Monday, October 13, 2014

Ch224 All my fault

“What???” Simon and Ronnie said together. Then they exploded, each talking over the other.

“You can’t be serious,” Simon said.

“That’s nuts!” Ronnie shouted.

 “Why would you say that?” Simon asked.

“Those kids love you and you know you’re crazy about them, too!” Ronnie said.

Victor held up his hands, trying to stem the storm of words hurtling at him. “I never said I didn’t. That’s not what I meant. I mean I should never have adopted them before securing a mother for them first, before getting Violet to marry me.”

The guys stared at him. “Oh…” they said simultaneously.

“It was wrong of me. They need a mother. I knew they did, but…like Peter I was impatient. I’m only a father, though, and not a particularly good one, and they deserve to have both mother and father, a mother more so.”

“Bullshit!” Ronnie said angrily.

“You heard them, Ronnie. They want a mother,” Victor said.

“Yeah, but you are a good father. You’re awesome. I’ve seen you with them.”

“Dad,” Simon asked. “What started this talk?”

“Peter’s been moody for a while now and I couldn’t figure out why…until tonight,” Victor said, slumping down onto a stool. “He’s angry with me because I couldn’t get him what he really needs…a mother…more specifically, Violet.”

“I’m sorry, Dad. It’s all my fault,” Ronnie said. “I shouldn’t have started about you going to Violet’s, but you never said...”

“It’s not your fault, Ronnie,” Victor said. “It’s all mine. I promised him the impossible…I promised him Violet and now all they have is me. They would be better off if I had left them at the orphanage.”

“Dad, that’s crazy talk,” Simon snapped. “Those kids are much better off with you than they were before, even without a mother. You should have heard Georgiana going on and on about you. She adores you! They all do. No matter what you think, they are far better off with you than not.”

“But it’s not too late to get them a mom, anyway,” Ronnie said. “You and Violet can still…”

Victor shook his head. “It’s not gonna happen.”

“What do you mean? It’s gotta happen!” Ronnie said. “Violet’s all yours.”

“No, she’s not. Never was and never will be,” Victor said.

"But she loves you, Dad," Simon said.

"Apparently not enough," Victor said.

“Did something happen?” Simon asked. “Did you have a fight?”

“No, not a fight…exactly,” Victor said sighing. “I finally met Sophie.”

“You did?” Ronnie said, surprised. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Why relive the worst moment of my life?”

“What?” Ronnie said, stunned.

“Nearly so anyway,” Victor said, putting his face in his hands. "I wish I never met her."

“Dad, what did she say?” Simon said.

“She was very nice and all and I thought we were getting along fine. I actually thought she liked me,” Victor said, shaking his head at the recollection and how poorly he misjudged her. “Apparently not, though. Stupidly, I told Sophie, how much I loved Violet and that I’d already asked her to marry me several times. She was not pleased, to say the least. She berated Violet for lying all this time to her--she knew nothing about me and her mother. When I left the house, Sophie was fuming mad at Violet and Violet at me.”

“But…why???” Ronnie said. “What’s Sophie’s problem with you?”

“What else could it be, Ronnie? I’m not good enough. I’m not right for her mother. I’m nothing like her sainted fireman father. I’m a lawyer. I’m not blond and blue eyed. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. Violet…dutiful mother that she is…I know she’ll never go against her kid’s wishes. Sophie hates me and so…we’re history,” Victor said, wearily getting up from the stool. “Do me a favor, guys, and clean up for me, will ya? I suddenly feel awfully tired.”

Ronnie stared after his father, impotent with rage. He then slowly turned on Simon. “Can you fricken believe that? It’s all Sophie’s fault….the bitch!”

Simon gaped wondering if this could finally be the end of his brother’s fascination with Sophie Bennett. Pity it had to come at the expense of their father’s disastrous love life.

Simon remained silent while Ronnie muttered curses under his breath as they cleaned the kitchen together and he marveled how Ronnie restrained himself –just barely-- from flinging china and silverware across the room. He’d never seen him so angry, and he should know. Simon had done plenty to get his brother riled up in the past, but nothing like this.

“I swear I want to ring her fricken, skinny, little neck!” Ronnie shouted as the last dish was angrily tossed into the dishwasher, remarkably unscathed.

“Ronnie, be reasonable. It’s not all Sophie’s fault,” Simon calmly said.

“Are you seriously defending her after what she’s done to Dad?”

“No, I’m just saying…”

“Did you see the look on his face? He aged ten years right in front of our eyes! He’s miserable and it’s all that little…”

“Ron, think rationally for a minute,” Simon said. “Sophie just lost her beloved father and Violet her husband…”

“That’s more than a year ago!”

“Yes, to us it’s a long time, but apparently to them it might as well be yesterday. They are obviously still grieving and any thought of getting past that…especially Violet getting married again…is unthinkable to both of them.”

“That’s stupid.”

“Is it? Don’t you remember when Mom and Dad split up?”

“Nobody died then, Simon. It was just divorce.”

“More to my point. Mom may have hooked up with Andy two minutes later, but not Dad. I don’t think he dated for years afterward.”

“So? What are you saying?”

“It takes time to mend a broken heart and I think we can agree Mom broke Dad's heart?"


"But nothing breaks a heart beyond repair more than to have the one you love die.”

“Mom didn’t die, she remarried…although Dad might wish she was dead.”

“My point is Dad got over it…took a long time but…eventually he did.”

“So what? That has nothing to do with Dad and Violet!” Ronnie snapped.

“Nobody, not even Violet who is definitely in love with Dad—we can agree on that, right?”

“Damn straight she is!” Ronnie said.

“Nobody can make a heart mend quicker just cuz you want it to. It takes time, more time than Dad and Peter and any of us are willing to wait.”

“What does that have to do with Sophie hating Dad so much that she won’t let Violet marry him?”

“Everything. She probably feels Violet is disrespecting and dishonoring the memory of her beloved father…exactly how we felt when Mom married Andy. Only difference was we actually liked Andy cuz he was a great guy, and Dad wasn’t dead. So imagine if Andy had been a real bastard and Dad was dead. How would you have felt if Mom totally forgot Dad and went on with her life?”

Ronnie thought for a minute, frowning. “But Mom did forget Dad right away and we didn’t freak out.”

“Yeah, we kinda did, but being we were stupid little kids we took it out on Dad instead of Mom. We blamed Dad for …I dunno… letting Mom take us away from him. We never blamed Mom until much later and by then it was too late for Dad.”

Ronnie looked ready to punch something. He hated being reminded of that. He ran frustrated fingers through his over-long wavy, dark hair. “But we didn’t stop her from marrying Andy and Sophie is.”

“Think, Ron, could we have stopped Mom from marrying Andy?”

“We could have made it difficult at least.”

“But it wouldn’t have stopped her, not for long because she really loved Andy and she didn’t love Dad anymore…if she ever did.”

“I still have no idea what this has to do with Sophie hating Dad and stopping...”

“It’s not Sophie stopping Violet. It’s Violet stopping Violet and she’s just using Sophie as an excuse.”

“But why???”

Simon sat down opposite Ronnie and tented his fingers in front of his face, tapping his lips as he gave this some serious thought. “Remember what Dad told us? I’m betting it’s her ghost husband getting in the way.”

“Great,” Ronnie muttered. “How do we get rid of a ghost? Catholic priest?”

“That’s for demonic possession, numb nuts,” Simon snapped.

“Then what? We gotta do something! We can’t just let Dad…”

“You’re gonna laugh…or think I’m crazy, but I think we should ask Mom.”

Ronnie made a face. “You are crazy! How in the world could she help? Why would she? She hates Dad.”

“You know, I used to think so, but I don’t think so anymore. You saw her at Thanksgiving. She didn’t once yell at Dad or make even one of her usual snide remarks. What does that tell ya?”

“That she was all consumed with her baby.”

“It wasnt just that, although I'm sure it helped. You heard her. She kept asking after Violet… Violet this, Violet that. How many times did she say she wished Dad had brought Violet? I think Mom really likes her…for whatever reason, and I think she likes the idea of Victor being in love with Violet. Maybe it helps her assuage her guilty feelings. That's all I can figure. I think she wants them togther. I truly believe she wants Dad to be happy now…with Violet. I really think she could help us get them together,” Simon said, standing up. “Come on, we got work to do.”

“Like delivering Christmas trees is gonna make everything better?” Ronnie said, rising from his own seat.

“It might, especially if we stop by Mom’s first for a bit of advice,” Simon said.

“You seriously think it’ll help?”

“Never know til you try.”

Ronnie was not at all convinced.

©2014 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved

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