Coming of the Ghost
Rolf recalled being at home in his villa
when he saw the news of Kenneth’s death on Argentine television. While
having his third Brandy of the day in the study with Helmut, they
struggled through their ongoing game of chess. When he heard the name
and explosion in the same sentence, Rolf Grover froze. Then the
newscaster announced Kenny’s death. Rolf dropped his glass of brandy.
It shattered as his life was once again broken into little pieces.
Feeling as if he had been hit in the stomach, he fell back into
his chair. Helmut was quick to ask him what was wrong. He said sadly,
“One more wonderful light has gone out in the darkness of my life.”
Sitting there for several minutes in
silence, he remembered the young man who had been like his own son.
Helmut patted his hand as tears streamed down his expressionless face.
It was then that the phone rang. Helmut answered it for him. It was Anna. Lifting the receiver to his ear, Rolf heard Anna’s
strong voice at the other end of the line. “Rolf, Kenneth is gone. I
have lost another one,” her voice cracking with grief. Then she asked,
“When does it end?” The voice was now low and weary. Her emotions
strained, Anna tried to be
strong as she’d always been. Rolf
assured Anna that he would be
right over. Hanging up the phone, Helmut insisted on driving him. Then
they walked into the cold dark night.
The three spent the night taking
calls, first from a shattered Christina,
and later from a broken Benjamin. Anna was strong for them never letting
on that her heart was in pain. As the night gave way to the sun’s
rays, a lonely Anna cried for
her Kenneth. Giving his memory all of her love, she smiled as she
remembered the first day they met.
Rolf sat in the early morning sun by
the stone courtyard fountain, remembering his little Kenneth. His pride
and joy, the loss left Rolf empty and pained. His three pups had been
taken from him by the Colombianos.Now it was his Kenneth the Colombianos had taken. But he still had his Anna.
He would protect her from the evils of this world.
Rolf had another reason for being.
Kenny’s little Anna, was
scheduled to arrive at the Argentine estancia
in March with the Romeros.
Eagerly preparing for their arrival, Anna
and Rolf spared nothing. Two adjoining rooms on the second floor had
been redone as bedroom and nursery for Kenneth’s only child. Rolf had
Helmut hire and supervise carpenters for the rooms. Anna
brought in an interior decorator from Buenos
Aires. The result was magical. Little Anna
was to have the very best.
Rolf and Anna personally interviewed five nannies, finally selecting a fine
German nanny, Frau Height. By the time of little Anna’s arrival, Frau Height was waiting nervously at the front
entrance of the estancia with
the other staff.
and the Contessa’s lives had
been interrupted again by the deep sense of loss they felt at
Kenneth’s death. He, like his father, had been ripped away from them.
The little girl they brought with them had never known either man. César
and the Contessa were the only
family little Anna had known
after the loss of her mother, so soon after birth. Becoming as their
own, they treated her like a princess. Little Anna’s
safety had been the most important consideration for her father. Now her
grandmother would take on the duty of protecting her.
The pilot alerted them that they had
begun the decent. César could
make out the landscape below as he looked out the window. Looking out
the cabin window, he saw Casa Castillo.
The estancia was a beautiful sight as the plane made its final approach
to the landing strip.
After landing smoothly, the jet taxied
for a short distance and came to a stop. A car waited for them as the
jet door opened. John began unloading luggage as Kenneth, the limo
driver, greeted them at the door of the plane. Walking them to the
waiting limousine, Kenneth opened the door for the trio. Once the car
was loaded, they were off down the long stone road leading to the estancia.
Beautiful flowers and shrubs lined both sides of the stone roadway.
When the limo reached the front of the
estancia Anna, Rolf, and Helmut were waiting with the estancia staff. Jose’s
grandson, Miguel, walked
toward the car and bowed as the Contessa
stepped out of the limo. Jose’s
granddaughter, Lita, handed
her a dozen red roses. The others clapped as César,
holding Little Anna, got out
of the limo. Little Anna’s
grandmother took the girl from César
and held her close. Rolf and César
greeted each other with the abrasso,
as Helmut welcomed the Contessa.
Then they all walked up the stone steps into the estancia.
Little Anna settled in nicely as Frau Height doted on the little girl. The
two bonded instantly. The next few days were relaxing for all. César
and the Contessa joined Anna and
Rolf at cards in the evenings. Soon, the estancia
had come alive. Neighbors were invited to dinner almost every night. The
couples rode together in the early mornings and took lunch in the local
towns. Rolf and César spent
time at Rolf’s newly constructed shooting range at the Brenner Villa. Later, they spent leisurely days enjoying skeet shooting.
After two weeks, it was time for the Romeros
to return to Spain, business called. It was a tearful goodbye as the Romeros
boarded their flight. As the jet became a speck in the sky, little Anna
ran to the house. Grandmother and Rolf chased after her.
It was a month later, and May had
arrived. The sun was shining brightly as Grandmother Anna was writing a letter to the Contessa in the large study. Her task done, she stood up from her
desk to turn off the study television. Walking by the tall French
windows which brought the brilliant Argentine sunlight into the study,
she stood looking out the window. As Anna’s
eyes adjusted slowly to the bright sunlight, she gazed at little Anna sitting on the stone bench next to the courtyard fountain.
There she sat eating her little box of Bavarian chocolates given to her
by Rolf that morning. Anna
watched as the tiny girl sang a German lullaby taught to her by Frau
Height. Her crossed legs swung backward and forward in time to her song.
Anna could see Kenneth in her. Little Anna’s fine golden hair looked angelic as the morning sun filtered
through it. She was very much her father’s daughter, strong willed and
tough. But, little Anna
favored her mother’s family as well.
worried about how the child would be raised if anything happened to her.
The fear soon left, replaced by the joy of having her granddaughter with
her. Anna was taken with the child’s beauty, little Anna had her mother’s long angular body and high cheekbones. Her
fine delicate features promised an exquisite face, with a wide mouth and
thin lips. The straight nose and strong jaw were inherited from Kenneth.
Rita’s other gifts to little
Anna were the pink rose petal
color of her lips and light green eyes like her mother's.
thought of Kenneth as she looked down at his daughter. She began to cry
at the thought of little Anna
at the fountain. Her granddaughter would never know her mother, just as Anna had never known her own mother.
Rolf was checking in on her when he
found Anna standing crying in
the study. He came up behind her and put his arms around her. Holding
her, they peered out the French windows admiring little Anna’s beauty. As the two looked out on their little Anna,
an expose on La Eme had begun on the television set. They listened intently to
the words, discussing the recently deceased father and son, who had led
the Eme. As they continued
watching, little Anna sang her
song and ate her chocolates. The series host stated that the House of Aragón
had fallen with the deaths of Michael and Kenneth Aragón.
At that very moment, Kenneth Aragón stood up from the high winged-back, Louis the
XIV chair. Walking over to
the television set, he switched it off. Suddenly, his strong voice
echoed in the room. “Mother, the reports of my death has been greatly
exaggerated. The house of Aragón
hasn’t fallen, it’s now an empire.
03/24/2017 10:39 AM