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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 8

Miss Holdana was sitting in her usual seat by the window, continually checking the street with eager enthusiasm. I started cleaning the spare cups, moving the tea towel around the rim and then through the handle to hang it up. It was a continual routine, something that couldn't change if you wanted something done right. That kind of reminded me of the court case, nobody's statements could change unless you wanted a lot of drama in the court room.

Mine changed once. When Finn managed to get his sucessful bail plea, he had rung me up to threaten me. The phonecall was pretty much one sided and lasted for a good five minutes before I shakily hung the phone up. He told me that if I told the police everything, he'd kill me. If I told them about his friends. They'd kill me. If I said anything that suggested I'd been raped more than twice, I'd be dead within the week. My mum knew about the phonecall and had told the police, making me change my statement to mention his contact during bail.

"So, Kathryn, tell me about this boy," Miss Holdana said, bringing my attention to her small, hunched form. She looked pretty good for a woman that was 89 but still had the typical old woman tendancies of stumbling and not being able to hear me a lot of the time. Tyke, her dog, was the one that followed her around the house wherever she went, seemingly making sure that she was okay. Since Mr Holdana died, he appeared to take control and the role of the alpha male. I thought it was pretty cute but Miss Holdana always told me that it was annoying and he needed to focus on guarding the property, not her feet.

"Who Eli?" I asked, jerking in surprise and a grin spread across her face.

"That was how my Allison looked at me when I asked her about Mr. Tirrans for the first time," she said softly, going into a short daze before looking at me properly again, her eyes twinkling and the wrinkle lines around them creasing.

"Well, he's alright, I guess. He bought Tempest, you know, Finn's horse?" I offered and the old lady nodded, leaning back in her chair.

"Do you see him a lot?" she inquired and I shrugged, looking back down at the counter top.

"I suppose, he's there all the time with his horse," I mumbled and Miss Holdana chuckled.

"He liked you, sweetheart." Looking up, I met her challenging gaze, one that when she was younger, must've been full of fire and bravery. She seemed the type, even in old age.

"He has to, I'm kind of the co-owner of the stable his horse is staying at," I countered but she shook her head, holding her finger up.

"Excuses, excuses, my dear. He was definitely interested in you," she paused, cocking her head the way that Eli always did. "Has none of your friends asked you about him?"

I sighed, shrugging and plopping myself down on the uncomfortable wooden stool behind me.

"Who would be interested in me, Miss Holdana, in all seriousness? I'm known as Finn's toy. Diseased, pathetic and stupid," I rounded off. Miss Holdana narrowed her eyes, breathing out through her lips.

"Darling, you have been through a trauma and people who don't understand are bound to be judgemental," she assured and I nodded, agreeing with her to avoid any further talking of Finn.

"I guess so. Jenna's been supportive but doesn't speak of much apart from Dean Montgomery." Miss Holdana nodded understandingly.

"Allison said the same of young Lisa when she first met Joshua," she said through a chuckle. I smiled and then cocked my head.

"As in Lisa Tirrans?" The old woman nodded, eyeing me suspiciously. Lisa was a girl that used to go to our school, but got pulled out and moved to the grammar school on the other side of town. She wanted to go into medical studies like her father but then went onto studying animals and biology. She was my age, maybe a bit older and seemed nice enough when she was in my tutor.

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