Chapter 9 Certainty

Written by: Suraya Dewing

The next day she returned to the Morton Bay Fig tree just to sit and ponder what she would do. The situation with Stephen was starting to fill her with fizzing anger. She no longer wanted to return to her own home and every time she saw him she found herself seized by almost uncontrollable anger which she kept under control by tightening her lips.

The only place that offered her sanctuary was the Morton Bay Fig tree. But even the old man had deserted her. When she realised how much she had come to rely on him, heavy sadness filled her. The void her father’s death had left followed closely behind and tears caught on her eye lashes.

A group of students wandered by, laughing. They were English literature students and one young man, who towered over the others, said very loudly, “the writer is the mirror of society.” The others murmured their agreement. He continued. “Without writers reflecting society through their fiction and non-fiction, no-one would dare debate those questions too many people are afraid to ask.”

The wind fluttered the light material covering a young Asian woman’s head and her soft voice wound its way through the conversation. “You are so lucky here.”

With those words, certainty bubbled up from the pit of Angelica’s stomach. She could follow her dreams unhindered so why was she allowing circumstances stop her? Liberated by this thought she marched purposefully along the path to the University; past the library where students shuffled along shelves of books or sat at desks tapping on laptop keyboards, then across the road. She walked through the underpass then strode across the paving where grass grew in tiny tufts between the broken concrete.

As she climbed the stairs to the Anthropology Department a student clattered down the stairs, jumping from one step to the next, backpack thumping against his back. Her heart sang as she knocked on the Head of Department’s door.

Angelica opened the door and took a seat next to her smiling Dean’s desk. “I’m here to enrol to do my PhD,” she said, her eyes sparkling with excitement and a smile filling her face.

Her HOD leaned back and clapped her hands. “That’s wonderful news.”

Professor Margaret Adams wrote some names on a notepad.

“You need to talk to these professors. They’ve already said they’re keen to supervise you.”

Angelica’s eyes widened. “Were you expecting me?”

Professor Adams grinned. “We all hoped you would come.”

With her heart singing, Angelica retraced her steps back to her car.

As she drove she imagined how Stephen was going to react to the news that she thought it was time for him to find alternative accommodation.

When she pulled up outside she sat for a minute to compose herself. She slammed the door shut, locked it and strolled up to the door. When she walked in there was a scuffle in the lounge. Angelica paused before going in and Miranda sat pertly on the chair beside Stephen and he stared stonily at the television. Smiling, Angelica walked into the darkened lounge. A day time soap blared out of the television and light from the various movements of characters flickered into the room casting eerie shadows.

“I’ve decided to go back to University,” she announced.

Stephen looked surprised. “Who will look after me?”

The silence was broken only by the voices coming out of the television. Angelica shrugged. “I don’t know but I know I won’t have time.” She looked at Miranda, who gave a barely perceptible nod.