Chapter Eight - A Special Day
Back to: Chapter Seven - Changing Times Next: Chapter Nine - Seth's Story
Romany found it very hard to calm down after her Aunt's visit. She tried to put her Aunts words out of her head, but she knew that she would always wonder if there was any truth in the matter, from now on. Her memory of her father was tainted.

She began to scrub the house, taking out her temper on the filthy toilet and shower, until the little house was gleaming.

She might still look like a tramp, but she didn't have to live like one. Making the bed, she sat on it with a heavy sigh. The happiness from buying her house was gone. She felt very depressed and the surroundings just weren't helping.

Looking in the fridge, she took out two lettuces of the three she found. If she was going to sustain herself, she would need food. Going out to the little garden at the side of her house, she crouched down and earthed the lettuces. Hopefully if she took care of them, she would have more to eat in a short while.

Gardening seemed fairly easy and Romany found herself enjoying it. But all the gardening in the world wouldn't help her do up her house. She really wanted to get electricity put in, the gloom really got to her. It seemed like all she ever thought about was money. The only way she could think of to get some together, was rummaging in the trash again. At least now she had her own shower to get clean afterwards.

Gritting her teeth, she snuck into her neighbours garden. Noone seemed to be at home so she began to sift through their trash. She found two teddys, twenty bits of scrap metal and two yellow ducks. The ducks made her think of her father. Maybe the duck that was found was like these little ones in her hand. They looked like they used to belong to a child...had a child been at her fathers house the night he died?

She quickly pawned in the items and came away with $250 simoleons, a good starting capital to fit a light and at least redecorate! Making a quick stop at the local B&Q she picked up some red paint, a white blind, new duvet cover, fridge stencils, a red carpet and some red towels. She liked red. Cycling home, she couldn't wait to get to work, making her new house a home.

The morning passed in a nice blur of paint, bread and jam sandwiches and a quick shower to wash the paint off, once she was finished. Standing back to admire her handy work, Romany felt really proud. The house may be tiny, but it really was a home now. She had not had enough for more than one blind, so unfortunately two windows were not covered, but all in good time.

She felt much calmer after all that physical work. She was, however, still very cross. Not with her Aunt now, but with Tobias. He was the one whom had told her Aunt where she was! How dare he? She decided she was calm enough to confront him about it. He had upset her and she was going to make sure he knew it! Whipping out her mobile phone, she rang his number and waited for an answer, tapping her foot.

'Hello? Tobias Dunham here,' He said, picking up the line.

'Tobias, its me, Romany. I need to talk to you. Are you busy? Can you come to my new house?' she asked coldly.

'Yeah sound a bit cross? Has something happened?' Tobias asked, warily.

'Yes it has, but I dont want to talk on the phone, I will see you when you get here,' she replied, hanging up.

She waited impatiently by her front door. As soon as he arrived, she confronted him.

'Tobais, why on earth did you tell my Aunt where I lived?! Do you know she has just been round here, telling me nasty things about my father and looking down her nose at me?' Romany said fiercely.

Tobias had the decency to look a little ashamed.

'I am sorry Romany, but I AM a PC you know. She had filed a missing persons report, it was my duty to let her know,' he said sheepishly.

'Well you don't always have to be such a do gooder you know! Would it have hurt to pretend I had gone missing after you let me out?! She told me my father had an affair you know! When my mother was newly pregnant with me!' she exclaimed.

Tobias looked a little guilty. Romany looked a little closer at him.

'Hang on, you don't look very surprised to hear that Tobias. Do you know something about that?' she said, forcefully.

Tobias shuffled his feet.

'I am really sorry I upset you Romany, but please understand, it was my duty. It's done now anyway. As for your father and an affair...yes. There was some allegations made that he had been seeing a young woman from the next town, an ex customer of his I believe. No proof was ever found, as after your father died, when we tried to locate the lady, she had passed on thirteen years previous. All she had left behind was an eight year old child whom disappeared shortly after her death,' Tobias shared. 'You know I shouldn't be telling you any of this don't you? I could lose my job, you must not tell a soul,' he finished.

Romany sat down suddenly. Her father may have been having an affair? He wouldn't. But what if...? Perhaps there was a jealous partner whom had killed her father? It would at least make some sort of sense. But she didn't want to believe he would have done that to her mother. Not her father.

'Look Romany, you have had a really stressful time of it lately. I hate to see you looking so worn out. You have done such a lovely job redecorating the place. I think its time you had some redecorating too...don't you?!' Tobias queried gently.

'Come with me, I want to treat you,' he said, taking her arm and guiding her into his car before she could refuse.

Romany protested, but Tobias wouldn't listen. He took her to Landgrabbs Sell and Swap Shop and pushed her in the door.

'Look, here is my card. I want you to buy yourself some new clothes, you are too lovely to keep wearing those rags and you need some shoes! Its not a loan, its a gift, take it please,' he said, firmly.

'Tobias, you don't have to do this, I don't want to spend your money, I will buy my own clothes in time!' she said a little hotly.

'Romany, you are so stubborn! Learn to take a gift when its offered! Now look, this little dress is gorgeous, I bet you would look lovely in it, go and try it on,' Tobias ordered, fishing a black and white shirt dress off the rail.

She flashed him a little, grateful smile and nipped to the changing rooms. Standing in front of the mirror, she couldn't believe what a difference it made. Tobias was right, it suited her very much!

Tobias joined her clutching a pair of black patent leather gladiator heels.

'I think these would go great with that dress Romany, try them on, I will wait for you over here,' he said, handing her the shoes.

'You are in the wrong job I think, Tobias!' Romany giggled. Once again he was quite right though, the shoes were perfect. Tobias told her to keep it all on and took the tags to the till to pay. Romany was delighted, she felt so special in the new clothes. She gave him a sudden brief but tight hug.

'Thank you Tobias, I love the clothes,' she whispered, feeling tears behind her eyes. He was being so nice to her.

'Oh it's not over yet! That's just the clothes! Into the taxi with you!' he insisted. Laughing and protesting, Romany did as she was told.

He took her to the salon and tattooist just down the road.

'In you go!' he ordered,'You can have whatever you like! Hair cut, make up, tattoo, whatever you want!'

'You come with me Tobias!' Romany said, grasping his hand. 'You were so good with the clothes, I will need your opinion for my hair and make up too! Thank you so much!'

Tobias went in and sat in the chair whilst she had her hair and make up done. Every so often she turned to him, seeking approval. She looked more and more beautiful each time. He had totally forgotten about Bethany since Romany came on the scene. Bethany...who was that?

Finally she was finished and turned to him.

'What do you think?' She asked shyly?

For a moment, Tobias couldn't speak.

'You look absolutely beautiful Romany. A real stunner. Would you come out to dinner with me? Now?' Tobias asked, hopefully.

'Dinner as well?! Tobias, you are wonderful, I would love to!' Romany replied, excitedly. What a great day it had turned out to be, after its very rotton start. She had all but forgotten her Aunt and the affair. For once, she was focusing on herself.

Once again they got in the waiting taxi and Tobias took her to the Bistro. It was a little cold out, so they ate inside, a lovely meal of stu surprise, Romany's favourite. Over dinner they chatted light heartedly, getting to know each other a little better. Both of them knew there was a real spark growing between them.

After dinner, they sat outside for a short time, waiting for their taxi to arrive.

'Tobias, thank you so much for such a wonderful day. I was so sad and angry this morning, you have made me feel a million simoleons. Can I do anything to thank you?' Romany asked shyly.

Tobias smiled and taking her hand, said 'No, you don't have to thank me, I have really enjoyed today too. You are a special person Romany, I am glad I took the time to get to know the real you.'

Romany blushed.

'Actually, there is one thing you could do...' Tobias said alluringly. He stood up, pulling her up with him. He didn't have to say anything, Romany knew.

Putting her arms around him, she gave him a gentle, deep kiss.

'And I was only going to ask you to pay for the taxi!' Tobias joked afterwards. Romany laughed softly.

'I have to go to work now, on the night shift,' Tobias said, a little sadly. 'I will call you tomorrow okay?' He helped Romany into the taxi and gave her the money for the fare.

Romany nodded, also feeling sad to say goodbye.

'I will speak to you then. Thank you Tobias,' she said as the taxi pulled away.

As soon as she got home, she went straight to bed. It had been a special day. She knew she was falling in love. She only hoped Tobias felt the same.

That night there was no bad dreams for Romany. She had forgotten her Aunt. She had forgotten her father. She had forgotten Seth. She dreamed only of Tobias.

Someone had not forgotten about her however. Staring down at her, through the bare window, Seth smiled. An evil smile.

'So, Pike. This is where you live now...going up in the world. Not for long...' he said to himself, sinking back into the darkness of the night.

Click Next: Chapter Nine - Seth's Story to continue...

Back to: Chapter Seven - Changing Times Next: Chapter Nine - Seth's Story
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