The airport was bustling with foreigners and natives alike, caring their luggage to taxi drivers, tour guides motioning for tourist, and families embracing each other from the long separation. Will looked among the crowds, searching for a greying older man with stern features, as if they hadn't smile in decades. She came to Bucharest, Romania to live with her estrange father, whom, she had not seen for nearly 8 years. Her parents had separated when she was 9 years old. Will had lived with her snob of a mother and step father, portraying herself as an outcast. She could never live up to their expectation and wouldn’t force herself to change for their sake.
Will looked around the terminal, when she spots her father motioning to her.
She grips her hand bag and stalks towards him. Slowly picking up pace, then into a jog and barrel herself to the man's warm welcoming arms.
Mark kissed the top of his daughter's brown curly mane, gripping his arm around her shoulder blade and his hand soothing her hair. They both swayed back and forth, gripping each other tightly afraid the other might vanish.
Will let go of her father and bore her eyes into his; memorizing every detail of his face.
"I missed you." She whispered.
Mark forced a shaky smile, " Me too, kiddo."
They continue to hug until Mark forces himself away from his daughter's tight embrace. He grabs one of the carry-ons and motion to Will to follow him as they exit the airport.
The ride to Lipscani was about an hour for both Grahams' to catch up on the seperation. Mark had ask if her mother was doing alright and what had Will been doing since his absence. Will, begrudgingly, replayed with an animosity regarding both mother, stepfather and their pristine way of life.
"It's as if I am being labeled as a burden." She whispered. "they want me to dress a certain way. Be more social and just…not be Will Graham." she sighed, frustration showing on her face.
"As if they are taking your identity." Mark looks at his daughter. Will blinks and tighten her jaw she redirects her sights towards her father. She nods, shifter her eyes away to the dashboard.
Mark chuckles, "you really are just like your old man."
Will snorts a bit," That’s what mom has been saying for the past 8 years. I take too much of your personality, even your bad taste in wardrobe!" She jabbed.
"Hey! I dress okay." The older man pouted. Will snickers, and shifts to the window; memorizing the building, homes, land and…
She will be living here, in this place. A country she has no knowledge of its language and culture. So forgein…
Mark looks to his daughter as she takes in her new surrounding. "It's nothing like back home…its more poverty and the culture around here is different. I know you can manage Will, but when you're in a new place…a new home, you have to be on your guard and you have to relay on your instincts alone."
"you make it sound like I shouldn’t have come--"
"No, you shouldn't" the older interrupts her, " Don’t get me wrong Will. I'm happy to see you and I want you to live with me, but…" Mark sighs in frustration.
"You're my only kid and I don’t want anything to happen to you." Will eyes her father for a moment and drops her gaze to focus on her dainty hands. Her hands were soft, no callouses, and her nails perfectly manicured. She looks to her father's, gripping the steering wheel. His hands were filled with cracks, callouses and dirt. She can see grease stains in between his finger nails. She than began to shift her gaze at his appearance, and closely she can see everything about her father. From the tense posture to the frustrations, from the frustration comes the grey hairs and wrinkles. Will didn’t have to analyze her father to get a good read of him. She knows from all the hard labor he had done in the years. She knows her father can take care of himself. But now…she knows that he is conflicted. He is conflicted that he might not be able to support her and her education. What riches can a mechanic give to his child??
She has no words.
The car turns to a narrow alleyway, the car rocks back and forth from the cobble road. The alley is filled with trash of furniture and abandon cars parked. Building all closed together leaving no room for neighborhood privacies. In between building of apartments and restaurants, Mark's mechanic repairs nest. Above it is a small hometown big enough for the both of them.
"Well, here's home." Mark replied.
Will looks at the rundown little shack store. She knew she wasn’t expecting much, since her dad was making low income, but then again the inside might be decent enough.
"I'll grab your things. You go on ahead and get a gander at the place."
Will enters her new home, the layout of the place was tiny. It had a decent size living room, a tiny kitchen, a bathroom, two bedrooms and a balcony with a fire escape.
It was perfect.
She sets her bag on her bedroom floor and takes a few inspection to the new modern room. A twin size bed, bookcases, a desk and a small balcony to her window. She walked to the small window, peering from the other side. The building cover her view of the town,
Huh. Some view.
She turns away from the window and lay on her bed looking up at the ceiling. She closes her eyes and drift into her mind. It is quiet and peaceful. She goes there almost all the time when she needs to gather her thoughts or somewhere she can escape from the reality. She dreams of a stream where her and her father would go fishing at-- Albert Falls, West Virginia. He is teaching her how to set a bait for the fish. She smiles up at her dad's technique on how to secure a fish, her eyes looking at his rod as he swishes it back and forth. It reminders her of a pendulum. Its quiet, there is only the sound of the streams and the rustles of trees.
Will opens her eyes slowly, and looks back up to the ceiling. Mark is by her door, cleaning his hands with a red cloth. He had just finished dinner-wait…dinner?
"I made dinner. Come and eat." He said.
She got up and ruffled her hair a bit. "What time is it?" Her eyes squinted as she looks around her room.
"Its 7pm. You passed out right when you hit the bed. Didn’t want to wake you, so I got your things situated." he chuckled.
"how long was I asleep?"
"About 6 hours." He replied.
Her eyes bulged. "Damn, it felt like I just closed my eyes for a second."
Mark laughed. "Umm yeah, that’s what happens when you get jet lag. Come on, I'm sure you're hungry by now."
After dinner, Mark went back down stairs, continuing to fix one of his customer's vehicle. Will had finished her shower and headed to her bedroom. She wanted to get a little more sleep in before they head out in the morning to enroll her into school. She grabbed her brush and walked in front her floor mirror. She took in her appearance as she continued to brush her hair, making sure she brush out all those knots. Her gaze shifted to her frame, she stopped combing her hair, and turned to her side to get a better look at all her figure. She was a growing girl, had the right parts, but felt uncomfortable with the new development. She grasped her breast in both hands, and tried to push them back, to flatten them once again. She crosses her arms and set a small frown on her face.
"They've grown a lot since the summer…" she admits bitterly to herself.
She continued to observe her body, a frown lopsided her face. She wasn’t unattractive, but she could admit that she didn’t like her new body growing too fast. Her hair was thicker and darker, skin soft but slightly blemished with baby freckles, her eyes were darker too. It was no longer those bright blue her mother loved so much, but instead a dark shade of storm blue stared right back at her.
She flopped on her side and let out a big sigh. She closed her eyes for a few seconds until she heard a soft sound.
She shot up and strained her ears to listen. The sound continued as she got up from the bed to inspect and deduce that it was someone singing. She open her window and could hear the other person singing clearly now. She peered around the dark alleyway until she looked down to her 3 story bedroom and saw a figure leaning against the wall.
It was a Woman.
She was singing in a different language as she casually lent against her building with a cig on her.
Will observed her as she continued to sing, and scan around the dark alley and noticed the Woman wasn’t the only one out and about in the night. There were other women too, dressed in revealing clothing and standing on the corners talking amongst themselves, not at all bothered by the other's singing.
In fact, it was soothing, and nice. Like a lullaby. Will didn’t know who the woman was but she could fall asleep if she continued singing.
The Woman stopped singing when a car approached, all the women stood at alert and began to cat call at the car. The vehicle stopped in front of the Woman, the window rolled down slightly. The Woman threw the her cig on the ground and lent down next to the car. They talked for a while until the Woman walked around the passenger side-that was when Will could get a full image of her…but instead of a woman…it was a girl??
The young girl could have been no older then 18-maybe even younger- but why was she out in the middle of the night getting inside an unknown car-
She was so stupid. Of course! She was a prostitute! A blush spread across her cheeks from the realization that these women who rested near her new home, where indeed prostitutes.
She slapped her head, only realizing that it made a loud sound.
The girl looked up at the unexcepted sound, staring straight at Will.
Will gasped and ducted down from her window. She placed hands over her mouth as if to not breathe. 'shit! She saw me' she thought. Will sat there for awhile until she heard the car door closed and drove away. She didn’t dare look out the window and instead turned in for the night.
The sun directs its light on to the wooden floor, and beams bright around rooms, both Graham had arisen to start the new day. Will was going to be enrolled to her new school a few miles away from the resident, her father believed it would have been safe to enroll her in a private all girl school in the heart of town. She had never attended a school filled with only girls, but since living with her mother she had always attended privates school that where the best in Maryland. Will knew her father didn’t have enough money to send her to private school, but she would assumed it was the insistence of her mother. Even so far away she had control over Will's well being.
Mark checks his wrist watch, he hastily snatched his keys and wallet, shoving a piece of toast in his mouth and ushered Will out the door and into the car and drove to town.
They arrived to the school, girls in uniform walked along and into the building chatting away. Will close to her father as the made their way into the school. They were guided to the office and both Graham sat to await the Headmistress.
They didn’t have to wait long until they were greeted by the Headmistress. Introductions were given and they were shown about the building, and spoke of the guidelines, safety and the educational system. So, far there wasn’t a reason to dislike the school yet.
"not bad of a place. Right?" Mark asked as they walked out of the building.
"It's okay I guess. Kind of far from home don’t you think?"
"Yeah…but their education system seemed more… assured if you want to attend to a better college." he tried to formulate.
'And if you're worried about transportation, I could always give you a ride in the morning and pick you up."
"Thanks dad but I'll be fine." She assured him.
They drove back home, Mark got out the car and opening the garage door he took some of the supplies he had bought while they were in town, "You head on in. I'm gonna be in the garage working." he told her.
"Want me to get lunch started when you finish?" She asked.
"Yeah, I should be done by lunch." He smiled. Will nodded and head up to the stairs that’s connects to their home. She set about making lunch for the two of them, she would have to think of what to make for dinner later. Once done she took a plate and went to her room and she set the plate down onto the desk turning to her wardrobe to change into her old pair of jean shorts and a flannel shirt. She sat down by her desk, reached for a book she had been reading for awhile and ate in silence.
Absorbed in her book, Will could her a faint humming echoing from outside. She placed the book down and pause to listen to the noise.
"My whole life, I've felt like a burden
I think too much, and I hate it
I'm so used to being in the wrong
I'm tired of caring
Loving never gave me a home
So I'll sit here in the silence--"
It was her.
Slowly getting up from the chair she tip toed to the window and opens it, peering her head out and looks down to see the girl at the same spot she was in.
"I found piece in your violence, can't
Can't show me there's no point in trying
I'm at one, and I've been
Quiet for too long--"
Will recognize the lyric is an American song she had often listen to, it wasn’t her type of music but she can appreciate the beat and melody of it. She folds her arms and place her head on them, listening to her sing.
But a soon as she started to get comfortable and drift from the girl's vocals, she stops.
Confused as to why the girl stops she looks down and is startled that the girl is looking up at her, she smirks to Will.
Will jerks back, embarrassed at being got her cheeks redden and was about to escape back inside when the girl stops her.
"Why are you leaving? I don’t mind an audience." her voice was smooth and careful like velvets caressing her skin.
Will stood rooted trying to form words. "I…umm that it…uhhh." She babbled.
The mysterious girl laughed.
"How cute…Did you like my signing that much that it made you fall asleep?" she teased.
"N-No..! Its just that you have a beautiful voice and well…" her voice trailed, she rubs at her arms not knowing what else to say.
The brunette smiled, she flicked her cigarette onto the pavement she takes a step away from the wall and Will can see her whole appearance. Long wavy brown hair that shapes her heart filled face, her eyes reflecting emerald and lips full with re lipstick painting over them. She looked young but her eyes could tell a story of all the things she had witness in her young life.
"What's your name?" She asked
"…Will…Will Graham" She replied.
"Will…pretty name…" She complimented, shoving her hands in her pockets, she takes at her phone looking at it and back to the American girl. "I'm Margot.." She finished, and strode away. Will sees Margot heading into a car that pull up from the side walk. Margot spares a glance to Will and smiles, getting into the car and drove off.
Will blinked, wondering what just occurred she closes the window and lays onto her bed thinking about Margot. She takes her laptop from under her pillow, and searches some music videos, clicking the song she found.
She sings along to Khalid's Silence.