13. Clanging Hints for the Nearly Deaf

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Elle felt alive and excited for the first time in a long time. Guess she had needed a holiday. It was coming up to two years since Blake's passing and she could do with some distraction on the weekend. Lucky for her Chloe had remembered the fast approaching doomsday and in typical Chloe-style had called up with a demand.

"You are dropping everything you're doing this weekend, which is absolutely nothing and coming to see me. No excuses!" she said. "I'm emailing you a flight itinerary and ticket etcetera, and will absolutely come and murder you if you pass up on the offer."

"What are you talking about?" Such had been Elle's non-committal question.

"Peter and I are having a small get together at our new place, and I know you want some distraction for the day, so I've already talked to Uncle Bert. He'll pick you and Maya up from your work, and then drop you off at the airport. And the best thing is, they're happy to look after Maya for the weekend."

"And what makes you think I'm going to take up this offer?" Elle chuckled.

"A free holiday for one! And you don't have a choice really. Uncle Bert's already left." Chloe giggled, delighted at her own brilliance. "You better send that girly home and lock up before he gets there."

"Who else is coming?"

"Ethan and Bree, and a few of Peter's friends from work. No biggie! And maybe Harry if you want."

"What if I had work this weekend?" Elle asked after a while.

"I already called Bonnie at lunch and checked," Chloe gloated. "And stop trying to find excuses. You're coming. That's final!"

Elle stood looking out the window at the darkening street, wondering what clothes she should pack for the weekend. Bonnie had been successfully shooed off an hour earlier as soon as she got off the phone. She knew she'd only get a short time to chuck things in her weekender. She grabbed her handbag and walked out, locking the door as soon as her father's car pulled in.

"Sorry love, I ran a bit late. Your mother was asking for things as I ran out the door," Bert said as Elle got into the car. "You all packed?"

"Dad, Chloe only called me a couple of hours ago at work," she answered, kissing his cheek and fastening the seat belt.

"Righto. Where's Maya?"

"At the Taits place. They pick her up from childcare along with their boys remember?"

"We better hurry then. Just chuck a few things in, all right?" he advised, speeding down the road towards Elle's home. "Even if you don't pack, I'm sure Chloe will lend you stuff."

In less than two hours, she was sitting at her parent's dinner table eating as fast as she could pumpkin soup with homemade white bread. Her dad had finished eating and was outside talking to Mr. Cott, their nosy neighbour who was out on his daily evening walk.

"How's the bread, honey?" Trish asked, blowing on Maya's spoonful of soup.

"Goob Mum!" Elle managed.

"Grab another piece, there's plenty."

Elle shook her head. "Can't, getting late," she swallowed the last spoonful of soup and scooped up the bowl before Trish could pour another sneaky ladleful into it. She rushed to the sink, drank a glass of water then rushed back to the table to kiss both Trish's and Maya's heads, scoop up her handbag and rush out the door. "See you on Monday," she called out closing the door behind her. "Let's go, Dad!"

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