2. SURPRISE

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I collect my luggage from the belt, loading it onto a cart, I walk towards the exit. The sky outside is dark, mirroring my mood. The air outside is chilly and I instantly regret packing my jacket instead of wearing it.

There are just a handful of people standing near the gate and I instantly spot my mom. She stands out in a crowd. A willowy woman of 5ft 10', with dark brown hair and green eyes in a simple yet elegant purple dress which matches with her pumps. We look nothing alike except for the color of our hair.

'Claire! I have missed you!' my mom says enveloping me in a hug. When she releases me I give her a warm smile.

We walk to the car in silence and load all my bags in the trunk of her car

The drive home isn't a long one but I still prepare myself for the speech that I know is coming my way. The speech is the usual one, about how thin I have become and how tired and overworked I look.

Thankfully mom's monologue never goes to Aaron. Like Liz, she never really liked Aaron besides I don't think I can handle that conversation right now.

Mom talks for a while but I barely listen. I keep looking outside and notice how the scenery changes, from a congested network of skyscrapers to small scattered houses and trees.

I roll down the window as we drive, my hairs start flying everywhere and I love the feeling of the clean and fresh wind in my hair. It takes away all the pain with it – at least for a while before my mom tells me to roll back the window because she doesn't like the feel of wind on her face.

My mom lives in a small town outside of Chicago. It's a beautiful little town, north of Chicago and it is always cold here.

My mom owns a small bakery in town. My dad died when I was little, so I don't really remember him.

You would think that I am a good baker, having grown up around a bakery, but truth be told, I not very at baking. Actually, cooking as a whole is not my forte. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't cook. So at the end I had had enough and that's where the kitchen and I parted ways.

As my mom turns onto our street, I see our house. It's a small house with a well-kept garden in the front. The street is lined with trees and there are fallen leaves all over the road. The whole place looks amazing.

Today our house is completely illuminated with little twinkly lights. It's like Christmas came early this year. There are lights everywhere. From the garden to the roof to every nook and corner of the place.

Our street is usually pretty quiet but not today. There is loud music playing in the house and the entire street is full of parked cars.

'Mom, what is going on? Are you having a party or something?' I ask uncertainly. I keep watching the house, it looks beautiful. Looking at it, being back here, brings back a lot of bittersweet memories.

'Well honey, you see I thought that we could have a little get-together tonight.' She replies. Well, that explains the whole – hate wind on my face- thing. It was because she didn't want to ruin her expensive hairdo, which I didn't notice before.

'Umm...Why are we having a gathering?' Now I'm a little concerned.

My mother is a little bit of a meddler when it comes to my love life. When I say 'little bit of a meddler', I actually mean, a huge meddler.

It all started when my mom got me a date for my high school prom. I was this geeky girl who nobody wanted to ask out. So my mom being the meddler that she is, asked Ryan Jameson, my best friend, the most popular guy in school to go to prom with me. Although I'm pretty sure she threatened to spill out his recent endeavors to his parents because there is no way in hell that he would have gone to prom with me.

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