Oriana Dawn is in many ways different to her biological siblings. We meet in her office, as her schedule is very full. She was the only one of Alicia’s children that took a position in the Amour Federation, founded by the Swan family, and is currently the North American head of operations. The office retains quite a few touches of her mother’s time there, and I spot the framed family portrait hanging on the left hand wall, the instant that I walk in. “I’m glad that you could make it,” she stands as soon as I walk in, and holds out a hand with a smile. “Mary said that it was easy to talk to you,” She’s dressed far more formally than Mary was, in
I’m glad to hear that, as I can’t imagine that it is easy for any of the interviewees, but especially Alicia’s biological family, to talk to me. “She’s a sweet girl.” I say finally as I take a seat.
“Mary’s the heart of the family now that mum’s gone.” She pours us both a cup of very strong coffee, much to my surprise. I accept the cup gratefully, it’s been exhausting trying to follow Alicia’s path, and I’ve only just started learning about her. “She’s the one that keeps us together, despite the fact that after losing mum, the family scattered across the world to fill the gap she left.”
“It’s obvious that your mother was loved by many people,” I take a sip of the coffee, “It’s not been very easy to schedule interviews with them all,”
“You haven’t,” she stirs her coffee, not taking her eyes off me, “You haven’t interviewed Mark Hartley, or the people that worked under her in the Amour Federation,”
“Your father thought that it might be too painful for them to recall certain details, given that she died while on business for them.”
She shakes her head, “You’re missing a big chunk of who she was if you don’t talk to them. They were important in her last profession, and obviously Joel was vital to her, even as a kid.”
“I shall try to get interviews with them, but Joel’s only been interested in sending a short story to me, so far.” I still don’t know whether that story is something that he made up, or not, given the part about Alicia stabbing him in the shoulder. “Do you have a story to share?”
There’s a knock on the door, and the intercom beeps, “Sorry to interrupt Miss Ross, but there’s a urgent call from the London office,”
I received this short email, when I’d got back to the hotel.
My mom was a whirlwind of motion, it’s true, taking us all over the world, once we were old enough to understand, and take things in consciously. Some of my favourite memories were when we were staying with Aunt Hayley, in Paris. I will always remember what Aunt Hayley told me, when she realised that some of my French classmates were making fun of me, because of who my mum was. ‘Oh Ana, you can’t live your life in fear of what some will say. You’ve gotta do it your way, blaze a trail for others to follow, not follow everyone else’