You are cordially invited to the Cookie Exchange Party which will be held on 15th December 2020 at Caroline Khan's house, 1235, Rosemont Avenue, Cincinnati Ohio 45219. For those of you who are new to this, here are some simple rules you could follow
- All cookies should be baked, homemade and the main ingredient should be flour.
- No plain chocolate chip cookies, cookie mixes, no bakes, meringues or bars
- Pleas bring 6 dozen total cookies
- Theme for this Cookie Exchange is "Christmas" (or you can make on any theme you like)
- Arrange the cookies in a plate or container
- Email a copy of your recipe or bring the recipe to the party
- Wear a Christmas attire
- RSVP as soon as you can and let me know what type of cookies you are planning to bake--no duplicates are allowed
- If you don't have time to bake, you can bring the store made cookies
Can't wait to see you all ladies!
Caroline Khan sits on the armchair, looking at the four ladies she has invited for the cookie exchange party.
Madeline, with her honey blonde hair, tied into a bun, wearing a navy blue colored dress embroidered with Christmas decorations on top. She has brought lemon flavored star shaped cookies decorated with green and red colored icing on top. Caroline suspected that Madeline's maid must have made the cookies as Madeline would never really bake, her manicured fingers are not for baking.
Grace with her red hair, tied into a ponytail, wearing green colored sweater and plain pants have brought Gingerbread man cookies, decorated with white icing. Grace, coming from the countryside knows how to bake and cook and usually, Grace makes delicious baked goods. Caroline cannot wait to try Grace's cookies.
Then there's Aisha, who moved into the town recently. She is originally from Pakistan but has lived in U.S. for five years. She was wearing a red colored silk hijab on her head, with green colored shirt and black dress and stockings. She admitted to Caroline that the cookies, which are butter cookies with Christmas decorations on top from the store--she has bought them from Busken Bakery, one of the bakery stores, Caroline sometimes buys from.
Then the last but not least is Kate, with her brown hair loose down her shoulders, looking solemn. She has brought chocolate cookies, no decorations but dotted with M&Ms.
They were all chatting, about the weather, The Bengals and of course about their spouses and their children. Caroline listened to their conversation, pretending to be interested in the conversation. But in reality, she was not.
Caroline Khan never really hosts Cookie Exchange Party. This was her first time hosting one. But the main reason she created this party is one of these ladies' child is responsible for destroying her child's life and got away with it.
And she knows that particular lady also knows.
She glanced at each and every one of the ladies in the room. Aisha was the only one out of the picture--she was the youngest in the group and is only now pregnant with the first child. She glances at Madeline, Grace and Kate.
"Caro, how is Hannah?" Grace asked kindly.
Caroline gives Grace a small smile.
"She...she is doing fine," Caroline said softly, making direct eye contact with the ladies. Grace looked concerned. Aisha looked confused, as she had no idea what happened to Hannah. Madeline and Kate was avoiding to look at Caroline.
"She is...having therapy sessions," Caroline replied, taking her mug of coffee and softly sipping it. "Ali is thinking of sending her to Sri Lanka so she can be with her grandparents...away form the mess. But I didn't want her to go anywhere alone,"
"I understand. I just can't believe that the boys who did this to her got away," Grace said shaking her head angrily.
Grace has no idea that one of the ladies in the room is the mother of those boys.
Madeline coughed, Kate is staring down at her hands.
"I am sorry...what happened to your daughter?" Aisha asked sounding concerned.
Grace looks at Caroline and Caroline smiled. She takes another sip from her mug before answering Aisha's question.
"Two boys...raped my daughter. Got pregnant by one of those boys but got miscarried. It happened almost a year ago but the boys...they got away,"
"It happens here in America too?" she asked unbelievably. "In Pakistan, I would have understand,"
"Yes, that's what Ali told me--if the boys were politically connected back in Sri Lanka, they would have gotten away. Unfortunately, the parents of those boys have high connection with the police and they called Hannah..." Caroline's voice wavered a little. "Unreliable as she was drinking and flirting with those boys,"
There was silence in the room except for some Christmas songs playing from the radio. Madeline glanced at the watch and got up, taking her bag and her share of cookies with her.
"Well, Caroline, thank you for hosting this lovely cookie exchange but I have to go back--Ed is coming home for dinner so I have to make sure Dorota has prepared the meal properly," she smiles, giving a fake laugh. "Dorota can be unreliable sometimes," she kisses me on the cheek, giving Caroline a hug before leaving the room.
Grace and Aisha followed, both hugging Caroline and urging her to be brave before leaving with their shares of cookies.
And that left Caroline and Kate, alone in the living room.
Kate glances at her. There were tears in her eyes and her voice was shaking as she said,
"I am sorry Caroline," she stammered.
"You should say sorry to my daughter Hannah," Caroline said softly.
"I didn't do anything! I swear I was against it...but Patrick, even Madeline and Ed...they were the ones,"
Caroline went over and sit next to Kate.
"Look at me," Caroline challenged. "Do you know how many times Ali and I had to run to Hannah's room when she starts screaming and banging the walls and doors? When she cries like a baby lost? When she locks herself up in her room all the time? When she tried to commit suicide twice? The trips to the psychiatrist?" Caroline was almost shouting. "Do you have any idea how as a mother I had to go through the torture!"
Kate's lips quivered.
"I have punished Jared," Kate said softly.
"Jared should go to jail," Caroline seethed.
Kate takes Caroline's hand.
"Please! I feel very bad and I know how you are going through!" she cried. "I didn't do anything! I swear! It was all Patrick's, Madeline's and Ed's fault! I tried telling them they had to pay for what they did to Hannah and you know what Patrick is like!"
Caroline remained silent. Caroline knew Patrick, despite his friendly and amicable look on outside is actually a monster inside who controls Kate and mentally and physically abuse her. She knew Patrick's true character after the incident.
"If the same thing happened to Delilah, I know I would feel the same way as you feel right now Caroline," Kate sniffed. "I am completely lost Caroline. I have nightmares, I just..." and Kate started crying.
Caroline put an arm around Kate's shoulders.
"Come, come with me," Caroline urged.
The two women get up from their sofas and walk upstairs to Hannah's room. Hannah was in her room, cuddled up on her bed, watching TV. She didn't seem to realize that Caroline and Kate were standing at her door.
"Hannah is thankfully getting along," Caroline said with tears in her eyes. "She kept saying how she reserved her virginity to Mr. Right--she was a virgin before that happened." Caroline wiped the tears. "Hannah's grandparents from Sri Lanka are coming over next week, so now Hannah is calmed down a little,"
Kate stared at the girl, cuddled on the bed, staring at the TV in front of her, the lights from the TV shining on her face.
Kate turned to Caroline with tears in her eyes.
"I am so sorry Caroline," she whispered.