2016; what is wrong with you?

Seriously, two monumental people in the space of a week? Seriously?

Dear Alan Rickman,

Did you know that Robin Hood, where you played the sheriff of Sherwood, was the first VHS that I ever recorded from my television?

I saw Bruce Willis kill you. I saw Johnny Depp put a knife to your throat. I’ve seen you laugh in Sense and Sensibility. I have seen you love, cheat and regret in Love Actually. I have seen you love so much in Harry Potter. And yes I am that generation but that is probably the role I know you most from. Because strangely, I feel like I know you. Even if I haven’t met you. Now you will never be 80 and you will never be in your rocking chair reading Harry Potter. And somehow, that hurts.

Sorry to see you go Alan and be sure one of the wands pointing the night sky yesterday was mine.

Love,

Claudia x

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Thoughts aloud

People overthink. They will say ‘follow your heart’ or ‘ you have to do what it is best for you’. But when it comes for them? All the good advice go out of the window.

Why do people do this to themselves? Why do they have the need to validate a decision, or explain a relationship?

Why do people have to think if they are settling or worry if someone thinks they are just getting comfortable?

We always worry about what other people think and mostly what we think people will think. They are so good at evaluating others peoples lives and decisions and help them¬†planning the next move. Sometimes, when they are actually very good at it that will make them overthink even more about their own decisions. ‘I was just telling so and so that they should do this, how will it look if I do the opposite’?

A the end of the day, it is you life. It is your happiness. Sometimes you will throw yourself at something that wont work out, and maybe you will know that in you heart. But if you want to do it it’s because something will be learnt. The experience will add something to your life. Tt is something you will need to go through.

I know, there are things you can’t change. We can’t all leave our jobs and go work and leave family or other things behind just like that. But little things, things that matter, do them for yourself.

So, live your life. Make your own mistakes. Do what makes you happy.

After all, it is your life. You are living for you. Love the others, listen to them. But live for yourself.

Be happy.

Love,

Claudia x

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Chapter Three ~ Reunion

Mr. Hawtrey adjusted his bag and got ready to leave the bus. Sixteen hours on a bus was not for him anymore. And poor Archibald, having to go to unknown places… the poor cat was definitely car sick. Mr. Hawtrey patted the cat carrier and Archibald meowed weakly.

– Don’t worry Archie, we will be there soon.

Archibald huffed, tired of hearing those words but not being able to leave his carrier.

When the bus pulled over at the station Mr. Hawtrey picked his bag and Archibald’s bag and slowly made his way out of the bus. ‘We are here now, Archie. Open your eyes, you will be able to stand soon enough’.

Mr. Hawtrey had but enough time to make a full circle around the waiting seats before he saw Jonah pulling over.

– Professor, Professor!

Jonah parked the car and gave Mr. Hawtrey a heartfelt hug. Pleasantries were exchanged and soon Mr. Hawtrey was sitting on the front seat and Archibald was curled on Cassy’s lap purring like the happy kitten he was.

Mr. Hawtrey looked much like Jonah remembered. Still dressed with a shirt and a pullover, but now he had allowed himself some jeans as opposed to the khakis he used to wear.

His hair had gone completely grey but still curled at the sides. He had changed glasses and funnily enough, they were now thinner than when he was teaching.

On the other seat, Mr. Hawtrey was doing pretty much the same with Jonah. The boy had put on some weight and lost some hair, but you could still say he had brown hair. He now had a small stubble that could almost be called beard. If Mr. Hawtrey had a say on it, he would tell Jonah to shave it properly – you either had a beard or you didn’t.

Cassy, Jonah’s daughter was a delight. She had lighter brown hair than Jonah and was petting Archibald like a pro.

– She is quite smart you know? – Jonah interrupted his thoughts. Yes, you would think so about your offspring, Mr. Hawtrey concluded. – She loves puzzles and is very creative in solving them. She loves to count and you cannot cheat her on cards.

– Oh? Maybe I should play with her sometime. Have you taught her chess?

– Catherine didn’t think it was appropriate because of her age, but she handles it better than Carson did back in Uni.

Ah, Carson was an old student. Mr. Hawtrey remembered him, his keychain was a chess queen. He often left it and lost it basically everywhere he went. Brilliant boy, but not so good with keeping track of his things.

– Carson actually is working in the same company, you know?

Jonah kept going updating briefly Mr. Hawtrey on what his fellow students were currently doing. Mr. Hawtrey found it curious, Jonah always seemed a bit like a loner in school, how is it that he kept tabs on so many people? This made Mr. Hawtrey think that maybe he had misread the boy. He was focused alright, but surely he must have had a social life outside the classroom.

It was mid-afternoon when the car parked by a yellow house on a quiet road. Mr. Hawtrey could see through the windows the woman he had to assume it was Jonah’s wife. Just as the car stopped, Catherine came to the door to welcome them and help Mr. Hawtrey get settled.

– You can stay in Cassy’s room, and as long as Archibald doesn’t mind dogs, the neighbour’s shouldn’t be a problem. Did you have a good journey?

No, not really. His legs were stiff and his knees hurt from being stuck on that bus. He was tired and didn’t take a nap like he had intended to

– Very pleasant, thank you. Just a tad too long for my age, I guess. You have a lovely house.

It actually was a very nice place. Catherine must love yellow because splashes of it where everywhere. And according to Mr. Hawtrey’s calculations, the sun would be hitting the kitchen in the morning and in the afternoon the living room. How cheerful!

Mr. Hawtrey was shown to his room. Unlike Catherine, Cassy liked purple. Purple curtains, purple bed throws. Purple lamps. Purple flowers on the wall and pillows.

– Mr. Hawtrey, I have purple bedsheets but mummy said you would prefer the white ones. But if you want you can have one of my pillows.

– That is fantastic Cassy. If I need I will let you know. I heard you are a great chess player.

– I am ok. Daddy likes to play it after dinner. Sometimes I win. Do you play? Maybe tonight I could play with you instead. I think mummy is making chicken roast. How old is Archibald? I think he likes me.

In all fairness, Archibald liked pretty much everyone as long as they petted him between the years and gave him food. Cats were supposed to be individual and little gods. But poor one eyed Archie liked people. Mr. Hawtrey often thought he had the soul of a dog. Which turned out good for Mr. Hawtrey. Archibald never failed to keep company although he could have a bit of a snobbish complex if ignored for too long.

Mr. Hawtrey encouraged Archibald to go down the stairs and after some bumps and stumbles on unfamiliar territory, they both made it downstairs.

Catherine was busy setting the table and making the last arrangements while Jonah was looking at some wine.

– I think this red will go nicely with the roast. – Jonah announced.

The four of them gathered around the table taking their seats. There was even a spot for Archibald by the kitchen door.

– You have a delightful family, Jonah. Well done.

– Thank you, I like them – Jonah winked at both wife and daughter. Cassy giggled while playing the peas she was definitely not going to eat. Catherine smiled, quite proudly, if Mr. Hawtrey could say so.

– So Catherine, where did you meet Jonah here?

– Well, I saw him first and thought he was crazy – always a great start thought Mr. Hawtrey – He was at the laundrette and was talking to himself wearing a shirt that for sure should have been included in the wash.

– She thought I was hilarious – obviously a story they had recounted before.

– I thought you were crazy. He didn’t notice me until I “accidentally” dropped the washing powder. He thought it was because I thought he was good looking, but in all honesty, I just didn’t want to be alone with someone talking to themselves for an hour.

Both Jonah and Catherine talked about how they started meeting and eventually moved in and how Cassy had been a blessing. Mr. Hawtrey liked Catherine. She sounded like a good match for Jonah. Cassy was a funny girl, she kept feeding peas to Archibald – who actually did not like them and kept taking them somewhere towards the kitchen.

Mr. Hawtrey loved dinner occasions. He was able to listen while enjoying food. He could not wait to see if Jonah had kept the numbers he had given him. At the end of the day, although he enjoyed spending time with Jonah and his family, he was ready for a little adventure.

 

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How do you like Archie?

Claudia x

Chapter 2 ~ Jonah

– So, who is this Mr. Hawtrey again? – Catherine asked for what it felt it was the tenth time that afternoon.

– He was my professor in University, he got me the job with Mr Pemberton.

Jonah had just thought about Mr. Hawtrey the other day. He still had the latitudes the Professor had given him years and years ago.

Maybe that is what Mr. Hawtrey called him about.

– Will he stay for long?

– I don’t know, maybe a couple of days? I told him he would have to share the room with Cassy and he was ok.

– Why isn’t he staying at a hotel? I swear nobody else I know harbours their old teachers.

– I know how it sounds, but it’s not like I was going to deny him a bed, was it?

In all fairness Jonah Stills really wanted Professor Hawtrey to come.They had sat together decoding codes and encrypted messages. Jonah had told Mr. Hawtrey all about the decoding passion he had since starting his classes and that creating them would be his life goals.

Mr. Hawtrey had taken him to meet Mr. Pemberton who was just expanding his company at the time. They were working with big enterprises around the US providing security systems and helping the informatics development in them. Jonah loved what he did. He got to drive around playing number combinations in his head. It was a job that made him think but still allowed him to relax.

It was just his luck that on that sunny morning he received a call just after breakfast. How long has it been since he had heard from Mr. Hawtrey? He hadn’t even come to his wedding. Catherine should like him well enough, Jonah thought. Maybe they could do a puzzle or two and meet Cassy, she would definitely find him funny.

Cassy was just 4 but her favourite play game was puzzles. Or match the tiles, just like Mahjong. She recognized numbers already and Jonah wanted to make sure her abilities were looked after.

– I better stop daydreaming and look at the road! – Jonah thought.

The truth was that he was intrigued and wanted Mr. Hawtrey to hurry and be there already. Tomorrow he would know what brought the old man to his part of town.

 

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Share your thoughts,

Claudia x

Chapter 1 – pt.2

The water had to boil twice by the time Mr. Hawtrey reached the kitchen to make the tea.

Richard slipped his boots off and got the spoons from the drawer, waiting on Mr. Hawtrey to pour the tea.

– So, hiding in the shed,huh? Haven’t you been cold?

– Not really, Mr. Hawtrey. Yesterday I went back home for some blankets, and the garden chairs still have pillows.

– Can I ask why haven’t you been sleeping at home?

– Oh, but I do! Mum always goes and says goodnight and I didn’t want her upset. It’s just early in the morning I come here. I like to see the stars fade, you see? But it is so early I feel like a nap afterwards.

– What about school, shouldn’t you be there?

– I know but Howie said I shouldn’t go.

– Howie? Is he a friend from school?

– No, no. My mum says calls him an imaginary friend.

– Ah, I see.

Mr. Hawtrey always wondered about imaginary friends. He never had one and found it quite interesting that people would fish out people or animals out of their imagination to keep them company. Kids had books and computers and dolls. Why not play with that? Still, he liked Richard and he’s funny ideas. And also, it had been so long since he had been a child, that the mechanics fascinated him.

– What does Howie say?

– Well, he wants to play with me all the time. I like playing.

– Don’t you like learning? Or playing with our kids?

– I do and I am going back. But he really did not want me to go, so I said: A few days and then back to school. He was not very happy but……

Mr. Hawtrey disconnected for a bit. He enjoyed listening to Richard go on about his life. It allowed him to think about his. He remembered another boy, another time telling him stories. He should definitely call Jonah to see how he was.

– Anyway Mr. Hawtrey, thank you for the tea. My mum will be worried now.

– Yes, yes off course. Tell her I say hello. And make sure you go to school. Archie gets very impatient when he doesn’t know what is happening.

Richard went his way and Mr. Hawtrey got back to his newspaper. He was a man of habits, after all, and a half read newspaper was not something he liked.

But Mr. Hawtrey could not take Jonah out of his mind. Yes it had been years since they last spoke. Maybe he should write him a letter. He might have kids by now, Mr. Hawtrey thought as he put the newspaper finally down. ‘I shall go and see him!’

Jonah had been one of Mr. Hawtrey’s students years and years ago. Brilliant little kid he was. And curious too. As he remembers, Jonah went to work in IT somewhere. He was sure he had his number somewhere – ‘Well, I won’t find it sitting down, will I Archibald?’

 

 

Any interest of knowing what Mr. Hawtrey wants with Jonah?

Claudia.