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It was a bold attempt of both to be brave and risk their emotions for once. While being edgy and tense from their determination, both appeared shy inside. There was no exchange of words, but it didn't matter.
More excited to see Giselle's place, Lillian stood next to her as Giselle knocked on the door, and the two waited.
Following the seconds of silence, there heard tiny footsteps, rushing towards the door, and Lia opened to welcome her mother with a big smile.
Her movements paused in the middle after noticing another presence. She stopped to study this person.
The array of memories played like a tape in her mind. From meeting for the first time to her father spilling the truth about her mother's first love, Lia showed a range of emotions, from being startled at first, to try welcoming this person into her life.
Back then, while staying at Edwin's place, Lia held back whenever it came to Lillian Grey, yet now, she has none of it, especially since knowing that this person is special to her mother.
"Welcome home, mother!" Lia said to nod at her guest as well.
"Hey, Lia!" Lillian greets with a modest tone.
"h.e.l.lo!" the little one returned the greeting and welcomed the two inside to their dwelling.
Lillian followed Giselle and Lia to enter into their humble abode, neatly organized without a speck of dust to one's eyes. Upon entering into the lovely dome, the first thing she noticed was the generous scent of lavender; The smell that reminds Lillian of Giselle. Impressed in its austere simplicity, Lillian glanced around the place to fill her sights with details.
The cream-colored walls held photographs of Lia mostly. Lillian skimmed it to recall the wall of pictures back when she went to study with Giselle. A silly smile admits that it could be the inherited habit of filling the walls with photos for Giselle's family. The clean window in its sea blue color laced inner curtain, a neat living quarters behind which connects to a tidy kitchen. There are small potted plants here and there around the house, and rugs on the wooden floor are present to keep one warm and feel snug. The dining table had a flower vase, spreading the medley of sweet smell inside the apartment. Finally, two separate rooms which appear to be of use for the two ladies living in here.
Nothing extravagant to impress, yet entering this place made Lillian rethink the life she lived thus far, alone and in the murk. This small residence had nothing extraordinary except for the overwhelming sentiments of a happy home. Standing under this roof made Lillian feel tender inside. It warmed and welcomed her with its open arms.
Breathing in the air, Lillian yearned to stay here forever if she could afford such a choice.
Delighted from the accidental presence, both mother and daughter appeared pleased that they lost themselves to tend to their guest.
Returning from her sightseeing, Lillian found Giselle and Lia, entranced.
Not even her gestures could release the two from their spellbound. Feeling shy from the friendly welcome, and yearning for more hospitality in this home, Lillian brushed the back of her head, timidly. She waved, signaled, and even moved closer to Giselle, but they were utterly lost.
Lillian's voice cracked the captured moment to free the two. Lia stood close, holding the hem of her mother's beautiful dress.
Finally, freed from the captive, Giselle saw Lillian's face near to hers.
Fl.u.s.tered, she took a step back in impulse and waited.
"My cup of coffee!" Lillian softly spoke to remind the host of her engagement.
Giselle moved. Lia returned to her spot, on the couch, playing with her toys, honestly.
Rushing her steps to the clean counter, Giselle made preparations for a delicious cup of coffee.
Meanwhile, Lillian roamed inside the s.p.a.ce, leaving behind the rooms, which are not suitable to invade without consent. Her steps ended soon to the blocking wall, and they took a return journey. It was a pleasant feeling, a connection that is only to those who live as a family; Such an atmosphere that is alien to the visitor.
"It's a nice home!" Lillian adds to her pleasure.
Giselle smiled to agree, a glance filled with grat.i.tude expressed towards her child, who happens to play a role in shaping this dwelling to a proper home. If not for Lia, Giselle could never imagine how her life might turn out for her.
Lia played with her puzzle, hardly focusing on finding the matching pieces to put together while her ears stayed sharp to listen to distant voices coming from the kitchen.
After brewing a cup of coffee, Giselle asked Lillian her preferred way to drink.
"No sugar, just black coffee!"
Giselle sulks from such a dull order yet placed a mug of black coffee in front of her guest. Lillian took a sip.
"It's nice!" she says with a mild smile.
"There's nothing special about it, so why nice!" Giselle groans silently.
Lillian's smile changes to a playful smirk behind which it has desires to execute dozens of tease only to test Giselle's reaction.
"Still, my first cup of coffee from you. Of course, it is special!"
Her bold remark is making Giselle appear colored. She turns away to pour her, a cup, and hide her joy.
Lillian paused her teasing to take another look at the house. She returned to inquire Giselle about her comfort in living here, a series of questions to answer, and finally, asked about Lia's school and where she attends.
"I attend mother's school," Lia answered aloud from the living room, taking the two in surprise from her sudden partic.i.p.ation.
Both turned their heads at once to see Lia still figuring out her puzzle.
Lillian returned to question Giselle, eyeing her if Lia is attending the same school.
"My middle school!" Giselle clarifies, and only then Lillian relaxed in her stance.
"Middle school?" she repeated, interrogating at Lia.
Lia did not have to turn to meet Lillian, but she managed to feel the tone of words aimed at her and revealed the details about the school to her guest.
Now fully turned to face the little one, Lillian began to speak to her, ignoring Giselle, completely.
Inquiring about school life, and if Lia had made friends or not, about the American style of education, etc.
All while answering Lillian's questions, Lia still managed to concentrate on her puzzle. Frankly, the game is only an excuse for her to get support while responding to Lillian Grey. Having known the truth of her mother and this person, Lia still had a hard time facing it in real life. The more Lillian questioned about Lia, the more she wished to know about Lillian and her mother.
Once their little chat ended, Lillian turned to face Giselle, giving her the look of impressed at Lia's answers.
"Ms. Lillian, I would like to know how you and my mother met!" Lia asked, following the brief silence.