Taking a page from Dr. Franz Mesmer’s book, Simon had been making inane conversation while driving, purposely droning on in a low, slow and excessively boring voice so that after a minute or so even the Energizer Bunny would have been comatose, which was precisely the objective. Not that anyone would confuse that annoying mechanical rodent for Simon’s sleepy passenger, but Cassandra--try as she might to stay awake for him and insisting that her severe headache would never allow her to--fell fast asleep before they went two blocks and hit the highway where it was smooth going and nothing short of a tornado could disturb her sleep.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Monday, May 15, 2017
“What the hell,” Sophie said, watching in stunned annoyance as her mother and her supposed grandmother walked passed, completely ignoring her.
Ronnie, who had been watching from afar, stepped in and stopped Sophie from following them. “Sophie, cut your mom some slack, okay?” he said. “Violet’s been waiting for this moment for a very long time. She was the only one that still had faith that one day her mother would be normal again.”
“How do you know anything about it?” Sophie snapped.
Monday, May 8, 2017
Harmony Norton had never led anything other than an average, ordinary life. She was born into an average, ordinary family, with average, ordinary parents. She lived in an average, ordinary town, and had average, ordinary friends with whom she played average, ordinary games. She was an average, ordinary child and grew to be an average, ordinary teenager. She was even average and ordinary when she fell in love and married Jared Norton, a seemingly average, ordinary person himself.
Little did she know that this average, ordinary pairing with Jared would be the spark that set her life ablaze, eventually torching her average, ordinary life beyond recognition so that for nearly three decades she lay trapped in the ruins of it and left behind, to be so alone, so miserable and seemingly abandoned by nearly everyone she loved.
Monday, May 1, 2017
“Cassandra, this doesn’t change anything,” Frankie said. “We’re still the same family we’ve always been. We just have different titles now. Okay, I’m you’re father not your brother and Pops is your grandfather…doesn’t really change much at all, cuz we all love you very much... just the same as always.”
“With that kinda love I could sure use some indifference,” she mumbled, grabbing several tissues and wiping away the wetness on her cheeks.
“What?” he said, not having heard her.
“Nothing. You can go now,” she said, waspishly.
“Cassandra, come on. It’s Christmas, time for family. Go wash your face and come eat with us. You’ll feel better.”
“I’m not going down to face a room full of liars and pretend that everything is fine when it’s so not fine. Nothing will ever be fine again,” she said with a loud, unladylike blowing of her nose.
“Enough of this. Stop acting like a baby!” he said. “If it wasn’t for us you’d be in foster care... or much worse. You wouldn’t even be here. Donna’s parents wanted her to get an abortion and when she refused they made her give you up for adoption even though she didn’t want to.”
Monday, April 24, 2017
“Cassanadra!” Frankie shouted, pounding on her bedroom door. “Open up!”
She slowly opened the door. “Finally, somebody paying attention to me,” she said, triumphantly. Now she could get some answers.
“What the hell is wrong with you today?” he said, his real arm pushing the door open and stepping inside. “You’re moping around, you don’t help in the kitchen, you’re not there to watch the kids and…did you really slap Tony in the face?”
“Is that what he told everyone? Actually, I kneed him in the balls,” she said. “A slap across the face wasn’t going to stop him.”
“What! Why did you do that?” he said.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Sophie and Ronnie would have been horrified to know what Simon was up to at that exact moment. For he was indeed doing what they fervently hoped he wouldn’t. However, there he was driving stealthily past Cassandra’s house knowing full well that this was the last place he was wanted.
That fact did not deter him, needless to say.
Simon parked across the street in the driveway of a neighbor who apparently was away for the holidays, and he watched Cassandra’s house from this position for several minutes thinking about his next move. There were an extra six cars there today, and even sitting in his car with the windows rolled up, he could hear lots of activity, rather noisy activities. There was music playing, kids squealing, TV blaring, the constant slam and clink of dominos against wood and adults shouting to be heard above it all. Obviously lots of Cassandra’s family came over to celebrate Christmas with them and possibly to say a final farewell to Cassandra's father who she insisted had one foot in the grave and was not too long for this world.
Monday, April 10, 2017
“Wh…what is this?” Violet whispered, staring at the woman stepping carefully over the threshold and into the house. She placed a hand over her outrageously beating heart. “Oh, my…”
“It’s nothing short of a miracle,” Freddy said, bringing Violet forward. “It’s Mom and she’s all better.”
“Mostly better, Freddy,” the woman said.
“My God…Freddy, what did you do?” Violet muttered, taking hesitant steps forward. “Is this real?”
“It is! I’m sorry that I couldn’t tell you sooner,” Freddy said. “But Mom insisted on surprising you.”
“Merry Christmas, Violet,” the woman said, caution in her voice.
“Mom?” Violet said, afraid to get any closer, lest the illusion vanish.
“My darling girl,” her mother said, smiling nervously. “Will you forgive me?”
Monday, April 3, 2017
Sophie watched in amazement as her mother was given gift after gift from Victor’s kids. Georgiana especially was so anxious that Violet might not like her handmade gift that Sophie thought the little girl would burst into tears if her mother was anything less than effusive in her thanks.
Violet did NOT disappoint. She gave hugs and kisses aplenty making an undue fuss over each gift and making each child feel as if their gift alone was the best thing she’d ever received.
“This one’s from Daddy,” Georgiana said excitedly, placing a large, gold foil covered box on Violet’s lap.
Violet looked up at Victor and he smiled. “Georgiana helped pick out the perfect one for you,” he said.
Monday, March 27, 2017
“Oh, Mom, I love it! Thank you,” Sophie said, hugging her mother.
“Wasn’t sure you’d like it,” Violet said. “You seemed to be getting rather attached to my own coat.”
Sophie giggled and tried the new coat on over her PJs. “This one fits me much better,” she said.
“As should the dress,” Violet said. “My dress was too lose and too short on you.”
“I dunno about that, Violet. Sophie’s boyfriends seemed to like what she wore yesterday just fine,” Janice said, pulling on the knit tunic Violet made for her over her night gown “I love this! It’ll even fit when my baby bump gets bigger.”
“Don’t start that boyfriend stuff again,” Sophie warned, stuffing her feet into the new boots she got from her Aunt Laurie and Uncle Freddy.
“What do you know about this rich kid Sophie’s hanging with, Mom?” Kenny asked, as he opened drawer after drawer of his shiny, new tool chest which, as big as it is, he still couldn’t see how his mother had hidden it from him until Christmas day. “If he’s anything like the Romanoff boys…”
Monday, March 20, 2017
Violet walked into the house and the first thing she saw was Sophie in her PJs sitting on the staircase. She smiled and said, “Aren’t you a little too old to wait up for Santa?”
“I was waiting for you. What took you so long?” Sophie said, standing up and crossing her arms over her chest, a sure sign she was irritated.
“Well, if you must know, I offered to put Victor’s kids to bed while he bid his guests a good night,” Violet said, removing her coat, scarf and hat. “Something wrong?”
“Yes…no…maybe,” Sophie said, deflating on the spot.
“Well, which one is it?” Violet asked. “Want a cuppa cocoa while you decide? I do!”
“What I want is someone to listen to me,” Sophie said peevishly, following her mother into the kitchen.
“I am listening,” Violet replied, over her shoulder. “You know very well I do my best listening while cooking…not that it takes much cooking skills to make hot cocoa.”
Sophie watched her mother go about making the cocoa, pouring milk into a pan, followed by cocoa powder and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
“How did it go with you and Rance?" Violet asked, while searching the cupboard.
Monday, March 13, 2017
|Violet in chains|
Violet had just said her goodbyes to nearly everyone at Victor’s party--all except for Victor—and she was in the hall retrieving her coat, when she remembered Bonnie Beckel had come with her and would need a ride home. With coat over her arm she went looking for Bonnie.
“Violet, are you leaving so soon?” Victor said, Peter resting his sleepy head on his shoulder.
“So soon, you say?” she replied with a laugh. “Victor, it’s very late, which would explain this little guy barely able to keep his eyes open. Recall, Santa won’t come until all little kiddles are sound asleep in their beds.”
“I’m not sleepy. I wanna see Santa come down the fireplace,” Peter mumbled, holding his head upright for a mere second before it plopped back down.
“No, you’re not at all sleepy,” Violet said sarcastically, shaking her head at Victor as they both tried not to laugh. “How about I put him to bed for you, and the other two if I can find them?”
“You don’t have to do that, Violet,” Victor said, although half-heartedly.
Monday, March 6, 2017
“My God, Bug, what are you doing?” Sophie shouted, pushing him away.
“If you have to ask, I can’t be doing it right,” Rance said. “It’s called a kiss.”
“No, I know that…I mean…what are you thinking?” she said, shaking her head. “What happened to the rule, your rule about no romance with band members? You swore you’d never…”
“Sophie, look around. There is no band, not anymore!” Rance said. “I made up that stupid rule to keep the guys away from you, for what good it did with Danny. He was all over you, rule or no rule! Babe, it’s just you and me now and no band,” he said.
“But…but we’re friends,” she said, feebly.
“Yeah, and now we can be more…cuz, Sophie, I really want us to be more,” he said, seriously. “You said that we’re awesome together. You know we are.”
“But…but that was as friends,” she said, her mind reeling. “How long have you…you…felt this way?”
“Truth? Since the time I approached you at the grief support meeting when I asked you if you were thinking the same thing I was and you said…”
Monday, February 27, 2017
Feeling her throat go dry, Sophie took another sip from the glass and handed it to Rance. “Go on then,” she said. “What are you thinking?”
“My dad suggested it and I think it’s a great idea,” he said, then downed the rest of the soda and put down the empty glass. He rubbed his hands together, then took both of hers. “You can intern for us.”
A slight frown creased her brow. “I don’t even know what that means,” she admitted, feeling rather stupid.
“Well, it’s just a try-out for a permanent job, learning as you go and there are lots of different places for you to try if one doesn’t fit you. It’s a huge company, and Dad's always hiring fresh new people, so there's a good chance you can find a job there that you like, a good paying job with benefits, and I know you. You’re smart, hard working, and creative and imaginative. You love to learn and try new things. I’m sure you’ll excel. I’m more sure of you doing great than me!”
“But…but I don’t know nuttin ‘bout no corporation work!” she said, in a truly horrible southern accent.
Monday, February 20, 2017
“This is it, I think,” Sophie said, opening the door to the dark study and running her hand on the wall for the light switch. “Ooh…nice.”
“For some reason, I thought it would smell like cigar smoke in here when they called it a study,” Rance said looking around at the large comfortable office lined with floor to ceiling shelves stuffed with books, mostly having to do with law.
“Mr. Romanoff doesn’t smoke… that I know of,” Sophie said going to the leather sofa in the center of the room facing the fireplace, sitting down, kicking off her heels and curling her long legs under her. “Maybe it’s a memory of your grandfather’s study. You told me once that he smoked cigars.”
“Could be. That a new dress? Looks really good on you,” he said, nervously standing by the fireplace.
“I found it in my mom’s closet with the tags still on so I guess it’s new,” she said with a giggle. “Now come here and sit down!”
He smiled, sat down beside her and stared at her.
Sophie shook her head. “I still can’t get over your new look.”
“You don’t hate it?” he asked, tugging on his tie.