Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Walk With Caileen (Chapter 4)

Chapter 4: The Haunted House

Two days passed and Caileen has not seen Anthony, he was not on his usual morning jogs and his house seemed silent. Caileen wanted to send him a text message but she was ashamed ever since he got mad about the house issue. After breakfast Caileen was still hesitant on sending him a message and so she decided to walk around and eventually she ended up in his front gate. She saw the gate was open so she slowly entered and closed the gate behind her. She walked towards the pool area and saw Anthony lying on the ground. She slowly walked up to him and said “Your gate was open.” Anthony looked at her and sighed, “You are blocking my sun, move away” he said. “Sorry to bother you then I am leaving” she told him. “I didn’t tell you to leave; I just said you are blocking my sun. I knew you would come so I left the gate open” he said.

Caileen stepped aside and raised her eyebrow, “I didn’t plan to come here, it just happened that I passed by and saw the gate open” she replied. “Oh, so it just so happened that you were walking around the neighborhood too?” he asked and Caileen laughed. “No, I just came over to say sorry about the other day. I said lots of nasty stuff, I understand if you are mad at me” she told him. “It’s okay I am not mad at you. Would you like to take a swim?” he offered. “Not really, I just came to apologize” she said. Anthony stood up and called for Panther, the dog immediately ran out of the cabin and jumped to Anthony’s waiting arms. He handed the dog to her and said “Here hold him wait for me I am going to get the key.” Caileen took the dog and watched Anthony as he went to his cabin. A minute later he walked towards the front of the house and called for her. “You want to see what’s inside right?” he asked and Caileen stood silent. “Come on then I will show you the inside, hurry before I change my mind” he said so she ran towards him and they both went to the front of the house.

Anthony opened the door and stood still, he looked at Caileen momentarily and then bowed his head. Caileen noticed the sudden sadness in his face and so she moved closer to him, “Hey, if you don’t want to its okay” she whispered and Anthony smiled at her. “No, eventually it has to happen, it just feels weird” he said. “What is it? Do you feel spirits?” she asked as she leaned her body to his. Anthony started laughing, “If there were spirits here that dog would have reacted already, come on lets get this done with” he said as he took a deep breath and walked inside.

The living room was huge, it was not fancy and there were no ornaments or decorations. There was a fireplace on one corner and several art works on the walls. “Those paintings must have cost you lots of money, they are so beautiful” she said softly. Anthony looked at them and his eyes started to get accumulate tears. “She made them” he said as he walked on further. They went to the kitchen and Caileen saw lots of bottled ingredients on one of the walls, “She collects those, although she does not know how to really cook. She does know a little but she just loves collecting those bottled ingredients” he said as she could see a little smile on his face.

Anthony took out two canned sodas from the fridge and handed one to Caileen and they proceeded to the next room. As he opened the door Caileen saw a pool table and so he looked at Anthony. “Do you play pool?” and he just smiled at her. “We did play pool a lot, the first few games we played she was not really good but eventually she got better. She loved playing pool and there were times we would end up playing like fifty games a day. She would not stop until she won, sometimes I just let her win because I like seeing her happy” he related and Caileen closed the door and smiled at him.

The next room was a mini theater, there was a huge television on the center, three racks of DVD’s and the room was surrounded by speakers. “She loved watching movies, I wanted to make this room like a real theater but you know when she watches movies she would feel sleepy after a while so I decided to just place large and cozy sofas so she could just lay down whenever she wanted to” he said.

They went upstairs and there were three rooms on that floor, “That room on the farther end is just a guest room, this room on the other end is the master’s bedroom” he told her. “How about this room in the middle, what’s inside?” she asked but Anthony walked towards the master’s bedroom. “That room is off limits, don’t ask why but please understand” he said and Caileen just looked at the door and wondered what was inside. Inside the master’s bedroom there was a huge bed and another large LCD screen television. There was a sliding glass door that leads to a balcony where you could see the garden and pool. Caileen entered the bathroom and she saw an enormous bath tub, a separate shower area and on one end there was a large mirror where you can see your whole body.

Caileen went back to the room and she saw Anthony sitting on the bed with his head bowed, she walked around the room and saw a picture frame which was facing the wall. She fixed it and she was surprised to see her picture but something was definitely wrong. “Hey, how come I have a picture here? I don’t know how you got this picture and I don’t remember having this clothes or being in this place before. You did a good job in editing this though I should say” she commented and looked at Anthony. “That is not you” he said and Caileen started to laugh. “Yeah right, if you had a crush on me you could just have asked me for a picture and not edit some pictures that you found, but I really don’t remember posing this way either” she said.

“Caileen please put that down, that is not you and I did not edit that picture” he told her. Caileen looked closely at the picture and again she laughed. “Is this computer graphics? You are really good then with computers if that is the case” she said. “No, that is the picture of the one who broke my heart” Anthony softly answered as Caileen was surprised as she saw tears dropping towards the floor. Again she could not believe what she just heard, she didn’t know if he was playing tricks on her since the lady in the picture really looked like her.

“She broke your heart? But she looks like me” she said and Anthony clasped his fists and looked at her, “That’s right you exactly look like her! We have been together for eight years, eight long years and then two years ago she suddenly left me. I don’t know why she did but I didn’t bother to ask her because the pain was unbearable. For two years now I have been miserable, I always wanted to ask her why she left me but I fear that once I get to know the reason the more I become miserable. So I just said that it was my fault so I can move on but it has been difficult, I moved away from this house because the memories are haunting me every moment I am here. Everything in this house reminds me of her, all the happy moments we had, so I could not stay her, two years ago I left this place.”

Caileen started crying herself as she watch more tears dropping from his Anthony’s face, she could not say any consoling words for she has never been in love and she has never gone through heart break. “I decided to come back here thinking I have gotten over her, one day I go for a jog and the next thing I know I see her” he added and Caileen reacted, “But it wasn’t her, it was me that you saw” she said. “That’s the point! Every time I see you I feel miserable, do you understand what I am going through? Its as if fate is playing a nasty trick on me!” he yelled and Caileen fell on her knees and started sobbing.

“That’s why I try to avoid you but you just keep coming back. It pains me so much whenever I see you because this house already reminds of me her, what more when I see you?” he softly said. “I am sorry…I didn’t know” Caileen said with a trembling voice, she slowly stood up and wiped her face. “Don’t worry I am not going to show up anymore” she said and quickly ran out of the room.

Later that evening Anthony went over to Caileen’s home to apologize, her mother opened the door and she quickly stepped outside and closed the door behind her. “Now is not a good time, she just came down to eat dinner, she locked herself in her room the whole afternoon” she told him. “Oh I brought her favorite Ice Cream cake, kindly give it to her and say that I am sorry” he said. “Oh no I am sure its Caileen’s fault, you see we spoiled her too much and even though she is seventeen already she still acts like a child. Shame on me for being the psychologist but when it comes to real life I forget to apply my expertise” she related. “Oh no, this time its my fault, totally my fault so I came here to apologize” Anthony said as Karen took a seat on a bench.

“You asked me why, here look at this picture, she is the reason” Anthony said and handed Karen a small picture and sat down beside her. Karen was speechless and shook her head, “Oh my they look alike, the hair, the cheekbones, even the smile, it’s as if this girl is also my daughter” she said and they laughed a bit. “Two years she left me, I was shattered and emotionally unstable so I had to go away. About the book, well the third one was supposed to tell the story about our love, well I changed the characters but all the things that happened in that book were about us. That book ended in a happy note as you have read but my life didn’t so I had to stop the publishing since it is as if I told a lie to everyone. In all my books I tell something about myself, although it is reflected on the characters, this third one was about us and the happy ending that I always wished for” he explained and Karen kept silent.

“Your daughter is irritable at times but I can manage that, but they look alike, I have been trying to recover and the more I see Caileen the more I feel angry. A while ago I said something harsh and I just realized that they are not the same person, I unleashed my anger at your daughter and I am very sorry” he said. “Don’t worry about it, I understand your situation. If you were a stranger then I would not allow her to be seeing you, but you are correct, reading your books made me feel as if I already know you so I was complacent when you came to dinner. Caileen is very fond of you, for her you are a big mystery, I mean a thirty year old man who looks aged, who has a huge estate and cute little dog. To her you are different and she is trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together, she inherited this behavior from me undoubtedly” she related and Anthony laughed. “You were pestering a man too when you were in your teens?” he asked and Karen laughed and nodded.

“I sure know how that man feels, well where is that man now and how did he take it?” Antony inquired and Karen giggled, “I am married to him” she said. Anthony was surprised and started laughing, “So were you able to solve the puzzle then?” he asked and Karen shook her head. “The more I put the pieces of the puzzle together the more I fell in love with him, maybe Caileen would end up that way too” she said and giggled. Anthony was shocked and shook his head, “Me and Caileen? Oh no, she is way too young and I already gave up on love. I promised my heart that I would never create a situation where it could end up getting hurt again. I am happy being alone and slowly but surely I will recover” he told her. Karen grinned at him and stood up, “It’s getting late I have to go now, I will tell Caileen you dropped by. Anthony stood up and bowed at her and walked down the porch steps, “You should start writing again” Karen said and he turned and smiled at her and answered, “You know maybe I will just do that.”

Karen went upstairs to Caileen’s room and brought her dessert. “Caileen I know its your bedtime but I am sure you would like some of this” she said and Caileen’s eyes brightened to the sight of her favorite dessert. “Anthony dropped this off and he said he was sorry” she added. Caileen smiled and leaned back as she enjoyed herself to the Mango Ice cream cake. A few seconds later the sound of a violin could be heard again from the outside, Caileen got out of bed and rushed towards her window. “Mom look he is at his room balcony! He is inside of his house!” she exclaimed. “Of course that is his house dear” Karen told her.

“No, he hasn’t been inside that house in two years; he has been living at a small cabin at the back of his estate. Now he is in his room…how come that tune isn’t lonely?” Caileen asked. Karen smiled and stood at the back of her daughter and hugged her. “I think that tune is a lullaby” Karen said. “Lullaby? Why would he play that tune? To make himself sleep? He is really weird” Caileen stated. “No dear, that lullaby is for you. Maybe that is his way for reaching out to you since he was not able to talk to you a while ago” Karen said and Caileen was full of smiles. “A lullaby for me…sweet…how come I don’t feel sleepy hearing it…lullabies are supposed to people to sleep right mom?” she asked and Karen giggled. “That’s because you are falling in love with him” Karen said and Caileen turned and looked at her. “I am not!” she said.

“Really? I could feel your heart beating so fast” her mom teased her. Caileen shook her head and pouted, “How could I be in love with an old guy?” she asked. “Tell me have you ever been in love before?” Karen asked her. Caileen paused and said “No i have not” she said. “Well you are now” Karen teased her again as she walked towards the door. “Mom! Take it back! I am not in love with Anthony!” Caileen yelled. “My daughter is in love with an older man, it seems that the fruit didn’t fall far away from the tree” Karen added and Caileen started laughing. “I am not in love with him! And I will never be in love with him!” Caileen stated and Karen paused and looked at her. “Really? Are you willing to swear on that?” she asked her. Caileen looked at her mom suspiciously then said “Yes, I will never fall in love with that man, he is just my friend” Caileen said and Karen grinned at her. “Goodnight dear, enjoy your lullaby” Karen said as she stepped out of the room and closed the door.

Caileen stood in front of her window looking at the dark shadow of the man playing the violin, her heart was beating fast, and she was feeling something she has never felt before.