Chapter Fifteen

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Chapter Fifteen 

Scorpio: Remember that when one door closes another door opens, all you need is courage to step up to the right door and enter it with your heart open and a handful of faith.

The next morning was spent in a flurry of activity for Winter as she wanted to be out as soon as possible so if Dan came looking her, she would already be on her way back to Tasmania. Winter showered, dressed and packed in her last belongings, then placed her luggage outside her cabin as instructed, for the crew to collect. Winter picked up her handbag and laptop bag and left the cabin, without looking back. The cabin held too many memories for her so she was glad to be having a fresh start back in Tasmania. Winter joined the other passengers in one of the large nightclubs, where they were to wait until ready to disembark. The atmosphere was subdued as the holidaymakers were finally realising their fun was over and they would all be returning to their "normal" lives. Once Winter was back on dry land, in Circular Quay, she collected her luggage and lined up at the taxi rank to get a taxi to the airport. Winter felt like she had arrived on a different planet, everything seemed different yet at the same time it felt as if time had stood still, and nothing had changed. The traffic still buzzed past, the pedestrians and tourists mingled together causing crowds wherever they went. The skyscrapers still loomed darkly into the clouds. Maybe it wasn't the people and places that had changed, maybe it was her. She felt more confident now to face the world and accept her shortcomings. She knew she still had the capacity to love with all her being and if that love was not reciprocated she knew that she was able to survive. Winter was quiet on the journey to the airport and she appreciated the time alone at the airport terminal to watch other people and think about their lives and their problems. She spoke to her mother and reminded her of the arrival time of her flight into Hobart. Winter checked her phone for a message from Dan and her heart sank when there was none. Part of her was relieved that she had been able to avoid him so easily but another part of her cried out in longing that he had not loved her enough to find her. Now she would never have the answers her soul was searching for. 

Taking a deep breath Winter knew she had to lose all contact with Dan in order to get over him so with shaking hands, she deleted his mobile number from her phone. Today would be a new start to her life. Dan had helped in healing her wounds of loss and grief and had enabled her to reconcile her past with her present but now the future was hers and lay ahead of her as a blank canvas on which to paint her destiny. The flight to Hobart was turbulent as usual and Winter felt her heart breaking as she got closer to home -meaning that she was even further away from Dan and knowing that she was only returning to her lonely, colourless life. 

Her mother greeted her with open arms at the airport and they chatted animatedly while waiting for her luggage to appear. The journey home for Winter was bittersweet, she was happy to be returning to her familiar surroundings and her cat, Molly but it also meant that she would never see Dan again. During the twenty minute car trip to Winter's house in Battery Point, Winter chatted to her mother about the trip and the sights but mentioned nothing about Dan. Her mother had loved Dan and had thought that he and Winter would be together forever, if only she knew that Winter had found Dan again but had lost him to lies and deceit. 

Arriving home, Winter noticed that her mother had stocked the fridge for her, and provided her with fresh flowers to brighten up the loneliness. Molly snaked around Winter's legs, meowing with joy. Winter dumped her luggage and turned on the kettle for a cup of tea. For the next half an hour Winter listened to her mother and made conversation, while on the inside she was crying for her lost love. Finally her mother left her alone to unpack and settle back in. Although it was only late afternoon, Winter still felt bone weary, so she cuddled Molly in her arms and went upstairs to her tidy pink and beige bedroom. She closed the curtains, found a clean pair of pyjamas and lay down in the bed, with Molly purring contentedly in her arms. Winter just wanted to fall into oblivion so she didn't need to think or feel and luckily her mind and body co-operated so she could sleep. 

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