Vanessa tells her friend about her disturbing past.
|Skeletons in the closet
Time passed by, the autumn foliage started to descend to its final resting ground. The air outside is cool and crisp. The only thing that cuts the scent of rotting leaves is the smoky wood fires burning the dirt and grime in the chimneys. The sky is in transition: a baby blue backdrop with clouds wrapped in golden yellow; and the horizon is a mixture of burnt orange and red. Soon the sun will hide behind the earth allowing the moon its chance to shine. Clara and her mother have adjusted well to their new home. The chilly wind outside their home blows in gusts, but inside their home is warm and cozy. The two of them have settled into their home, but not their life here. Clara is having a hard time in her new school; Vanessa has run into several roadblocks at work. Clara yearns to be a social butterfly; it’s hard to be the new girl sometimes. Building relationships doesn’t come easy for her, her mother on the other hand is quite the opposite. Vanessa has always been a go-getter and a real people person; wherever she goes people are attracted to her personal strength. The two of them occupy the same house, but live separate lives. At the moment Vanessa is in her kitchen baking up a batch of her favourite chocolate chip cookies; Clara is up in her room living like a hermit, hunched over, and watching an episode of Family Guy. Vanessa is preparing the cookies for Evelyn, her newly acquainted neighbour. Evelyn and Vanessa met early one morning on a walk, and since then have been walking together each morning. Today Evelyn will be the first house guest that Vanessa has had the chance to entertain since moving to Toronto.
The Cookies are almost done, the sweet aromatic smell of vanilla and chocolate fill the house.
Evelyn has perfect timing,
“hey girl, I hope I’m not too early.”
“Not to worry, come on in”
Vanessa reaches out her hands to help Evelyn with her jacket.
“Wow the place looks good, it’s been a while since I’ve been in here, and I like what you have done with the place”
Vanessa gave an inquiring glance.
“So you've seen my place before?”
Evelyn gave a grin,
“real estate’s been my hobby for years, and I never give up the chance to see all the open houses in the area.”
Vanessa hung up Evelyn’s coat in the closet, and ushered her into the living room where she had a bottle of Merlot and two glasses waiting.
“First class service, nice, I guess it pays well to be your friend, I kind of feel bad that I didn’t bring anything”
“Don’t mention it; if it makes you feel better, next time you can get the wine.”
Although the two of them have been meeting for walks in the early morning, the women are still strangers to each other’s lives.
“So how do you like the city so far?”
“It’s going to take some time before it feels like home” said Vanessa.
“If you’re ever in need of anything please ask me I’m just a few doors down, and I would love to be of service.”
Vanessa took the bottle of wine and poured its lush red content into the glasses. Vanessa then handed her friend a glass.
“A toast, to new beginnings and everlasting friendship.”
With that statement said, the two of them lifted their glasses high, and both of them took generis gulp’s of the Merlot.
“So Vanessa where is this daughter I her you speak so much about?”
Vanessa was caught off guard by the question
“well since we’ve moved in she has spent all of her time up in her room on the computer; I almost think she is trying to punish me”
Vanessa’s mood went from cheery to melancholy in a matter of seconds.
“Well you shouldn’t be to torn up about it, it’s just her age, my sister has three girls, she told me at thirteen they all grew horns.”
Evelyn knew just what say to make Vanessa laugh
“now I know why I like hanging around you, even when I’m down you find a way to make me laugh.”
Just then Vanessa’s timer went off, signalling the completion of her chocolate chip cookies.
“It seems that I am needed in the kitchen, I have to get the cookies out of the oven” said Vanessa.
“I knew I smelled the delicious fragrance of baking.”
Vanessa went into the kitchen, and returned with a plate of warm and gooey cookies.
“We will have to let them cool for a few minutes” said Vanessa. Evelyn’s eyes grew large with anticipation.
“If you don’t mind, may I ask about Clara’s father?” inquired Evelyn.
Vanessa always tried to avoid this question; it wasn’t something she was proud of shearing with others. She knew once the story was told, more unpleasant questions would arise.
“I don’t speak of him much these days, he was a good man, but after the death of my son he went a bit crazy and got himself tossed in prison.”
The room went silent, both of the women sat there trying to figure out what to say next.
“I’m sorry I...I” Evelyn started to stutter.
“It’s ok life moves on, I’ve put my old life behind me, started over” said Vanessa.
Evelyn was still in shock, you could tell by the look on her face. She was at a loss of words, and didn’t know whether she should ask how the boy died or how the father ended up in jail. She thought I really don’t know if I should ask any more questions at all, maybe I should keep my big mouth shut.
“Evelyn its ok, I knew sooner or later you were going to ask about my past if we were to remain friends.” Evelyn’s facial muscles started to relax to normalcy.
“He died in a car accident about thirteen years ago; he was just an infant at the time” Vanessa decided to break the ice.
“The driver of the other car was an alcoholic on his way home from the bar; he went through a red light, it was instantaneous. After the incident my husband grew distant from me; and Clara was just a small child herself. Taking care of her is what kept me sane; John did not do as well as I did. He decided to take justice into his own hands. The year after the drunk driver was released on bail; John hunted him down and murdered him. After that he turned himself in.”