has he done?” “Ask him…” I could hardly breathe now and the words came it in short, shaky breaths, “Ask him who he is.” Françoise frowned and turned slowly towards the figure who now had a small tear hanging from his eyelid. “Monsieur, qui etes-vous?” she asked him. “Who are you?” “Madam, Je m’appelle Albert Farmer. Je suis le pere de Karen,” he replied sadly. “He says he is your father,” she said carefully. “No, he can’t be! My father is dead!” I remembered vividly the day my Mum received the telegram informing us of his death. “Karen, I will talk to him but you must calm down.” Françoise’ voice was so soothing that already I was beginning to breathe more easily but my heart was still pounding like a hammer. I swallowed and took a deep breath and tried so hard to tell myself there was nothing wrong and there was an easy explanation but I couldn’t do it. My heart was beating so fast I began to feel dizzy. I felt as though the room was beginning to fade and the voices became distant, and vague. I felt both hot and sick at the same time. “Karen, Karen.” A distant voice and a gentle movement on my arm. I felt hot and my whole body tingled as the voice became clearer. “Karen…” I felt a cool, wet cloth dabbing at my brow and I opened my eyes to see Françoise elvankent escort bayan looking down at me, a look of concern on her pretty face. “Ah, she said, “You are back with us.” “Where is he?” I whispered, afraid of what she may say. “Was it another nightmare?” Françoise smiled gently. “No, Karen, it wasn’t a dream.” “Then he is an imposter, a liar! My father is dead!” I felt an anger rising inside me. “Why would someone do that?” “Don’t get upset,” she said, “I don’t want you to faint again. I will go and speak to him and find out the truth, yes?” “No!” I squeezed her hand tightly, “Please don’t leave me alone!” “There will be a nurse here, don’t worry,” her voice calm and reassuring. “Alright,” I agreed but try as I may I could not stop myself trembling. I waited for what seemed a lifetime. I couldn’t keep still, my hands clasping and releasing then fingers tapping rapidly on the hard mattress edge. The nurse whom Françoise had left to watch me came to my side. “I get you a drink? Mademoiselle, Thé ou Café?” “No, please, don’t leave me alone,” I pleaded with her, “Stay until Françoise returns. Please?” She nodded and returned to her seat while I just sat upright, tense and trembling. No thoughts were running through my head. I was incapable of rational thinking and my mind was a blank, a million things spinning so fast that they were unrecognisable and all I wanted was to not be alone. The clock must be broken, surely. I had looked at it so many times and yet the minute hand had moved so little. “The clock,” I said to the nurse, unable to check my impatience. “Pardon?” she replied, frowning with incomprehension. The clock,” I repeated, pointing to it this time, “It is, erm…” Oh damn, what was the word? “Arreté?” The nearest I could remember for stopped. The young nursed smiled gently. “Oh, non, Mademoiselle, it ees, ‘ow you say, OK?” I nodded agreement and cursed a little under my breath which, to Escort emek the nurse, probably just sounded like a growl as she looked at me with pity in her jade green eyes. It seemed as though a week had passed when, eventually, Françoise returned. I looked, no, stared at her, pleading silently to tell me. She didn’t waste any time. “I think he is telling the truth,” she said, “I think he is your father.” I slumped back onto the pillow, groaning. “Nooo… My father is dead. It cannot be him.” “We have talked at length, Karen. I think, if you feel you can, that you should see him and let him explain it himself.” I glared at her. “My father was a mean and violent man. Why should I care what he has to say?!” “That is your choice, of course,” she replied, “but if you want my advice I would say at least give him the chance to talk.” She paused then, before adding, “I think you will be surprised.” “You don’t know how he treated my mother!” I hissed at her, “Or me if I had let him,” I added as an afterthought. “He told me,” she replied almost matter of factly. “Did he?” I replied sarcastically, “And did he tell you how he beat her? I doubt it very much!” Françoise didn’t alter her expression, even a little, when she answered: “Yes, actually he did.” She took my hand and held it tightly. “I know it is difficult, Karen, especially now but I think you should at least listen to what he has to say. I will stay with you if you wish.” Inside, I was seething with anger but, as I looked at the sweet face before me, her eyes imploring, I felt that anger slowly recede. “Françoise, I have only known you a few days and yet, somehow, I trust you with my life.” She smiled, the little lines around her eyes so attractive. “If you think it is the right thing for me to do,” I continued, “Then I will.” “Good,” she said with another smile and a nod, “but first we will make you comfortable.” The other nurse came over and between them they straightened eryaman escort the bed covers, brushed my hair and generally tidied me up. As they worked I asked about Jemima. “She is fine, Karen,” Françoise told me. “She has a room like this one.” Finally, I was ready. “Are you sure about him, Françoise?” I asked one last time. “No, how could I be,” she replied, her honesty taking me a little by surprise. “Only you can know that and again, only by speaking with him. Now, I shall get him, yes?” I nodded and waited impatiently for her return. As my ‘father’ walked slowly through the door, my fear returned and I began to tremble again. He stood just inside the doorway, not speaking but just looking and wringing his cap in his hands. I studied him for a minute as I had no idea what to say to this man. He didn’t look like my father. This man had grey hair and a grey moustache. My father, when last I saw him, had jet black hair and was clean shaven. This man looked so much older than the fifty years my father would have been and yet, something inside of me stirred in recognition. Although his face was badly scarred, as though he had been in a terrible accident, I could see in his eyes that he was my dad! I didn’t know how to feel. I knew he could not hurt me, not here, and yet I didn’t feel threatened by this pitiful figure before me. My fears had somehow given way to something very different, a strange joy that my father, my dad, was not dead after all. I don’t know why but the first words I spoke were not as I planned them. “I don’t know you,” I said calmly, “Why are you here?” Once again, I saw a tear form and drip slowly from the corner of his eye. “You know me, Karen,” he replied gently, “I can see in your face that you know me. I came to beg forgiveness and to make amends with my daughter for the terrible life I gave her.” Another tear formed and fell to the floor at his feet. “Will you give me the chance?” My anger and fear had all but gone now, replaced by a feeling of pity. I looked across to Françoise who gave an almost imperceptible nod of encouragement. “Yes,” I said, keeping any indication of what I was feeling inside hidden from him. “I will listen.” Françoise placed the chair beside my bed for him to sit and turned towards the door.

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