Calling For Friend
Clara glanced at the sign that said: "Welcome to Wisconsin." It had been a little over two years since she'd been home. Her parents were never the overly affectionate kind of people, and holidays were never their strong suit. She can't ever really remember having Christmas with them, or thanksgiving. She had been dropped at off her grandparents' house or allowed to stay with a friend. Many of her friends thought she had the life. She regularly had the house to herself, even through some wild parties in high school, when her family was away, and she never got into trouble. But since she left for New York to go to college, she never heard from her mom and dad. She'd call and say hi, but in all honesty, it felt like she'd always been on her own, so she never really thought about it.
Madison's sleepy suburb has always been beautiful to her mind, even though she wanted something more than the local shopping malls' kind of life when she left it. She dreamed of living in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and yes, New York City. But she soon found out that living in the city wasn't as easy, or as cool as she thought it was going to be. But then again, school was much harder than she thought it was going to be as well. A bad break up with her boyfriend and failing grades made her pack up her things and head back home to see what she wanted to do with her life.
The old housing development looked the same as it had when she left it. That was one thing she had found out about herself when she went off to college, she wasn't the biggest fan of change. But when she pulled onto Lake Mendota Dr. and could smell the fresh lakeside air, she couldn't help but smile, knowing she made the right decision to come back home. There was only one problem with that. When she pulled up in front of her house, there was a for-sale sign in the front yard.
She pulled into the driveway and then got out to go see if this was really happening. She walked over to the sign and touched it. Okay, she knew it was stupid, but she couldn't believe that her parents were selling their family home and didn't even bother to inform her about it. She went back to the car and pulled out her cell, ready to call her mom and dad to give them hell, but then she sat back and had to get her own story straight on why she wasn't in school. "I doubt saying that I met a jerk, and he broke my heart will go over to well." She sighed.
With her cell in hand and her emotions bottled up, she hit her dad's number to ask what was going on. Out of both her parents, her dad was the saner one. He wouldn't rip her head off, or worst yet, kick her out of the house because she dropped out of school. She waited for him to answer, but when it went to voice mail, she called again. "Hello."
"Daddy, it's Clara."
"Oh, hi, sweetheart, how's school going." He answered, but then. "Shouldn't you be in class about now?"
"Well, that's the thing. I kind of quit, and when I got home there was a for sale sign out in the front yard,"
"You quit school!" Her dad snapped. "Hold on." Then she heard him excuse himself. "Okay, now what do you mean you've quit school, Clara?"
"It just wasn't working for me."
There was a moment of silence before her dad started to speak again. "Do you know how much money we've spent on that damn school in New York that you just had to go to because you didn't want to be in Wisconsin anymore? Well, do you?"
This was a first for her. Her father was usually much more forgiving. "No, not really. But I promise to pay it all back to you."
"Yeah, right." He sighed.
"I'll tell you everything when you get home tonight. I'll even make your favorite dinner, and I'll make mom her favorite dessert and then tell you everything that happened and what I'm hoping to do with my life." There was another long sigh, and that was another thing that wasn't like her father. "Dad, if you want, I can drop by mom's work to let her know I'm home so she won't lose it on me tonight. Maybe take her out for coffee. That way, she can get all her anger out at work." She offered.
"Clara, your mom isn't at work, and she isn't coming home."
"Sweetheart, I won't be coming home either."
"I don't understand what you're saying?" She said, feeling her heart pound in her chest.
"Your mom and me, well, we got divorced over a year ago now. She moved to Hawaii with her new boyfriend about ten months ago."
"Then, about four months ago, I got an offer to work in Salt Lake City, and I decided to take the job." He explained.
"Why didn't anyone tell me about this?" She asked.
"Because you're a big girl now. You were living your own life, and your mother and I are living ours."
"But Dad, I'm home now. What Am I supposed to do?"
"Clara, you are a twenty-three-year-old woman who has been given everything her whole life. Now, you can either go back to school or figure out what you want to do. I really can't help you any more than that."
"I can't go back to school, dad. I didn't like it." She whispered.
"In this life, Clara, we all do things we don't like. It's about time you get used to that." He replied.
"Look, I've got to go. Their waiting on me for a meeting."
"Bye." Came her dad's short reply and then the phone went dead.