I hang up the phone and turn to face the others.
“Uncle Phil, would you please pour me a cup of that coffee?”
I walk over to the table and sit down across from Renée. Phil sits down at the head of the table between Renée and myself, and silently passes me a cup of coffee. I look over at Cathy and ask,
“So just how much of that did you listen in on?”
“I tuned out once you started talking to Mom about the explosion.”
“So I’m guessing you missed the bit where Mom is sending you to stay with Uncle Bruce and Aunt Diana for the summer.”
“You heard me, you are going to Gotham to spend the summer with Uncle Bruce and Aunt Diana.”
“But why Izzy?”
Groaning, I look heavenward.
“Because they asked Mother if you could stay with them and she thinks it’s a good idea for you to go. And I’m going to take Serenity and go back to England. And please don’t call me Izzy, you know how much I hate it when you call me that!”
Sighing, I look at my tearful, red-headed sister sitting across the kitchen table from me. I slide the drawing Serenity gave to me across to her and Renée. As I do so I look Cathy in the eye and tell her,
“Serenity drew that this morning.”
Renée looks down at it and gasps in shock. Phil and Cathy glance over at it and immediately recoil from it with disgust, a hiss erupting from between Cathy’s teeth. After a moment, however, Cathy seems to recover and determinedly pulls the drawing closer to her, studying it. Phil looks at me with questions swimming in his eyes and asks,
“What… Well I mean I can see what’s happening, the people in the drawing are clearly being executed, but who are they?”
Cathy’s head snaps up from examining the drawing and she looks over at me, curious to hear my answer.
I lean over the tabletop and look at the drawing again. Its format is like that of a comic book page; each person in the picture has their own designated block of space, and there are five people, so five blocks in all. And the people in the drawing don’t look like your average comic book characters either, instead of looking grainy and blocky each person looks likes they were photographed with a high-powered camera by a professional photographer. I point at the third and fifth blocks and tell Cathy,
“I don’t know who the others are but these two were in the same training group as me, at MI6.”
We all silently look down at the drawing speculatively. Renée gets up and moves to sit in Phil’s lap and once she’s settled she looks at me and asks,
“So what does all this mean?”
“I think it means that someone is about to blow the covers of five 00 agents. Or they already have and these agents are being tortured after all Serenity did say we had a week before this comes to pass. However, I think Aunt Peggy would have told me about it if she thought that the latter scenario had already come to fruition.”
Cathy looks up and meets my eyes.
“Okay, well, when am I supposed to be leaving?”
“I don’t know, Mom didn’t say. I guess you’ll just have to wait for her to call and let you know.”
“When’s your flight?”
I look up at the kitchen clock.
Cathy follows my gaze.
“Wow. It’s 10:00 already, you need to start packing.”
Renée looks at Phil and then back at me with a frown on her face.
“Alright, what we need is a game plan. Isa, how about this, you and Phil can make breakfast while Cathy and I set the table and get Serenity dressed and ready for the day. Then after we all eat, you and Cathy can go start packing and Phil and I will keep Serenity entertained until two ‘o clock and then we can break for lunch? That way you’ll have plenty of time to pack, eat, and take a nap. And then we’ll have dinner and take you and Serenity to the airport.”
Looking at my Aunt, in this moment I can’t help but think that she is the most amazing woman in my life and I can’t help but feel guilty that I’ve taken her for granted all these years. I stand up and walk around the table to kneel down next to her. And I look at her with tears in my eyes.
“Thank you so, so much. This helps far more than you know. I know that I don’t tell you enough, but you really are the best aunt in the world, and I love you so very much.”
She smiles at me and says,
“Oh sweetie, I love you too. I have a feeling that whatever happens next in your life is meant to be. Now, who wants breakfast?”
As we all move to refill our mugs and start making breakfast, the only thought running through my mind is…
‘I’m going home.’