The Sins of Our Mothers
Book I The Arina Perry Series
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organisations, places and events other than those clearly in the public domain, are the product of the authors’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2015 Kitty Boyes
Book Cover by Anita Young
All rights reserved.
This book is dedicated to my children whom I name at the risk of embarrassing them as Tania, Chris and David my children-in-law Andrew and Louise and to my grandchildren Joshua, Emily, Matthew, Daniel, Oliver and Samuel.
My heart is with them.
I would like to thank those that read my work and offered continued support in providing feedback and encouragements to not only continue with this book but to finish it. These people were invaluable in giving up their own precious time to read my drafts and to propel me onwards. I extend a very special thank you to Casey and Michele and to Penny who found my spelling errors and typos - Thank you.
I also want to acknowledge my readers who have given me a lot of positive feedback and left some awesome reviews on this novel. I cherish all my readers and can’t express my gratitude enough for the encouragement and joy it gives me to hear from my readers in support of my work. Feel free to read those reviews at my blog site anytime.
My hope is that you’ll enjoy this story and that you’ll look for Book II “Where’s Rebecca”
of the Arina Perry Series.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
About the Author
Arriving in the outskirts of town Arina was reminded of the picturesque and peaceful surroundings where she was born and had grown up. Just a couple of hours north of the ‘big smoke’ and established around 1828, it started as a small fishing village, with cray fishing, and prawning industries setting up businesses that became lucrative and flourished to this day. Farming land opened up and this helped the town grow, with a population of 5,000 by 1953. Soon after it began to attract tourists from all over the world who indulged in the amazing scenery with majestic bluffs, a vast river inlet, the natural deep-water port, the pristine blue waters where the dolphins and whale families often visited and pure white sandy beaches. There were numerous water sports and activities like surfing, fishing, snorkelling and river cruises. With the popular tourist attraction of an uninhabited Island just a few kilometres away from the main town, Secret Bay became a popular Western Australian destination for those who wanted to stay longer and indulge in its many interesting activities. She loved this place with its pre-wartime buildings like the war history museum that was converted from the original 3 storey port authority, but was in dire need of upgrading, the customs offices and many other beautiful old buildings like her own Motel. Her Motel. She had let those words settle as she thought back briefly to the time it belonged to her parents. Her motel, which she was heading towards today was originally an orphanage set on 5 acres of prime land situated on the esplanade across the road from Bluffmans Beach. There was a dilapidated old convent on the large 3 acre block behind her motel which held a colourful history but was rarely spoken about these days.
The town had plenty of small businesses and sported 5 motels, mostly franchise owned and operated and both high and low end accommodation to cater to the year round travellers and tourists. There were several fast food places and her personal favourite; the local fish and chip shop where they make the best steak burgers in the history of steak burger makers in the world! She hoped the couple who owned it the last time she was here were still operating it. Plenty of restaurants in and around town, from Chinese, Malaysian, Mexican and Italian cuisine amongst others, even petrol stations had eateries. There were two large supermarkets with a couple of Independents and plenty of specialty shops, like dress shops, sports stores, pharmacies, hardware, fishing needs shops that also sold items like surf boards, kayaks and camping gear. Yep, today she was looking forward to her new role in life after inheriting the motel just one year ago. But as much as she loved this place, as much as she wanted to throw herself into her new role, her inner fear of being accepted in this town was potent. There were a few ghosts to lay to rest, ghosts and ugly rumours.
Arina was suddenly shaken from her brief reverie as Matt was pointing and spoke above the music.
“If you turn right at the first set of lights in town you’ll find Carters Garage on the left about one block down. You could drop me there if you wouldn’t mind.”
Arina found herself in a slight state of panic. She could easily have told him that she was born and brought up in this town, that she was returning to stay indefinitely, that she knew the way to Carter’s Garage as well as she knew the way anywhere in Secret Bay. Matt had assumed she was new here or just passing through on business. She knew instinctively that it was because of her deception in telling him that she was in real estate and from Perth. Which of course she was, but that wasn’t entirely the case now. She wanted suddenly to ask him all those personal questions. Where and how he lived, worked, played; to know things about him. How on earth could she feel this way after only being in this man’s company for such a short time? What was wrong with her? She couldn’t bring herself to ask though, and merely followed his directions to deliver him to Carters. Pulling into the ‘Service Centre’ car park, all she could say was;
“Well, good luck with your car, and it was nice meeting you.”
Matt, watching her intently with a slight smile, slowly, almost reluctantly, undid his seat belt. He appeared to be in deep thought as he eyed Arina with his intense ice-blue eyes.
“How long are you in town for Arina?”
She hesitated. “I...um. I’m not sure.” This was her opportunity to redeem herself. Should she tell him why she was here? That she had come to re-open the Motel and regain the good name that it once had, and dispel the shame associated with her parents’, her mother in particular and thus with her. Had he made her feel this hesitation in his casual friendly manner towards her? Should she swallow her stupid pride and confide her mission to a total stranger? Could she even trust him?
“Well where are you staying? A motel? Relatives?”
Arina felt flustered, unsure. Did this man want to see her again or was he just being polite, grateful for the lift? Questions were reverberating through her head so speedily that none could be answered. Her pride won out.
“I’m staying at a motel.” She answered truthfully. Then added: “I’m not sure of its name.” and felt instant regret in having lied. Her face flushed, she bit her bottom lip and now all she wanted was to escape his gaze and the very slight frown that had emerged from his otherwise lineless brow. He slid out of the car, closed the door and bending, spoke through the open window.
“Fine, can I take you out for a meal tonight? ...Err, as a way of saying thanks for the lift?” He was smiling, teasing, and there was that crevice again. He was only showing gratitude. He had to be somebody’s man!
“I’m sorry, but I’ve got something pretty important to attend to tonight.” She had told the truth this time, she did have something important to attend to. She had to re-settle into what had once been her home. Suddenly wanting to get to her destination she said, “I really must get going Matt, maybe some other time?” She put her transmission into reverse gear to indicate that she was ready to escape. Matt shifted uneasily and his eyes momentarily betrayed disappointment. He fumbled clumsily in his pants pocket and extracted his wallet.
“Sure. Okay, I understand. Hang on a sec.” He flipped open the wallet and took out a small white business size card and handed it to her. She noticed that his hand was slightly trembling and instantly felt regret in allowing her pride to have dominated. She was as attracted as all hell to him. She was acting like a light headed teenager! Get a grip girl!
“Look, here’s my card. Give me a call tonight. We’ll catch up with each other some other time then. I always repay my debts and me thinks dinner should just about cover it. So what d’ya say?” He flashed a cheeky wink.
Arina took his card and, with what she hoped looked like a casual and uninterested abandon, tossed it up on her dashboard, she didn’t want to appear too curious by studying it straight away. But, unnoticed by her, it slipped to the floor and under the seat. She thanked him and abruptly drove away leaving him standing there watching her go.
Luckily, she hadn’t gone too far before she realised that she was heading the wrong way. It wasn’t that she didn’t know the way; she just had her mind on other things! She turned the car into a side street, glad that she didn’t have to pass Carters again in so doing and took the back road where she passed the old Convent. Glancing at it she thought it looked sad and neglected. The walls were of brown brick and the mortar in between had crumbled in many places. The tin roof, from what she could see, was rusty and sheets were missing. The Holy Mary tabernacle recessed into the brickwork at the top of the front entrance was gone. Arina turned left and then again onto the esplanade that ran parallel to the beautiful coastline. The motel was situated on this road right across from the best part of the beach. She was wondering why she had behaved so irrationally towards Matt, why she hadn’t accepted his kind offer of dinner. Why had she lied? What did she have to lose anyway? Maybe she should go back and ....There was the motel.
The motel that had been her home in childhood and through her teenage years, the place that her grandfather had rebuilt, where her mother had died in suicide and her father with a broken heart and broken spirit. She stopped her car at the entrance to the long curved driveway and looked up at the broken rusted sign that read ‘Great Western Mo-el’ and the smashed neon sign that read “NO VACANCIES”. Her mind reeled with fleeting, vivid memories; she scanned the tall, red bricked façade of 2 storeys’ with a vast attic, spanning the floor space looming above it. The forlorn, neglected building peered back at her with an eerie stillness, almost as though it didn’t remember her. What lay in store for her here?
It had been a year ago her father had passed away, and a year ago since she had last been here. Her fathers’ wake had been held in the grand dining room, she had the help of some friends, her grandmother, and a few business associates who had become a large part of her life; her old life now. It was straight after the funeral and wake with all the things cleared away that Arina went back to Perth, back to her life in the big-smoke - with the big-wigs. She had not looked back here. She dared not. For what she learned from her cousin Rob at the funeral that day, sent her world into a spin.
She sat in silence observing the scene ahead of her. Long gone were the thick masses of annual flowers that her mother had always kept planted in several beds each side of the long driveway and bordering the reception car-parking area for customers; Customers that had ceased to come here for more than three years now. The lush green hedge that served as the border to the flower beds was dead. The drive swept in front of the main building and disappeared with a fork around the left side that led to the courtyard and motel rooms’ car-park that was surrounded by three sets of ten units. The flower beds, long ago taken over by the relentless couch grass, now crept silently, encroachingly over the driveway paving. The grass and weeds were high, obviously not mown or cared for in those many months; though still a little green as there were always some showers to help. But it was mid-summer now and most was already browned off. Yet the two pencil pines that guarded the entrance into the foyer still held proud sentry, stood tall and green in defiance of neglect.
“Well mum,” she whispered to herself “the first thing I’ll do in the garden is restore your flower beds.”
Her mother had died ten years ago when Arina was only fifteen. It was more than a tragic death, but something that Arina preferred not to think about or dwell on. She missed her deeply and had cried often for the need of her mother during her teenage years, especially when dad was of no help to her what-so-ever. Although she had loved her father deeply, what did he know of teenage heartache, puberty and what lipstick shade suited her most? Nothing! Her mother had always been a loving and devoted mum whom Arina both adored and admired. They were close and shared a special bond that was ripped away from her without explanation. It left her confused, lost and angry for a very long time. At sixteen she ran away and went to live with her grandmother in Perth until she gave in to her father’s pleas to return. Her grandmother became her salvation and the bond that was always there between them strengthened in the few months she stayed with her. Her grandmother put an ointment on her wounds that took away the anger, the fear and the resentment. But the reasons why her mother committed suicide were never answered. Not properly. Now of course, they never would be.
Both of her parents had worked hard and kept the motel at its grandest and the gardens meticulously neat. That is, until about a year before her mother had died. Arina didn’t know at the time why her mother had lost interest in the motel and her family. It was such a gradual change that Arina hardly noticed it at first. It was when her mother became distant, had less and less time for her, and began to stay away from the motel for hours at a time, that Arina became more aware of the terrible changes that were happening. She heard her parents’ loud voices in the night when she was in bed, and although she hadn’t heard what they were arguing about, she knew from the cold stares that they gave each other in the morning that something was terribly wrong. When her mother had passed away in suicide, her father lost interest in the place and in life generally, except for Arina. But that had gradually changed too. Arina, then aged 17 completed Certificate IV in finance & accounting, and accepted a job in the City with a large, privately owned real estate business. The business was owned and run by a life time family friend Bill Weiner. And since real estate and finance was in her blood having inherited her passions from her grandfather, she finally gave in to the constant .offers from Bill to work for him.
She continued her studies online with a good University and now held a Bachelor’s Degree in finance and financial law.
Her father had initially tried to keep her with him. He practically begged her to stay, but her cousin Rob, who often visited back then, had finally taken him aside and he later told Arina that he convinced her father that it was better for Arina to let her go, to make a career for herself. So, over the last seven years, the motel and her father had steadily deteriorated. He was only 49 when he died. Much too young. Much too early. Why and how did this all happen? Was it because she left?