It was just another busy day for Charlotte. Washing plates, mopping the floor, cleaning the tables, serving dishes, attending calls, and taking orders. She is used to the noises of plates clinking, chopping of vegetables, phones ringing, meats sizzlings, and people's gossips.
"Ahh...It is a sunny day. Charlotte, can you please tie up the curtains and arrange the dishes on the sill of the window? The dishes will dry up fast and we can go home early.", implored Delia.
Charlotte nodded and tied up the curtains. The luminescent glow of the Sun beamed on her. Her eyes were fixated on the window. Memories of her time with her mother in the summers flashed through in her mind. Slowly the voices in the back faded out as she thought of her memories.
(15 years ago)
"Charlotte!! Wake up!! We are going to be late.", yelled Charlotte's mom, Mrs.Jones from downstairs. A few minutes later, Mrs.Jones barged at her door. "Sweetheart, we are going to be late. I have hung your dress in the stand hanger. Get up.", said Mrs.Jones.
Charlotte whined, "Ohh....no. I am going to be late." She rushed to the bathroom.
Charlotte then wore her dress and hurried downstairs. "Mom, can you zip my dress?", asked Charlotte. Mrs.Jones helped Charlotte zip her dress and nagged, "What's with your hair? Come here, Let me braid your here."
"Mom, I am 17. I am fine with a bun.", said Charlotte.
"Young lady, don't tell that outside, because you don't act like one.", said Mrs.Jones. She then braided Charlotte's hair.
"Where is dad?", asked Charlotte.
"He went outside to check the car tyres.", replied Mrs.Jones.
After a few minutes, they were all ready to go.
"Wow...this scenery is so beautiful", said Charlotte while taking a photo of it. "You have arrived at your destination..", said the GPS.
"Finally...", said Charlotte in a relieved voice as it was a 3-hour journey. "Charlotte, help me get the stuff in the trunk.", said Mrs.Jones which was more like an order. "Fine....", said Charlotte in a tired voice.
Charolette then laid a soft blanket on the grassy ground. The cold breeze made her frock move as if it was alive, and her long braided brown hair swept across her features.
Mr.Jones then laid the picnic basket on top of the soft blanket. He then poured three cups of orange juice for all. "Aah, the climate is so beautiful. It is sunny but also breezy.", amused Mrs.Jones.
Charlotte has sparkling blue eyes with long brown hair. She loves photography and designing.
"Charlotte, don't run.", warned Mrs.Jones. "Wow, the sunset is amazing mom. How about we all take a photo?", asked Charlotte while breathing heavily. "Calm down. We can take it after we eat your mom's delicious homemade sandwich.", said Mr.Jones.
"Dad, why are you adding adjectives to the sandwich? It's not like you. Wait a minute....", continued Charlotte while Mr.Jones interrupted her. He said, "I got promoted to executive director. They are offering us accommodation too."
"Yay.....I am happy for you. So is it your dinner treat tonight?", asked Charlotte. "Char, dinner wouldn't be enough. Ask wisely", chuckled Mrs.Jones.
"Of course. Dinner wouldn't be enough to celebrate this.", said Charlotte. Just then Mr.Jones took out a wrapped gift from behind.
"Ohh...you already planned it.", said Charlotte out of surprise. She opened the box. "Dad....this is Leica M6. It is the best 35mm film camera. I wanted to have this. Its specialty is the build quality. But, how did you know I wanted this? ", asked Charlotte out of curiosity.
"Well, I found it out somehow.", said Mr.Jones.
"Did you read my diary? Dad...", whined Charlotte.
"Aren't you happy with your gift?", asked Mr.Jones to change the topic. "Of course, I am. Thanks, Dad.", thanked Charlotte.
"Let us eat.", said Mrs.Jones. They enjoyed the delicious sandwich while watching the sunset.
"The sun has set. Let us pack up.", said Mrs.Jones. "Both of you can go sit in the car. I will clean up things here.", said Mr.Jones.
"Sure.", replied Mrs. Jones. Mrs.Jones said to Charlotte, "Let us come here again for the next summer."
Charlotte smiled and nodded. She held back her tears. She didn't want to ruin the happy mood. She knew her mother was having a brain tumor in the 3rd stage. But she acted like she didn't, as she knows it would hurt her mother.
After reaching the car, Mrs.Jones took out the necklace which she was wearing. She gave it to Charlotte and said, "Char, here have this. My mother gave this to me before she passed away telling me that her mother gave her before she passed away. Kind of complicated right? But, this is an antique piece. So keep it safe. She closed Charlotte's fist and held it tightly.
"Mom....", cried Charlotte. "Don't enter the room without my permission.", ordered Mrs.Jones while holding up her tears. "Mom....when did you know I found it?", cried Charlotte.
"It is my fault. It would have hard for you to smile in front of me every time, wasn't it?" asked Mrs.Jones. "No, it wasn't. Because I am with you and we are going to overcome this together.", cried Charlotte.
"I can't tell who the mom is now.", chuckled Mrs.Jones while tears fell from her cheeks. Charlotte laughed while her eyes are filled with tears.
"Okay. Can we go now?", asked Mr.Jones after entering the car.
"Dad, don't forget, that you are going to treat us to dinner at a luxurious restaurant.", said Charlotte while wiping her tears.
"Did you cry?", asked Mr.Jones.
"Why would I?", replied Charlotte.
The voices started to fade. Charlotte felt someone pushing and pulling her and calling her name. "Charlotte. Char. Charlotte.", screamed Delia.
"What?? What happened?", asked Charlotte.
"You zoned out. Ahh...I got scared for nothing. Hey, why are you crying?.", asked Delia.
"Huh...oh...it is nothing.", replied Charlotte.
"Well, there are no more customers, so let's call it a day.", said Delia.
"Oh..ok. Thanks.", thanked Charlotte.
"Your phone is ringing....", said Delia.
"Ohhh....sorry.", said Charlotte and picked up the call.
"Hi, honey.", said Charlotte. "Charlotte, you said you wanted to go for a picnic this morning. I got ready with the stuff and dressed Rachele. I am waiting outside the restaurant.", said Charlotte's husband, Max.
"Alright....but before that can we visit my mother's cemetery?", asked Charlotte.
"Sure.", replied Max.
"Mom, why do we always come to this lake for a picnic every summer?", asked Fiona, Charlotte's daughter.
"It is the last place your grandmother visited. She wanted to come here again, so I feel attached to this place.", replied Charlotte.
"Mom, why do you wear the necklace? I saw the same one on grandma's neck too in her photo. Did she give it to you? It is so beautiful.", asked Fiona.
"Hmm..yes. Don't worry, this is for you. This necklace was for me from my beginning and now it is yours.", said Charlotte.
"I love antiques", said Fiona. Charlotte smiled at Fiona.
"You have arrived at your destination.", said the GPS.
“A cool breeze, an unforgotten summer, a beautiful smile, all can fit into a storefront window.”