Leah is an IT professional who typically works remotely and resides in a vibrant and friendly neighbourhood.
As she was beating eggs in her favourite blue mixing bowl, she casually glanced out of her kitchen window and noticed some movement in the adjacent empty house.
Leah saw a silhouette of a well-built man, with broad shoulders and strong arms, clearing the weeds. Despite her efforts to catch a glimpse of the face, she moved left, right, up, and down to no avail. A sudden roar in the sky and a downpour led the man to flee for cover.
As she poured the eggs onto the skillfully buttered skillet, she couldn’t help but question herself. Feeling a chill wash over her, she pulled the sweater closer and rubbed her arms to warm herself a little.
‘Mommy, the sky is r-o-a-r-i-n-g.’ said Kate from the Kitchen door, rubbing her eyes and with a soft toy in her other hand. Kate is her adopted daughter.
Five years ago, when they were just girls out of college, looking for employment, Shelly-her friend, became pregnant and needed help.
Leah promised to take care of the kid as her own to the dying mother. One day, she will tell Kate all about it, but for now, Kate is her daughter.
Kate looks more like her mother with hazel eyes, brunette hair, an oval face and the beautiful charm of a child, who promises to grow up into a beauty.
After breakfast, both daughter and mother were at the bathtub for Kate´s bath, which is when the sound of the doorbell, announces an intruder in their ‘me’ time.
‘Kate, finish up soon. Mommy will go see who is at the door. OK. Be a good girl.’
‘O-k-a-y, M-o-m-m-y.’ Said, Kate.
Wiping her hands on a towel, looking through the keyhole, and seeing a guy on the other side, wonders who it is.
She pulls the bolt free and comes into view with a handsome stranger, loss for words just gaping, without blinking.
Seeing the wave of a hand, irritated and in a scowl asks, ‘Who are you?’
To this outburst, he just smirks and answers her, ‘Hi there, I recently moved in next door and thought you might be able to offer some assistance as a neighbour.’
She just continues to stare at him, now with an uninterested look and slams the door shut, the sound of banging didn’t diminish, the bell rings.
“I notice you walking with your handsome face and seeking help. Who do you believe you are, and do you think someone will be willing to assist you? May I ask?” gesturing with her hands to mark his face.
His annoying smirk. She bangs the door once again and leans against the door, trying to bring the heartbeat to a normal rhythm. Finding him still standing, when she opens,
‘You want the toolkit, right wait a minute.’ and then as an afterthought, she opens the door wide enough to let him in.
‘Hang in there, I will get it for you.’
He nods his head. He spots a photo, too stunned to find ‘her’ photo here. His eyebrows narrow in a questioning look.
‘Here, you go mister, the toolkit. Bring it back once your work is done.’
Finding him staring at her friend’s photo, she asks him, ‘What are you doing here?’
He slowly turns to her, with a questioning look and points, ‘How do you know, Shelly? Right?
Leah is astonished, how does he know her? The cogwheels of her mind work in a frantic motion, with a dawning thought and a thundering look, she points to the door.
‘Mommy, I am squeaky clean, see…’ saying Kate runs into the living room with a towel half-worn and dragging the rest on the floor.
When he squints at the kid and then at Leah, a striking resemblance matches with her daughter. He walks away, and Leah embraces her daughter with an unknown fear that reckons her heart.
When Richard comes to return the toolkit, he discloses Shelly was his brother´s girlfriend. His aristocratic family didn’t approve and he remained a silent witness to their marriage. After a few days of happiness, one day suddenly, Shelly went missing, and his brother lost his life when he absent-mindedly, crossed the street. They couldn’t find her.
Leah, tells him about Shelly’s death during childbirth, and on her return, she didn’t speak about her life or marriage. Leah had promised to bring up Kate, as her own.
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