Back home for Christmas, Sara and her mother run into Gerard and his girlfriend.
"Mom!" I dropped my bags and rushed over to her, wrapping my arms around her and squeezing her so hard. I hadn't seen her in almost 2 years, my life had just gotten so busy, that I hadn't got a chance to visit my own family. My dad gave me a quick hug before my mom started studying me.
"Oh honey, you look beautiful. You dyed your hair?" She reached out and ran her hand through my now dyed dark auburn hair.
I nodded, and Tim came up beside me carrying my dropped bags, along with his. "Hi Mr. and Mrs. Klassen."
"Tim, it's good to see you my boy. Taking good care of our daughter I see?"
"The best." He put his arm around me, like my dad had done to my mom, and we all walked out to my parents stationwagon.
"Dad! I thought you were going to get rid of this a while ago." I laughed at the sight of it.
"Well, you know me, I'm old fashioned." Tim and I got into the back of the car as my dad put out stuff into the trunk. I went to play with my engagement ring, as I often did, but it wasn't there. We still hadn't told my parents that we were engaged, even though it happened over three months ago. We just decided it would be better to do it in person.
"So Mom, who's coming to the Christmas party this year?"
"Well, just the neighbors, and some friends. They're all so excited to see you again." She turned around and beamed at me. Tim squeezed my hand that was resting on his leg. The little voice in my head praticly screaming, This is the way it should be.
"Mom, where's Caitlyn?"
There was an awkward silence and my mom turned around to look at my dad. "Well honey, she doesn't live at home anymore."
"Why? She's still in senior year."
"She made a big decision. And now she's off living with some 30 year old man in California."
"What!?" My younger sister. The one that I used to play dolls with? The one who helped me get ready for prom? The one who I had loved so much had left her family for someone 12 years older than herself? "You let her do that?"
"You know your sister honey. She's very persuasive, and when she wants something, she can usually get it." My mom sounded resentful, and she tried her best to keep smiling. "Now enough about her. What's new with you?"
I looked at Tim, and he looked back at me. He knew what I was thinking, and he nodded. "Well Mom and Dad. Tim and I have decided to get married."
"Are you sure you're ready for this Sara? Marriage is a big step in any relationship. And I don't want you to get hurt. You're still so young." My mom and I had just walked out of the grocery story and were heading for the Food Court.
"I realize all that mom. But I'm ready. I know I am. I've got myself a job, and a home, and the perfect man. Are you not happy for me?"
"Of course I am. You know that. I guess I always thought that you would end up with Gerard."
"Yeah, well things don't always turn out the way you want" I said bitterly, placing our bags onto a table and taking a seat.
"Speaking of Gerard," my mom started.
"Do we have to?" I said, rolling my eye.
"He's doing pretty well these days isn't he. He's in a successful band, and he's probably making lots of money."
"Why should you care anyway. It's not like I'm engaged to him."
"Sara, what happened to you two. You were best friends in school. What changed?"
"Mom, I don't want to talk about it." I said angrily.
"I'm only trying to help. You two could have been so good together."
"Sorry to disappoint you mom" I shot at her. She looked at me, and I could see she was trying to read my eyes. But she couldn't. I had become so good at hiding my emotions, that even Tim couldn't tell what I was thinking or feeling most of the time.
"Well I'll get us something to eat." She walked off leaving me sitting at the table alone. I looked around at all the other tables and noticed a familiar face. Oh god, not here I hid my face, hoping that he wouldn't notice me. My mom returned a minute later with some chinese food. I looked past her and noticed that he had gotten up.
"Uhh, mom. I'll be back. I have to go to the washroom." I quickly got up from my chair, but it was to late. He had already seen me. The color in his face drained, but he still walked over.
"Hi Karen." he said.
My mom turned to look. "Gerard!" she exclaimed happily. "Wow. I haven't seen you in ages. How are you dear?"
"I'm doing well. And you?"
"Oh, you know. Fine. And who is this you have with you?" My mom noticed the pale girl with cropped hair standing next to Gerard, which I had failed to do. I studied her. She was wearing way to much make up, and he foundation was too light for her skin tone. Wait, why was I looking. I didn't care. Did I?
"This is my uh, my girlfriend Vanessa." He looked at me when he said girlfriend.
"Oh how lovely." My mom smiled somewhat coldly at her. "So how long are you in town for Gerard?"
"Until December 30th. My band is on a short break from our our."
"Perfect. Why don't you bring your girlfriend and family to our Christmas Party on the 24th. Drop by anytime after 6."
"Sounds great. Will do." He took his girlfriend by the waist and smiled faintly at me before leaving.
"Mom. Why'd you do that?" I glared at her.
"Why not?" She smiled back at me. I knew she had her reasons, it would just take me a while to figure it out.