02 June 2008

Mystery II- Which one's better Mystery I or Mystery II Tell Me!

A Good Beginning

“Cait! Over here!” Carol shouted, waving to her friend. Carolyn, Carol, for short was seventeen and had just graduated from high school. Collinville High was a wonderful school and Carol, an outgoing bubbly teenager was well liked. She didn’t lack friends but though she had become quite popular with the “Cool Crowd” in her sophomore year, her best friend was still Cait. Cait and Carol had been close since infancy. Their mothers, April Bail and Jessica Longborn were as close as friends could possibly be. April and Jessie were neighbors. After April’s parents died when she was seventeen, in a tragic house fire, she bunked with the Longborns until her birthday when she was emancipated. Jessie and April had stayed close over the years. When they had children of course it was only natural for them to be best friends too.
“Carrie,” Cait said, walking through the press of shoppers, “I didn’t expect to see you here. Thought you were going to pick up Kev. You know, ‘cause his cars in the shop.”
“Nope,” Carol replied, trying not to show her disappointment, “he got Adam to give him a ride home. They left at six this mornin’.”
“What!” Cait shrieked, “I didn’t now he was coming home today!”
“Well he is I thought you knew. Oh m’ gosh I bet it was supposed to be a surprise.”
“He told me,” Cait began, “that ‘I’m going to have to stay on campus a few more days, I’ve got packing to do.’” She said, in a deep voiced impersonation of Adam.
“Well just act surprised. He wanted to astonish you with his presence. We’re all going out to an Italian restaurant tonight and from what Kev tells me it’s really nice like they’ve been saving up to take us there when they got back so dress accordingly. Just don’t tell Adam I said anything. He’ll hate me, and that’d be a great way to start off the summer,” Carol added, sarcastically.
“Your secrets safe with me,” Cait replied, animatedly.
That was one of the things Carol liked most about Cait. She could never stay depressed for long. As Carrie’s life the past few years had been trying she was very happy to have such a caring, and kind friend. If she was honest Cait was more like a sister than not.
“Yeah, well I’m here ‘cause I knew this is where you’d be. Shopping, that’s the first thing you do after you get out of school for the summer,” she said in mock disgust, rolling her eyes.
“Hey, since you’re here let me treat you to a strawberry shake. It’s still four hours before the boys’ll be back from Notre Dame and all this shopping has me beat.”
“You- never,” Carol contradicted, her eyes wide. Laughing they made their way to the food court.

“So,” Carol mused, sitting in a corner booth of the food court, “Where are you applying for college?”
“Umm… well,” she cleared her throat, “I’m going to try to get into Notre Dame.”
“Oh, that’s brilliant,” Carol exclaimed, real joy lining her face.
“Yeah, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get in. Of course I could always go to TWU. Their Nursing school is awesome, and then I’d be close to Adam if he ends up doing his Masters degree at UTD. You know he’s considering transferring. If he ends up not transferring there is nothing in the world that will keep me from getting into UND.”

“Okey-dokey, it’s your turn to spill.”
“I’d love to get into Oxford,” Carol said with a fiery passion, “But my Daddy’s got a great school.” Carol’s Dad worked for the County College. “Are you going on a Vacation this summer?”
“I’m not going anywhere,” Cait said, “I’ve decided that I need to stay here to get ready for College in the winter. I can’t believe we’re done with high school. What about you, you going on a vacation?”
“No, I’m staying home with Daddy,” replied Carol, “You know I understand where the phrase ‘the absent minded Professor’ came from. My father is the essence of “absent minded” but I love him.”
“Yes you’ve taken good care of him since Aunt April died. It’s been four years and m om still cant believe the absurdity of it all. We barely had a week’s warning. Brain cancer, how’s your dad doin’?”
“Still devastated.” She didn’t mention that though she was bubbly and mysterious in front of her friends her own sorrow was still a dull throb in her chest. The place that her Mother had occupied in her heart seemed dark and void. When April Bail was diagnosed with brain cancer she did not go into shock and begged her husband to save his grief till she was dead. The oncologist had said “There is no need for Chemotherapy. The cancer is so progressed. We cold not buy her any time, it would just make her last days all the more miserable.”
Of course Carol and her father agreed and their last days as a family were spent in happiness over the joy of life and friends. April departed this world the Sunday after they heard the news. After attending church for the last time she died in her sleep. She never once questioned God and her faith was a model to follow after to the end.
“Carrie,” Cait’s voice snapped Carol out of her dark memories, “Want to come to my house? I need a professional opinion on what to wear tonight. After Adam’s been gone for a whole semester I want to knock him off his feet with my glamour,” she said, striking a model’s pose. Laughter, good medicine to a haunted heart floated on the wind as Carol headed to her car.

“Okay,” Cait said, “What in the world am I going to wear tonight. There was no end to the choices. Cait’s great weakness was shopping and she had lovely garments, some of the dresses in Cait’s collection cost upward of two-hundred dollars. But she could afford it. Her Grandfather, Hal Jennings had died last year and left a large chunk of his substantial fortune to his only granddaughter. He had owned considerable shares in Apple since its founding. Most of it was in a trust fund but about a fourth of it was hers now.
“Well,” Carol contemplated the walk in closet and its many treasures. “I’ll do your hair if you’ll let me borrow that sea green sequined halter dress you bought at Christmas.”
“You have a deal,” Cait said with enthusiasm, “You did an awesome job on my hair for the jeweler’s convention. Dad asked me to go with him last minute, you remember, last spring. I got dozens of complements on it.”
“Really,” Carol asked innocently, “Your Dad is the best jeweler around. I absolutely love your mother’s custom made ring. It’s divine.”
“Well it was a labor of love.”
“You got that right.”
Anyone could see how very much in love Cait’s parents were.
“Okay,” Carol continued, “I think… that midnight blue shift with the open lace-up back. You got that last month. Adam has never seen it and Ron Veraldi paid you a complement when you wore that.”
“That is true. When the football QB pays you a complement that really means something,” Cait said, rolling her eyes, “Carol, you know I owe this whole relationship to you. If you hadn’t of introduced us, well, we never would have gotten to know each other.”
“Yeah well, when I met him at CCCC, I knew he was perfect for you. I had to make the introduction, and frankly, ya’ll are the ones who really meshed together.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Cait said, her eyes sparkling.
“Oh, I’ve got to go!” Carrie exclaimed, “I’ve got to pick up dinner for Dad before out hot dates get here. I should be back over here at,” she checked her watch, “6:15, so we can get dressed.”
“Alrighty, Carrie, drive safely.”

“Hey Dad,” Carol said as she saw him on the other side of the door. “Daddy, what’s wrong?” Carol said as her Dad looked at her out of concerned and disquieted eyes.
Professor Bail was pale, dark circles lined his eyes and his demeanor, usually at leas attempting to be cheery, was somber.
“Carol,” he said. “Professor Stanford is missing.”

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