Rose stood over my shoulder. She had on her glasses as she watched me hack into the police files on the computer. She frowned non-stop.
"When you frown you almost look your natural age." I said to her. She hit the back of my head. It was startling. I was too focused on breaking the countless codes to really pay any attention to what I said.
"Hey! Do that again and you can be the computer geek in this relationship from now on." I threatened.
"Then do not bring up my age." She growled. Talk about touchy.
"What time is it?" Rose asked me.
"About half nine."
"I have to go, you coming?" She took off her glasses and shrugged on her jacket.
"Where?" I asked as I stood and fetched my own jacket.
"Mia nonna. My grandmother's. She said that she wanted to see my future in case I am in danger." She explained absently. It would be interesting to meet Rose's Gran and… hold on. See the future?
"You do know what you just said right?"
"'Cause you could not of said what I think you said because what I think you said sounds nothing like what you would really say and I am not sure that I actually heard what you said correctly." I paused.
"Don't go on about what I do or do not say until you learn to speak properly. Now shut up and come on." We left.
Rose's grandmother's house was an old Victorian house with cracked white paint. How she kept it clean was beyond me. The woman probably had someone do it for her; even if both she and Rose's mother were teenagers when they gave birth she would be at least in her seventies.
"How old is you gran?" I asked as Rose knocked on her door.
"Eighty six." She answered.
"Who is it?" An elderly woman's voice said through the door.
"It's Vivian." Rose yelled back.
"She only knows the one Vivian." She said to me. To the door she yelled. "Vivian, sua nipote. Your granddaughter."
"Vivian, is that you?" The woman asked and I heard the door being unlocked.
"I swear that woman is getting old." Rose muttered. Her face broke into a dazzling grin when the door opened.
The Grandma came into view. She had snow white hair tied in a French braid and pale skin. Her eyes were a hazel that looks topaz in the sunlight. She was a small yet slim woman who held elegance and intellect in her presence.
Her face shocked me. It looked like the face of a sixty year old, not an eighty year old.
"Ciao nonna." Rose hugged her.
"Vivian, sweetheart, how are you?" She hugged back.
"Nonna, this is Matt. Matt, this is my grandmother, Shaya." She introduced us.
"Ma'am." I smiled and held out my hand.
"Nice to meet you." She held out her hand. Her and was a few inches from mine so I reached out and shook it. I glanced at Rose.
"Come in both of you." Shaya said as she turned and walked into her house. Then I noticed the white stick. The poor woman was blind.
"Just before I was born she was in a car crash. She banged her head and lost her sight." Rose murmured to me as we followed the older woman.
The living room was very neat yet homey. It smelled like roses. In all the vases roses were in full blossom.
"You still by roses?" Rose asked Shaya. Roses… in full blossom. Maybe this was how Rose came up with her name. Rose Blossom.
"Yes, they are my favorite flowers and I love the smell of them." Shaya sat on an armchair and Rose sat beside me on the couch.
"So, Matt, how long have you been dating my granddaughter?" Shaya asked me. What!
"Oh God!" Rose sighed as she put her face in her hands.
"Ro… Vivian and I are just friends." I said. Calling Rose 'Vivian' sounded wrong.
"Really! Being blind is such a menace. If I could see I bet I would have seen that." Shaya grimaced.
"It's okay Ma'am really." I said.
"So you are Spanish?" Shaya asked.
"Yes. Where did you learn Spanish?" I asked.
"I am from Spain, Madrid. I came here, had a family and never went back. When Vivian went to live there I gave her my old house." She said.
"What was the house like?"
"It was an old duplex. I remember this man who lived above me. We were such friends. If only I could see him again." Shaya sighed.
"Who was he?" Rose asked.
"James Russell." I stared at her.
"That is my grandfather." I told them.
"Then you must be Mathew Russell." Shaya said. I nodded my head. Then I remembered that Shaya was blind.
"Yes." I said. Both women looked at me. Only Rose really saw me.
"How is he?" Shaya asked.
"Dead." The word caught in my throat. "He was a good grandfather though, taught me how to fish, got me interested in running and taught me how to cook. Which is a good thing or we would starve." I grinned at Rose.
"Hey! I can cook." She shoved me with her shoulder, laughing. Shaya smiled at the sound.
"Now, how about a little fortune telling?" Shaya asked. In her hands were a pack of cards. Where did they come from?
"Nonna…" Rose trailed off warningly.
"Stop worring!" Shaya layed the cards face down on the table.
"Pick one." She said to us. I reached out and chose one. I placed it face down in front of Shaya.
"And another." How did she know?
"And a third." She said as I placed the second down next to it. What the...?
I walked out. She promised! She was surpossed to stop this a long time ago. I bet my mother knew nothing about this. I began to pace.
Seeing the future was bad. Telling fortunes was bad. Last time Grandma fainted. The time before that she was out cold. Her heart could not take it. Not anymore.
"Rose!" Matt yelled and I heard something hit the floor. I had already phoned for an ambulance.
I walked back into the living room to see Matt trying to wake up my nonna. She was not breathing.
Rose was pacing the room. Shaya was in hospital. I felt awful. No wonder Rose had warned her. It was all my fault.
I didn't want to leave Rose. I could tell that she was stressed. The doctors had made us leave as they had multiply operations to do and it would be hours before they were done. They would phone soon.
I wish they would phone now. Rose was making a hole in the carpet. Anymore pacing and she would be downstairs!
The phone rang. Finally! Rose picked it up before it finished its first ring. She muttered into the phone. The hospital. She placed the phone down. She seemed weired. I could not see her face but her hand seemed limp, lifeless.
She dropped to her knees.
I jumped up and rushed to her. Her hands covered her face. She was shaking violently. I gently pulled her hands away to look at her face. My god...
Tears. I hugged her. Mia sorella maggiore never cried. Her sobs clawed at my chest. Peirced my heart. Filled it with sorrow.
"Mia nonna, lei è ... è morta! She's dead!" Rose cried into my chest. Her tears soaked my shirt. I held her tighter. I murmered comforting words into her ear in a gentil voice. If asked I would have no idea what I said but still I spoke. I had to try... to try and ease her pain. I just had to. My poor sorella grande.