At eighteen, I thought it ridiculous that my mother was insisting I spend this summer with a grandfather I had never met, and cared nothing about. Normally, I would have out right refused, but for some reason this seemed extremely important to my mother.
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My mother, Maria, was a small, unhappy woman and I had never understood why, until recently. A week ago, my mother and I buried my father, quietly and without any guests present, but ourselves. Somehow, it seemed fitting, as my father had not been a man to socialize or enjoy other people's company. Even as a young child, I never remember my mother, ever, sitting down with another woman for a visit, or coffee. After the funeral, my mother explained to me, that as a young woman of sixteen, she had run away with my father to another country, and from that day forward, been disowned by her entire family. She explained that over the years, many in the family had forgiven her, but never the one who mattered most - her father. While explaining the situation, in detail, to me, my mother held out a letter for me to take, which was dated one month before my father's death. It was from her father, my grandfather.
In this letter, my grandfather, demanded a meeting between himself and me, his only granddaughter. The letter portrayed no tenderness, no caring, and definitely no forgiveness. It only contained one outright demand… a visit with his granddaughter.
So, after rushed preparations, I arrived one month later in a foreign, unfamiliar land. After departing the plane, I entered the airport and stood gazing out a window at the scenery, while I waited for my grandfather to pick me up. My nerves were frazzled, and I was consumed with anxiety, as I tried to guess how our first meeting would go. If it had been up to me, I would still be a home enjoying my friends and family and not visiting a man I had never met, and who I now considered cold and unfeeling. It was going to be an extremely long two-month vacation, if the situation I found myself in, did not change.
The scenery surrounding the airport was beautiful. The airport appeared to be nestled snugly between several large, rocky, moss covered cliffs and moors. The cliffs reached high into the sky, before dipping low, and falling ungraciously, into the ocean below, while the moors stretched out forever. Nestled inland from the moors, around the Lock of Cliff, sat the village my grandfather called home, Burrafirth. Burrafirth is located on the most northern island of Unst in the Shetland Islands, which are located quite a bit north of Scotland.
Strange, but after only a few hours in this country, I had a safe, homey feeling, which I found somewhat puzzling. It was, as if, I had always wanted to be here, and yet until a month ago, I did not even know these small islands existed.
On his arrival, my grandfather inspected me like a package of meat, before introducing himself, and welcoming me to his homeland. He spoke with the traditional Danish accent, although his English was exceptional. He quickly guided me out to his vehicle, some kind of range rover, and loaded my belongings into the rear compartment, before returning to my side and opening the door for me. This was a truly strange sensation, as I could not remember the last time anyone, not even past boyfriends, had opened a door for me. After closing the truck door, my grandfather quickly rounded the vehicle, entered it, and drove off. He seemed suddenly to be in a hurry. As we drove my grandfather explained that the weather was about to turn nasty with rain, and that he wished to be off the roads and home, before mudslides made the road impassable. Silently, I conquered, as I did not wish to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, with a man I had just met.
The drive to my grandfather's home took about 25 minutes and I listened intently as he recited much of the island's history to me. I listened to my grandfather absently, as I watched out the vehicle window observing the local scenery. Many small homes dotted the landscape as they drove away from the airport. Within a few minutes, the homes became more scarce, and soon we were travelling in open, endless countryside. Many small ponies were visible in many pastures surrounding the farm settlements. Everything here seemed as changeable as the weather, which had suddenly darkened with the appearance of towering thunderheads and brisk, biting winds. The gusts battered my grandfather's vehicle making it hard to manage on the winding roads.
Slowing to a crawl, my grandfather pulled up in front of a small building located in a valley between two massive hillside cliffs. Once we arrived at his home, his manner changed and he became almost friendly. I remained reserved. I had convinced myself that I could never love a person that had treated my mother, a woman who had spent her entire life devoted to my father and myself, with such cruel, selfish abandonment.
The inside of my grandfather's home was absolutely charming. The walls were made of sturdy log timbers, which had been waxed to a warm yellowish hue, and the wooden floors were polished to a spectacular shine. On the walls, several large pictures of family members, and large handcrafted quilts were used for decoration. On the back of every chair and sofa a large, colourful afghan was casually draped. In one corner of the room, stood a old-fashioned wood burning stove, with a stiff chimney flute poking up and out through the ceiling. As I looked around, I noticed that this was the only source of heat present, and wondered to myself what kept the small cabin warm, during the cold winter months.
After a delightful evening meal, my grandfather talked about the people on this island, their customs, and their friendliness and caring. He told me how my mother had grown up here, so many years before, and how many of the islanders still asked after her today. At one point, during the long evening, I stood and wandered over to the window, to peer out into the darkness that had descended quietly around the cabin. After all the sitting, my backside was beginning to throb with intense, burning pain. As I stared out the window, a quick flicker caught my attention. At first, I thought I had imagined it, but a few seconds later, there is was again. I strained forward to get a better view, but nothing was visible. Turning away from the window, I asked my grandfather, "I thought you said that nobody lived out on the cliffs?"
"That's right", said my grandfather. "Nobody lives on the cliffs. The ground is too hard to farm and there is no grass for grazing animals…"
"Oh…but I just saw lights out there.", I declared.
My grandfather offered no explanation, except to say, "It's probably just the moor's mist playing tricks with you. It has a tendency to make people thing all kinds of things. Some silly man wandered out there last year after dark and was never found. They say, he fell into the ocean and was swept away with the currents."
"I am not some country bumpkin who is taken to flights of fancy, "I stated bluntly. " I am a city girl and we do not imagine things, just because it is misty. I am telling you… I saw a flickering light, high up on the cliff. Besides the mist, what do you think it could be?" I stood back, crossed my arms, and stared at my grandfather waiting for him to answer.
My grandfather threw back his head and roared with laughter, before answering me. He said, "You may be a city girl, young lady, but even the locals know that many nights there appear lights on the cliffs, which turn out to be nothing more than small flying fire insects, or a small grass fire, which has been started by lightning. Many of the locals have become lost on the moors, trying to help tourists that have wondered off to the cliffs, during the evening hours."
"Well, that is all rather silly, isn't it?" I snapped. "You'd almost think you were in East L.A. or something…"
"Okay, so this is not a big American city, by I will still have a promise from you, before we retire tonight," said my grandfather in a very bland tone. "You will promise me, that as long as you are in my care, you will not visit the cliffs after dark." When I said nothing, my grandfather walked and stood looking down at me. It was amazing how intimidating it felt. Meekly, I answered, "Okay, I promise…. I will stay away from your silly cliffs after dark".
I received a somewhat dubious look, before my grandfather resumed what he had been doing - sitting in his chair filling his pipe. I watched the moors intently for a few more minutes, and then told grandfather I was tired and wished to turn in. My grandfather, Hector, pointed out the way to my room, and said a rather gruff good night to me, before tapping out his pipe, and walking out the front door.
That night, I slept like a log, and over the next couple of weeks my grandfather and I built a strong, and mutually rewarding, relationship. We had become very close, but somehow, not close enough to talk about my mother. I had observed my grandfather carefully, whenever I mentioned my mother, and was dismayed to find, that his face-hardened, the instant she was mentioned. This frightened me and made me extremely sad.
One evening, after a day out in the local village, I was restless. I spent the majority of the evening pacing back and forth across the room to stare, for long periods, out the large bay window, onto the moors. The situation between my grandfather, who I had grown to love, and my mother, who I loved dearly, was eating away at my insides, causing me to be cranky. I was finding it hard not to shout at my grandfather, for being so arrogantly stupid, and rigidly unforgiving, when it came to his daughter, my beloved mother. I studied my grandfather cautiously under my lashes, as he dozed quietly in his rocking chair, by the fireplace. I was so lost, in my own thoughts, that I didn't even notice him wake up and stare back at me. Therefore, I almost jumped out of my skin when my grandfather quietly asked, "Have I got drool in my beard or something?"
"N..nooooo…..", I stammered. "I was not really looking at you. I was just thinking."
"Yes, I know", stated my grandfather. "Your constant pacing, back and forth, has pretty much ruined my evening nap. "So…why don't you just spit it out. What, exactly is it… that has got your tail tied up in knots?"
Surprised, I giggled nervously, while I stood picking at my fingernails, and gnawing at my bottom lip. I had thought about this moment for days now, but I still couldn't find a way to approach the subject with my grandfather, so it had remained unsaid and eating me alive. Several minutes passed, before I carelessly blurted out, "I don't like what you are doing to my mother. Your being unfair and it is causing her unbearable pain. I can't stand it. I love you both. You're just being mean, uncaring, and hateful when it comes to forgiving my mother. It just isn't fair…." With that said, I wheeled away and stood staring out the window, while I waited for the axe to drop.
For a few minutes, my grandfather said nothing, then he erupted, "Uncaring, unkind, hateful! These are words you speak to me." My grandfather was so upset that the veins in his neck began to pop out and I feared that I might be the cause for him suffering a heart attack. As his face reddened, his temper rose and he shouted at me, "How dare you speak to me, in that tone, you impertinent brat. What went on, between your mother and I, is of no concern to you. Hell, your weren't even born at that time. I will never…. you hear me…never forgive that woman, your mother…my daughter, for what she has done. With this said, he wheeled around on his heel, and stormed out of the room, slamming the door loudly behind him..
Stunned by his display of temper, I just stared after his receding back. I, in that moment, realized just how much worse I had made the entire situation. Not only was my grandfather mad at my mother, but he was now mad at me, too. I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I walked over, plunked my bottom on the window seat, and stared, dejectedly, out in to the darkness, that surrounded the tiny wooden cabin, my grandfather called home.
A few minutes later, a flickering light drew my attention. This time the flickering was different. It was almost as if it was staying visible, on purpose. I watched the spot of light, which appeared to be bouncing up and down. Then, as quick as it came, it was gone, only to return a few seconds later. Now, it seemed to be flashing. I watched intently, before realizing I had seen this pattern on television, in a late night war movie. I was sure it was sending me the Morris Code signal for S.O.S. I was shaken. Could this be possible? Was somebody out there in trouble and needing help? Should she tell her grandfather? No, she decided that she could not do that at this time. It was at that very moment, that the real trouble truly began….
The next morning, I rose earlier than normal and prepared breakfast for my grandfather, and myself. As I sat munching on a burnt slice of toast, my grandfather entered the room, grabbed his jacket off the back of his chair, and marched, without so much as a good day, out the front door, and down the hillside, towards the village. I was not surprised, by his actions, especially after the previous evenings events. After viewing his temper, I automatically assumed he would be angry and upset for the next couple of days. As close as I could figure, I would be really lucky if he spoke to me, again, by the end of the week.
After breakfast was cleared away, I pulled out my backpack and filled it with what I deemed necessary to spend a day walking on the moors. I was determined to find the flickering light. I estimated it would take me the best part of the day to reach my destination, and return, at, or just before darkness. It was at this point, I decided it would be best to leave my Grandfather a note so he would not be worried, and I quickly scrawled out a note, telling him of my plans. I knew he would be furious if I didn't arrive home before dark, but figured the ways things were now, a few minutes couldn't possibly make him any angrier than he already was. Leaving the note propped against my grandfather's pipe stand, beside his chair, I grabbed my jacket, threw my backpack over my shoulder, walked out the rear door, and headed onto the moors at a quick pace. I was afraid I would change my mind, and listen to my instincts, if I didn't hurry on my way.
Within an hour, my pace had slowed considerably. I had tripped several times over loose rocks and slippery moss. I was not very far out onto the moors, at this time, and could have easily turned back, but my drive and determination would not let me. So, I continued on, further into the moors, towards the cliffs. The cliffs were my ultimate goal. I had convinced myself that the flickering lights had come from there. Several times, I stopped to drink from the container of water I packed. When the sun reached, what I considered to be, the mid point in the sky, I decided it was time to break and eat something. I reached into my backpack and pulled out a napkin wrapped, roast beef sandwich, an apple, and a pop. Finding myself a fairly flat rock, I sat and devoured my lunch. I was unbelievably hungry and doggedly tired.
I knew if I was going to reach my destination, I would have to keep moving steadily across the endless moors. I quickly packed away the remnants of my lunch, and began trudging onward. I walked and walked, yet my destination appeared no closer. I checked the sun's location several times, before I continued walking. As I watched, the sun began to descend, and I knew I would soon have to give up, and return to the cabin. This caused my to pick up my pace. I was determined, I would not fail. I was almost at a full gait, as I continued onward.
Finally, forced to admit I was not going to make it, I sat to rest. I was so tired my bones ached, my hands throbbed, my heart pounded rapidly, and my knees were so weak, I could not stand. I leaned wearily back against a large boulder, and closed my eyes, to quell my pounding headache.
With a snap, my eyes pop open, and I was aware that I was in deep trouble. Not only was it pitch black, but I was damp, and freezing in the cold night air. I quickly pulled open my backpack, and grabbed out the blanket, I had brought to sit on, at lunch. It was almost thread bare, but it gradually created a barrier of warm air, around my quivering body. I peered into the darkness, but all I could see, was more darkness. I was terrified.
A few feet away, rocks shifted and fell. I froze. Again the noise sounded, but this time I wasn't hanging around to see what was causing it. I scrambled to my feet and tore off at a blinding pace across the flat moors. My headlong rush landed me, on my back, down the side of one of the cliffs, after tripping over a large protruding rock. As I fell in the darkness, I reached out to grab anything I could, which ultimately ended with cuts and scraps covering my arms, legs, and face. I was just thankful to quit falling. Little did I know how much danger I was now in. After careful examination, I realized I had twisted my ankle quite badly. Already, the ankle was swollen to twice its size. I winched each time I moved, but I knew I could not stay out in the open all night, and reached around to feel for my knapsack. As I stretched, searing pain shot up my leg, causing me to black out, instantly.
Bright daylight shone down on me, forcing me to open my eyes. I suddenly realized how thankful I was to have passed out the night before. I was sitting on a ledge not much wider than me. It was amazing that I had not fallen off, during the night. I sat up slowly and pressed myself back into the sheer side of the cliff.
It was at that point, that I realized how worried my grandfather would be, and wished that I had taken his advice and stayed away from these rotten old cliffs. Gingerly, I forced myself up on my good leg, and attempted to put pressure on my other leg. Instantly, the pain shot through me and I drifted, once again, in to the abyss ….
I winched, and opened my eyes to find a strange man, bandaging my ankle. He seemed to have set it or something, as there were two splint-like objects on either side of my ankle, and the pain seemed a lot less severe than I remember it. I suddenly realized my leg was really cold down by my foot and looked down. I was shocked, not only by the fact that there was a mountain of ice surrounding my ankle, but by the fact that, all I had on was a man's shirt and nothing else. I peered at the strange man under my lashes and preyed that it was his wife that changed me.
"So, sleeping beauty awakes," said the stranger with a long American drawl in his voice. "I was beginning to wonder if that was ever going to happen. How do you feel?"
I looked around, observing the strong daylight, before answering, "Fine. What time is it? How did I get here…" "Who are you?"
Watching me carefully, the stranger replied, "It's nine o'clock. I carried you. My name is Lucifer…but, everyone just calls me Luke." With that he chuckled and then proceeded to check my ankle, before shaking his head, and stating flatly, "It is definitely gonna be a while before you’re walking on that ankle." Rising from his crouched position, he turned to leave the room, but turned back around to enquire, "You must be hungry. Would you like a plate of stew?"
Realizing I was famished, I replied, "Yes, please. I think I could eat a horse."
As he turned to leave again, I asked anxiously, "Do you think you could get word to my grandfather, Hector Fischer, that I am okay. He's going to be so worried, especially since I have been away all night."
Luke stared at me for a minute, and then said, "I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you have been here, at the lighthouse, for three days already. I would have told someone, but I didn't have a clue that you were, and it has been storming, which I might add, you slept through, for the past three days. It just let up this morning. I was planning on sending a radio message, once I get it back online. The storm knocked out all the power lines around here, so we will have to rely on the emergency generator for a day to two."
My eyes bulged open as my chin hit the floor. Three days! How could it possibly be three days, I asked myself. Struggling to sit up and remove the covering blankets, I carelessly dislodged my ankle, and howled out in pain. I had to get up and find a way to let my grandfather know I was okay.
"Just what do you think you're doing, you stupid little ass?" snarled Luke, as he grab me and stopped me from falling, face first, onto the worn, floorboards. "Are you really stupid enough to think that ankle can hold your weight?" With a slight snapped, Luke dropped me unceremoniously back into the bed, causing my nightshirt to lift, and me to blush with embarrassment.
"I have to get up…, " I stammered. "My grandfather is going to be frantic. He's going to be so worried that I didn't come home. He's going to think I ended up like the rest of the tourist… in the ocean and dragged out with the currents…"
"Guess you should have thought about your grandfather's health, before doing this asinine thing? I'll have the radio and generator up and running in an hour or so, and then I can contact the police station in the village. They will let your grandfather know you are okay, but first, I need to know who you," he growled, with impatience, as he tucked me roughly back under the covers. He seemed embarrassed by my nudity as well.
I answered, in surprise, "Oh, I'm Melanie Fischer. My grandfather is Hector Fischer. He lives in a little cabin, at the far end of the Lock of Cliff."
Surprised, Luke said, "I know Hector very well. He has never mentioned a granddaughter to me….not, in all the time I have talked to him. I wonder why that is…." Luke was looking at me as if I had grown a second head or something. Then he slowly rubbed his beard, before turning towards the kitchen and saying, "I will bring you in some stew and bread. While you are eating, I will get on the radio and let Hector know you are fine. So, now you can lay back and let that bloody ankle, of yours, begin to mend. What ever possessed you to try walking on it….in that shape?"
"Duh!" I snapped, "I couldn't just sit there and wait for my fairy godmother to come down and rescue me, now could I?"
"No, " muttered Luke. "I don't suppose you could have."
After Luke left the room, I had the opportunity to look around. The lighthouse, as he called it, was not very big. From where she sat, she could see the living room, the kitchen, and she assumed she was in Luke's bedroom, as the only other door, other than the outside doors, appeared to be the restroom door. The interior of what I assumed was Luke's home was warm, but definitely male in décor. The rooms were scarcely furnished with rugged, masculine furniture and no curtains adorned any of the windows. This was my first clue that I was here with him, alone.
For the next week, I was forced to rest in bed, while Luke worked outside, returning to bring me meals. He insisted that I not get out of bed, except to use the facilities. During my time in bed, Luke spent many pleasant evenings talking to me about his life, and how he ended up living here in the lighthouse. Over time, I learned that Luke was responsible for shining the lighthouse light out over the waters of the ocean, as well as the Lock of Cliff to assist fishermen to return home through the mists. Accidentally, one evening, I learned that Luke had been married before, but that it had ended badly, and they thankfully had no children. It was during one of our nightly conversations, that I suddenly realized I was beginning to have feelings for Luke. Whenever he entered the room, my heart began to race, my palms felt sweaty, and I could not stop myself from smiling, at the silly things he said.
Finally, a week and a half later, Luke finally declared my ankle well enough to bare some limited weight and produces the ugliest pair of wooden crutches, I had ever seen. Gingerly, I tested my ankle. It was a little tender the first day, but a few days later, I was walking around like an old pro, only using the crutches when Luke was around. I, had discovered that my ankle was farther along than Luke thought, but I was still playing the wounded princess, for all it was worth. I was not looking forward to the day I would have to travel back across the moors, and out of Luke's life forever.
One evening, after our dinner, Luke asked innocently, "So, Melanie, how long you gonna keep playing at this?"
Shocked, I flung back at him, "I am not playing. My ankle is still tender, and I still have sore ribs, from my fall."
Looking at her, with obvious surprise, Luke laughed and said, "Sure it does." And then dropping to the ground and pretending to get up, Luke mimicked, "Oh,….. I've fallen and I can't get up. Help me…help me…help me…."
Laughing, I picked up the pillow, from the couch, and tossed it quickly at his head, but it missed and knocked the bouquet of weeds, I had collected, that morning, over on the table. Water was everywhere, and I could hardly contain my laughter, as she watched it spread slowly across the table, and pour down the front of Luke's jeans, forming a large wet spot over his privates. Luke sputtered and jump up, but not before the damage was done.
"Stop, Melanie," he barked. "This is the last pair of clean jeans I have. With both of us wearing my clothes, there just doesn't seem to be enough to go around."
The look of dismay, on his face, was enough to send me from giggles, into a fit of laughter. I laughed until my sides ached. It seems my laughter was contagious, as soon Luke was laughing, too. Finally, Luke composed himself and told me, in no uncertain terms, that , "We will be leaving the lighthouse, in the morning, to take you home to your grandfathers." With his message delivered, he turned and walked into his bedroom, leaving me starring after him.
The next morning, Luke woke me at the crack of dawn. Breakfast was a really quick bowl of cereal, a glass of milk, and after a quick washroom break, we were out the door and heading across the moors. The trip across the moors, although less strenuous, was no less time consuming. It seemed everywhere I walked was covered with small patches of damp grass or slippery, moss covered rocks. As I picked my footing carefully, Luke kept a watchful eye from behind.
Although Luke had decided it was time for me to return to my grandfather's house, it was not for the reason that I had assumed. He knew that I thought he didn't want me around anymore, and that this was why he was hurrying to get me home. The problem was that he felt the exact opposite. All he really wanted was for me to be around, and if he didn't take me back now, he knew he never would. What he didn't know was if could live with himself, after making a decision like that on his own, besides he did not want my grandfather to assume that he was like my father - overbearing and controlling. He was surprised, when talking to me, that my grandfather had told him more about his relationship with his son-in-law, than he had his own granddaughter. He reasoned, that this was why I did not understand the distance between my grandfather and my mother.
About half way home, Luke called for me to stop. He opened the basket, he was carrying, and produced a sandwich, chocolate bar, and pop for our lunch. We ate in silence. After the meal, we continued our hike across the moors, pausing occasionally, to allow me to rest my ankle. My mood, that day, was definitely sombre. Even the bright sunshine, couldn't lift my spirits.
Luke watched tentatively, but said nothing. He was now worried about how I was going to react, when I learned that he never had contacted my grandfather, to ease his mind. Instead, he had contacted the police back in Los Angeles and asked them to make my mother aware that I was missing on the moors, and that I would need her if I came back alive. It was a cruel thing to do, but he had his reasons.
Just before dusk, we reached Lock of Cliff, by my grandfather's cabin. Every light, inside the cabin, appeared to be burning brightly, which confused me, especially after spending a week there and leaning about grandfather's conservation efforts.. As we approached the cabin, I heard, what I thought was my mother's voice, but disbelieved it…chalking it up to wanting to see my mother, so badly. Just outside the cabin door, I stood for a minute bracing myself to face my grandfather and his scolding. Luke waited until I turned the handle, on the door, and then disappeared into the darkness. As I entered the door, I turned back to tell Luke to come in, but he was nowhere to be seen and my depression grew. Not only was my grandfather going to furious, but now I had no moral support, either.
As I stepped in to the cabin, I froze. I couldn't believe my eyes. There, standing in my grandfather's living room, was my mother, who screeched and then came rushing over. She grabbed me and hugged me to her, so tight I could hardly breathe. The next instant, my grandfather joined my mother and was hugging and kissing me uncontrollably. By the time they finished, my face was soaked, and I had to wipe my face on the sleeve of Luke's borrowed shirt.
It was at that exact moment, that I realized Luke had not contacted my grandfather. Most of that evening was spent, telling each other what had happened, since I ventured across the moors. I learned about the mysterious phone call the Los Angeles Police Department received, which had my mother scurrying to get to her daughter, no matter what her father said or did. Apparently, it worked. It appeared that, after all these years, father and daughter were now on speaking terms, and enjoying each other's company. I was thrilled! Everything had finally worked out for them. I just wished, I could say the same about myself and Luke. I wondered where he had disappeared to, and if I would ever see him, again.
Very early the next morning, the house awoke to the sound of someone hammering on the front door. Grandfather was the first to reach the door and fling it open. There leaning against the door jam stood Luke. Quietly, he asked, "Am I forgiven for not telling you that I had your granddaughter with me?" Grandfather looked shocked and then the true meaning of the statement sunk in, and he grabbed Luke and pulled him, into a huge barrel-chested hug.
"You, young man, are lucky. Until this very moment, I didn't know you had her, but I now know why you did not tell this old man. I always told you, you would get caught someday….." drawled my grandfather, with a knowing glint in his eye. Silently, my grandfather turned to my mother and winked.
"So…… this is your Luke, father…", said my mother. "He looks like a fine boy. He'll do nicely," stated my mother as she turned to wink back at my grandfather. They both smiled like cats, as if they had swallowed the cream.
"Mother", I screeched as my mother's last statement sunk in.
Luke looked at me, laughed and stepped towards my mother and hug her, before stately sincerely, "It's really nice to finally meet you". My mother embraced him tightly and quietly said, "Luke, thank you for all that you have done, to heal this crazy family."
Quietly and with accusation, I asked, "Luke, why did you not tell my grandfather that I was alright? And why did you lie to me… and say that you did?"
Luke looked at my grandfather and then at me, before replying, "I didn't tell your grandfather because he knows how well voices travel over the moors." Turning to me, he said, "The evening you had the blow out fight with your grandfather I was out walking on the moors. I heard every nasty word you said to each other. It didn't take a genius to figure out where the problem lies, so I set a plan in motion and placed a call to your mother the day I found you. She knew you were in danger and nothing was going to stop her from finding you, not even your grandfather. She arrived a few days later, and believe me there was some mighty loud yelling for an hour or two, but then common sense took over, and they began the hunt to find you. Only then, did I place to your grandfather to let him and your mother know that you were being cared for by me. They were relieved and I suggested that you would need your mother on your return. Funny, your grandfather didn't even seem to mind. So, here we are…."
"Just one second, please," interrupted my grandfather. "You knew long before, that she was okay, and you did not tell us, until after we screamed at each other. Why?"
With a smirk, Luke responded, "You must admit Hector, you are pretty pigheaded.
"Pigheaded, umph", grunted my grandfather. "I'll have you know, young man, I am no more pigheaded than this girl, you love, who travels over the moors. even when she promises not to. Now, that is pigheaded and stupid"
Feeling guilty, I said sheepishly, "I'm sorry grandfather. I, honestly, didn't go out on the moors to defy you. I was trying to find the flashing lights, I told you about. The night of our fight, I could have sworn the flashing lights were sending me a S.O.S. in Morris Code." Knowing how stupid that sounded, I just shrugged my shoulders and sank into my chair, waiting for someone to make a smart remark….
Withdrawing an item from his bag, Luke let the heavy sack fall, to the floor, with a thud This noise instantly drew everyone's attention to him. Looking lovingly at me, Luke said, "It was me.. sending you a signal, from high up, in my lighthouse." Then, Luke took a huge, hidden flashlight from between his legs and sent her his S.O.S., all over again.
"Mystery solved," I said, and all I could do was smile. Life would never be any better than this!