It’s Been a Long Time
“Hi Liza. I just found out that you are going to open your own café. That is amazing!” I said.
Amazed at how fast the news spread, Liza said, “Yes I am. How did you know? I only told Abby till now.”
“She told me. We just came across each other.”
“I have called a one of the staff from a very famous company that helps people start a business. She will be here any minute now. So, how is teaching? Are the kids easy to handle?” Liza asked.
“They are having fun. I plan activities to help them understand the topic.”
“That is a very nice way of teaching them”, she was impressed.
“Oh no! I forgot to give something to the mayor. Would you mind waiting for the employee? She will be here any minute. I will be back in a jiffy.”
“Sure Liza, I will wait.”
A few minutes later a car arrived and a woman came out. After she got out of her car, I recognized her immediately.
Surprised, I asked, “Anny, is that you?”
“Ashley”, she said hugging me, “It has been so long since we met.”
“Yes. Tell me how are you and what brings you to our town?”
“Oh, I am fine. I am here to help a lady named Liza start her business. How have you been?”
“I have never been better. I am the teacher of the school here.”
“Oh, that is very nice, I am happy to hear. Ashley could you please tell me where Liza is. I would like to meet her and then freshen up.”
“She is right behind you.”
When she turns around, she sees Liza. They greet each other and after a few minutes she goes to the hotel to get some rest.
“Ashley, how do you know Anny?” Liza askes as we walk back to her house.
“I used to teach her daughter when I was living in the city. She couldn’t teach Georgia herself because she was very busy fending for her family.”
“What do you mean?”
“When Georgia turned five, there was some accident and her father was killed. So, she had to provide for her family herself.”
“Oh, that’s too bad. Maybe after she freshens up and eats her lunch, I will call her for tea. You can join us if you want to.”
“Sure, I would love that. I will be there at around 5.”
A few hours later, I reached Liza’s house. Anny is already there. Liza is in the kitchen making tea. I take a seat in front of Anny.
“Hello Anny, is your room comfortable?” I asked.
“Yes, it is quite nice. Where do you stay?”
“I am staying with Liza for a while until I find a place for myself”, I said.
Then Liza came with the tea.
“So how is Georgia?” I asked her.
“She must be fine.”
“Are you two not in contact?”
“No, we had a small fight. But the fight that I thought was small ended up in a huge chaos. Since then, we have not spoken to each other”, she said.
“Oh, I am so sorry”, Liza said
I asked Anny, “Do you know where she lives?”
“She sends me letters because I don’t call her but she tells me her phone number in every letter. For some reason, I know it by heart.”
“I think that is because you love her and miss her. Could you write it down for me? Would really appreciate it.”
“Sure, why not.”
Liza got Anny a paper and pen. Anny wrote down Georgia’s number.
Sometime later, I said, “Thanks for the tea Liza. Thank you for Georgia’s number. I had a wonderful time. Now I need to go upstairs and work on the lesson plan for my students for tomorrow. I will see both of later.”
After I reached my room, I plopped down on my bed and thought about Anny. Georgia and Anny were really close. It must be really hard for both of them to live separately and not knowing what was going on in their lives. I decided to call Georgia. Even though it is not my place to meddle in their family business, I care about them a lot and hate to see Anny this way. I made a mental note to call Georgia when Anny left. I want it to be a surprise.
Some time after Anny left, I went and told Liza what I was planning to do.
“That is a wonderful idea”, Liza says.
“Please don’t tell Anny. I want this to be a surprise for her.”
I go to the shop to call Anny.
“Hello Ashley. What brings you here?” Henry, the shop owner, asks.
“I want to make a phone call. The telephone at Liza’s house is not working. Can I use your telephone?” I ask him.
“Sure. I could go take a look at your telephone now. I am free. Is that okay?”
“That is so nice of you. Liza is at home.”
I go to the telephone and dial in Georgia’s number.
“Hello Georgia, it’s Ashley. I heard you and your mother had a fight. I just wanted you to know that she is visiting me. I can give you my address if you want to come visit her.” I give her my address. “Will you be able to come here by tomorrow? She is making a business deal and I don’t know for how long she is going to stay. You will be here by tomorrow afternoon. Okay that would be great. Bye.” Satisfied, I hang up the phone and leave.
When I reach home, I tell Liza to keep Anny occupied in the afternoon.
The next morning when I get up, I get ready for school. Before going, I tell Liza the plan.
When school is over it is around the time Georgia will arrive. So, I head home and see Anny there.
“Hello Anny. I have a parcel coming today, I just came here to take something. I have to leave now. Bye.” That was a close call.
I only have to wait a few minutes until a car arrives and Georgia comes out. She has a kid holding her hand and her husband beside her.
“Hello Georgia. It has been so long since we met. How are you?”
“Hello Ashley. Indeed, it has been. I wanted to talk to you about so many things but you had left the city and I didn’t have your address”, she says.
Looking at her husbands confused look, I say, “Nice to meet you. I am Ashley. I used to tutor Georgia when she was a kid.”
“Nice to meet you too. She told me so much about you when you called yesterday.”
“Hello, who might you be?” I ask her daughter.
“Hello, I am Sylvia” she says.
“Well Sylvia and you must be tired. I will take you to the hotel, you can freshen up and eat something. I will come and take you to your mother after an hour”, I say and then leave.
When I reach home, Liza tells me that Anny left to see the town. So, I take Liza to visit Georgia.
An hour passes by quickly.
“Liza, you get Anny to the clubhouse and I will bring Georgia in 10 minutes”, I tell her and head to the hotel.
“Georgia, are you ready?” I ask her.
“Yes, I am. So, when we reach there, I will go inside sort things out with my mother and Josh will wait outside with Sylvia. Then once we are done talking, I will call Josh and Sylvia inside.”
“Exactly”, I say.
When we reach there, I send Georgia inside. After a while, she calls Josh and Sylvia in. Some time later, Anny comes out. A wide smile on her face.
“Thank you, Ashley,”, she says.
“It was my pleasure.”
“Liza, I believe we have covered everything already. If you have any problem, just give me a call. Bye, I hope to see you both soon”, she says and goes to her car, Sylvia following her.
“Thank you so much Ashley. I could have never talk to my mother if it wasn’t for you”, she says.
I hug her, “It was no problem. I am just happy to see you both together.”
She and her husband get into their car and follow Anny.