Monday, April 29, 2013

Truly (inspired by Persuasion) chapter Twelve: "Borrowed and Blue"

Chapter Twelve
Borrowed and Blue
Something old brings something new… Confessions of a Post-teenage Hermit
     Reeling, I spent that evening looking after Melissa’s twins. Helping others is good therapy. Besides, I couldn’t get out of it. When Melissa arrived home at midnight, she started complaining and hardly bothered to thank me as usual. I’ll admit, I couldn’t wait to get away from her. The babies had barely stopped crying for hours and I was exhausted. They had settled finally just before my sister returned.
     “Aren’t you going to stay and have some tea with me?” She asked innocently.
     “I have to go home,” I said. “Dad and Liz are expecting me for breakfast.” Another lie.
     It was not the longest drive from Venice Beach to Bel Air and there was very little traffic at midnight. Once again, the journey gave me time to think. I always did my best thinking on the road. I thought back to how Ben and I had parted - badly.
     “Are you sure this is what you want?”
    “Yes, no, I mean, I have to take notice of my family. They only want what’s best for both of us.”
     The voices became less distant, a remembered conversation, that last time I’d seen Ben.
    “I don’t understand, he said. I mean, I get it. You’re refusing my offer. We’ve been through a lot. You lost your best friend but don’t you think we deserve to be happy? Jenny would have wanted you to be happy.”  
    “I only think we should wait.”
    “But why wait?  You know I love you, you love me.”
    “I can’t go against my family’s wishes. My father has asked me to wait until I finish college. He thinks Missy made a mistake and doesn’t believe in rushed marriages. It’s hard… to go against him. He raised me.”
    “You mean, it would make life difficult if you don’t do what he wants? What sort of father is he if he doesn’t want you to be happy?”
    “He does, he just wants me to wait. And my Godmother agrees and so do my sisters.”
    “Your sisters are jealous. As for your father, maybe he’s right? Maybe we should wait until I have...more money, better connections – isn’t that what he means?”
    “I…I don’t know, I mean...”
    “Isn’t that what you mean?”
    “No. Of course not. You’re putting words into my mouth.”
    “Oh, I know how this works. They make it hard for us, make us wait for a few years by which time you’ve finished college at which point a line of rich, inbred males with familiar surnames are paraded around before you so you can choose the right husband – one your father approves of.”
    “That’s not it at all, you know there will never be anyone but you… we might only be young but you are the love of my life, Ben.” 
    “I wish I could say the same but you are so easily…”
    “Persuaded.  You don’t seem to know your own mind.  Perhaps it’s better if we take this time apart while I go to college and you finish school and make it permanent...”
     “What? What? No! I love you, I told you I just want to wait for you...”
     As he turned from me he walked down the hallway and out into the brightness of day. I had the strangest feeling it would be a long time before I saw his face again.