Chapter 14 – Death
The newspapers were sprawled out on the breakfast table at Lima’s parents home. Even though Juan had retired, he still enjoyed reading the broadsheets in the morning, just as he often did whilst working at Chambers.
Lima had decided to pull a sickie and called Estrellar to tell her that she was going to the doctor because her knee was causing her issues again following her fall at Willesden Green Station the other week. She was definitely pulling a fast one quite literally as Estrellar knew that Lima was “mooching” about something or another. If she’d been upfront with Estrellar from the get-go, Estrellar would have given her a talking to and snapped Lima back in to shape telling her to “get over” herself and move on.
Juan was at the breakfast table, glasses perched near the end of his nose and The Guardian newspaper in his hands. He looked up surprised to see Lima. “Well, well,” he said. “You pretending to Estrellar so you can pull a sickie?”
“Dad,” she yelled at him. “Is it that obvious?”
“Nobody pulls a sickie on Estrellar unless they are genuinely sick,” said Juan.
“It’s not that she even has to look into a crystal ball to see where you are at,” he said, smirking. “She just knows.”
“Ah dad, thanks,” Lima replied. “Should I tell her I’m coming in later?”
“No,” he said. “You’ve done it now.”
“Anyway,” Juan said. “So what excuse did you give Estrellar?”
“I told her my knee was playing up from when I tripped on the stairs at the station the other week,” she said.
“Of course you did,” Juan replied laughing. “Semi-genuine excuse then.”
“Would you mind making yourself useful then and make your pops a coffee please, my lovely?” he asked.
Lima picked up the espresso pot from the stove and emptied out the coffee grains into the bin. Whilst rinsing out the pot, her mother, Joyce, walked into the kitchen.
“Lima, you not going to work this morning,” her mother asked, looking at Lima who was still dressed in her chambray pyjamas.
“No,” she said. Juan chuckled at Lima’s response as he moved onto the G2 supplement of the newspaper.
“What am I missing?” asked Joyce. Juan explained to Joyce about Lima’s sickie and Joyce laughed. “You are playing with fire pulling a sickie on Estrellar,” Joyce said.
“Not you as well,” Lima whined as she put a fresh pot of coffee on the stove to boil.
“Well, if you need something useful to do,” said Joyce. “You can help me tidy up a little. I have a student coming at 10 for a piano lesson.”
“I thought I’d…” Lima said.
“What? Mooch around?” Joyce said. “What’s up with my little one?” Joyce asked, as she walked up to her daughter and tugged on her ponytail.
“If I weren’t booked up with lessons today, I’d take you out for a coffee and cake,” she said looking at Lima, who appeared to be a tad sulky. “Or if your father is free after the morning papers, you could go with him for his walk in Hampstead Heath, perhaps?”
Since retiring, Juan had made it a daily occurrence to go for a walk in Hampstead Heath. It was his way of getting exercise. Besides he enjoyed walking and on a good day, if he had the energy he would walk the steep hill up to Parliament Hill for panoramic views of London.
“Sure,” said Juan. “I’d enjoy the company.”
“Or we could watch some girly movies together instead dad?” asked Lima.
Juan pulled a face and buried his head in the newspaper.
“I take that as a resounding no then,” Lima replied laughing.
Lima paused for a moment and that said: “Actually dad, I will come with you as it’s a lovely day for a walk.”
“Good,” said Juan. “Don’t forget to fix your pops his coffee first though.”
Juan was on it when it came to coffee. He rarely went 12 hours without a fix. It was his “liquid crack” as Lima and Oskar often joked with their father about. As all doctors recommend, when patients have a heart condition, is to lay off the caffeine. And that’s exactly what they told Juan. But it was now one of the only “vices” he had. He gave up smoking – well, almost. A cigar wouldn’t go amiss amongst his friends on special occasions. He still drank in moderation, but the heart specialist was adamant that he laid off caffeine. Estrellar told Juan that it was fine – that his “genetics weren’t the same” as most men “his age” and that a little coffee a day was fine.
Lima poured a cup of coffee into Juan’s espresso mug which sat on the table eagerly awaiting a top up.
“I’m going to take a shower,” said Lima. “What time do you go for your walk?”
“In half an hour,” he said. “That work for you?”
“Sure,” she said.
Juan spent the next half an hour reading the rest of the papers. Even though Lima, Joyce and Oskar had all chipped in to buy Juan an iPad for his birthday, so he could get the newspapers in App format, he still preferred the “old school” methods of consuming newspapers.
Still, it didn’t stop Juan moaning about the cost of a newspaper “these days”, in spite of his family’s efforts for him to go App-based media “to save money”.
“Dad, it’s old news by the time you read the papers,” Lima had said to her father in her efforts to convince him to use his iPad.
“I don’t care,” said Juan.
Juan liked things the old fashioned way. He even didn’t mind getting ink on his hands that rubbed off from holding the newspapers.
His iPad, meanwhile, was still in its box waiting for its new owner to embrace the latest technology and “get with the program” as his family members had enlightened him. By the time Juan would get round to opening the box, it was likely that a new and improved piece of technology would have long surpassed the iPad as e-volutionary.
Lima joined her father downstairs who was putting on his bomber jacket ready for their walk. The father and daughter team headed out towards the high street to catch the bus to Hampstead Heath.
Lima and her father spent the bus journey chatting about Oskar and his girlfriend. The coupled were coming over for dinner on Saturday night. Joyce was apparently fussing over what to cook. Juan joked with her saying they should order Nando’s take away instead, much to his wife’s horror.
The 35-minute bus journey went quickly, but not quick enough for Juan to turn his attention to Lima and her “love life”.
“How’s Leo?” he asked, as they disembarked from the bus. “You want to ask him over on Saturday night too?” he asked, chirpily. “How about it? We can make it couples night.”
Lima pulled one of her stroppy faces.
“No,” said Juan, looking at his daughter as they headed in to the park. “What’s that face for?” he said. “You’ve already outgrown him?”
Lima looked like a rabbit in the headlights at her father’s response. She started to get visions of her pushing a buggy along Hampstead Heath with a little boy in the buggy playing with a rattle. The boy had the face of Leo – Mohawk et al, only without Leo’s signature cigarette in the mouth but a dummy instead.
“What did I say?” said Juan, looking at his daughter surprised. “Has something happened?”
“No,” said Lima. “Well kind of. Well no.”
“Come on Lima, spit it out,” Juan said as they walked along the path headed towards the swimming ponds.
“I’m a bit embarrassed really,” she said.
“What about?” Juan probed.
“Ermmm,” she said. “The age gap between me and Leo.”
“Hmmm,” said Juan. “Is he a sugar daddy? He can smoke a cigar with me when he asks for my daughter’s hand in marriage,” he chortled.
Lima blushed. “No,” she said. “He’s anything but a sugar daddy. He’s what people would call a toyboy,” Lima retorted.
“Ah,” said Juan. “So that makes my daughter a cougar then.”
“Stop it,” said Lima, pushing her father away with her hand as if he was a fly hovering around her.
“So come on then, what’s the big age gap?” he said, still smiling.
“He’s 19,” she said.
“Hmmm,” said Juan. “A puppy.”
Lima looked at her father straight into his eyes. “And your verdict is?”
“Who cares?” said Juan. “Age is just a number. It means nothing to an old soul like me, and you even.”
“These things are superficial, my lovely,” he said, looking at Lima. “You know that.”
Lima was fortunate to have parents and people like Estrellar in her circle who could help her along her journey. It wasn’t a journey that everybody could or would understand. After all, it wasn’t a path that everybody on this planet would take. In a world of eight billion or so beings, a spiritual journey was not one that the vast majority of beings could nor would walk. Lima’s spiritual journey would involve her letting go of many things that did not belong to her true self, and that included most relationships.
Superficial friends or “fake asses” as Lima referred to them as, were the first to go. As soon as Lima started to become aware of her true self and was able to manifest her true self for more than just a few moments a day, such people started to fall by the wayside, as if they had never existed.
Most of the beings Lima hung around with were attuned to her “ego self” rather than her true self. The fashion folk, the music people and the clubbing crowd were all on her ego self like a rash. But as soon as Lima started to pursue that which belonged to her true self – the likes of sustainable fashion; making friends with musicians who were genuinely all about the music as opposed to all about the industry, shunning the industry in favour of going DIY instead using the likes of Bandcamp and Soundcloud to get their music out there; and stopped popping pills on her clubbing nights out, she soon became “Lima the Leper” and the fake asses ran a mile as soon as they felt the presence of Lima’s true self, a force to be reckoned with.
Juan summoned his daughter to take a seat with him on a nearby park bench.
“You need to be letting go of these beliefs m’dear,” he said.
“If I had listened to or cared about what people thought of me, I would never have pursued a career in law,” said Juan.
“I always knew I stood for justice in many respects,” said Juan, putting his hand on his heart.
“And you,” he said, looking at Lima. “Time to step out of your Start Rites and in to your big girl’s shoes now.”
She looked at her father. He was right. She knew that. It was time for her to make her mark on the world. In fact it had been her time for a while now, but she had been ignoring it for the best part of two years. It wasn’t like she didn’t know what she needed to do in order to be her true self. She had acquired the awareness and knowledge of what she needed to do largely from Estrellar, but her mum and dad also. Truth be told there was one thing and one thing only that she needed to do and that was to be in the present moment with her true self, moment by moment. Intuition resides in the now and Lima’s inner being and her higher mind were always waiting on her to get in to the present moment and ride this journey with them.
“Yes,” she said. “You, mum and Estrellar are always right.”
“You have a wise old soul there,” Juan said, pointing his finger in the direction of his daughter’s heart. “So let her come out and stay there instead of this moody mooching child who’s getting cranky over a few digits. Age is irrelevant m’dear.”
“Dad,” Lima whined. Lima felt like she’d been told off.
“Be who you were born to be,” said Juan. “This sulky so and so is not you and never will be. You’re old enough now to ditch the false you and be the real you.”
Lima looked pensive.
“I know Estrellar has taught you a lot,” said Juan. “But now it’s time to start putting into practice the tools she has given you and start making it a way of life. There’s no excuses now, you are old enough.”
Lima had to make it happen now. Her true self had even brought her twin soul in to the physical to give her the nudge she needed to connect with her true self and strengthen that connection. Ultimately it was about Lima developing her relationship with her soul, her true self. It was as much about her accepting her true self and being her true self as it was about accepting her twin soul and his true self. For Lima to embrace her twin soul, she would have to first and foremost embrace her own soul, since they are one and the same. One soul, two physical forms.
“Think of yourself like the butterfly,” said Juan. “It begins life as a caterpillar and then transforms in to a butterfly. This is what you must do now. Shed skin, if it were.”
There were many things Lima had to let go of, including her beliefs about the age gap between her and her twin soul’s physical form. But releasing was just a part of the process for Lima. The real transformation being in her ability to accept and acknowledge her true self, and just be.
“Time to start taking control of your life now missy,” Juan said, pushing his daughter’s hair behind her ear so he could see her face.
Lima was staring out at Hampstead No.1 Pond. It was the first pond before you reached one of three swimming ponds that the park was famed for. Juan had taken Lima and her brother to the mixed pond, when they were growing up, on a rare weekend that he wasn’t working on a case. Lima suddenly recalled that time, and a middle-aged couple who were in the pond near her, Juan and Oskar. “Come now,” the man said to his wife as they held hands whilst paddling. “Let us wash away that which no longer serves us.” And on that note they submersed their entire bodies into the pond. At that point in time, Lima did not understand what the man had meant but she suddenly became aware and the significance of the water in that couple’s “cleansing ritual” if it were.
As Lima turned her gaze towards her father, she noticed Juan was glaring at her knee in deep fascination. A blue and yellow butterfly had rested itself on Lima’s knee. The pale blue of Lima’s jeggings provided a backdrop for the butterfly which blended beautifully as if it were being captured by a painter on a canvas.
Lima took a long sigh as the butterfly flew off perching itself on a nearby rose bush. Transformation, as the signs were so clearly pointing towards, was something that Lima could no longer avoid. Death of the false sense of self, giving rise to Lima’s true self.
All characters and events in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Twins At Work are a writing duo. ‘Tarot Tales: The Mirror’ is their latest book.
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