Prompt – Every evening, when she goes to the parking garage of her office building, your character finds a new love note tucked under the windshield wipers of her car. These love notes are very beautiful and fill your character with powerful emotions. But they are all addressed to “Caroline”. Your character’s name is Melissa…
The first time it happened, Melissa was sure it was some sort of a sick practical joke played by her colleagues. They always used to make fun of her. But this was taking it to a very different level, even for them. The note on her Windshield wiper said “You have a smile that would light up the world, if you let it. Please smile more, Caroline.” It did manage to bring a small smile on her face, but the note must be for someone else. She then discarded the thought as someone who must have made a mistake, but kept the note. It felt so precious, for some unknown reason.
But the notes continued everyday. Every note addressed to Caroline, but they felt like it were written for her. Some days it said “Your pink suit brought out the blue in your eyes today. You are beautiful, Caroline”. On other days, it were “The extra tip you gave the coffee guy shows the purity of your heart. May you be happy always, Caroline” or even “You are a very nice woman, Caroline. There is someone out there who would be very lucky to be with you”. Every day, it was there on the Windscreen wiper, written for her, addressed to Caroline. All these notes brought a smile but also brought a thought about Caroline. She felt like she is eavesdropping on a private conversation. She wanted to know who the writer was, and to tell them that they are writing to the wrong person… or if she was honest to herself, wanted them to know her name so they could address it directly to her. One day she decided to hide and wait for the mystery writer. It was a long and an impatient wait, all the while her mind playing all possible scenarios. But nothing could prepare her for the reality.
An old man wobbled up to her Windscreen, kept another note and walked off. As soon as he was out of sight, she rushed to see the note, “You looked radiant today, Caroline. Keep smiling”. Her curiosity knew no bounds. She rushed to follow him. He stayed right opposite to where she parked every day. It was a well kept small house with slight neglect in the gardens but otherwise very homey and comfortable looking from outside. After contemplating for a while, she went to ring the bell. The old man opened the door and was only slightly surprised to see her. “So, you found out where I lived. Figured you would come to see me, although I thought you might come a bit later.”
“Who are you? Why are you writing notes for me? My name is not Caroline.” The old man started laughing. “Yes, I know you are not Caroline. But since I did not know your name, I put up the one name I knew very well”. “What is the meaning of all this? Can you please…” A photo at the mantle piece caught her attention. It was a picture of her at a beach. She was about to call him a stalker when she realized that she had never been to this beach or had clothes like that. Also the picture appeared to be slightly old. She moved closer to the photo. On closer look, she could see some distinction from the person in the photo and her, but the difference were only very slight. If someone were to see her pic and this pic together, they would atleast say they were twins, if not pictures of the same person.
The old man was laughing by then. “I am sure you still have no idea what is going on. That picture you are holding is of my late wife. You look very much like her. So much so that when I first saw you, I felt Caroline has come back to me. Soon I realized you are not my Caroline. But you have the same inhibitions as she used to have before she met me. She never considered herself good looking, never had any confidence in herself. People used to find her intimidating and she took that as a cue to never make friends. She was a very lonely lady, my Caroline. Then we met and her life changed. She started to see how beautiful she is, started having confidence in herself and therefore made more friends. She soon brought out her leadership skills. It did not take her much time to go from a regular employee to owning a business of her own. You are very much like her and not just in looks. If you look beyond your insecurities, you will go to great heights. With the walls you have built around yourself, you will not even make good friends, let alone finding someone. That is why I thought I will pass on some of the things that I used to do for Caroline to you too, hoping that you will become into the butterfly that you are supposed to be.”
Melissa was touched. The love that old man had for his wife and the care and trouble he had taken for her was too much for her to bear. Tears started flowing from her eyes. She hugged the old man. It did not take long for the old man to become James Adams, an integral part of Melissa’s life. Every day, she used to go to him for a chat and used to end up learning so much more about life. And just like Caroline, Melissa too started paving her own path in life rather than going with the flow.