" I am not sure about this."
" I know."
" I am telling you, this can be dangerous."
" I know."
The sky was streaked with gentle stokes of light blue, with a few dark shades here and there. The soft white snow that lay on the leaves of the pine tree, added a majestic charisma to the whole scenery outside the window. The atmosphere gave me a wild sensation to run away.....far away.... where there wouldn't be any bonds, any ties, any meetings. Sometimes I longed to become a bird...but.. even a bird could be captured in a cage. I didn't want to back off..no...backing off was not in my line....but I was also.. like Abner ...really scared to face the truth. To be reminded of the gruesome fact that my father was dead. That man was no more.
Still lost in another world, I slowly slipped into a pair of jeans and a satin top. Taking my mobile in one hand, I glanced at the wall clock to check the time. 7:49. I was late. Rushing out of the room as fast as I could, something slipped off my mind completely. It was not until I was at a long distance from the cottage that I remembered.
" Damn it !!!"
It was chilly outside , with an occasional downpour of white , crystalline snowflakes. Why did snowflakes only fall during winter?? Why couldn't they... tchah...my mind was getting carried away. Why was I feeling so cold??
Suddenly it struck me hard like a thunderbolt." My Cardigan!! " I clapped my forehead in despair. In a state of great anticipation when I left, I had forgotten to bring along my cardigan. I glanced at my wristwatch in desperation. 7:56. Almost time. There was no time for me to even make a call home or anything of that sort.
The car turned around the corner , and there I was , standing in front of the 'Beans and Cream" Café. Most of the tables were full, as it was nearly office time. Slipping through the crowd, I managed to find myself an empty table at a dark corner of the Café. Where was Mr. Clearwater?? He was supposed to be 'The man who is always on time' wasn't he??
Suddenly, I noticed an old man staring at me in a questioning manner. He had grey hair and bushy grey eyebrows. He might have been eighty or eighty one, but his age did not show on his skin. His skin was still unlined and youthful, though some age lines were forming here and there. All in one, the old man emitted a glow of exubirant spirit and personality.
"M-mr. Clearwater??" I stammered.
The old man gave a smirk and indicated me to come and sit with him.
"Mr. Clearwater, do you know anything about my father's-"
"Slow down my child. I have called you here to tell you everything I know about Charlie's death. Just have patience and sit here quitely."
But my curiosity was flying overseas. The old man looked as if he was scanning me from end to end. " I know how your father died."
I looked up in surprise. "I Don't remember the day well....except for it was a little foggy outside. We were going out for a short horse riding session in the field. He was always good at that sport, Charlie was."
For a few seconds he seemed to be staring blankly towards blank space.
"Your order madam??"
An young lad was looking at me in a questioning way. He held a small notebook on his hand . I noticed the cap of a pen emerging from the top of his left ear.
Mr. ClearWater was apparently still lost in another world. "One coffee and.."
I looked enguiringly at the old man sitting to my opposite. "I 'll just have tea , thank you." He said at last, coming out of his trance.
There was a long pause. Then the gray old man, said something that made my blood run cold.