Cara woke up to the sound of the chirping birds and stretched in her bed with a gleaming smile as the unpleasant confrontation of the past night faded in the rooms of her brain. She climbed out of her bed wrapping the warm quilt around her and walked to the window where she removed the curtains to expose herself to the sunlight of the bright new day. Her Sunday morning was usually late but today was different. If one phase of her brain thought about Jon and their young romance leading to an official relationship in future then the other phase of her brain pondered over the survival of her dad after her. She agreed that he was unpredictable but she never blamed him for his behavior. She knew what it would feel to lose someone who is precious to the soul and heart but all this time she failed to analyze that why couldn’t her dad realize that it was not solely him who had lost a beloved wife but she had lost a MOTHER as well – a woman who contained her for nine months yet she knew nothing about her. Mr. Laurengram never felt any better discussing his late wife; he only preferred to drink and drink in grief – grief that Cara believed would never let go of him until the jaws of death would terminate the thread of his breath.
Cara’s silent thoughts were vanished in the air when her ringing cell phone scared her to death. She threw back the quilt wrapped around her in a jerk and dashed to her dressing to grab her cell phone and answered the call breathlessly.
“Cara, were you working out at 8 in the morning? I mean, are you okay?” Jon rushed himself with his words like an express on the station.
“Uh.. Well, why are you speaking as if you are living the last minute of your life?” humorously remarked Cara
“When will you stop being naughty Cara?”
”Never! Do I complain when you are silly to heights?”
”My babe is making me blush eh?” giggled Jon to tease her over and over.
“How is mommy? Was she worried the last night?” Cara asked anxiously. She had met Jon’s mum more than thrice and she saw the reflection of her own mum in that beautiful lady’s embodiment.
“Mum is good, anyway, she was worried but she knew to every beat that I was with YOU”, Jon teases Cara again with his chuckles over the phone.
“Whatever! Are you coming over for the Spring Party at Gayle’s place in the evening?”
“Cara, lets skip it and go for the dinner sweetheart, what do you say?”
“Jon, I have taken enough of you for the morning. See you at the party, let me check dad for now” Cara explained simply for Jon to stop teasing her.
“Okay babe, it is my turn to serve mum so I got to go too but aren’t you forgetting SOMETHING?”
”I love you Jon”, Cara was blushing even though they were not confronting each other.
“I love you too darling”, Jon knew it came from the heart – the core of his heart.
They ended the call and busied themselves in their routine. Cara went downstairs and knew that her dad was fast asleep. She brewed coffee and boiled few eggs for the breakfast. She inserted two slices of bread in the toaster at a time and toasted few slices. She collected the news paper from the porch and went through the headlines while laying the table for breakfast. She preferred milky coffee while black coffee was a necessity for his dad to wipe away the recurring headache after the night which had been spent drinking. He avoided drinking on the week days but weekend served him exquisite timings to drink and mourn. Cara knocked her dad’s room few times but no response assured her of his unconsciousness and she opened the door gently and saw her dad lying on the sofa sleeping sound. The last night was invigorated in her brain and her eyes suddenly were filed with tears. She looked precisely like her dad. The same blue eyes her mother has fallen in love with were the secret to her beauty. These blue eyes were deeper in meaning – the legacy of her life. She sat across the sofa brushing her dad’s brunette hair through her slender fingers and sobbing over his body as if he was already dead. After few minutes, her dad moved and then within few seconds he was squinting to the flashing sunlight illuminating the room through the white curtains.
“Cara, umm.. You here? Baby, Is everything okay?” his hesitation was evident that he might not remember accurately what he did last night but the fragments to the incident were still stored in the hippocampus of his brain.
“Oh daddy, I thought you were too tired so just brought the black coffee couple of minutes ago”, Cara tried her best to sound normal.
There was a pin drop silence. Mr. Laurengram was too busy fighting with the annoying headache that he was unable to see the fresh tears drying out on the pink cheeks of his little doll. He had complimented Cara for the black coffee and was headed to the breakfast table by Cara.
“Oh my goodness, you did this all? When did you wake up or should I ask did you sleep?” he uttered with amazement. Cara smiled and chose to stay silent for that moment. Mr. Laurengram was hungry, he had skipped the meal last night but Cara’s appetite had died already, she played with the fork in her plate cutting the egg in to pieces until he realized her little doll’s lost figure and snapped his fingers before her focused eyes.
“Are you in the same world in which I am eating like a beggar hungry for days?” he remarked to lighten the atmosphere.
“Daddy, I am not feeling hungry. I had coffee when I woke up so not feeling like eating.”
“Do you have any plans for the evening?” he asked her politely.
“Oh yeah, a college mate has arranged a Spring Party for the evening. Anything up with you?”
“Yeah, I will drop you by and leave for my business deal. I have a meeting this evening.”
The silence again shut their conversation and Mr. Laurengram began leafing the newspaper while she moved upstairs to avoid the confrontation with her dad. He was persistently reminding her of the last night when she did not want to think about it. She heard her dad calling her and she ran downstairs to hear what he had to say.
“I am sorry”, he said uncertainly.
“Umm.. It’s okay.” Cara tried to resist back her tears. Her dad was not looking at her; she knew he was embarrassed to look into her eyes. The physical pain meant nothing to this young girl but her smashed emotions feared her if she would start hating her dad one day.
“I know I am wrong. I know I say SORRY always and I hurt you all the time but …” he was interrupted by Cara’s gentle voice.
“Daddy, I said Okay. You don’t have to worry” her tears pierced the white flesh surrounding her sea-blue eyes balls and they spilled drop by drop wetting her face.
“Don’t cry please, that makes me feel guilty”, his voice was stern as usual and though he had pinned his eyes in the newspaper and had not looked up for even a single second yet he knew Cara better than anybody else that he could tell that she was crying without even looking at her.
“I am not crying Dad” she tried to be stern and stiff as him but the outburst of her cry made her run upstairs and dump herself facedown in bed trying to suppress her voice by tugging a pillow underneath her mouth. She cried and cried until her eyes surrendered and had insufficient water to let it out, her mouth and eyes both were dried for it had been an hour since she was crying to shrug the burden off his shoulders.
She got up when it was half past noon. She arranged her closet deciding what to wear for the party the following evening. She messaged Jon to which there was no reply which indicated her that he was busy with his mum and hence she laid in her bed falling for the sleep. She woke up after few hours and before going to bathe she planned on sneaking downstairs to check up on her dad. The hall was empty but the kitchen was clean, her father was doubtlessly the most organized man she knew on the planet. She peeked in his room which was already arranged and tidy. She ran all the way to the porch and there was no car in the driveway, she knew where her dad was. She regretted crying in front of him; she was certain that he must be in the golf club playing golf on his own – the only thing he thought he could do anytime. She rang her dad though she knew he would not receive her call; he felt guilty beyond explanation but she knew he would turn into same creature once again when the memories of her mother would haunt him – this made her hate her mother at times.
Cara was dressed in a multicolor short dress and the bright colors complemented her fair-toned body. Her simplicity was her utmost beauty; she applied mascara to define her long thick eye lashes and softened her lips by applying a cucumber lip balm further defining her thin lips with the Etude glittery gloss to give a party touch to her appearance. She awaited her dad but there were no signs of his arrival; she called him over and over again but he wasn’t responding to her calls and this was not a good signal by any means. Therefore, pushing all the pessimistic thoughts aside, she called Jon to pick her when he would be heading for the party. Within a couple of minutes Jon was on her doorstep with a bouquet of flowers and a present.
“Present! Is there anything special?” exclaimed Cara with amazement and excitement blended all together.
“Well, you can keep the bouquet but you are not opening the present until I say so”, Jon smiled softly to her gleaming blue eyes.
Cara placed the flowers in a vase kept on the table beside stair case and locked the door while messaged her dad that she had waited long and when he had not responded to any of her calls, she had proceeded to the party with Jon. Cara looked at the gentleman precisely in the driver seat and locked her eyes on his innocent face. Cara had always found Jon’s hazel eyes soothing and intoxicating concurrently. Jon was wearing a lime-yellow t-shirt along with white pants. He didn’t look funky which is what the party demanded but decent as always. Cara knew every guy would be dressed fancily at the party but she was proud to be Jon’s girl; after all his dressing code had a taste which was beyond comparison.
“I know I am looking SEXY but what are you staring eh?” Jon harassed her with a wink while slipping a finger of his right hand which is enclosed around the hand-gear to touch hers and there she smiled – the smile that always cheered him up and brought pleasure to his heart and soul.
“Oh Mr. Smarty Pants, you may be genius and nerdy but SEXY?? You are nothing close to Hugh Jackman” Cara taunted him back with a playful note in her voice to annoy him.
“Cara! I am no Hugh Jackman because I am Jon, Jon Stanley!” exclaimed Jon.
“Look, now who is getting pissed off huh? Possessive!! Possessive!!” Cara continued teasing him while he played with her fingers and cuddled around her at times when the traffic signal blinked red.
After half an hour drive, they both were at Gayle’s place hand in hand.
“Cara! Jon! Wow! Great to see you guys together here”, an excited voice made them turn their backs to the addresser.
“Gayle! What a party, bro”, cried Jon with excitement as they both hugged each other followed by a hi-five. Cara shook her hand with Gayle who often seemed brainless to her.
Gayle was a rich brat and a very good friend of Jon. Cara knew him through Jon; though three of them studied together in the first year of Stanford University yet Cara hardly knew anybody whereas Jon was as social as his witty brain allowed him to help every individual in the college. Gayle wore a printed hot-pink t-shirt and multicolor long shorts which made him look no less than a joker. After a brief conversation of Jon and Gayle; Cara was lead to a corner by Jon where they got seated and conversed for an eternity. Suddenly their conversation was interrupted by Cara’s ringing cell phone and she was not certain to attend the call or not as there was an unknown number flashing on the screen. She ignored the call thrice and ultimately when Jon convinced her to receive the call, she agreed reluctantly for the fourth time.
“This is Polly from Stanford Hospital. Can I have a word with Miss Cara Laurengram?” an adenoidal flat voice from the other end cracked through the earphone.
“Yeah, Cara speaking”, she hesitantly answered.
“Your father had a severe car accident. We want you in the hospital in an immediate hour to carry out the formalities”, the flat voice was penetrating at once or it might be Cara’s ears.
The phone tripped from Cara’s sweaty hands with her bulging eyes forming tears that trickled down her cheeks within no time and she hadn’t even the faintest idea how Jon dumped her in the passenger seat and drove all the way to the heart of the city where Stanford hospital was situated.