Chapter 1 - I've Just Seen a Face

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Had it been another day 

I might've looked the other way

And I'd have never been aware

But as it is I'll dream of her tonight


August, 1963  (two years earlier)

"Since it's Sunday and it's stopped raining, what do you say we whip up a couple of loaves of pumpkin bread?" Grandma Bellamy believed in getting an early start, even on Marisol's first morning in Sussex.

Marisol stretched her arms over her head and swallowed a yawn, squinting from the shaft of sunlight streaming through the kitchen window. "You know it's still Saturday in California, Grandma."

Grandma Bellamy pressed a well-thumbed recipe book into Marisol's hands. "Jet lag hates fresh air and exercise, love, it's the only thing for it."

Within an hour the kitchen was fragrant with pumpkin and nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Marisol sat at the mahogany kitchen table, skimming through the Steinbeck travelogue her father had given her for the 5,000 mile journey across a continent and an ocean from Northern California to Southern England. She'd spent most of the flight with the book closed on her lap, turned to the window with her head pressed against the fuselage so the businessman next to her wouldn't notice her eyes brimming with tears.

"Your troubles won't follow you if you don't let them." Her father had turned philosophic on the drive from Sonoma to the San Francisco airport. "And when you return, you won't come back to the same old thing. Because you will have changed. Your perceptions will have changed. The river will be flowing while you're gone and you won't come back to the same river."

"I love you, Dad. I'll miss you," she'd said, holding back tears as she waited to board the Pan Am 707 to New York. He'd slapped her on the back so hard her bones rattled and said, "You're a Hemingway, you're tough." Sometimes it felt like her father should have had only sons.

Pushing the Steinbeck aside, Marisol rested her forehead on her crossed arms and closed her eyes, still groggy from passing through eight time zones. When her head was clearer, she would phone her friend Angela so they could meet for lunch and a little shopping on Regent Street. And her twin nieces had been in London all summer. She couldn't wait to get her hands on them.

Alone with her thoughts and the sound of her breath in the private cocoon her arms made, Marisol didn't realize her grandmother had come back in the kitchen until she felt the hand rubbing a comforting circle between her shoulder blades. She straightened. "Oh. I almost dozed off again."

"I'm so happy you're here, duckie. The twins have gotten so big! Lucy is as precocious as ever, like her mother, and Sophie is tender-hearted like you were at that age." Grandma handed her a small framed photograph. "This was last month, mind you. They change so fast."

Marisol's reed-thin older sister Margo and her athletic-looking husband Nick were posed at the beach, each holding one of the girls. Everyone squinting into the sun with wind-tousled hair.

"You look so much like your sister in this photo, don't you think?"

They had the same nose, she and Margo. The same little upturn at the end. The same eyes, cornflower blue. The same full lips. But that was where the resemblance ended, at least as far as she was concerned. Where her sister was tall and delicate, Marisol was shorter and curved. They were both blonde and fair, but Margo's hair was sleek and straight while hers was thick and wavy and unruly. You get that from your father's side, everyone said. She had her father's cheekbones. And, sometimes, her father's melancholy.

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