Monday, February 20, 2017

Chapter 322 One good reason

          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. Oohnice.
          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 doesnt 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 its a memory of your grandfathers 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 moms closet with the tags still on so I guess its 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 cant get over your new look.
          You dont hate it? he asked, tugging on his tie.

          No! Its just different. You looksophisticated andI dunno grown up I guess, she said, and she waited for him to say something. Bug, are ya just gonna look at me all night? You said you had something important to tell me sotalk to me!
          May as well start there, he said. I dont want you calling me Bug anymore.
          Uhokay. Why not? she said, puzzled.
          He smiled. Because Fanny doesnt like it, he said.
          Butshes not hereis she, so how would she know?
          No, but…” he sighed. When she heard that Bugs my nickname and that all my friends call me Bug she went ballistic. She said, Bugs are nasty and annoying insects that people just wanna mash into the ground and stomp and kill. Rance is NOT a bug!
          Wow, Sophie said. And whatever Fanny says goes?
          Pretty much! he said laughing, but he quickly sobered. But she was right. Shes really amazing. Heres this mentally retarded girl…”
          Uh-uh-uh! Mentally challengedwe must use the proper, non-offensive term unless you want Fanny and her mother to go ballistic again, Sophie said.
          Theyre not that stuck on political correctness in Kinsley, Kansas, he said. Fanny is so funny. She cant tell you how much a dollar can buy you. I mean shell say ten bucks to buy an apple and it takes two bucks for a Hawaiian vacation and five dollars to go on a plane ride to the moon and yeah, she actually thinks you can take a plane ride to the moon.
Wow, Sophie said again, tying not to laugh.
I know, right? But then she comes up with this Kelly calls them pearls of wisdom, but Dad being Mr. Practical he calls it plain old common sense, but its things that we justI dunnowe dont see whats right in front of our facebut she does!
Like what? Sophie asked, curiously.
She was totally right about my name, about Bug. I picked it mostly to annoy my father, but also because thats exactly how he made me feel when my mother was dying and especially after she was gone. I felt like an insignificant bug that he wanted to swat away and crush. It took my retardedokay, mentally challenged, sister to make me see the truth.
Wowten psycho analysts just died cuz you came up with that all by yourselfwith Fannys help of course, Sophie said.
He laughed and nodded. Yup.
Sono more Bug cuz youre getting along with your dad now? she said.
More than that. Ive outgrown itoutgrown a lot of things. I know now Im not insignificant anymore, he said just as a knock came at the door.
Yes? Sophie said.
          Ronnie came in with a tall glass of ginger ale. I forgot to ask you if you wanted anything, Sophie, he said placing the glass on the coffee table in front of them.
          No, Im fine. Thanks, Ronnie, she said smiling up at him. When he just stood there she added, Umwell only be a little longer if its okay.
          Yeah, suretake your time, he muttered and he headed for the door. You want this closed?
          Yes, please. Partys a little loud, she said.
          He nodded, gave a furtive glance toward Rance then left, seemingly reluctant to leave them alone.
          He doesnt trust methinks Im gonna attack you, Rance said with a smirk. Dont see why you say he doesnt care about you. Obvious to me he does.
          Didnt say he didnt care. This is just him being the protective brother, she said, unable to keep the disappointment out of her voice. He likes me only as a sister. Lucky me.
          Rance said nothing as he took the glass and sipped from it. He offered it to Sophie and she gladly took a sip too.
Why did you and your dad come back so soon? Werent you going to stay until after the New Year?
          Thats what I thought butthings change quickly in my dads world, he said. When you run a multi-billion dollar companyyou know.
          Ohnothing bad happened I hope, she said.
          He shook his head and again stared at her.
          Was Fanny disappointed that you had to leave early? Sophie asked.
          Kelly seemed more upset, actually, he said. I thinkI think my dad is seriously thinking of asking her to marry him.
          Wow. Um how do you feel about it? Sophie asked, taking another sip before handing the glass back to Rance.
          I think its great, he said. He misses my mom, but he knows shes gone. He doesnt like being alone.
          Hes got you now, she said.
          He gave her an incredulous look. A son is not exactly the same as a wife, Babe.
          She giggled. True!
          He turned in his seat to face her more squarely, placing his arm along the back of the couch. It was just the right distance to reach her hair and play with it, running it through his fingers. Ive missed you, he whispered.
          Me too, she said. Miss the guys too.
          He nodded.
          Thats doneisnt it? she said, her eyes suddenly gone a bit misty.
          Again he nodded. Strange isnt it? We were together practically every minute of the day for months, we had big plans to record an album and go touring all over the country. We were gonna live together in New York and now…”
          Everybodys scattered to the ends of the Earth, she finished sadly.
          Except for you and me, he said.
          Yeah, Bug, but we need them. We cant do it by ourselves, she said. What are we gonna do?
          He took a deep breath and grimaced. I dont know how to tell you this, he said.
          Tell me what? she said, reaching forward to touch his hand. You always could tell me anything, BugI mean Rance.
          He looked down at her delicate hand and entwined his fingers with hers. You know I love music. I always will, he said. But I realize now, its just a dream.
          But we were living the dream in Florida, Bug! she said.
          Yeah, we were. Thats why Im not too fussed about it, Sophie, he said. We did have a great time. We lived the life of rock stars for a while and it was awesome, but…”
          We still could if…”
 I talked to my dada lot, and Ive decided to take him up on his offer, Rance said.
          What offer? Sophie asked, a feeling of dread creeping up on her.
          Im going to work with him. I want to learn as much as I can about his company and see if Im good at it. If I am, eventually one day, I can take over for him, when he chooses to retireif he chooses, he said, anxiously watching her reaction. What do you think?
          She took the glass out of his hand and drank a bit, licking the carbonated drops off her lips. Youre just gonna give up on your music?
He caressed her cheek. Ill never give it up, Babe, but itll have to be just a hobby for now, he said. Please dont hate me for this.
Bug, I Sorry Rance, you know I could never hate you, no matter what. Its justkinda sad, ya know? she said, squeezing his hand. And scary.
It doesnt have to be if…”
This changes everything. I mean, theres no reason for me to go to Columbia for a music degree if Im not going to use it, Sophie said, making a grumpy face. No reason for me to live in the City, so I might as well stay in Catalpa Valley and go to a local college or something. I dont even know what to go for though. I have no idea what I wanna do with my life. Never thought about it much.except for music.
Ive got one good reason for you to live in the City, he said, leaning closer.
  Sophie sighed and asked, Whats that?
She smiled slightly at the earnest look on his face. Okay, give me two.
Rance smiled too. Funny you should say that. I have a proposition for you.
Sophie was not certain she liked the sound of that. 

©2017 Glory Lennon All Rights Reserved  

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