****If you are new to the story, you can find the first entry here. Links will then take your through the story*** Enjoy!
This entry is a bit longer. I am trying to get in some development over Clara and Arabella’s relationship as mother and daughter.
Lucas closed the door behind them and looked around, “Whoa…this place is like a palace. I’ve never seen a place so big. Are you sure this is a house?” Arabella huffed and rolled her eyes, “Yes, it’s a house. I grew up here. My mother and father bought it when they were first married.” Lucas continued to look around as Arabella collapsed onto an over-sized plush chair in the grand entryway. She rested her head on her hands, “My mother was sitting here waiting for me to get home tonight. She was sitting in this exact chair……Oh gah……If I wasn’t so stupid, she wouldn’t be missing right now. This is all my fault! My mother is missing because of me! She was right, I was acting like a child! I should have just approved her marriage to that dumbass and she would still be here with me!” Arabella started sobbing into her hands, “I just want mother to be safe! I don’t want to be orphan. Dad already left me. She can’t leave me too! I can’t be an orphan! I am too young!” Arabella kept sobbing. Lucas went up to Arabella, crouched down and awkwardly patted her back, “Hey……uuuhhh…..I don’t have much experience with crying women……but I can relate to you.” Arabella met Lucas’s eyes and saw his blurry outline through her teary eyes, “Right….and just how can you do that?” Lucas handed Arabella a tissue he found on the end table near the chair, “Both of my parents have passed away…I am an orphan….and well, an only child.” Arabella stared at Lucas, “what?” Lucas nodded, “My mom died when I was seven and my father passed away three years ago.” “Oh…..I’m…..” “Sorry?” “No….I hate it when people tell me that about my dad, so I never use that for people who have lost their parents too. It’s not like I’m the one that killed your parents, so what have I got to be sorry about? I guess you do know how I feel.” Lucas nodded, “Look….I know there is not much you can do right now, but at least try to get some rest. Kevin and the rest of the team will be out looking for your mother all night. If something comes through, they will let us know.” “Okay……” Arabella got up and headed for the stairs. She turned around, “Lucas?” “Yes, Miss Wetterman?” “Thank you for telling me about your parents.” Lucas nodded, “No problem. I just thought you needed to hear that.” Arabella nodded, “Where are you going to sleep tonight?” “Down here. I need to be here just in case someone breaks down a door or something. You need to be upstairs in your room where you will be safe. Make sure you lock your door.” Arabella nodded again, “Okay….goodnight.” “Goodnight, Miss Wetterman.” “Lucas….please don’t call me that.” “Miss Wetterman?” “Yes, that.” “I’m sorry ma’am, but it’s policy that I call you that. Just like I call your mother Mrs Wetterman.” “Just call me Arabella….okay?” “May I ask you why?” “Because you sound like my mother.” Lucas shook his head as he chuckled, “Okay….I’ll call you Arabella then.” “Thank you.” “You’re welcome. Now, go to bed.”
Arabella went upstairs and went directly into Clara’s room. She walked around the room as she took in the smell and sights. She could still smell her mother’s perfume lingering in the air. Clara’s makeup was laid out in a neat manner on her dressing table. Pictures of Clara’s greatest designs hung on the walls. Arabella made her way to the large plush bed and sat down. She let out a long sigh, “Mother….I hope you are safe….please….please…please be safe. I didn’t mean to act like such a child. You can get married. I want you to be happy……but most of all, I want you to be alive.” Arabella looked at the nightstand and saw a framed picture of her and her mother. Arabella was about nine and holding Clara’s hand. They were at one of Clara’s fashion shows and Arabella was sporting a fur scarf Clara designed for her as she smiled up at the camera. Arabella smiled and put the picture back down. She remembered being so proud of that scarf. She was always so proud of the outfits her mother designed specifically for her.
Arabella then saw a book sitting on the bottom shelf on the night stand. She grew curious as she thought, Mother has time to read? If it’s not about fashion, she isn’t much of a reader. I wonder what she was reading. Arabella picked up the book and saw that it wasn’t a novel. Instead, it was a delicate notebook. Filled with her mother’s perfect cursive print. Wait….this isn’t a book! This is my mother’s journal! Arabella’s heart raced as she flipped open the book. The first thing she found was a picture of a man. It was her father. The picture of Richard was one from the year he had died. There was also a picture of Clara and Richard together when they were younger. Arabella smiled as she felt the pictures hoping that in some strange way she could feel her father. She held back tears and quickly put the pictures back in the journal. Arabella flipped to the first hand written page. She was about to close it as she thought, I shouldn’t read this, but I am curious. What does mother have to write about? No one will know I did this. She doesn’t have to know. Arabella began reading the first page:
My Darling Richard,
You have been gone for a year and a half. I am still working on being able to sleep in our bed without you. I miss your warmth and love. I miss your goodnight kisses and the tender way you would make love to me. Remember how sometimes we would be like teenagers and giggle as we made love? You would always shush me so that we didn’t wake Arabella. Then, there were the nights we were filled with deep passion and could hardly wait. I miss those nights.
Everything has moved on without you Richard. My fashion studio. Your work. The town. Even Arabella. Your darling girl misses you greatly Richard. I am afraid she is holding in her grief. She refuses to see a grief counselor or tell me anything. But, she is 17. Like you always told me, she is at the age where she doesn’t tell her mother about her life. I am afraid that at times she resents me. She certainly isn’t afraid to roll her eyes at me, or occasionally talk back to me. Sometimes, I just don’t know what to do with her. Despite all of this, she is becoming a beautiful woman. Aspects of her certainly remind me of you.
Arabella stopped reading that page and flipped to the last written page. It was the last post her mother had written before she disappeared. Written that night. Arabella began reading:
I want you to know that I am in love with another man. His name is Ralph. Richard, he treats me so well and I can tell he cherishes me. I am happy with him. I am not writing to say that I will forget you as I am in love with another man. I still love you, but know that I can’t have you anymore. Your death has broken our vows to each other. Ralph asked me to marry him tonight and I said yes. We have decided to marry in a year’s time. It’s not that I don’t love you anymore Richard. I do. I just need to be happy again and I haven’t been happy since you died.
Arabella found out about Ralph today. We were kissing in my office when she happened to walk in. She had a fit and I tried talking to her about it. Well, then Ralph asked me to marry him right in front of her. She did not take it very well. You know how stubborn she is. You are and always will be her daddy. I know she will not accept a step-father. I don’t know how to make her accept this Richard. I am going to remarry and she will have a step-father. This will happen whether she likes it or not. I just got into an argument with her and told her that I practically owned her. I also told her that I would find ways to make her pay if she did not accept my engagement to Ralph. I feel horrible saying these things to our daughter. But, it’s the only way I can get her to come to terms with it. Sometimes she can be quite impossible. I suppose with time she will come around. If you were here, she would listen to you about it. But, I suppose if you were here we would not be having this predicament. I pray she comes around and quits taking this news like a child would.
I will love you always,
Your Darling Clara
Arabella closed the journal and put it back on the nightstand. She never knew how much Clara fretted over her. Arabella always thought Clara’s fashion line was her first priority and everything would come second- child and husband included in the latter. Now Arabella wondered how many sleepless nights Clara had spent contemplating what to do with Arabella. She thought about how many nights in this same bed her father had talked Clara to sleep over something Arabella had done. Arabella suddenly felt a wave of guilt wash over her. To help her guilt subside, Arabella decided it was time to try and get some sleep. She pulled back the covers of the bed and went to turn off the lights. After crawling under the sheets, she rested her head on the pillows as she took in the scent of her mother. She felt a sense of warmth and security. She felt as if her mother was right there with her. It did not take long for her to fall into a deep and comfortable sleep.
Halfway through the night, Arabella was startled awake by a thud. It sounded as if someone had run into something. “Shit…damn it! That hurt!” The someone said. It wasn’t a voice Arabella recognized. It was a male’s voice. Arabella crept under the covers until she was completely covered. Is this my mother’s attacker? Did he come for me now? Did he murder Lucas downstairs before coming up here? What will he do to me? Arabella’s heart was racing as she heard footsteps coming into the bedroom. She saw the lights turn on. Great….nice hiding place Arabella. This is why you never won at hide-and-seek in school! The footsteps came closer to the bed and Arabella panicked. In one smooth motion, the sheets were ripped off of her. Arabella screamed and lunged at her attacker. She tackled the man to the ground and struggled with him as she screamed, “WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY MOTHER? HOW DARE YOU COME BACK HERE!”