Chapter 5: She’s Gone Now

The next morning Cat called Marie, the therapist that had counseled her and her daughter.

“Marie, can you come by the house?”  Marie’s voice sounded groggy as she said,”Sure Cat, just give me a bit to shower and all that.” Cat looked over at the alarm on her end table by the bed. 7:20 a.m. “Okay,”replied Cat. “I’ll be waiting. I’ll even put on a pot of coffee.”

Cat pulled her robe from the hook on her walk in closet’s door and headed downstairs to start a fresh pot of coffee. The house was so quite it gave Cat goosebumps.

In the hour it took Marie to arrive, Cat had already showered, applied makeup, and managed to get the house in order. She let Marie in and immediately fetched her a mug in which she poured hot coffee, adding in two fresh cinnamon sticks, just the way she knew Marie liked it.

“So, Nastasia’s still sleeping,” asked Marie. Cat’s eyes widened. “Oh. I don’t know! I completely forgot that school’s out today for the holidays! Let me just run up and check. I need to talk to you, but maybe it would be best for her to be here,too.” Marie nodded solemnly and Cat raced up the stairs.

Cat pried open her daughter’s door. A window facing east had been left open. A breeze whooshed in, billowing the frothy white curtains. Cat had a sense of deja vu.

Cat slammed the door closed and rushed to Nastasia’s bathroom. Wrenching the door open, she found it empty, undisturbed.

Cat’s heart sank.

Head bowed, Catherine trudged downstairs. Upon seeing the grim look on Cat’s face, Marie instantly knew something was terribly wrong.

“Cat?”, she whispered. “Is everything alright?”

Cat walked towards her friend, and then her face and posture crumpled.

What a hell of a night she’d had…Looked like today wouldn’t be any better.

Marie stood and reached out to her friend, but Cat backed away with her arms wrapped tightly around her waist. She didn’t want to be touched. She wished the earth would open up and swallow her whole. She wished she could simply fade away, die out until there was nothing of her self left. She wanted to disappear.

“Cat, talk to me. I know something’s wrong.” One beat, two beat passes. “Ah, you told her, didn’t you Cat? Isn’t that what this is all about?”

Cat’s lips pulled up in an awkward sarcastic grin. “Well, Marie, I find your insight so admirable.”

Marie ignored Cat’s comment and the look on Cat’s face. She could see her friend was hurting inside.

“Nastasia’s gone, Marie.”

“What? What do you mean? How do you know she’s actually gone, as in gone? Maybe she just went out!” Marie’s voice was near hysteria.

“No. I know better than that. First Fred left last night…and she’s gone today. That’s it..”

“Well then we have to find her, Cat!”

“No. She has to do this. I understand that. I was expecting it..She has to find her own way. I can’t help her get through this, and neither can you.”

“Cat, that’s nonsense, and she’s only 17!”

“So what!”, Cat shouted back to Marie. “I left home when I was only 15 years old! We have to leave her alone now.”

Marie turned so that her back was facing Cat. Defeat was in the air. They could both smell it.

There was also the rotting stench of guilt and regret. But they had become accustomed to that smell. It clung to their very beings so often they hardly ever noticed it now.

Onamara, once previously known as Nastasia, stood out front of the theatre and watched from a distance as people crowded in and out of its doors.

She was waiting for Damon, as she knew he’d be there, somewhere backstage where the theatre owners had allowed Damon’s band to set up a small rehearsal studio for a mere 25 dollars a month. From 6 am to 1 pm, she knew he’d be here practicing. The sun was beating down on her, and she began to wish she’d worn a tank top instead of her “lucky long-sleeve”, as she liked to call her favorite pink and white shirt.

Onamara began to doubt her actions. Not leaving, but saying goodbye. Maybe it would be better for everyone if she just left. There was no going back, and seeing Damon’s face would only give her a hankering to stay.

And so, our Onamara, once known as Nastasia, gathered her wits and courage about her. She allowed herself a few moments to reminisce.

She thought back on when she was little, when her and Damon used to climb trees and make money from the neighbors with homemade lemonade they sold from a stand Damon’s father had built just for them. She thought back on her happy times at Central Park and her and all her friends spinning wildly on the merry-go-round.

She even allowed herself to think of Fred and Catherine..

Fred and Catherine at her side, pushing her just a little, when she’s first begun to learn to ride her bike without training wheels.

Fred and Catherine cooking spaghetti for dinner together in the kitchen, giggling and talking in hushed tones while her and Damon waited for the food in the den…

Fred and Catherine twirling in each others’ arms as Damon strummed on his guitar…

The doors of the theatre opened, but when Damon stepped out he never saw Onamara. By that time, she’d already left.


One Response to “Chapter 5: She’s Gone Now”

  1. Lovely chapter! I’m glad she has taken the name Onamara and very much look forward where life leads her next.

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