3. Mothers

Her mother had the same brown hair as her daughter. Except, her mother's was curly and went down to her shoulders. Her face was a long oval. She had green eyes. They were slightly close together and wide. To the side of her eyes, were gentle crows feet; they would be barely distinguishable from afar. She looked not more than 40. Her mother was also very small, for her age. She had the same thick lashes as her daughter, too.

Besides her physical appearance, her mother's face was red, as if she was holding her breath. Her eyes were staring intensely into mine. Her lips were pursed.

I was careful not to show any emotion in my face such as fear or annoyance. I was good at that.

Continuing to stare back at her mother, I waited for a response. I would've sworn we were standing here for already an hour.

Her mother let out a deep breath and her face went back to its normal skin tone. She broke her stare with me and dropped her head to look at the ground, as if in defeat.

"How did you- Where was- Did-" Her sentences broke off before they were finished, like she was trying to find the right question to ask me. "Who are you?" she simply concluded to.

Her eyes were back on my face. Her brows were curved upwards, showing worry. 

I took a deep breath. "I was jogging around the neighborhood when I saw your daughter." I was careful not to imply any details that might give this woman some sort of heart attack. "She said she was... lost," Her mother didn't seem to notice my hesitation on that last word. Elaine thanked me with a small smile of relief and gratitude. Apparently, her mom would've done so much more than just freak out. "and so I brought her to my house for a while and then you called and here I am."

Her mother didn't say anything. She was staring intently at me, trying to find something wrong with me. 

"Why did you bring her to your house? Why didn't you just ask her where she lived?" She asked without showing any emotion.

I was thinking about this earlier. There was really no point in taking her to my house. 

I glanced at my car. I could use it for an excuse, I guess.

"I needed my car. To drive her to where she lived." She didn't say anything. "My name is John." I stretched out my right hand to her, hoping being polite would ease her down a bit. For I was no harm to her or her daughter.

She glanced down at my hand. Her eyes seemed more gentle and sincere. She shook my hand unwillingly and slightly rolled her eyes. She was defeated, again. 

I always knew what to do to get my way. 

"Well, John. Thank you for helping Elaine get home." 

Our hands dropped back to our sides. 

"You're very welcome."

"Well, we better go on inside, Elaine. Thank you so much, John. Good bye."

Elaine glanced back at me, before they left, and smiled. I smiled back.

As they sauntered to their front door, I just stood where I was, watching them.

Then, I noticed a head pop out of the front door. It was a girl. At first, her eyes were on Elaine and her mother, then they locked on mine and she smiled.

I stared back at her.

Her light brown, almost blonde, curly hair flipped around as she hopped from behind the front door. She looked a lot bigger behind the door. Now, she was just probably a merely 4'11. Very petite. Her face, although, showed that she was probably around my age. I couldn't see any precise details besides the obvious size and hair because of the distance. In her arms was a big white fluffy piece of clothing. It was probably the dress she wore to the wedding. She was just smiling at me, stupidly. I was annoyed. Did I look funny?

Elaine and her mother were already in the house as they called for the smiling girl.

"Alexis! Are you coming inside?" 

"Yes." She simply said. Her voice was very high. She twinkled her small fingers at me in a wave and danced back inside the house. 

I still stood in the same spot, dumbfounded.

Well, okay. This isn't really how I planned my day to begin. I was just hoping for a little jog, cook some hot dogs up maybe, read a bit, and sleep. Come to think of it, this was the most awkward event that happened to me since I moved in this neighborhood.

I awkwardly walked back to car, sat in the driver's seat and started the car.

~

"What's up, Mr. Johnathon Staffield?" Caroline called from the kitchen.

I smelled Chinese frying up.

"Welp, Ms. Mom Staffield, I went to drop to drop off Elaine, like I said."

I tossed the keys onto the counter. 

Caroline turned away from the big pan on the stove. She just looked at me questioningly.

"Okay, first of all, I didn't do anything." I started out, my palms up towards her, showing innocence. "I was jogging around the neighborhood, I saw that she was lost, I took her here, and then drove her home." 

I sheepishly knew Caroline could sense the lie in my statement. Other than her, nobody could sense when I lie. I was a good liar.

"What really happened, John?" she asked kindly.

"If I tell you, you cannot make a scene out of it. It's over and done with."

She didn't say anything. Obviously, if it's bad enough, she will make a scene out of it. Caroline was just that type of person.

A small flame flew up from the pan.

"Mom, you might want to watch your cooking."

She turned back on her pan and nearly jumped.  

"Good Lord," she muttered as she put out the flame with her spatula. She turned the dial on the stove to a simmer and faced me again. 

Caroline raised her eyebrows, anxiously waiting for me to answer.

"I saw her with a bunch of big guys that looked as if they were going to hurt her. So I rescued her." When I said the word 'rescued', it seemed as if I considered myself as some kind of super hero. 

Caroline snatched her cell phone from the counter. "John, how do you not expect me to make a scene out if it when it's that serious? I have to call the police! Do you remember what those guys looked like?" She waited for an answer with the phone in her hand. 

"Mom, I don't want to make a big deal out of it and neither does Elaine. Her mom is worrying enough already. So are you."

She let go of a big breath and shook her head to herself. "Okay. I trust you, Johnathon, but," Her voice raised on that word. Oh no. "don't go jogging out there anymore. Do it somewhere else. I'll get you a gym membership. I'll buy you tread mill." She tried to hide the begging in her voice.

Oh, great. Her motherly instincts are kicking in. 

"Mom, it's okay.  I can take care of myself. You don't need to get me anything. You said you trusted me, didn't you?" 

We argued for about 10 minutes. Caroline's just wanting what's best for me. She only wants me to be safe. I decided she's not going to give up so easily. Guess who's getting a treadmill next week?

The End

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