Welcome one and welcome all to the finale to my series: Crowds! This is such an exciting day for me because short over a year ago I had a goal: to start a blog and to spend that year producing content. The Knight Life, this humble blog is my little space on the internet where I have shared with you characters, interviews and my life and I’m so eternally grateful that you are here!
Since beginning The Knight Life, I now have over 300 subscribers! (Pretty cool is you asked me!), I have published over 12 interviews (in parts!) of those who inspire me, and today I wrap up Crowds with part five of Laarni!
Honestly, just THANK YOU so much for reading, sharing and just being here with me, and with that… here is Laarni: Part Five… Enjoy!
A couple of hours later, Laarni was at the Laundry Mat down the road, finally cleaning the dirty clothes that she had meant to earlier that day. Finally, after carry the stupid bag around all day, it will be done with.
Any true emotions or feelings about Jamie’s revelation had still not properly surfaced.
Sitting down for a quiet moment to herself, Laarni watched the clothes turn methodically and, as they foamed and bubbled, it soothed her like a soapy pendulum. Everything will be okay, is just had to be, she told herself. Everything will sort itself out with Jamie, with her job, with their finances. All will be cleaned. It will just take a little bit of lugging around to see results.
Laarni put her head against the wall and allowed herself a quick little nap, right here in the Laundry Mat. Everything will be okay she said again as she drifted.
It was 9am when Laarni clocked off work – her second shift in the last twenty-four hours. She had finished work at 5pm the day before before coming back that same day and completing another grueling shift at 10pm and working through the night until 9am the following morning. She was meant to finish at 7am, but the opportunity to take the extra two hours presented itself and she couldn’t say no. Walking out of the sliding doors, she wished more than ever for Pat to be beside her offering her a lift home. But she wasn’t.
Laarni had had another two patients past away during the night. One patient, before their final breath, had said to her, “It’s all going to get better for you.” Laarni had turned her head towards them but, before she could ask what he had meant, he had left her.
The night brought forth memories of her most painful patient that she had ever cared for, Mae Tang, and her husband Trung. Their close-knit family reminded her of her parents, who, after twenty years of living in Australia, had decided to retire back in Auckland. Over the past five years her four brothers had all begun moving back there one by one. She was the last to make the move back. Laarni had looked after Mae for only three weeks, but it was in those short twenty one days that she had heard how appreciative she was of her life, how much she had lived and how happy that she was with the family that she had been blessed with.
Yet, when Mae knew that she was close to death, fear and devastation crumbled her.
During her last week alive Mae had to grieve her own loss, and, with Laarni on roster for most of those days, she had comforted and guided Mae as best she could.
Walking into Coles, Laarni tried to wipe away all the stress and sadness as she got a call from her bank manager, Mr. Bhaduri. She let the call go to voicemail and dreaded checking it later. She knew that she would have to eventually. She would make the next payment on the house. She had to. Mr. Bhaduri, a young and newly appointed business manager was lighter on her that Steven, the previous one, but she knew that his patience was loosening.
Laarni looked at her grocery list and mentally crossed out half of the items that weren’t essential in that moment. One apple for play lunch, one sandwich and a couple of nights of tinned spaghetti should do it. No muesli bars, no nice smelling laundry powder, no take out. Definitely no takeout. No books and no new toys for a while. She could get through this.
The supermarket was almost empty. She knew the sales assistant well and smiled at her politely as she took out a small half-trolley and began her second grocery shop in the past twenty-four hours. Like her word schedule, Laarni usually had to do her grocery shopping in shifts. She didn’t have the luxury of a car and she couldn’t carry all the food she would like to at once.
Tinned tomatoes, she remembered. Tinned, tinned, tinned tomatoes. As she got to the aisle she found two different types of tinned tomatoes. One she liked, the other she truly hated. The one that she liked was 99cents per tin and was rich and slightly peppery, just like the one she would make at home if she could afford all the real ingredients. The second tin was 55cents per tin and tasted like watered-down tomato pee. The Coles special was two tins of the one she hated for a dollar. She had to get it.
Standing over her empty trolley, Laarni leaned over in exhaustion. The numbness she’d been feeling the last few hours had receded and left emotions of anger, love, grief, sorrow, pain and a number of others that she couldn’t begin to sort through hit her like a piano falling from fifty feet.
The phone then rang again. It was Carla.
“Morning, Carla,” Laarni tired to sound cheerful.
“Hello, is this Laarni Sauni?”
“Y-yes? Sorry, who is this?”
“Ms. Sauni,” the voice was serious, professional, “this is Senior Constable Roger Mose. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, Ms. Sauni, but y-your friend, Carla Rose, committed suicide last night.”
She wished the numbness would come back.
“I’ve got her suicide note here, Ms. Sauni. Could you come down here to view the body and answer a few questions.”
“I don’t have a car,” Laarni managed to blurt out. “I start work again very soon. I can’t miss work. I need the money.”
“Ms. Sauni, we will send a car to pick you up.” The constable paused as if he was deciding weather or not to continue. “Ms. Sauni … Carla has left everything to you. Her house, her car and her family’s trust. I’m reading here and it says,” there was a fumbling of paper, “she wanted to be released from the pain of grief and free you of your financial burdens at the same time. I suppose this was her way of doing that.”
Laarni dropped the tins of tomatoes and fell to the floor of the shopping centre. The numbness left her body like a blown out candle.
“Yes. I’m here. I’ll wait here.”
“Okay. We’ll come get you now, just send through your address to this number and we will come get you.”
“Okay, will do.”
“Everything is going to be okay.”
Laarni managed to mumble an affirmative as tears pelted down her cheeks, “Everything is going to be okay.”
- Crowds is complete! Subscribe to The Knight Life to be the first to receive each new post via email. Enter in your email via the side panel [for desktop users] or scroll down [for mobile/tablet users]
- Creative Credit for Laarni’s image goes to the wonderful and supremely talented Jinny Park, whose Instagram feed you can check out at: http://www.instagram.com/somethingpeach.
Thank you so much Jinny for this wonderful collaboration!