Scarlett was not sure how she got dressed and left the house. If she stayed in the house any longer, she was going to scream and create an earthquake.
Tristan talks. About everything and everything. She heard him talk about breakfast and his favorite dishes, rain and water. He talked about how his mother loved to make him breakfast and how he never bothered to have it. He said about how he had watched it rain from his car and thought about its inconvenience and how he had never taken a walk in the rain. He talked about the mornings where he got up early and went for jogging. He told about how he missed working out in the gym, the feel of force in his arms during boxing.
Tristan did not like the first dress she wore and said that the color didn’t suit her. He remembered her blue silk shirt which she had worn on that fateful night. Scarlett instinctively changed into another dress which he approved. He gave his opinion on everything, the color of her lipstick, her ponytail hairstyle, the height of her heels. Then he got distracted and chattered away on how he never understood how women walked on these particular things called heels.
“It is so inconvenient. It looks like your feet will break into two from the middle. The veins stand up and they way you all walk is actually funny.” Scarlett was not finding it funny. It was difficult to dress in front of such watchful eyes and then she did not want to give any hint of her ability to hear him now.
“But my mother never wore heels you know. She is short and when she stands next to my father, she is tiny. And round. She has a fetish for sandals but never heels. I wonder why… never asked her… I didn’t think about it until now.”
That was it. Enough. She locked the house and left without looking at Tristan. Once outside the house, she drove straight to Chase Holdings Inc., the empire of Tristan Chase. The building was huge, with the company name written in gold letters. It caught the light of the sun, making it glow like actual gold. Should I go inside? The movies made it look so easy to fake a name and identity and get information. But she was not a spy. With her shivering hands and jumping nerves, she knew she would never be a convincing spy. What was the point of watching all those action films, duh…!
“Excuse me Miss, is everything alright? Can I help you with anything?”
Scarlett turned to look into a pair of tired but kind eyes. The man was in his seventies, with a lot of fluffy silver hair, and leaning heavily on his left side. There were a couple of other people with him.
“Eh, no sir. I was just passing by and got caught up in the light reflecting off that board up there. It seemed to be glowing.” She looked up at the board again and so did he.
“Yes, it was made to do just that and placed at that height so that it glows all day. It was my son’s idea.”
Oh Lord! This was Michael Chase, Tristan’s father. She felt another pulling ache inside her heart. His words were filled with pride for his son and Tristan was hanging in her bedroom, more or less lifeless. This man didn’t even know if his son was alive or not and there wasn’t much she could say to him about his son.
“Err… Your son is was very smart.”
“Others might use different words to describe him. I think I like this one better than those.”
“What the others say does not matter.”
Michael made a sound which was both appreciative and reprimanding. He looked at her and said, “I agree with you on that, but, only partially. A wise person should always listen; but not more than enough.”
“Is that your secret of success?”
He laughed at that. “It could be the secret of anyone’s success. But unfortunately, I have seen it being misused or misunderstood and become the fatal flaw in the fall of many a strong man.”
She turned towards him with a questioning look and Michael explained, “Spoken words or opinions are powerful. If all you hear are good things, people tend to become arrogant and start to dig their own pit to fall in. And those who hear only negative things begin to doubt themselves and willingly jump into the pit which others have dug out for them. So always listen, but not more than you should.”
Scarlett remembered her father. What Michael said was not a new philosophy. But sometimes we needed someone to tell us to stop and look. She thought of all the years of growing up and struggling alone. There might have been so many things her father might have helped her with. She wouldn’t have to had to spend the weekends, Christmas and Easter holidays binge eating and crying. It was not that she regretted her decisions. She had needed the time to heal as well, to learn to trust again. Now that her parents were shifting to the same city, Scarlett wanted to be a child and a daughter. “I will remember these words.”
“I wish he did too…”
It was almost like he was talking to himself. Michael was thinking of his son. No one seemed to know about Tristan’s transformation. They all still remembered him as an emotionally challenged and unkind person. Will he be not given a chance to prove himself? How could she possibly help him? She knew nothing about spells and curses nor witchcraft and wizardry.
All she could do was smile back at this father and try to light the fire of hope in his heart, to give him the strength to wait a little longer for Tristan to come back. She knew it in her heart that Tristan will be free.
“I should go now. Sorry to keep you from entering the building. I didn’t realize I was blocking the way.”
“No dear, not at all, it’s ok. At my age, I know that life is actually outside these walls. Once in a while it is good to stop, talk to random people and look at the ordinary beauty of life.”
“Ordinary beauty of life…,” Scarlett wondered if anything was ordinary in her life anymore.
“Do you work here at Chase? What is your name?”
“Oh… Err… My name is Scarlett Williams and no I don’t work here. Maybe we will in the future. Actually, I work for Cyberatics and we recently partnered with Cosmos. And as you might already know, our next step is Chase.”
“Oh yes indeed. I know… I know… You work with Kelly, right? Pleased to meet you, Scarlett. I look forward to working with you.”
“Pleased to meet you too Mr. Chase and I should really get going now. Hope you have a good day ahead. ”
“Good day to you too Scarlett.”
She smiled at him and walked away. Michael continued to stand in front of the building staring at the golden letters so lost in thoughts and Tristan’s words came to her. Were the wolves gnawing at this man’s weakness? She kept walking, not knowing the streets or roads, without a destination. It was almost afternoon and Scarlett had left the city behind long back. She walked into the small café named Magic Brew at the end of the road. Her twisted destiny was playing games with her really. Magic Brew it seems…
But the café was cool and cozy. The afternoon sun wouldn’t dare reach its claws inside. This was just the kind of place she needed to be. Scarlett sat back into the chair near one of the windows and closed her eyes.
“Tristan, what should I do? What can I do?”