Monday, April 29, 2013

TRULY (inspired by Persuasion) chapter Twenty-seven "Say Yes"

Chapter Twenty-seven
Say Yes
My mind was reeling…  Confessions of a Post-teenage Hermit
    That night, I slept wild dreams, over and over. I dreamt about how everything could have been. I dreamt of Ben.
    I dreamt history hadn’t repeated. History was different. Ben and I hadn’t broken up after school ended. Instead, we roamed the beaches of Cabo on that Mexican holiday we’d always intended to take. Children were running around beside us flying kites and paper planes overhead in the breeze. As I lay on the beach in the sun, a little child spoke to me, “Open your eyes,” he said. Then Ben peered over me as both man and child splashed me with water and Ben dragged me into the ocean, uncaring, happy and free.
    The baby screeched me awake. Melissa seemed to be able to lie in, ignore it.
    I trundled upstairs.
    “The nanny should arrive at nine,” she said blurrily, “Then we’re going home. I made it up with Fred. The truth is, we love each other and we’re going to work it out.”
     “Well I’m very happy for you, Melissa,” I said.
     “Oh, by the way,” Melissa couldn’t resist telling me this. “I have it on good authority that a Wentworth stayed through the next night with our cousin Lia. He slept on the couch.”
     “Excuse me?”
     For a moment, I thought she meant Ben. I felt lost.
    “Oh, don’t look so worried. It was the other Wentworth, Harley. Apparently they’re into each other.”
      “What’s that supposed to mean?”
      “Well, only that it appears our younger cousins know how to get a man…”
      “Are you serious? You think Lia jumped off the pier to get Harley’s attention?”
      “I wouldn’t put it past her. Anyway, he’s a partner in Ben’s company so she’s got a good catch there.”
       Liz shouted out in agreement.
     “Yes, Jane, Lia knows quality when she sees it.”
      That was it for me. Finally, I found my voice, the one that had been welling up inside me for a while, and I used it.
       “You know what Liz? Tom just might be the man for you and you’ve pushed him away. Don’t make the same mistake I did since I’m such a walking warning to you both. And as for you Missy, while you’re fixing your semi-perfect relationship, maybe you should be enrolling in parenting classes at the same time.”
    “Oh, that’s rich Jane. Maybe when you, if you, ever have children and a husband you’ll understand just how much juggling is involved.”
    “Maybe you’re right, but that doesn’t give you or Liz the right to treat me like a non-person.”
    Liz was standing at the door looking quite shocked.
    “Where do you both get these ideas from about me having no idea what it means to have pressures? All women have pressures, married or not and all women have barriers; we should be working together as a family. In case you both haven’t noticed there is a huge financial crisis going on in this house; and not just in this house!”
     My sisters just stood and stared.
     “No need to shout, Jane,” Missy said.
     “Yes, Jane,” Liz added, “I think we take your point.”
     People, including your own family, can only make you feel less than, if you let them.
     Melissa was open mouthed after my little tirade. I left the house for work in a hurry.
     Liz must have thought about what I said; when I arrived at the cafĂ© a conciliatory text was waiting for me on my cell.
     As a sister, Jane, we love you. Apology given from two in awe of you and yours is duly accepted.
     Apology? What apology.
     Please, I hadn’t even sent one.
     As I polished the countertop, I realized I probably would have, eventually. I hated fighting with my sisters but enough was enough.
     Liz could learn something from me? I wonder what she meant by that? Had Melissa also learnt how to “prioritize and put herself first” from all the advice on How to Live the Perfect Life blogs she read? Probably. I liked surfing the net as much as the next person but external encouragement was no excuse for always putting herself first. Then I realized Melissa was used to me taking care of everything. Perhaps it was time for Missy to sort out her own life.  And Liz was my older sister. Perhaps she didn’t need dating advice. Perhaps she’d learnt from my mistake to take the man that made the effort, that loved her, the one that was her match; even to be exclusive, now that Tom was prepared to show his hand.
      Keira was right when she said it was time for me to stand up for myself. My sisters would be forced to take a bit more responsibility, to end our co-dependency.  So would I. Especially if I transferred my college courses to another state.
     Of course, I’d miss my young nephews (especially when they weren’t shrieking), but I’d see 

them often. It was time to move on, even if I was sure to be on my own and I had barely any 

money and I’d be more than a little lost at first. It was time to make some new friends, perhaps 

even make my father and sisters miss me (at least for a semester). I could probably even 

arrange a loan from Eleanor.