Chapter 33

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Anne's Pov 

He stood there and I was completely still for a few moments, twisting the butterfly ring on my finger. Phillip had given it to me in the theatre and I couldn't wait to see what it was so I opened it before I went in to meet with W.D. If I wasn't so angry with him right now, I would be quiet touched. I thought I had lost this trinket when I, when we, left New York. 

"Please be..." I began, trying my best to be as polite as I could despite the nerves. 

"There is no need." W.D began bluntly, "I will be brief. Who are you?" 

I thought for a second, trying to decide, more like figure out who I was. "I believe I am the only daughter of Nicholas Wheeler...." Once again I was unable to finish. 

"Spare me my family history. It is available in every book store across the world currently. And anyone can read." 

"I didn't think you would be so cruel." I said back. Part of me wished I didn't but the other had enough of everyone telling her who she can or cant be. 

"I have grown impatient. Kindness has become a luxury that not many receive."

I thought about it for a few moments, letting the beats of silence mix in with the smell of peppermint in the air.  Peppermint, I knew that from somewhere. 

"Well, I remember that my older brother was one of the kindest and loving people I knew." I walked exactly five steps. I know that because I could feel the blood pulsing in my ears with every step. 

"That was before everyone I cared about was murdered by those people." W.D's voice broke for a few seconds before reforming to it's original rigid appeal.  It was almost there I could see the last light of hope flicker out. 

"Peppermint." I blurted out. 

W.D turned around to look at me once again, raising his eyebrow. He had stopped moving towards the door and for the first time since he arrived here, he was still. 

"It's your cologne right?  I split a bottle of it once, all over the carpet. Mother was furious but it forever smelt of peppermint." 

I don't know what changed but the W.D in front of me was different than the one that I saw a mere thirty seconds ago. Light had returned to his eyes and his lips no longer formed a thin line but more of a small smile now. 

"Who was my favourite butler?" He quizzed, intrigued to see what else I knew. 

I shook my head at this question. "You never had one. You never called anyone a butler because we were raised to treat everyone equally. No one was higher or lower than any other person."

"Your young man told me that you were not apart of his scheme." 

"That's correct. I wasn't." 

"He very well believes that you are my sister. He says that you have come to believe it yourself."

"I do believe it. But I can't be her unless you recognise me as her." 

"You can't be anyone unless your first recognise yourself." The room went silent again and   I went back to twisting my ring. "I'm going to ask you one last time. Who are you?"

I answered as honestly. "I don't know anymore....Who are you?" My voice was slow as I shook my head, letting a few strands of hair fall. 

He seemed taken back slightly by me asking him the same question. He too thought about it, not quiet knowing where to place his words. "Someone who is lost with a broken heart. I just want this journey to be over."

An idea sparked in my hair. "Do you remember the last time you saw Annaliese?" 

He looked at me as though I had asked him what two-hundred and thirty eight multiplied by sixty four was. (15 232 if anyone was wondering)

"I didn't know it was the last time. Nobody ever does." W.D's voice was almost hollow as he sat down on the ottoman next to me. 

"You gave her a music box, just before you went to Paris. You promised that you would come back." W.D's eyes watched me with an intense curiosity as I quickly scavenged though my bag. 

My hands fell upon the music box and fingertips lightly traced the butterfly hole. Sliding my ring of my ginger, I gently wound up the music box, letting the mechanics of the box become the dominate sound in the room before the gentle, soft music filled the air with memories. 

W.D face morphed into wonder as he heard the song echo across the room. I closed my eyes, steading my hands as I sang the lyrics that he had taught be all those years ago. 

"Far away.Long ago, Glowing dim as an ember.Things my heart used to know..." 

"Once upon a December." He finished off, he took the music box off me and placed it on the ottoman, closing it gently. 

"My sister. Annaliese." He laughed with pure joy. It was with that that he pulled me into a hug, wrapping his arms tightly around me. The world around me melted away as I squeezed him back, not wanting the moment to end.


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