Whoever it was looked oddly like Nuala but that couldn't be.... The memory of Nuala's face at the abandoned warehouse flooded into my mind. "Nu..l.." I tried to form the word, to say her name, but it wouldn't come out. My head was still fuzzy from being knocked out and the searing pain made it hard to concentrate. Another blow landed on the side of my face.
"Wake you little bitter."
"Nuala," I gasped this time able to get the words out through the pain. "You're...you're...you're alive!"
"Of course I'm alive." She said her voice dripping with condescension. "What did you expect."
"But you died. I...how are you here?"
"What do you mean I died?" Her voice was full of scepticism now.
"When the twins were born. We were told you didn't survive the birth. Nuala we have your ashes. You're dead."
"Twins?" Scepticism had moved to confusion.
"You're daughters Peach and Pear." Could it be that she didn't even know they existed?
"NO," she yelled. "You're lying. I had a son. A beautiful little boy that was stillborn. You are just trying to distract me. You have moved in and taken over my life and now you want keep Plum all to yourself. How could you do that to me Rosé you're my sister, my twin. We are supposed to have a bond."
"Plum? What does Plum have to do with anything?" Now I was the one confused.
"Don't play dumb. I know all about the affair. I know you had a baby with him. I know everything. And now you have to pay."
The blows landed and there was nothing I could do to stop them. What had happened to her? She was the sweetest most innocent berry in the world. How had she turned into this rage filled monster?
After a time she slowed down. "Perhaps that will show you what happens when you lie." She said, slightly out of breath, as she walked out the door.
Bruised and tied to a chair I could do nothing but watch her go. I allowed myself to sink into unconsciousness once more.
Tears stinging my eyes I rushed out of the room. I made it to the trees before I broke down.
How could she say such things? How could she bring back all the pain I have pushed aside with a few small words? And how could I have been so violent? It was so unlike me but in the moment the pain burst through me and exploded. It was uncontrollable. The words she said, the lies she told enraged me still. Composing myself I made my way back to the house. Mother still didn't know about my little side trip to Sunset Valley and it was time she was told.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When I woke my situation hadn't much improved. I was still in this small room, still tied to a chair and still quite sore. One thing was certain, I had to find out what happened to Nuala and I couldn't do it from this chair. Luckily whoever had restrained me didn't do a very good job with the knots. After a bit of struggling I was able to work my hands free. Once that was done, however; I paused. What was the next step? Did I go to Nuala and try and talk to her? Did I get out of there and try to do some investigation on my own?
I didn't have time to debate and I didn't know who else was around or how soon someone would check on me. In the end it was the thought of Bondi that made my decision. With Blue still being held hostage I couldn't leave my child with no parents. But before I left I took one small risk. Quietly and quickly I stole up to the main house.
Pulse pounding in a way that I haven't experienced in years I peered in window after window until I found the one I was after.
When I found the room Nuala was in I scribbled a note on the back of a picture of the twins that I always kept with me and slipped it under the door. I hoped that when she saw a picture of her daughters she would start to believe that I had been telling the truth.
I arrived back at the house to find it empty. It should have been the perfect chance to pull my thoughts together, to make sure that I had all the information I needed to hand over. But instead it just allowed those words to echo inside my head.
"You're daughters Peach and Pear."
They were still beyond belief and the pain at the loss of my life and my family ripped through me once more. But try as I might I couldn't stop that ever hopeful part of me from leaping for joy every time I thought of the possibility of my child, my children, being alive.
A noise at the door drew me out of my thoughts. Something had been slipped underneath it. As I got closer my hands started to tremble.
I picked it up and tears started to form before I could even bring it close enough to truly make out the faces. Even through the tears I could tell they were mine and Plum's. Those precious little faces had both of us stamped all over them. My heart filled with joy at the sight of them even as it broke over the loss. On the back, in her familiar handwriting, Rosé had left me a note.
Nuala, I have never been happier than the moment I realised you were alive. I don't know what you have gone through these many years but I want you to have this. Just a small something to show you what is waiting for you back home.
I miss you NualaRosé was telling the truth. I have two little girls living happy in healthy in Sunset Valley. But if she was right about that....
I dashed back to Sunset Valley in a reckless haste. Now that I was away from that place I couldn't be still until I saw my little boy was safe. I ran into the house past a very startled Blaze and went straight to the nursery.
Holding him tight in my arms I breathed a sigh of relief. As his new baby smell washing over me I started to cry. I cried out of fear of the unknown and the life I was bringing Bondi into. I cried for Blue who was in some unknown place and missing these moments in his sons life. And I cried for Nuala who had been taken away from her babies and would never know this feeling. Taking a deep breath I placed him back in his crib and went downstairs to thank Blaze for being there.
"Rosé what happened to you?" She said the moment she saw my face.
"It's nothing, really. I'll be fine. Thank you for coming over to watch over Bondi. I know it must be hard to be away from Almond."
"You needed our help so of course we are here. We even had Almond here with us until Plum needed to take her home and put her to bed."
"You don't know how much it means to me that you guys were here."
As I walked her to the door to say goodbye I thought I once again heard the sounds of a motorcycle.
If it was Nuala I was too tired to do anything about it and I wasn't about to leave Bondi again so soon. Close to collapsing I crawled into bed and cried myself to sleep.
A noise in the night woke me. Head still heavy with sleep I padded into Bondi's room thinking he needed his midnight feed. I was surprised to find him deep asleep. I tried to dismiss the noise but something about it seemed wrong, somehow more intentional that a simple bump in the night. The silence that now covered the house was eerie and I shivered in spite of myself.
"You're a spy Rosé. Not some little weakling. Stop cowering and check it out." Trying to work past the fear that had built up inside me I slowly worked my way downstairs.
The noise did not come again but I was sure it was from the front of the house. Quickly checking to make sure the back remained locked I took a deep breath and opened the front door.
"Blue" I gasped rushing to his side. He groaned at my touch and began to come around.
"Rosé?" He asked still groggy and disoriented.
"Blue, my love, I'm here." I helped his to his feet and drew him close.
"You're home now love. You're safe" I whispered in his ear. This time as I heard a motorcycle pull away I didn't look, but I smiled.