A perfect day
As she sipped her delicious tea and looked out on sunlit lawns and trees in their fresh spring green, she felt a rush of gratitude that was almost like love. But was it only gratitude? Maybe it was really, and truly, a sensation that was love. Yes, she reasoned to herself, it was love; it simply had to be. A love of normalcy, of perfection, love of an ideal. That was what this place represented to her, the epitome of life, the achievement of a perfect American dream. Terrace Grove- the luxurious pinnacle of a modern gated community; perfect manicured lawns flanked by identical trees in the front and identical swimming pools in the back, all wrapped up tightly in a smug WASPy death grip. It was all so... perfect. I worked so hard to get here, she thought furiously. I have earned my place among the beautiful people, the perfect people! She placed her tea on the window ledge and leaned her forehead against the glass. The day had started out perfect, just like every other day since she first arrived at Terrace Grove. Perfect breakfast (fresh squeezed oj, fresh picked strawberries, low-fat muffin), everything fell into place, perfectly of course, as she cleaned and readied for the ladies' book club- they were finally going to let her host one! It was finally the last signal of acceptance Cassandra desperately had wanted from the other women in the community. Today was going to be Cassandra's Perfect Day. And everything had gone so well- everything from the hand made dip for the veggie tray to the book itself (an Oprah's book of the month pick, no less!) Until the doorbell rang. Cassandra groaned inwardly as she closed her eyes and rolled her forehead, left to right on the plane of glass, replaying the moment in her head. It was like slow motion- you know, the kind in the movies where when you see it, you know something bad is going to follow.
This little movie showed like flashes in her mind, broken and disjointed, as if her mind couldn't handle seeing every last second play out in full Technicolor glory. The grandfather clock in hall chiming noon as Cassandra passed it, her hand on the doorknob, HIM standing on the doorstep. Angry, fists clenched in rage, the alcohol fumes radiating off of him. Grease and oil stains all over his ratty overalls. Losing was never Buck's strong suit, and losing his wife and his life's savings, well that couldn’t have sat well with him. Looks like your luck just ran out, a voice calmly replied from somewhere in Cassandra's mind. You should have never taken root in one place, running from him was the only way to hide from him. Amazing how calm one could actually be, when staring down such intense rage. This was, after all, a man who had shattered three of Cassandra's ribs and dislocated her shoulder when he threw her across their grimy little trailer into the far wall, screaming that he would kill her if she ever left him. Funny, how one could be so calm. It was no longer "slow motion" after that point, things seem to fly by after that. Cassandra making huge strides through her house, pushing her guests out through the French doors, firmly, but politely, explaining to the lovely ladies of Terrace Grove that her house had a possible gas leak and the gas company was here to do an immediate inspection- and they had to leave at once. For their safety of course. Gas leak. Inspired, really it was, Cassandra congratulated herself now. Walking back into the house, locking the French doors behind her. Staring at Buck across the island in the kitchen. Mind racing to what her next course of action should be...
To Be Continued (I promise!) :)