Monday, April 28, 2014

Ch204 No you’re not

Violet was having the strangest dream. She was being held prisoner by an angelic faced young woman who wore flat ankle strap sandals, silver bangle-bracelets all up and down her tanned muscular arms and a long gauzy tie-dyed dress which only slightly camouflaged the paint splatters all over it. The woman looked like the typical hippy free spirit of the 60s. Her long blonde hair was adorned with tiny braids interwoven with feathers and flowers along the side of her head and a beaded headband across her forehead.

Only thing missing was a guitar and a collection plate! Oh, yes, and weed.

Why—besides this being a silly, meaningless dream, that is—would this woman be holding Violet down in this soft and otherwise comfortable chair? And more importantly, how was she doing it? Violet felt no ropes around her holding her in place, nor even duct tape as most kidnappers use to do this on the cheap. She simply felt an oppressive weight on her chest and could not move, not even lift a finger, to save her life.

But was her life in danger in this dream? Somehow, it didn’t feel like it, but that wasn’t to say it was comfortable. An elephant sitting on your chest wouldn’t feel too good, after all, and that’s sort of what it felt like. She could barely breathe.

Violet didn’t know what to think. It really didn’t feel like a dream, but what else could it be? She could only just hear muted voices around her—not really making out what they were saying--, but she couldn’t see a thing. That was because, she couldn’t, try as she might, open her eyes. 

It was a darn weird dream, all right, but little did she know that this wasn’t truly a dream. It was something she would never understand, however, so a dream is what we shall call it.

“My beautiful boys,” Violet said, smiling at Laurence and Rance as they sat-- with nearly identical puzzled expressions on their faces--watching her. “It’s me. Your Emmy, Laurie, and your mommy, Pookie.”

“No you’re not,” Rance spat, just barely refraining himself from getting up from his seat and striking her. “Don’t talk about my mom. You don’t know her!”

“I AM her…for now. I’m just using this woman for a while to talk through her. Please listen. I don’t have much time,” she said.

“Great job, Rance,” Laurence snarled. “With all I’ve done to keep us safe from scammers and unsavory individuals, you go and actually bring a charlatan into our midst, into our home.”

“Me?” he shouted. "How is this my fault?"

“She’s your friend’s mother! You barely know anything about either of them, do you?”

“I know Sophie and she’s not like that, Dad! You said you saw Ms. Bennett in the Hamptons. For all you know she may have been stalking you all this time,” Rance retorted.

Laurence paled. It had never occurred to him before, but it could be the case and now made perfect sense. “So, that’s your game, Ms. Bennett? You go around leaching off of powerful men, getting what you can from them, making them fall for you until a better catch comes around? I'm betting Romanoff gave you a huge diamond and you hocked it, didn't you?”

Violet rolled her eyes and sighed. “You just don’t get it. This is not Violet talking to you right now, and she wouldn't do that anyway. It’s Emily, I'm Emily...your Emily!”

“No, you’re not!” Rance shouted. “Why are you doing this?”

“Because I can’t get any rest until you two stop all this guilt over my death,” she said. “It wasn’t your fault I got sick and died, neither of you, so just get over it!”

“Oh yeah? You’re my mom, huh?” Rance said, shooting up to his feet, clenched fists by his sides. “What was the last thing she said to me, huh? What were the very last words to come out of her mouth before she… she died?”

She smiled sadly. “Never give up your passion, Pookie. Stay with your music. No matter what anyone says, even your father. I defied my parents when I had to and I did all right.”

Rance’s mouth fell open, his breath caught in his chest and he opened and closed his mouth a few times before sound came out. “M…m…Mom?”

“Yes, baby, it’s me,” she said reaching out her hand to him.

Rance stared at her then took one step forward, but Laurence shot an arm across his chest stopping him on the spot. “You are not actually falling for this?”

“But she…only Mom would know, Dad,” Rance said.

“And the nurse and the doctor and any one of dozens of the staff could have overheard it and repeated it to anyone else and… that’s how scammers and charlatans work, Son. Don’t fall for it,” Laurence said, glaring at Violet. “You need to leave. NOW!”

“I’m not leaving my childhood home…not until you tell our son what you should have told him long before this,” Violet said folding her arms across her chest.

“What?” Rance said, looking from one to the other. “What should you tell me?”

“Nothing. She knows nothing, nothing that hasn’t already made the rounds in the tabloids,” Laurence said.

“It took me three PIs to find her, Laurie, as I told you on my death bed. I don’t blame you, so don’t blame yourself. You didn’t know. But our son has a right to know he has a…”

“Shut up! Shut up! Enough of this already,” Laurence said, grabbing her by the arm, forcing her out of the room. “You are nothing but a scam artist and I won’t…”

“Laurie, please try, try to see past this woman and listen to me, listen to my words. You know it’s me. You have to stop all this useless guilt or you’ll forever be lost to our only son or is it that you only care about the child you didn’t know existed until moments before my death, the one I found for you?”

“What?” Rance said. “Dad, what the hell is she talking about?”

“I don’t know how you’re doing this and I don’t care, but you have to get out of here,” Laurence said, now breathing heavy and looking about him as if searching for a way to escape this nightmare.

“Only way to stop this is to tell him, or I swear, Laurie, I will,” she said wrenching her arm out of his grip with surprising strength. “I know how to do it now. I’ve had practice. I can go to Kelly and do to her what I did to Violet, possess her, and I’ll make her come here with Fanny and I’ll…”

Laurence stopped in his tracks and stared at her as if seeing her for the first time. “Emmy?” he mumbled, after a long moment of silence. “Only Emmy knows...Is it really you? Only you would…it can’t be, but…it’s you, really truly you, isn’t it?”

She sighed. “Yes, it’s about time you figured it out.”

“Wait…didn’t you just say this was a trick?” Rance interjected, but was completely ignored.

“But…how are you doing this?” Laurence whispered.

“Easy…with someone as guileless and unassuming as Violet. I won’t say she’s empty-headed, because she’s not, but she’s… artless and naïve in some ways, and easily manipulated if you know how to push her buttons and it’s not difficult to discover those. I kind of like her, but she’s not the girl for you, Laurie, in case you were thinking of that,” she said, smiling. “She is pretty, I know, and down to earth, but she’s in love with Victor and he with her if I’m not mistaken. Who could blame her? He’s such a hunk! If I hadn’t had you, I would have gone after him, you know. I bet my grandfather would have hated him almost as much.”

Laurence actually laughed. “It is you, Emmy! You always tried to make me jealous about that guy.”

She grinned. “Worked, didn’t it?”

“Yes, it did,” he said, stepping closer to her. He reached out his hand, but stopped just short of touching her.  “Emmy… it truly is you in there?”

She rolled her eyes. “Yes, for now. I thought we established that already. Now, let’s get serious, Honey, because I can’t do this forever to Violet. You need to talk to Kelly. She was the love of your life once and…”

“Don’t ever say that! I loved you!” Laurence snapped.

“And you still love me, Laurie, I know this,” she said, and she caressed his cheek. “Please understand this, Laurie. I know you never got over her, but it doesn’t detract from what we had. We were solid, but I’m no longer here and she is, and just like you never got over her, she never got over you. She never married. She barely had any sort of love life after you.”

“I don’t want to hear it,” he stubbornly said. “It’s got nothing to do with me now.”

“Listen to me, you knucklehead!” she retorted. “It has everything to do with you! I know you were angry because she broke up with you back then and broke your heart, but you need to forgive her for that. She was so young and she only did it to…well, she didn’t want to drag you down…not with an unexpected pregnancy just as you were getting somewhere with your career, and then when the child was born with disabilities…she felt …she thought it was just too much to burden you with it. She didn’t want to ruin the life you were creating for yourself. Don’t take it out on her and certainly don’t take it out on the child.”

“She’s not a child anymore, is she?” he said through clenched teeth. “She’s older than Rance by several years.”

She shook her head. “In chronological years, yes, but mentally…”

“Wait…are you guys nuts? Are you saying…Dad’s got another kid somewhere? Like…I have a sister…a half-sister and you never told me?” Rance shouted. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!”

She turned to him and shook her head. “I only learned about this days before I died, Rance. I’m sorry, Honey, but I needed to tell your father first and he was away, remember?”

“Oh, yeah! I remember that! Dad abandoning you when you needed him most. I hate him for it,” Rance screamed.

“That’s my fault too. I made him go away, Rance, because I couldn’t stand to see his face as I faded from this world,” she said.

“You didn’t make me go. Don’t lie to him,” Laurence said. “I never should have left, but you told me… I thought I’d be back before…I never should have left.”

“Laurence…I did it on purpose,” she said and shook her head. “I can’t believe Bill never told you, but I was responsible for the attempted hostile takeover."

"You did no such thing!" Laurence shouted. "You couldn't have done!"

"I could and did. I needed to get you out of here and Bill helped me. He was eager to do it too.”

“Bill…Bill Hornfeck?” Laurence asked. “The conniving little…”

“Weasle, yes. I never liked him and I wanted him away from you so…I figured you'd think he was the one doing the hostile takeover and...I thought he would blame me and I knew you wouldn't believe him plan worked.”

“You did that? Really?” Laurence said.

“I’m not just a pretty face, you know,” she said and she stuck her tongue out at him making him laugh.

"I never knew you were this manipulative, Emmy," Laurence said, eying her shrewdly.

"My plans didn't work though, not well anyway," she muttered with a grimace.

“You really wanted Dad gone?” Rance asked. "Why, Mom?"

“Yes and no…I wanted him here, but I didn't want his last memories of me being…tainted by my horrible death. I also wanted your father to tell you about Kelly and your half-sister after I died. I stupidly thought this would be the perfect thing to bring you closer together, but I was so wrong. Maybe if I had been around…”

Rance, a  new understanding evident on his face looked at his father. "Why, Mom?"

She shrugged. “Doesn't matter now. No use going over what can’t be changed, but looking forward, can’t you two do what’s right and meet with them? Please, do this, if not for yourself then do it for me.”

“Why is it so important to you?” Rance asked.

She smiled. “I could never give you a little brother or sister like you always wanted and I felt very bad about that, but your father can now. Better late than never I say. You’ll adore Fanny, Rance. She’s a real sweetheart and you’ll like Kelly, too, I’m sure of it. And as for you,” she said, turning to Laurence. “You know darn well, you need a woman to steer you and guide you,  to help you navigate through the press and everything else. Otherwise you are a mess. Just look at you if you want proof! Kelly is a nice lady and you can trust her, Laurie, not much changed since you last knew her. Give her a call, meet your daughter and most of all…enjoy life. That’s an order. Do this for me, please.”

Laurence nodded though reluctantly and glanced at Rance who also nodded. “And what about you, Emmy? Will you… can you stay for...”

 She shook her head. “I have been here far too long already. I have to go.”

“Will we ever hear from you again, Mom?” Rance asked, tears filling his eyes.

“Of course, if you ever learn to listen to your inner voice. That’s me, you know. Anyway, a part of me will always be with you,” she said, kissing his cheek. “I love you very much, my Pookie. Don’t worry about me, okay? I’m fine now, no pain.”

“I love you, Mom,” Rance whispered wrapping his arms around her.

She hugged him, held on tightly for a moment and she kissed him again. She went to Laurence and did the same whispering, "Always and forever, Laurie." She then slipped into the chair and drew in a deep breath.

“This spirit guide thing is seriously exhausting and I need a powerful, long rest now.  Rance, don’t mention what happened here to your friends, especially Sophie. It would only freak her out.”

“What about…what should we tell Ms. Bennett? This is so…bizarre,” Rance asked.

“She won’t remember anything,” she said. “Thank her for me. She’s a good one…would make a good friend. I love you both…so very much. Do remember that and do recall that loving each other is how you can honor me best.”

They watched as she closed her eyes, twitched slightly and Violet slowly reopened her eyes, blinked several times and drew in a deep breath.

“Hey, Ms. Bennett?” Rance said, cautiously approaching her and kneeling beside her chair. “How you feeling?”

“Um…not too good...bit dizzy,” she said putting a shaky hand to her forehead. She went to stand up and Rance helped her to her feet. “I’m sorry to be a spoil sport and ruin this evening, but I really need to go home. I just wish…”

“What do you wish, Violet?” Laurence said softly.

“I wish I could have helped you and your boy get back on friendly terms,” she said, smiling weakly. "It hurts to see you two at odds."

Rance and his father exchanged looks. Rance extended his hand and said, “I’m sorry, Dad.”

His father smiled, grabbed his hand and tugged him into a bone-crushing hug. “I’m sorry, too. I love you so much, Kid.”

“Wow,” Violet mumbled, blinking at the sight before her. 

The men laughed and separated. “I think we should thank you, Ms. Bennett,” Laurence said. 

“For what? I didn’t do anything,” she said.

“You’ can be very persuasive even when you're not knowing it,” Rance said, taking her right arm. “You’re very much like my mom sometimes, did you know that?”

“Am I?” she said. “Well, all moms are the same…I guess. I do wish I had gotten a chance to meet her.”

“Yes, you could have been good friends, I’m thinking,” Laurence said, taking her other side and together they led her back to the dining room.

 ©2014 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved    

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