The sky was a nice blue today. The summer hot wind was blowing swiftly into the late morning. Scarlette was sitting in the back seat of their car with Charlotte looking out at the sky and wondering. Their father was driving with their mother sitting beside him. The sound of the car engine purring and the roar of the wind as the car was rushing by was the only sound around them. The silence was somewhat inbetween uncomfortable and bliss. Scarlette was absolutely not looking forward to our destination. But time seemed to fly much faster when you didn't want it to be.
It was shame that I couldn't enjoy this silent and beautiful nature. Scarlette thought.
Something was nagging in the back of her mind like constant broken recorder.
Ring. Engagement. Marriage. Ring. Engagement. Marriage.
From the corner of her eye, she saw Charlotte shifting uneasily in her seat and looking down as if she wanted to say something but couldn't. Scarlette sighed and finally dragged her eyes from the passing scenery to her sister. She had to listen to her or she will not let it go whenever she could have her alone.
She can be such a nag. Scarlette mentally rolled her eyes.
"If you wanna say something then just spit it out. No need to look so uncomfortable about. What you are gonna say can't possibly make the situation anymore worse than it already is." She said in low voice only for her to hear.
Charlotte looked up at her in surprise as if she was not expecting that. Such a drama queen. Scarlette thought.
"Well, I've a plan to prank for today. Wanna hear it?!" Charlotte said excitedly.
Just wanting to humor her, Scarlette nodded. Charlotte came closer to her and whispered in her ear.
Scarlette did not mean to do it. But she just could not hold it back. She burst out laughing loudly and immediately clamped her hands to her mouth. She looked at the front. Her mother was looking at her curiously and a bit suspiciously. Scarlette really didn't know where the suspicion came from. She shook her head at her mother indicating that she was doing nothing fishy. She then looked at her father and he was trying to stifle a smile. Looking back at her sister, she found her laughing silently holding her stomach. Her face a bit red. Scarlette grinned.
"You can't do that to your would be brother in law. " Scarlette said in breathy voice laughing inbetween.
"Of course, I can. He's my would be brother in law."
The two girls laughed again.
Oh, how much Scarlette loved her sister?!! She was the only who could change her mood like that. Charlotte had always been more optimistic than her and her bright mood always managed to affect hers whenever she was feeling down. Scarlette was smiling as she reminisced those days.
"It's been so long since you laughed like that infront of us."
At her father's voice, the smile on her face froze and slowly disappeared. The atmosphere became awkward again. Scarlette scrambled around her head to say something.....anything to diffuse this awkwardness.....
What would the Hill family say when they notice that their interrelationships were so strained?!!
Not that Scarlette even gave a damn about what people thought about them. But that wasn't the point here. No one wants to parade about their family troubles and absolutely not in front of the people who were involved in the cause of the said problem.
Scarlette suddenly remembered a similar happening a few weeks ago.
It was Sunday. The family of four was enjoying a movie night as was their routine on weekends. They were watching a thriller movie and was quite engrossed in the movie. Scarlette and Charlotte was sitting on one couch and their parent on the other one.
"See, I told you guys, that man was the culprit." Scarlette shouted suddenly.
"How are you sure? No one suspects him. The main plot hadn't even unfolded yet." Charlie said excitedly.
"I just know.....Aaand it's called intuition." Scarlette said in a dramatic way.
Charlotte and Kelly laughed as Charlie pouted like a child. This was a usual thing for the family. Scarlette and Charlie always had to have different opinions about any movies they watch. They had to. Having a fun banter between father and daughter had became a kind of ritual for them.
But after the decision of Charlie to marry off his first daughter without her consent resulting in Scarlette not talking to him anymore, this ritual was not maintained. Charlie had tried to start the banter a few times but that always ended up with Scarlette leaving the room.
Thus Charlie gave up trying. But that day when Scarlette started, everyone was rather surpried and happy. So they played and Charlie joined in.
"Well. My intuition says that I'm right. You know, parents have a special intuition power and their intuition is most times right. That's why, children should always listen to their parents without questions asked." Charlie said proudly.
Apparently, that had been a very wrong thing to say. All of sudden, Scarlette stood up from her seat on the couch and all the laughter died down.
"That doesn't mean that parents have the right to take the most important decision of their child's life without the child having a say in it." Scarlette almost shouted at the end.
Charlie stood up and started, "I didn't mean...."
But Scarlette was not listening and already on her way upstairs. And their movie night was ruined once again.
*End of Flashback*
Scarlette was brought out of her reviere at the sound of throat clearing and looked up at her father to see him rigidly staring at the front. Scarlette opened and closed her mouth to say something....Anything. That would diffuse the tension in the car.
At last, when she came up empty handed, she simply said, "Umm...yeah...I..I guess I did." Then laughed nervously.
She saw her father smile slightly and her mother beaming. Charlotte looking like she had just being relieved of a huge task. Maybe she was.
Scarlette suddenly had a big realization. Being upset with the news of her marriage, she did not take any time to sit down and think how much this row between them severed their relationship. They could not even have normal conversation. She suddenly felt guilty. But she didn't get the time to dwell on it as they reached their destination. And Scarlette's guilt quickly turned to apprehension and fear.
Scarlette was dreading this occasion so much that the two hours ride from her home to here seemed like not more than half an hour. She got out of the car. The family of four walked up the pathway of the house where the Hill family resided. Scarlette was walking with shaky legs and sweaty palms. She was so nervous and filled with irrational fear that she did not even pause to admire the grandeur of the front yard and house as she walked up yo the front door with her family.
She felt like running away and vomit. Her father rang the doorbell and a fight or flight instinct reared up inside Scarlette.
But she steeled herself as the double front door opened.