Cassie’s Regrets

Cassie drove along the Californian coastline in her red Cadillac Convertible, her long blonde hair blew in the wind. She was a sight for sore eyes, she looked like a model and she knew it. All the men ogled her at the Gas station an hour ago when she pulled over to get some gas and to double-check that she was heading in the right direction.

She had to find him.

Her skin was like warm white silk, warm from the sun that reflected off her flawless skin that had a light orange hue. Cassie admired herself in the rear-view mirror through dark opal-shaped sunglasses. Her mind trailed off back to the Gas station, she loved that the men couldn’t take their eyes off her long legs, and the nice long brown shirt that covered her ankles but still revealed her figure. She licked her lips at the memory of the fancy wines and cheap booze she used to get wasted on, the one-night stands she had with men whose name she couldn’t remember the following morning. She couldn’t remember exactly due to all the drinks she had but she thinks one of the men was the groom of one of her friends.

Light flicked through the tree lines, agitating her eyes, snapping her out of the daydream. According to one of the Grease Monkeys she had to drive east through the farmland that was full of apples trees that she was now in, then further up at a crossroad turn right, drive along coastline for a hour or so, then once in the Mendota look for an old rundown theater and turn left.

She had to find him.

She made it to Mendota with not too much trouble, the drive was nice, her strawberry cheeks were getting some sunlight now, he face was warm and she loved every minute of it. The road was long and dry with bit of scrap and rubbish littered along the sidewalk. The population of the town was smaller than the town and it seemed the economy wasn’t doing to good by the looks of it. She drove around for half an hour before she found the theater. The posters on the outside were torn and from the looks of the joint it hadn’t been open in years; she couldn’t tell how long. She continued on still following the direction she was given.

Mendota didn’t have that many trees like early in her drive, no real care was given to the town compared to L.A. L.A was beautiful in comparison and she wondered why he was here. The man she was looking must have had some money since he managed to hide from her, she only got lucky when the doctor told her of his name and where to find him, even then the doctor give that much, only a general location and name.

She had to find him.

She ended up on another long road that was heading out of town, there wasn’t anything on her left so she figured that the trailer park was on her right. She was going 40MPH, the sun shinning through the side of glasses, red light blinding her while she looked for anything that seemed like what she was looking for. Suddenly she saw a white trailer off in the distance and without thinking she braked hard, not realizing that there was a car behind her and turned sharply right into the driveway. The man behind her honked and yelled at her, ‘you stupid cunt, what the fuck do you think your doing!?’ The man continued as he drove past.

Her heart raced after the near-hit, she was so accelerated that she was going to meet the man at long last that she lost her sense of reason and nearly got herself killed. Fuck’n hell what’s wrong with you,she thought as she continued into the driveway, looking for the Managers Office. She sped up, driving recklessly down the dirt driveway and broke hard in front of the Managers Office. The Park Manager was quite forthcoming and directed her to the caravan. She wasted no time and hopped in her car and drove off.

She found the caravan at the back of the lot; it wasn’t hard to miss since it was the only one there. Outside was red one-man barbecue with a dome top, worn tyre resting next to the front of the caravan and rusted bed frame next to it. She checked herself in the mirror one more time, taking off her sunglasses and loving the life in her eyes, she was beautiful. She grabbed her handbag and headed to the door, her heart was racing; she couldn’t tell if it was from the near-miss earlier or if she had found him. Who was he? How was he able to help her under such short notice?

Knock. Knock.

Shortly after knocking the door opened. A semi bald man with long brown curly hair hanging down the back his head, wearing a dirty white singlet with his bear belly hanging out, ‘what is it?’ The man asked.

‘Carl? Carl James?’

‘Yeah,’ he said burping with a bear can in hand.

‘Carl James?’

‘That’s what I said. Who are you? Look I know the rent due it will be paid next week so keep your panties on.’

‘I’m sorry…’ Cassie was trying to process who she was looking at, ‘I’m not a debt collector. Did you…?’ Still trying to find the words.

‘What do you want?’ Carl’s voice slightly frustrated.

‘Um…You saved me,’ she said clasping her hands on her heart.

‘Excuse me?’

‘You saved me and I would like to repay you, is there anything I can do for you?’ She started going through her purse, damn where is it?

‘No…Please leave.’ Carl taking a swig of bear.

She found it and put a small folded piece of paper out in front of her, ‘this is for you. A check for fifteen thousand dollars, it’s all yours.’

‘Get out here,’ he stepped back and slammed the door in her face.

What? She couldn’t process what happened, she was locked in place. She was more then happy to part with the money. Despite her misgivings she expected people to accept a thank you when the occasion called for it. People don’t turn down thank yous, it wasn’t polite.

Knock. Knock.

‘What is it?’ Carl replied in a raised tone.

‘Please. Take it, I want you to have it.’ Cassie held the check out again.

‘I don’t want it, now get outta here.’ Shutting the door and flicking the lock, locking door. Carl wanted her to hear the lock click. He stood by the door hoping that she would get the message.

There was nothing else she could do, she hopped back in the Convertible. She didn’t realize that the rear-view mirror was turned to face her, no wonder she didn’t see the car behind her earlier, fuck she was stupid. She was stupid for coming to the middle of nowhere. Her whole life was stupid. She cheated on men, she didn’t even know their names, she drank like cow and she acted like one too. All her old girlfriends she knew since High School left her, they were tired of all her BS, no surprise they left you, you idiot. She never shied away from drugs — crack, heroine, weed, it was all good as far as she was concerned. That was until six month ago she woke up vomiting. Her liver was dying and even under the Health Care System they were struggling to find a suitable donor. A friend of hers was a match but she told her to beat it. The doctor told her that the odds of donor showing up in the next three months would be a miracle, they told her that she might to make the best of what time she had left. So, she was surprised when she got a call and they had donor. Afterwards when she fully recovered, she begged the doctor who the donor was, she got on her knees (not the first she’s been on her knees) and begged the doctor for the name.

She figured a check for fifteen thousand dollars would be a good reward for saving her life, she was or at least her parents where middle-class. She would be able to pay the debt back. She would be behind but she would catch up eventually, but Mr. James didn’t want it. The light of life she had in her eyes was gone. She wasn’t sure what to do now. Better head home I guess, she turned the key and sped off. She adjusted the mirror so she could take another look at the caravan as she drove away, hoping that he would come out calling for her to stop but he didn’t.

Carl heard the car drive away. He was relieved in a way, but his heart felt like lead. The pressure was intense. To ease the pain he took another slurp, hoping the liquor would numb the pain. He walked to the fridge in the middle of the caravan and grabbed a document and a small photo on the fridge that was held on by a yellow C-shaped magnet. He slouched on a small chair and contemplated on the letter.

Mr. James we are happy to announce that your gracious donation of a piece of your liver was well received and that the patient is doing fine. Donor matches are hard to find and when you contacted us requesting to aid in the care of another, we (the staff) were quite happy to accept. Before any donor is to be accepted, we do a farrow check and yours was a perfect match. The chances of recovery are very high for the patient. Again, thank you and God Bless.

Carl’s eyes went to the small photo and it beheld a young man and women, and a small child in his arms with small strawberry cheeks. The man and woman had large smiles on their faces. Carl’s heart weighed on him as his eyes started to water. Nothing to wipe his face he laid the paper beside him and rubbed his eyes with his stained singlet before looking at the photo again.

‘I’m sorry,’ its all he could say, he wished things were different. A smile exposed itself, unable to hold it back. Hopefully she will do better than me.

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