I walk back to the dinner hall. Cara was very close to her grandma. I remember even when we were little, she would always love helping her around the house. Cooking. Cleaning. Playing house. She really was—is the marrying type.
Seeing her so small, so vulnerable was a complete 180 from everything everyone says about her. All they can say is how much fun she is and she is so beautiful. That is bacisly the total opposite of what I remember her being. She was Caleb’s annoying cousin. She had her moments where it was okay to hang out with her, but annoying nonetheless.
*Buzz Buzz Buzz*
“Yeah.” I say into the phone.
“You coming to dinner?” Matt asked, I could hear dinner in full commotion behind him. I wasn’t really hungry. Well I was, but I didn’t feel like eating.
“Naw, just gunna go back to the room.” I hear someone break out in song in the background and hear Matt groan. No matter how much we love music, when you randomly break out into song for no reason other than you got two bread rolls, is our breaking limit.
“I’ll meet you at the room.” Click.
I see Matt opening the door and yell for him to hold it. He of course quickly walks in and shuts me out. I have a key. Idiot.
“Nice.” I comment to his back as he sits down at the small round table. Two plates of food are in front of him. “Hungry much?” I sit in front of him and he pushes towards me.
“So where have you been?” After a couple moments of silence only disturbed by random forks scraping the plates.
“I went to find Cara.”
“How was she?” Concern coming to appear on his face.
“She was just sitting there. On the side of the hotel that faces the golf course. Just focused. Like she was trying to remember how to breathe.” I recall watching her for a little. Her long red hair curled at the ends, flowing in the wind. Like someone had put a wind fan near her to make it move perfectly for some sort of beauty shot in a photo shoot. If I hadn’t known that she was crying, I would have almost lost my gull to talk to her. I take back what I said earlier, about her being a quiet beautiful. She is stunning.
“When I walked up, her eyes were out of focus. I said her name like three times. She didn’t move.”
“What was she thinking about?”
Probably her grandma.” Matt nodded in agreement. “She finally noticed I was there and she looked so small. Helpless almost.”
Matt almost choked on his Coke, “Helpless? Small? Those are not the words that come to mind when I think of her.”
“What do you mean?” I was taken aback, how could he laugh. He of all people would be the last person I would think would be so insensitive in a situation like this.
“She was always larger than life. Even as a little kid. She had to be the center of attention. I have never met anyone with as much confidence as her. That’s all. I just can’t imagine her like that.”
“Do you think she will go to Judges’ Houses’?”
“Yeah. She has an amazing voice. Her stage presence is kinda lacking, but I think she knows Simon Cowell.” Matt finished his drink and pulled out another one from somewhere.
“She knows Simon?” As in the creator of American Idol?
“Yeah, I think I remember hearing Leah say something about that.” Leah is Caleb’s mom. Cara’s aunt by marriage. Cara and Caleb are first cousins, their dad’s are brothers.
“When did she change her hair and eyes?” Matt blurts out.
“When…I…Um..” I just remember one day she came with Mark, Caleb’s dad, and she had red hair and blue eyes. Before she had curly brown hair and brown eyes. She was plain.
She had been gone for about eight months. Some people said she was doing some sort of exchange program in another country. Some said she went to boarding school. Caleb said he had no idea where she was. But just left it at that. But his body languge wasn’t that he didn’t care, or know. He really had no idea where she was. Like was just vanished into thin air. I never pushed the topic.