Remembering cathy


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Remembering cathy

  1. 1. REMEMBERING CATHY <br />(A short story by enrico s. Paler, m.a.)<br />Catherine and I met and became friends in college. She took up commerce while I was taking up accountancy. Although we were very close friends, she never invited me to her house to meet her mother. She had told me that she lost her father in a car accident several years ago. My mother on the other hand did not welcome Catherine’s visits to our house. It was only my father who seemed delighted with Catherine although he never talked to her more than the usual greetings. The way my parents treated Catherine created a slight air of mystery that bothered me very much.<br />Catherine was twenty-three and never had a boyfriend. Never talking about her home life, she seemed to have no gay memories to share with me-a thing which usually friends crave to do. Her mother appeared invisible to people. Catherine told me that she was so strict that she did not welcome any visitors. Catherine also told me that they live in a in a split-level suburban area.<br />One day, I invited her to watch a movie.<br />“Cathy, would you like to watch “Parent Trap” with me?”<br />“Oh! I’m sorry Jayleen, I’ve got to ask my mother first.”<br />Whenever it looked as if she might have stay out late, she would say, “I’ll have to ask my mother first”, and off she would go wherever she was to tell her mother, though it meant going all the way to where she lived.<br />It was the eve of our graduation day and I, as an honored student was beaming with happiness and excitement. My happiness could only compensate for the sadness that I felt over the thought that I was soon departing from the prestigious university. I knew that college graduation would never pass again.<br />“Cathy,  my friend. What gift you would like to receive from me?<br />“I hope there would be no tears when we bid each other goodbye,” was Cathy’s answer.<br />I was deeply touched by her reply;  it seemed that she would go to a place miles away and that we would not be seeing each other again after the graduation. It did not bother me too much because I knew that graduation day was not the end of our friendship.<br />The last day of a college student finally came, graduation day. I had decided what gift to give Catherine. It was a diary wrapped in a silver-plated cover.<br />At the ceremonies, all the candidates were happy and excited except me, because I was waiting and waiting for Catherine to come up the stage to receive her diploma and medals but she did not show up. I could not find any reason why she would avoid attending our graduation ceremonies.  As I delivered my valedictory address, I could not understand my feelings. There was a mixture of enormous happiness and pride for the honors and feelings of disappointment for Catherine’s absence. All I wanted was her to be a part of that tremendous achievement.<br />After the joyful yet sad graduation rite, my family and I went straight home for a celebration. I was wearing my medals and those that were intended for Catherine. I saw bundles and boxes of gifts heaped in our large table. As I started opening them, I caught a sight of letter piled on top of some cards and envelopes. It was from Catherine. I opened it with a racing heart. Enclosed was a photograph of a couple, a man and a woman in their thirties. I took a better view of it and was shocked to see my own father with a woman whom I believed was Catherine’s mother. When I had finished reading the letter, tears were flowing from my eyes. I was dumbfounded and I stood motionless for a long time. The letter unlocked all the mystery that had veiled over our long friendship. It revealed that Catherine and I were sisters, that she was my father’s daughter. My father had wanted to marry Catherine’s mother but his parents opposed, so it was my mother whom my father married. Catherine explained that she could not bear the pain of attending the graduation rites without her mother who had decided to stay home to avoid Cathy’s pain of attending the graduation rites without her mother who had decided to stay home to avoid Cathy’s father.<br />“OH, HOW SAD WAS YOUR GRADUATION DAY MOTHER.”<br />“Yes, my dear.”<br />“Maybe that experience made you decide to name me Catherine. Am I right, mother?“<br />“Exactly, Cathy”<br />“But mother, what happened to Catherine and her mom?”<br />“Catherine left for Singapore with her mother shortly after the graduation. She wrote me a letter once and I learned that she’s fine and happy.<br />“Oh, is that so mother?”<br />“I’m glad you shared your story with me, mother. Goodnight, mother”<br />“Goodnight too, my little Catherine.”<br />