“What are you doing here, baby sis?” Deborah asked.
“Is that the welcome I get after all those years?” Jenny responded,
“Yes, it’s certainly been a while,” Deborah admitted with a hint of melancholy in her voice. “I bet Dad told you I was here.”
“That’s right. We were on the phone the other day and he told me you needed to get some stuff sorted out or something. So, I thought I’d pay you a visit and catch up with you. Maybe we can get some surfing in as well.”
Still smiling, Helena walked over to the tiny oak sapling and knelt down beside it.
“Grandma,” she said again, only this time a little louder, “I’m so glad you’re still here.”
At the same moment, a breeze gently stroked her dark brown locks. To Helena it felt as if Grandma was talking to her by way of the wind. She smiled even more and took pleasure in the warm, glowing sensation she felt in her heart. Then, she stood up and walked slowly to the big oak that shaded the little oak from the heat of the afternoon sun.
Upon hearing the name ‘Frankston’, Giuseppe finally realized who the mysterious caller was. As his mind’s eye was flooded with more memories of his childhood in Moorabbin, he saw himself on the footy field playing his first game as if it were yesterday. He had a great deal to be thankful for to Mr. Frankston. Not just as his coach, but as his best mate’s dad too. In fact, Dave Frankston had always been like a second father to him, and thinking about this, moistened his eyes. What’s come over me, Giuseppe wondered, as he had not felt so emotional in years until ‘Dave’ had texted him during the soccer game the week before.
Eleven year-old Helena smiled contentedly at the rays of the summer sun trickling through the thick, leafy canopy of the live oaks. She loved walking along the shady lane that led to Grandma’s big mansion by the bayou, as it gave her time to forget everything and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the surroundings. She had been visiting Grandma – who was not her real grandma – at least once a week for as long as she could remember.
In the days following his attempts at contacting the man called Dave, Giuseppe found himself recalling moments from his childhood in the Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin. They were memories triggered by what he saw around him, and the feelings that came with them were often mixed.