I raise my eyebrows when he just stares at me. He looks away.
“You remember it?” he asks
“How can I forget, you killed my cat this day,” I sadly say.
“She was going to die either way,” He shrugs.
“How can you even say that? You’re so mean. I’m not gonna give you this anymore.” I cover the gift behind my back.
“You know, the pet’s doctor declared she will die in two to three days. So I sent her the better way.”
“By wrapping bombs on her? How is that a better way?” I place my hand on my waist.
“I was a kid, ok. And I was under the influence of Jake.” Yeah, I know kids usually do something just to create a better impression on their friends.
“I’m sorry for that” He adds while facing down.
“You’re what?” I’m surprised.
“I’m not going to say that again.” He looks away and mumbles.
“Here” I offer him the present. He accepts it.
“But that doesn’t mean we’re friends.” I added.
“Was it really for me?” He set aside the present.
“Didn’t you buy it for Jake?” He sauntered to stand near the window frame. Hands shoved in his pocket.
“He’s not my friend.” I expressed.
“I’m not either” He shifts to look at me.
“Well, I live in your house, at least I can give you a gift for your birthday, right?”
He inhales deeply, then nods in agreement. He unwraps the present and looks at me.
“What? Didn’t like it? Give it back, I’ll give to Jake.” I tread to take from his hand. He swings away from my grasp.
“It’s the only thing I can afford. I’m not a billionaire like you.” I continued. He tried on the watch. And was examining it.
“Wouldn’t there be a party for your birthday?” He seizes hearing this.
“My birthday on paper is 28 December, when they first gave a party for their benefit. It’s like that since then. No one remembers my actual birth date. Even I forgot. I was surprised when you wished me.” He stares at the distance without blinking. It must’ve been painful for him. It is sad when no one wishes you on your birthday. It doesn’t matter to him now as he’s a grownup, but what would’ve the younger Ray suffered through. I almost reach out to him, but sympathy is the last thing he needs. I draw back my hand and face away, my eyes fall on my whim chain. He stole that again. He’s not in a good mood right now. It’s not wise to take it back. It’s awkward now, It’s better to go back.
“Uh.. it’s late, I should leave now.” I open the door and walk out, He walks till the door and then leans on the door.
“I gave you a present so.. can I have my whim chain back?” I request.
“I don’t do favors to my enemies.” He smirks and closes the door in my face. I stand there, mouth open wide. I blink few times. I kick the door. But it injures me instead. I clutch my leg and go skipping on one leg to my room.
Next day I wake up to Pa’s voice, not personally but on the phone. He eventually called. I chatted to him, half asleep. He mentioned he was busy yesterday, so he didn’t call. Right, he was so busy that he didn’t even miss me.
“Wake up lazy girl, it’s late.” Pa announces.
“I’m having a jet lag” I state with closed eyes from my cozy blankets.
“What? You didn’t travel from a different time zone. Stop giving excuses and get up fast. Mr. Hudson wouldn’t allow you to eat if you’re late on the table.” He cuts the call by saying that.
“What?” I sit up straight. I can’t skip my breakfast. I’m already hungry just by name of it. I get up and lead to the bathroom and get ready as fast as I could. When I reach to the dining table, they’ve already finished their breakfast. I dawdle, my foot feels like lead, as Mr. Hudson would snap at any moment that ‘you can eat now’. But instead, he smiles at me when I settle on my chair. He doesn’t talk much, just business. He leaves the table once he's finished his breakfast.
“Mrs. Hudson…” I want to ask her something, but she interrupts.
“Call me Mom, just as Ray calls me” she suggests. The word ‘mom’ hits hard, like thousands of needles piercing through the heart. I don’t remember saying it when I was small.
“Mom?” I mumble. She smiles, squeezing my hand. And then nods.
“Can I go out for a while?” I propose. She considers and thus suggests.
“You can, but driver will take you wherever you want. You shouldn’t go alone,” she said worriedly.
“Okay” I lick my lips, considering about it.
“You need to be careful and be back as early as possible,” she advised.
“I will.” I assure.
I grab my purse and get in the car, Mrs. Hudson still standing there waves bye to me. I think about her generosity. How she’s been a wonderful mother. I wonder how my mother was. Why is she hated by Pa? Would I ever know the reason? Would I ever be able to see her? My train of thought is derailed when the driver asks me where I want to go. I scratch my head as I don’t know where should I go first. While thinking I look at a passing coffee shop, and I ask him to take me to the best coffee shop around. He nods and drives. He stops at a big coffee shop, double the size of our restaurant.
I get a seat and read the menu. My eyes pop out when I see the prices. $100, $150? And the highest one is $1500? Are they crazy charging so much? But when I look around, people are buying these coffees. So they are the crazy one who purchase them. I can buy an entire lot of coffee beans by this much money. And these crazy rich people are getting just one cup of coffee by it. They sure are out of their mind. It would be embarrassing to leave ordering nothing. I glance around to grab an opportunity to sneak out. I hear a distant urge. Like someone trying to convince someone. And voice is similar to Ray. I look around left and right, but guess I was wrong. But I look at the other side of the wall which seems to be a private space. He is with a girl. May be his girlfriend. She’s fuming over something and Ray is trying to explain her.