Introducing: Delilah Collins
It was a soft pitter patter to start off with.
Rain, I thought to myself.
Damn, December. It was always so cold. The heater was out, so that didn’t help in the least bit. I tugged my ragged comforter snug around my shoulders, but I felt another pull counteracting my motion.
I squinted slightly and a tuft of dark curls peeked out at me from beneath the covers.
I closed my eyes again and let out an inaudible sigh, curling up closer to the boy in my bed. His arms lay across me briefly until he reeled back, shifted away and fell back into his snoring state. My arms lingered on his shoulder, grazing the sharp blades.
I shivered in the coldness of the morning, in the loneliness I felt.
And that pitter patter came back, stronger this time.
It was a pounding in my head.
I held my head, massaging my temples thinking that it was the beginning of a hangover.
“Delilah, open the door.”
I pushed myself up on my elbows and glared at the door. It quivered with each knock, the hinges so rusty and in need of repair. “Delilah,” it spoke to me again. Beside me, the dark-haired boy didn’t budge an inch. The door continued to shake impatiently.
My feet slid to the floor, navigating random articles of clothing. Curiously, I picked at each one, selecting an oversized flannel that hit mid-thigh. The floorboards creaked slightly as I tiptoed towards the door that had now become quiet.
I undid the lock. Click. Squeak.
It only opened a crack under my touch, enough to see the weary face of my aunt.
“Delilah, the shop opens in two hours and I need some help with the pastries,” she directed. “I need you in the café soon.”
I nodded mutely.
Her eyes searched my face before turning away. “You can show him out the back door,” she said. “I don’t want him coming through the shop.”
I nodded again, but she was already heading down the stairs to the coffee shop. Watching her disappear, I then turned around to find that the boy was still sleeping. He had not moved even in the slightest. I walked all over the room, picking up the scattered pieces of clothing one-by-one. A sock hung on the doorknob of my closet, a pair of boxers slung across my dresser, a t-shirt at the foot of the bed. I gathered them into one ball and dumped it over the boy’s head.
He awoke with a start, sitting up with a jolt. His wild eyes looked about the room and he was undoubtedly trying to remember where he was. Silently I slipped into the bathroom, closing the door firmly behind me.
I heard rustles in the other room but drowned them out with the sound of warm, running water. Shrugging out the flannel shirt, I stepped into the shower and just stood there letting the warmth comfort me.
I waited until I heard the door faintly click shut. Once I was sure he was gone, I shut off the water and wandered back into my room dripping wet to prepare for my day.
The afternoon boat was crowded today, but I managed to squeeze myself in a tight corner seat for the ride. My thin hips fit quaintly but knocked against the side of the vessel every time we hit a wave. I rubbed my sore hips tenderly, holding tightly to a bag of day old croissants that I was saving for Tom and Jerry.
There was a lot of commotion as we pulled up to the dock. Ropes were being thrown about and anxious passengers scrambled off glad to be home at last.
I could feel New Temple heaving a sigh of relief, welcoming its children into its bosom like a compassionate mother.
A few stragglers were talking of ice-skating this weekend. The creek near Home Base had finally frozen over according to rumor. I sat listening for details, but the last of them wandered off in the direction of the bungalows.
The boat had come to a halt and only Anthony Cromwell remained, preparing the boat for another trip back to Dublin. He was so preoccupied with his duty that he hardly noticed that I still remained. I stood up and clambered up onto the dock. I did not see a point to waiting around anymore.
Plus I’m sure Tom was getting quite antsy at this point.
“Della,” Mr. Cromwell called out to me suddenly, “would you mind untying that green line before you go. I’m heading back for another round before it gets too dark.”
I stared at the cleat on the dock. There were a few lines of rope tied around it. I reached out to unhook one of them, my hand hovering cautiously.
Was this the “green” one he was talking about?
I shifted to another rope hesitantly. Was this the “green” one?
“That’s the purple one,” Mr. Cromwell corrected kindly. “The green rope is the one to the left of it.”
I felt my cheeks growing suddenly warm. After untying his boat quickly, I helped him push off into the waves of the Irish sea once more and went on my way hurriedly. Only when I reached my bungalow on the outskirts of Home Base did I slow to a stop.
Chirps came from inside very meekly and I grinned to myself pleasantly.
I dusted the snow off my worn boots and pulled my army jacket off of my shoulders, dropping it beside the door. Tom and Jerry greeted me with a chorus of clashing melodies. My fingertips brushed against the bars of the birdcage and the two perched nearby, angling their heads at me curiously. I set the croissants beside my record player, delicately placing a vinyl.
I quietly listened for the beginning notes of ‘You’re the One I Want’ while unrolling the top of the paper bag. Humming softly to the chorus, I pulled the pastries from the greasy container tugging flaky pieces to feed to the hungry Tom.
It was peaceful.
It was quiet beside the notes flowing from the player.
I chewed on a piece of a croissant, dropping a generous piece into the cage. Jerry pounced on it quickly before Tom could get to it. Half a pastry remained and I eyed it, feeling my stomach growl hungrily.
I contemplated eating the rest of it, but I glanced at
my reflection in the mirror, seeing the hipbones poking through my skirt. I folded the top of the greasy bag and tucked it away for another time. Another day perhaps.
Tom and Jerry and quieted down into a soft whispers, content with their meal for the time being. I looked about my one room bungalow left in disarray from last weekend. There was a still a sock and a glove left over from my last “visitor.” Plopping myself atop my bed, I observed the glove as if it were some mysterious treasure. The fingers were twice the size of mine… I would return it, but I couldn’t quite remember to whom it belonged to.
I can never quite recall who my “visitors” are. They come for the night and leave as soon as the sun rises. Sometimes they say ‘thank you,’ other times they leave wordlessly.
The glove and the sock joined the other miscellaneous things in a box beneath my bed.
Maybe one day they might come back for them… one day, I thought to myself wishfully.
Delilah has been a figment of my imagination for quite some time now, and I have really been dying to flesh her out. Believe me.
My other character, Elspeth Stone, never worked out for me. I didn't have much inspiration for her.
But then I came across model, Merethe Hopland and I was so inspired to make a New Temple character out of her.
Delilah could use a bit of explaining though.
She’s a quirky character, typically abandoned at birth like some New Templers. She was raised by her aunt, Clary Stone. Clary is the step-sister of John Stone, a founding member.
Delilah is a New Temple child, but not a lot of people know her because she is very shy and quiet. Actually, she is so quiet that she hardly speaks—most people think that she’s mute. Although she is not mute, she is actually colorblind (cue the scene with Anthony Cromwell).
During the week she lives above her aunt’s coffee shop and works in the shop when she’s in Dublin. On the weekends, she will return to New Temple like everyone else, but keeps to herself mostly. Delilah is the definition of a wall flower at parties.
The only reason she attends parties is to find a guy to bring home with her for the night.
The brief company helps her with her abandonment issues.
I feel a sense of attachment towards Delilah, and I have a little bit of a storyline planned for her.
Hopefully I will get another story up for her soon.
I would love to introduce some new character into her life, so my [twc] girls, feel free to let me know if you want to collaborate on a story.
I’ve been dying to get involved with you guys <3
I hope you enjoyed the story :3