Despite her brave face and telling everyone that she was doing ok, Tessa had not coped well with the accident. It had spooked her, the terror of the possibility of loosing her child, having already lost her husband, she refused to discuss the accident now that Molly was safely home again. She just wanted to pretend that it never happened. She blocked it out and never wanted to mention it again. But what Tessa never spoke of was the dreams she too had during the time that Molly was in hospital. Vivid dreams of her mum and her husband, both wanting to reassure her that Molly would be ok. Tessa’s mum, Grace, had been involved in the Spiritualist movement, often holding gatherings and seances at their home. As a young child, she was frightened by what she had witnessed through the crack in the heavy drapes at night. Having not been invited, tucked into bed, presumably asleep, she would sneak out and listen and when possible, watch, both scared and fascinated. As an adult she had refused to acknowledge her mothers gifts in spirit communication and had forbidden any such conversations between Molly and her mother. But often Molly would stay with her granny when her mother worked late. Together they would play with the tarot cards and sometimes the ouija board. It was their secret – Tessa was never meant to know what they got up to. But she did know and unintentionally, this had driven a wedge between Tessa and Molly, one that would not resolve for some time to come….
So Molly was over the moon when Anna had given her a deck of Tarot cards for her birthday – they were the same as her Granny’s. But one thing Molly never knew, and was never told, was her Granny’s name, only ever was she referred to as Granny or Mammy by Tessa. And for reasons never mentioned, Granny never told her either.
Aside from her studies with Nanny, Molly had been quietly studying the symbology of the cards. But she found the most effective results when doing a reading was to ask for the information to come from her guardian angel – Grace, thankful now that she had a name to refer to her by. One day, when Molly and Anna were in her bedroom doing a reading for Anna, Tessa came into the room, not realising they were home. Tessa reacted badly, the energy was explosive and Molly saw a side of her mother she had never ever seen before, nor even knew existed. She grabbed the cards, swearing at Molly, forbidding her to ever do such nonsense in her house again. Tessa stormed out of the room with the cards and refused to talk to Molly for several days.
Molly was so upset, shocked by her mothers reaction. Anna held her as she sobbed, not understanding her mothers emotional outburst. It took sometime for her to think clearly. She heard Nanny’s voice in her head, just one single word – ‘balance’. Molly consciously slowed her breathing until she felt more settled. Wanting to know more and realising she would not get it from her mother, she went to Nanny’s. It was a weekend, but she knew that Nanny would be there for her. However on arriving at her home, there was no sign of Nanny. Molly went around to the front of the house and sat at the table and chairs looking out across the secluded gardens. She felt deeply troubled by her mother’s out-of-character behaviour. She had never seen her so angry before. She felt more at ease sitting here, closed her eyes and felt her body relax a little and her mind seemed to slow down. The scents of the garden and the coolness of the shade helped her to feel more at ease. When her mind reached that still point, Molly heard a voice, somehow familiar. It seemed to come from inside of her more than from someone else…
“I am always with you, and I have your hand. It is all being taken care of. You will understand, all in good Time.”
Molly kept her eyes closed. She wanted to hold onto that familiar sound for as long as she could. It was soothing and helped her to trust a little more in what was happening between her and Tessa. Before opening her eyes, she heard another voice, also familiar, “Snip! Snip! Snip, cut them apron strings!” It was Nanny! “Stay there Missy, I make us tea….” Her voice drifted after her as she walked inside to put the kettle on. Talking through the open window Nanny said, “You no worry ‘bout your Mum. She come good. She has baggage, HUGE baggage, and one day, she put it down and you and her get reeeeeal drunk! (she snickered mischievously) Then The Magic happen!” Nanny chuckled knowingly. “Your mum knows more than she say, but give her Time, she come round. Not now. Now, you need a new home!”
The next morning, Tessa knocked at Molly’s bedroom door, with a tray of breakfast for her. A Peace offering.
“I’m sorry darlin’. I behaved like a spoilt child,” Tessa said, handing Molly the tray, on which were two cups of tea, scrambled eggs on toast and the deck of tarot cards. Tessa sat down on the bed next to Molly and told her briefly about the childhood experiences that had spooked her. “Now, I realise that this is your life, you are an adult now, actually have been for a few years. And you are capable of doing whatever you choose. But I can’t allow the use of these cards in my house.”
It was the way that she said ‘My House’ that made Molly realise it really was time for her to find her own place. Truth be known now, she felt excited! Molly now had a part-time job at the local cafe waiting on tables and helping in the kitchen. It was a fun job and the kind of place where all the arty people hung out. She had saved enough money to get a small studio apartment, and had seen a hand written ad on the noticeboard at the cafe. The small loft apartment above the cafe was available from next month. The timing was just perfect.
* * * * *
Moving into her apartment was a bitter-sweet experience. So excited about having her own home and sad at the rift that had grown between her and Tessa. Tessa was not ready to let her baby go, to grow up and leave home. She made all sorts of excuses and tried to play Molly into a well-rehearsed role of being a victim, wanting her to feel sorry for her. She said it was too soon after the accident, and that had no effect on Molly, who had already made up her mind and was happy with the decision she had made. Then Tessa played the “poor me, I’m all alone now” story, but that didn’t work either. By the time Molly had moved into the apartment, she felt relieved to be on her own. The studio was so cute and she loved it! Coming up the stairs, there was a landing, the front door opened into an open plan living/bedroom/kitchen space. There was a double bed, a small table against the wall with three wooden slatted chairs, kitchen bench, gas stove, a small benchtop oven, and a fridge. The separate bathroom consisted of a claw-footed bath with a shower over it, toilet and handbasin. The bay window overlooked the park with the ocean beach beyond that. To Molly, it was Heaven!
Anna was so jealous, but equally excited and slept over with Molly on the first night, wanting to share this significant moment in their lives. Molly loved her friend dearly and was happy to do this, but she was also looking forward to the first night that she would be on her own – well, she thought she would be on her own…
The following night, with the studio to herself, as she was falling asleep, she heard a voice, loud and clear. It woke her as she was drifting into sleep. It said, “Good night Molly.” It was a familiar woman’s voice. The encounter left her wide awake, wondering who it was, and decided to ask the not-so-empty room. The reply that came surprised her, “Someone you have known for a very long time…” and that was it. Excited rather than scared, she sat up in bed and wrote in her journal. She felt comfortable, safe and wide awake! The writing shifted her energy and not long after she began to feel sleepy, and as she dozed into a peaceful sleep, the alarm on her phone woke her all too soon. Today was a new day and she was rostered on at the cafe for an 11am start, giving her time to do some yoga, have breakfast and a walk on the beach.
So began the next chapter of Molly’s life. Now able to immerse herself the studies with Nanny, develop her journal writing and work downstairs in the cafe, Life felt complete. Anna came to stay on weekends, when they could hangout together in the evenings and daydream about travelling the world. It was during one of these sleepovers that they began to plan a trip to Australia.
She also felt another change brewing and that her time with Nanny was coming to an end and was not surprised when she arrived one morning ready for her class, to find a kawkawa plant in a pot on the kitchen table, and the sound of happy humming coming from outside in the garden. Molly waited patiently for Nanny to come back inside. Not surprised to see her, knowing that Molly had already arrived, Nanny busied herself creating a pot of tea with herbs from the garden. “Today special day!” She winked at Molly. Although Nanny had never mentioned how long her studies would be for, Molly knew that they were coming to an end, she too had felt the completion of what she had been learning with Nanny, and that soon she would be doing it for herself, in her own way. The room was filled with a delicious mix of aromas – coffee brewing, freshly picked herbs, and baking, at a guess a banana and date cake. “And walnuts!” Nanny added, reading Molly’s thoughts. Molly burst out laughing! “What will I do without you Nanny?” Molly asked, appreciation overwhelmed her, she squeezed the old woman lovingly.
“You do good stuff, that’s what you do!” Nanny replied, stepping aside, she stood tall and very proud of her prodigy. She wrapped her arm around Molly’s waist and squeezed her tight. ‘Me not far away, just a thought and I be there! You know!” Molly had become so fond of this different little old lady, so full of life and character, mischief and fun. ‘I wonder how old Nanny is?’ Molly pondered, to which she received a light tap across the back of her head and Nanny replied out aloud, “That none of your business!!” Then laughed tauntingly. “I be keeping an eye on you! Keep up your game!” She waggled her finger at Molly. “Now, let’s have a party ay!” There was a knock at the door and in came Dr Sarah and Sr Grace from the hospital. Molly sat down suddenly on the chair as if she were seeing a ghost (not that that should have surprised her but it did!) After Dr Sarah and Nanny acknowledged each other with a traditional hongi (Maori greeting), Dr Sarah hugged Molly, so pleased to see her looking so well. They had lots to catch up on. Sr Grace sat silently on a chair by the window, didn’t say a word, just smiled. Molly was not sure if she was the only one able to see her, or if the others were aware of her too. Nanny walked behind her and whispered, “She follows Sarah around, but only you and me see her. Sarah kinda knows, senses her some times,” Nanny squeezed Molly’s shoulder and offered Sarah a cup of coffee. Conversations were interrupted by another knock at the door. Silently they looked at each other and Molly noticed a twinkle in Nanny’s eye. She got up from the table to open the door. There standing on the other side of the door was a young man holding a beautiful bunch of flowers. It was the same deliver boy from the Poppy’s Florist who had delivered flowers to Molly in hospital. Molly heart leap in recognition.
“Good timing Boy! You join us for a cuppa? Poppy not miss you for a bit….” Nanny pushed past Molly, and enticed him in like the witch in the gingerbread house in Hansel and Gretel. Molly stifled a giggle at this vision in her head, and blushed as he accepted Nanny’s invitation. Quietly he came in and sat down opposite Molly at the table, he too was blushing. Nanny rubbed her hands together, obviously pleased at what she had purposefully created here. William was shy and didn’t have much to say, but he found it difficult to take his eyes from Molly, blushing and turning away whenever her eyes met his. He was too shy to ask her out, but he also felt something special between them. He nervously finished his cup of coffee and slice of cake, turned to Nanny and politely thanked her, and nodded to Dr Sarah and Molly. Molly saw the impression of Sr Grace standing by the window, a knowing smile on her face.
William Ferguson was studying Architecture at Victoria University of Wellington and worked part-time delivering flowers for Poppy’s Florist at Porirua. He had only one more semester before graduation and was looking forward to starting some casual work for a boutique publishing company. He had applied for a position with a large architecture company who had offices in Wellington, Auckland and Sydney. He lived with his parents on the waterfront at Petone, in the house built by his great-grandfather, a local fisherman. His father Gus, was a lawyer, who’s office was in Wellington, and Carly, his mother was a professor, she lectured at the University. Carly had studied Zoology and done a lot of travel world-wide before meeting up with his father in Africa. His dad preferred to be known as ‘Gus’, having been named Fergus Ferguson after Will’s great-grand father, who migrated to New Zealand from Ireland back in the late 1800’s. Gus had been travelling on a hunting expedition as an Overseas Experience between completing his studies and commencing work with the same Law firm he was currently working with. Gus, now in his late 40’s had done very well in his work. He was tall, good looking, his strawberry-blond hair slightly longer on top, had silver tips and flopped playfully to one side of his face. His body was trim from the kayaking he loved to do. He had a wicked, dry sense of humour and was quite entertaining in the courtroom. The courthouse was always packed when he was working there, he had a following in the general public who would attend purely for the entertainment he provided. But he was also very good at what he did, was well respected and in high demand.
His Mum Carly, grew up on a property just outside of Masterton in the Waiarapa, over the Remutaka Ranges from Wellington. Her mum was Irish and her dad Maori. She grew up with a respect for both of her cultures, her mum’s Grandmother having migrated to New Zealand as farmers. Her dad’s family had lived in this area for many generations. Carly was tall and of a slender build, her wild dark curly hair often swept up in a loose bun, framed her tanned complexion and emerald green eyes. After leaving school she had considered doing veterinarian science but found zoology more interesting. It gave her the option to travel, keen to see the world, left home as soon as she graduated, accepting a position based in Africa working in the rescue and recovery of animals injured by hunters.
Carly had resisted Gus’s persistent attention several days after they first met, when she realised that he was touring Africa doing recreational hunting. She was working around the country helping clinics that were overrun with animals injured and left to die by hunters unsatisfied with their indirect shots. They had met in a bar, the attraction was intense and after several days of hot sex, Carly put a stop to the relationship going any further. She had discovered why Gus was in Africa. By then he was smitten with her, he did not give up and tracked her down at work.
That particular day changed his life, in more than one way. Resistant at first to even talk to him, Carly decided to show Gus around the rescue facility she was working at. Seeing the state of the animals on arrival and the process they went through for their recovery was enough to put an end to Gus’s thoughts of hunting game. At first Carly presumed he was just pretending, but after several ‘no sex’ dates, she got to know Gus in a new way. And discovered that they both came from towns near Wellington New Zealand!
His holiday completed, Gus returned to New Zealand, not knowing if he would see Carly again, and Carly still a little unsure of his intentions, did not really want to pursue their relationship any further. Then almost a year later, after Gus had settled in his new job, and Carly had returned home, her Visa having expired, their paths crossed again when they unexpectedly met in a bar in Wellington one night. Seeing him again, Carly felt that familiar strong attraction between them, maybe it was even more than that, and decided to take up his offer of going on another date. From that night their relationship grew, into marriage and the birth of their two boys Lucas and William, and then their younger sister Olivia.
Now here was Will, walking away from Nanny’s house, wondering what was happening… Here was this girl, whom he now had delivered flowers to, not once but twice. He was experiencing emotions never felt before. Being shy, and focussed on his studies, he had never been on a serious date. Just occasional stuff at parties, and an accidental encounter where he lost his virginity with an older woman. But there was something different about this girl. He did not know what to do, so decided to do nothing and kept his focus on completing his studies, his graduation was so close now.
Back inside Nanny’s house, Molly was intrigued by the second delivery of flowers by this same boy. She felt a strong attraction to him that she could not put into words and wondered if he had felt the same. Also timid, Molly had not had any really serious encounters with boys, and had dodged the “sex’ bit several times. Before the accident she had been focussed on her studies at Art School and since the accident, she had been focussed on her studies with Nanny and working at the cafe. Avoiding the social scene, her friendship needs were met by Anna. And this all felt safe. She knew that the work she was being prepared for was not of a normal career, and that not many people her age were accepting of these subjects. Some were curious but not usually respectful, not actually knowing much about it other than from supernatural TV shows and movies.
However, Molly’s work was about to make her very busy. This day was an end of another chapter and the beginning of a new one. Nanny had given her a blessing to commence her own work, and would be available to help her at any time. Nanny was a part of a large community of healers countrywide and the time would come for Molly to meet some of these people at their annual gathering a Taupo, later that year.