Life has become a smooth sail for Cassie. She has got two promotions in her 5-year tenure at Honeywell. Life has become routine with no excitement and enthusiasm. But she is happy with the way how things are going. All she ever wanted is a happy life and her wish is being fulfilled. She has witnessed the predicaments of her mother to survive and raise her as a single parent. Throughout her life she has experienced is nothing but the sourness and the only thing that kept her going is the determination to keep her mother happy, now to have a hassle free life. Somewhere in the corner of her heart, she doesn’t believe her life to be a journey on clouds.
It’s a Friday evening and she is in a hurry to finish her work to leave for home soon. Ronald has booked a table for dinner as he is having something to announce. Ronald got retired and has planned something for Cassie. In the past 10 year time, they both have developed a bond of belongingness towards each other. Many at times he felt like, if he had a daughter, she must be of Cassie’s age and he is doing nothing more than any father will do for his daughter. She called it a day and clicked the log off button on her laptop. Just before logging off, she received a mail from her Director. Ronald comes first for Cassie than anybody else, she closed the laptop without checking the mail and got into the cab as she doesn’t want Ronald to keep waiting.
‘Cassie! I wanted you to… ‘
‘ Cassie! I have a proposal…’
Ronald rehearsed it many times. Now, he is feeling confident about the announcement he wants to make at the dinner. He is sure that Cassie will definitely not agree, but for the first time, he wants to go with his word. Ronald is feeling restless about the situation at hand and roaming here and there in the house. He heard the creaking sound of the gate at the lawn and realized that Cassie is coming. He ran towards the recliner in the living room and sat to show nothing on his face. Cassie rang the doorbell once and opened the door with the key she carried with her.
‘Ronald, I’m Home! Where are you?’, Cassie walked into the living room to find Ronald all dressed up for the evening.
Ronald loves going out with Cassie. Whenever they plan to go out, it’s always Ronald who gets ready first and keeps waiting for Cassie to join. He loves the conversations they have at the table and all the jokes and laughs.
‘I’m sorry! Ronald. Just give me 5 mins, I’ll be all set in a jiffy’, She hugged and went to her room.
Cassie walked downstairs in an evening gown looking as pretty as a fairy. Ronald kept staring at her and couldn’t believe that she is the same little girl who knocked at his door ten years back.
‘Shall we Ronald!’
‘Yes, my little girl. I’ll drive you today.’, they both walked out.
‘After you, my dear’, Ronald opened the door for her.
Ronald started the car for the restaurant. Cassie is sensing his behavior, a bit strange and got a bit nervous about the announcement Ronald is about to make. After reaching the restaurant, they are received and walked to their reserved table by the hostess.
‘ I can’t hold myself anymore. I’m nervous and tensed about the announcement as you didn’t give me any hint. What’s the announcement, Ronald?’, asked Cassie with increased curiosity.
‘Wait for the order to come my darling! you don’t have to worry, its nothing serious.’, he tried to ease her mind.
The dishes tasted like the best evening as Ronald kept her occupied discussing all the funny incidents with Cassie down the memory lane. Though the topic of Ronald’s announcement never left Cassie’s mind, she too enjoyed laughing with him. Her eyes are covered with emotional tears by feeling his love and affection and the way he cherished the times with her. She has never seen her father but she is sure that even her father will not love her the way Ronald does.
Ronald asked for the cheque and paid the bill insisting Cassie not to pay, as it’s his treat.
‘Give me the key’s, Ronald. Let me drive on return while you relax’. Ronald gave the keys to her and Cassie stared at Ronald after looking at the keys.
‘What are these keys? Ronald’, asked Cassie with puzzled looks.
‘They are your new flat keys, darling, I bought this for you with a part of my retirement funds. I should have done this long time back. You’re all grown up and you will need your privacy and property to stay after your marriage. I’m not sure for how long I’ll live, so I want to arrange everything for you. You have sacrificed many things, to take care of me. Now I want you to start living in this new house and forget worrying about me’, replied Ronald with a smile.
Tears rolled out of Cassie’s eyes without any interruption. She’s completely dumbfounded by his announcement. She hugged him tightly and started crying with sealed lips for a moment. She felt the warmth of Ronald with the hug and never want to miss it at any point in time.
‘Nothing is going to happen to you as long as I’m with you. You have done so much for me than anybody in this world, after my mother. You’ve never left me alone at any juncture till now and never let me down. You’re the reason I’m what I’m now. Anything and everything I do and I’ve done is a drop in the ocean when it’s compared to the way you have taken care of me. Please don’t ask me to leave you. I’m comfortable to live with you and I don’t need any privacy. You’re important to me and all I’m left in this world is you. How do you even think that I’ll accept to this?’, Cassie continued crying with unending tears.
Ronald wiped her tears and tried to console her, ‘Oh dear!, My Intention was never to send you away from me. Moreover, the new property is a stone’s throw away from our place. I’m always available for you in every need. I want you to start being independent and live for yourself. You will always be my one and only love.’
‘I’m getting bored to stay at one place after retirement. At least now I can keep visiting your place and feel some change.’
‘ Cheer up darling!!’
‘Come on, give this old man some privacy girl’, Ronald said smirkingly to lighten up the situation.
Ronald handed over the property keys to Cassie along with car keys. Feeling relaxed after convincing her, he slept all along the way back while Cassie drove home. The next day being a Saturday, they both shifted all Cassie’s stuff to the new house and arranged all the items perfectly for her. She got completely occupied during the weekend and prepared favorite recipe for Ronald in dinner.
‘Thank you for the dinner, darling. It’s time for me to leave. Don’t hesitate to give me a call, whenever you need anything.’ He kissed her on the forehead and left.
Cassie woke up to the singing birds on the tree next to her porch. She walked to the balcony with a cup of hot coffee to feel the chilling fresh air and a pleasant view of the lawn. At the end of her last sip, she realized that she is getting late for her office followed by the unread email sent by her director.
She got ready and left to office without delaying further, to know more about the email and revert.