"Hey, honey," Carol called as she beat eggs in a shallow pan.
"Yeah, Mom," Lance mumbled weakly as he dragged his feet over to his busy mother in the kitchen. She had seen him passing by and was glad at the good timing.
"Are you free? I need you to take a DVD to someone." She was bustling all around the kitchen as she spoke.
"Why not just stream it over?", he grumbled.
"It's a DVD, sweety, not a porn video."
He blushed as he recalled when his mother had caught him streaming a leaked porn video with his friend, Dylan.
"By the way," she continued, now sure of success in breaking down his resistance. "It's just videos of a programme I launched some time ago, so it's too important to be trusted with your software thing."
"Come on, Mom," he sighed and rolled his eyes, but she didn't see him.
"Thanks dear, I'm grateful."
"So who's the person?"
"Oh it's Cara. She couldn't come for the programme because of Lisa's illness. Until that kid's hale and hearty, Cara's not leaving home. Remember how I excused myself from everything when Anna fell so sick?"
Lance remembered. It was just a few months ago when his young cousin fell gravely ill and had no other close relative nearby to look after her other than Carol, her parents having died years ago. But her recovery, like everything else about her, was swift. Nowadays, the girl was spending some time with her mother's family.
"But you can still stream it; it's easier," Lance mumbled.
"Of course, dear. You and Dylan can. But me and Cara, we are old school. We prefer the good ol' slot and play. And just in case she's forgotten, what she's looking for is the second and third videos. Now, if you're done with your complaints and reservations, the DVD is just beside the TV. Thank you."
With a smile, Lance went back to the sitting room. He wondered how his mother managed to anticipate his thoughts. Not that she was a psychologist, but she certainly had a way of reading his next move and then giving her response in a manner that always made him forget his 'complaints and reservations'.
Parking in the driveway, Lance made his way on foot to Cara's house. It was an average-sized building in a very neat and quiet high-class neighborhood. It was no secret that Cara was a rich woman. It wasn't as a result of the large settlement from her recent divorce, but rather an inheritance from her late grandfather who was a successful business mogul during his lifetime. The divorce itself got her the house and an unknown amount of money along with custody of Lisa, her only child with her ex-husband. All this was common gossip. Lance ought to know a little more since Cara was his mother's friend, but he was never one to care for 'women talk', though he had quite a secret crush on Cara.
He walked to the front door and knocked quite confidently, but that confidence fell apart as the door was suddenly opened before he could drop his hand. A tired-looking Cara stood in the doorway.
"Hi Lance," she said in her small voice. "Your mom sent you? Please come in."
She stepped aside and he walked in, more like an automaton than a human. He was still not recovered from the shock of the sudden opening of the door. She closed it behind him and walked to where he was standing. Even with the tired face and no make-up, Lance thought her very beautiful. She didn't look her 35 years in her knee-length jeans, white sleeveless blouse and no cosmetics at all.
"Uhh.. Mom asked me to give you this," he said and awkwardly presented the DVD to Cara. "She said it.. it's the uh.. second and third."
"Yeah I remember. Thanks a lot."
And they both relapsed into uncomfortable silence. So far, Lance had only risked one look at Cara's face and he was searching his mind, trying to come up with something sensible to say. Something that would give him a reason to risk another look. Yes... Lisa.
"Uhh.. how's Lisa doing?", he asked, trying to sound confident and finding that her face was expressionless.
"Oh. She's doing better. Thanks."
"I um.. I think I.. I have to go now."
Cara rushed to the door and opened it wide enough for him to pass through and he walked past her, eyes on the ground.
"Um say me hi to your mom and Anna too. Oh I forgot, she's on holidays. Well, if you talk to her, just.. tell her I said hi."
He glanced briefly at her again and noticed that her eyes were also averted. Who would've thought? He wasn't the only one feeling a little uncomfortable after all. Up until then, he had thought that she had been staring at him and laughing inwardly at his childish nervousness. Since that wasn't the case, he felt a little better. But then, why could she not maintain eye contact? Was something badly wrong that she didn't want anyone to know?
He was now making for his car and he thought of going back to find out if everything was okay with her, but finding the courage was no easy feat. Rather than make a bigger fool of himself, he decided to go straight home. Going back to knock on the door again and ask about her welfare was outright funny and too daring to be attempted. He had done what he was sent to do. His business here was over. Anything extra may be deemed as prying into senior adult affairs. Affairs that had nothing to do with nineteen-year olds.
Cara exhaled deeply as she closed the door and leaned on it. It was just a few minutes, from opening the door and welcoming him in to his exit, but it felt like a decade. All the while, she had wanted him to go, but at the same time, she had wanted him to stay. For Christ's sake, she had never felt this way since decades ago in high school!
Thinking about Lance made her feel young again and his handsome face was just so innocent and boyish that she wished to cradle it in her hands and run her fingers through that sandy blonde hair. His dreamy blue eyes were the greatest of all. She could never dare to look at them. They made her weak in all the wrong places.
The first and last time she really looked into them was when Carol first introduced them to each other. That handshake and that mutual blush were things she could never forget. She actually felt the electricity run through her as their skins made contact, and the first few times she had seen him since then, she had always avoided touching him or looking into his eyes. She could never trust herself to resist the beauty and innocence she would find in there. The feeling was nameless to her. It wasn't motherly or sisterly or anything close to that, rather it was a strong form of attraction that she could not describe. He was 19 and she was 35, just six years younger than his mother, so it certainly wasn't love. But what on earth could it be?