You're Never Too Old To Be Guided

You're Never Too Old To Be Guided

A Chapter by Beatles9322

Dinner tonight is bound to be the most awkward one I’ll experience in my 17 years on this earth. We all know who is supposed to be here and who isn’t here: Timmy Bonheur. All throughout the meal of rice with pigeon peas, pork shoulder and fried plantains, my mother and I glance over at Theresa to see how she fares. Aside from a bit of quiet whimpering, she seems stable enough. Jane looks up from her pink polka dot bowl to see what’s going on. My father, Gaspard (yeah he’s French), is home after a long day at the office and is completely unaware of what happened with Theresa.

“So, dad, how was work today?” I inquire, desperate to fill the stiff silence.

“Oh, Edie, you know how it was. Long and tiresome. I’m just glad to be home,” my dad replies with a smile.

“Okay,” I say, looking at mom for help.

“Um, how do you like the dinner, honey?” my mother asks, rescuing me.

“It’s great, it’s great. But we usually don’t eat this meal unless it’s a special occasion,” my dad says, puzzled.

“Well, I just though everyone should indulge a little tonight,” my mom explains, glancing at Theresa.

“Chorizo can cure any ailment, especially broken hearts,” I add. Theresa starts laughing, beginning with a chuckle and making a crescendo to a grand cackle. The rest of us look up at her simultaneously with wide eyes.

“You are so right!” Theresa concurs. My mom and I beam at her as she scoops more rice onto her plate.

“What did I miss?” my dad asks, completely confused.

“It’s kind of a long story,” I attempt to explain. My dad simply shrugs and spoons more rice into his mouth. After dinner, mom and dad go into their bedroom to “watch TV” and I start on the dishes, as usual. Something incredible happens and I suddenly feel Theresa’s presence beside me.

“Want some help?” Theresa asks, rather sweetly.

“Sure! You can dry,” I reply, quite surprised by this sudden change in her temperament. We stand silently for a few minutes, washing and drying and we form a little rhythm of our very own.

“I appreciate you, Edie. I do. I just get lost sometimes. I may not seem like I have deep thoughts about stuff like you do, but I actually do,” Theresa explains.

“Theresa, I know you’re not an idiot. Lots of teen girls are torn between what they know they should do and what they want to do,” I offer.

“I just want to be more independent. I want to be like you, Edie,” Theresa confesses, looking deeply into my chocolate brown eyes.

“Theresa, be you! Just be a more original you!” I laugh and she smiles widely. We head upstairs and hug each other goodnight. Jane enters my bedroom and her paws make an interesting contrast against my fluffy burgundy carpet.
“Up up, baby,” I entreat and pat my bed. Jane hops up on my bed and curls up at my feet in preparation of my reading. Her eyes close, her breath slows and I begin the story. I’ve always been amazed by Jane Austen’s novels. I get asked often, particularly by my acquaintances at college, why I’m so in love with Miss Austen and her work. It’s a tad difficult, at least for me, to put into words my answer. I suppose the simplest way to put it would be that Jane explains life to me. She teaches me to be wary of charming men, to not show too much affection too fast and to ONLY marry for love. Jane’s like the big sister I don’t have. I know my mother should fill me in, but she’s only been with one man, my father. She tries to give advice but she’s never had her heart broken like Jane’s heroine’s have! As original as this sounds, my mom doesn’t understand me. She thinks my taste in music is “too old” and my favorite clothes are “for grandmas.” I can’t blame her, though. With a daughter so popular and glamorous like Theresa, who would want a daughter who lives her own way? Anyway, so I’m lying underneath my purple blankets, reading P&P with Jane when I realize something. I need to bring something to the dinner party! Freddy will know what to bring. He picks up after the first couple rings.

“Hey, Edie! Freddy likes you,” Freddy’s baby sister Lucy sings into the phone.

“Lucy, give me the phone!” Freddy scolds.

I can hear Lucy’s high-pitch giggling as she hands Freddy the phone.

“I’m so sorry about that, Edie. My sister is…,” Freddy begins.

“She’s cute! Plus she’s only four so she doesn’t know any better,” I say.

“I’m glad you think so highly of her. Anyway, what’s up?” Freddy asks.

“Well, I’m just lying here, reading P&P with Jane as always, and I was thinking about your dinner party,” I start but the sound of pots and pans clambering mixed with shouting stops me.  “Uh, is this a bad time?” I ask.

“No, my cousins just got here and they’re hungry so my mom is cooking for them. As far as the shouting goes, we’re Italian,” Freddy explains.

“Oh, okay! Well should I bring anything?” I ask.

“Hmm…I think maybe a salad or something?” Freddy suggests. I tell him that’s fine and we continue talking for a few minutes about college and food. After we hang up I realize something. Oh crap! I don’t eat salad! Maybe Kate can coach me. I continue reading until well after midnight, completely engulfed in Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s tumultuous love story. As judgmental as I am, I can’t fault Lizzie. If you think about it, who could love Darcy considering all he’s done, or allegedly done? His demeanor is arrogant, rude and disdainful! In my opinion, Lizzie is Belle and Darcy is the Beast. His love for her tames him and makes him rethink his treatment of others. He has a complete attitude turn around. I wonder if this could happen in real life. Probably not, I think, and put my fairytale on my table. I decide to pray about my fear of never finding a man good enough for me. Hands clasped, eyes shut, I begin. “Dear Jesus, I have little hope of ever finding a good man! I know you have a man selected for me already but I sometimes feel as if he’s so far away. Lord, please help me become more content with being alone. You know better than I how much I long for a man in my life who loves me for all of my quirks. Also, Lord, I pray that Theresa finds a good Christian boy to date and that she never forgets her values. All of this I pray in Lord Jesus’ name. Amen,” I pray, wiping a lonely tear away. I honestly don’t know anyone who truly understands my passions and morals. I try to make a list in my head of people who love and appreciate me the way I want them to. Only one name pops into my head: Freddy Nivola. But what about someone new? Could a new man possible understand me? Jack's face instantly pops into my mind. Ahh! I give up this mental torment and rest with Jane in my arms. There’s a cold and wet feeling on my face and I awake the next morning to Jane’s tongue exploring my face. There's a knock at my door and my mother enters my room without my consent.

"Edie! Get up, sweetheart! There's a boy here for you!" my mom excitedly whispers.

Rolling over, I groan, "Who cares?"

"Fine, just stay in bed then," my mother replies. "I'll just tell Jack King that you're not interested," she adds, closing the door behind her.

My eyes snap open and I scream "WAIT!" which startles Jane and causes her to bark incessantly. 

My mom pokes her head in my room, her smile lighting up her face with its intensity. "He says he wants to attend church with us. You have ten minutes," my mom advises me, giggling. Springing out of bed, I dash into my bathroom to wash my face with my Philosophy cleanser. After patting my face dry, I massage my Philosophy moisturizer into my face to make my complexion dewy. I brush my teeth with my Tom's of Maine toothpaste, because I'm a bit of a hippie, and race back into my bedroom. After slipping on a blush colored lace dress, I sit at my vanity and pin up my curls as usual. With a quick brush of Prestige mascara and a swipe of Tarte lip gloss on my lips, I slip on my coral ballet slippers and sprint downstairs. My mother, father, Theresa and jack are sitting on our leather couch when I make my entrance.

Jack spies me, jumps up and cries "Edie!"

"Jack, how are you?" I ask, still in shock at seeing him in my house.

"I'm fine. You look well," Jack remarks, eying me up and down.

"I am well, thank you. How did you find me?" I demand as my family grabs their jackets and heads into the car.

"I found you through my cousin, Freddy. When I arrived at his house late last night, I couldn't stop gushing about the gorgeous girl with dark brown eyes who had rescued me. Freddy inquired as to who this fantastic girl was and I told him your name. He led me to the window, pointed to your house and said, 'She lives there...and she's my dearest friend.' Freddy told me not to bother trying to see you today, as you attend church, but I thought you wouldn't mind if I joined you and your family," Jack explains, not leaving out a single detail.

"Wow! How odd that we should meet yesterday. I was supposed to meet you Friday at the dinner party. Not that I'm complaining. Let's go, shall go?" I suggest and I start walking towards the door, cardigan in hand, but Jack grabs my arm.

"A gentleman escorts a lady out," Jack charms. Smiling, I take his arm and we head out. At church, settled in our pew, Pastor Rogers teaches us to not trust anyone who appears to be very charming and without fault. Pastor Rogers enthralls me with his passionate sermon and I'm about to applaud him to Jack when I notice that Jack isn't paying attention. Jack's eyes and mind are solely focused on his hip and trendy cell phone. Peeking over at his screen, I see the words, "I love u and I can't wait 2 see u!!! I hope u wear ur sexy dress, babe!!" With my mouth gaping wide, I turn back to the pastor and never move my eyes for the rest of the sermon. However intent I am on paying attention to the message, my thoughts turn from shock to anger at my deception! I understand that we have just met and Jack owes nothing to me, but can't he just focus on one girl at a time? Also, who texts that kind of stuff in a CHURCH, let alone at all?! His stock sinks lower and lower as we all make our way to my dad's Honda Civic.

"Edie, you're quiet. Are you okay?" Theresa asks, confused. I'm usually chattering after church, desperate to rehash my favorite parts of the sermon.

"Hablamos despues," I reply, in Spanish. Now is not the time for this discussion as it must take place in her bedroom tonight with the delicacies of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food ice cream and Coca-Cola. Theresa nods in understanding and my family gets into the car. Jack looks at me, his eyes portraying bewilderment, but I can't bring myself to meet his eyes for long. Once home, my family disperses to their respective hideouts: my father to his office, my mother to the kitchen and Theresa to the bathroom and secret junk food stash in her closet to gather the supplies. No doubt she'll include nail polish, makeup and face masks to tonight's pow wow. I'm actually thrilled to be able to open up to her as I haven't done so in...ever. Jack doesn't come in and I don't ask him to. "Thanks for coming to church with me. I thoroughly enjoyed your company," I say faking happiness and forcing myself not to scowl at him. Jack wrinkles his brow, murmurs a reply and goes toward his Mustang. I shut the door before he can turn around to look at me. Once he's out of my sight, I allow a single tear to slide down my face before I join my mom in the kitchen. You might think I'm taking this way too hard, but it's rare that a guy shows interest in me at all, so once any guy does and it doesn't work out, I am gutted. It's probably not healthy to get so attached so quickly but as Jane Austen famously said, "A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment."

"Hey, Edie! I'm making homemade biscuits. Want to help?" my mom asks, completely unaware of my emotional turmoil. Nodding, I dip my hands into the flour and start kneading the dough. "You know, kneading dough releases pent up feelings. Whenever I have a rough day, I pound out some biscuits for my familia," my mom confesses, smacking out the dough.

"I suppose so," I mutter. My mom eyes me and I know what she's thinking. She wants to know what's wrong but she won't dare ask. It comforts me to know that she respects my privacy in that sense, at least.

"If you have the biscuits, I'll get the beef stroganoff started, yes?" my mother suggests. I say yes and focus all my attention on pounding out these biscuits. We work in silence until Theresa bounds in, flinging open the fridge to get a Coke and turning on the radio to a Salsa station.

"What's up, b*****s?" Theresa asks, sipping her sugar-laden beverage.

"Watch your mouth, Theresa! Here, honey, help make the salad, please," my mom fiercely scolds and sweetly requests simultaneously. How she does that, I'll never know. My mom is one of those people who can play both good cop and bad cop at the same time. I find it's best not to ruffle her feathers as she can be a bit of a spitfire. I wish I could be more like her in the sense that I'm not as strong as she is. My mom tells me that one day, when I need it most, I will tap into my Latina fire but I haven't accessed it yet!

Anyway, Theresa replies, "Sure, ma. Hey, since we're both off from school, how about we go to a movie tonight?"

"What a great idea! We can all see a romance film, eat tons of overpriced chocolate and cry our eyes out!" my mom exclaims. My mom's enthusiasm lifts my spirits a bit and I agree. After lunch, my dad and I settle onto the couch to watch some TV and my mom sets on straightening Theresa's waves. Looking over at them, I smile as I think about the fact that no matter how old Theresa tries to act, she still needs her mami to do her hair. After a few hours of mindless television and even more mindless chatter courtesy of Theresa, us three girls prepare for the movies. A feeling of fatigue overcomes me, so I dress down in black jeans, a black long-sleeved knit top and black flats with gems. Feeling very Audrey Hepburn-esque, I grab my fuchsia tote bag, wink at myself in the mirror and walk out, determined not to let Jack's player ways offend me.


Standing in line at our local cinema, I glance around at the movie posters while my mother and sister excitedly giggle about the romance film we are to see. The gaudy film posters consist of unrealistic action films and childish animated flicks with a few cliched romance movies thrown in for good measure. There are no good movies anymore! Cinema is dead, in my opinion. When you think about truly iconic movies, you think of masterpieces like The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Titanic, La Vie En Rose and every classic Disney movie ever made. Unfortunately, today we must force ourselves through awful and shallow films, like The House Bunny and Confessions of a Shopaholic. I am such a snob when it comes to the arts. I try to bash these films with Theresa, but of course she loves them so she tells me to shut up. Anyway, so we three Emmerson girls are just sitting in the theater staring at the fake sex scene on the screen when I notice that Freddy is in the audience. His arm is wrapped around a blonde girl with perfect voluminous hair. For a moment, I find myself glaring at them and fuming! Woah! What the hell? Freddy is such a great friend to me! I should be happy for him! I make myself smile at them though the outcome is more like a stroke face.

"Honey, are you all right? Your face looks very odd," my mother whispers, concerned.

"Yes. I'm just fine, ma..." I softly reply.


Two hours and fifty used tissues later, we emerge from the dark, the bright lights of the musty lobby greeting our eyes. My mom and Theresa gush about the film all the way to the car and I keep my judgmental comments to myself. Like that I thought the film was another sappy romance about two lovers, torn apart by war, who eventually find each other again. And all in the span of two hours accompanied by epic instrumentals! Give me a break. Only Jane Austen could execute that story perfectly, as she did with Persuasion. Even then, Persuasion is FAR from a cliche.


Anyway, we're almost safe inside the car when I hear a loud, "EDIE!" behind me. Eyes shut, I turn around and open my eyes to see Freddy with the lanky blonde.

"Lord, give me strength," I whisper and fake a smile. "Hey! How are you?" I greet them, walking over to meet my fate.

"Edith Emmerson, I'd like you to meet my cousin, Dominique King," Freddy announces, beaming at me.

"OH! Your COUSIN! Hi, Dominique, it's so nice to meet you!" I slightly shriek, thrilled that she is not his girlfriend. Dominique chuckles, extends her hand tipped with short red nails and I shake it, deliriously happy and relieved. 

"I'm pleased to meet you as well," Dominique replies in a throaty deep kind of voice ever so popular among 1940s movie stars. "Freddy has told me so many lovely things about you," she adds, smiling at me as if to communicate a message. I unfortunately am too focused on Freddy's eyes to understand her intention. His forest green eyes wander behind me and I turn to see Jack running towards us, huffing and puffing.

"Oh my! I just realized I'm needed at home for something. Dominique, it was nice to meet you. Freddy, I'll see you on Friday," I say, desperate to get out of there before Jack reaches us. I can't hop in the car fast enough! "Drive! Drive! Drive!" I urge and my mom speeds off. I look back to see Freddy yelling at Jack and Dominique looking at me with apologetic eyes.

"It wasn't very polite of you to leave us in the car while you talked to your friend. Jane Austen wouldn't approve," Theresa jokes.

I roll my head towards her and give her the stink eye. Her smile disappears and we continue home in silence. Fifteen minutes later, I'm in Theresa's room, green mask on my face, spilling all my secrets while Theresa paints my nails a pinky coral color.

"I mean, I get myself all excited about one stupid guy and then he goes and acts like a man w***e!" I vent and Theresa nods in agreement. "I should have been wary of him...Jane Austen always revealed in her novels how the charming ones usually turn out to be asses...Am I wrong to expect monogamy until the end of the church service?" I question.

"No, it's just that...you tend to, like, attach yourself too quickly. Remember Robert Parsons? He took you on one date and you were, like, instantly devoted to him!" Theresa explains, not daring to look at me.

In utter realization I reply, "I suppose you're right. You know, I may be the elder sister but you've got some good ideas as well," I say.

"Gee thanks...Edie, ever since Timmy dumped me, I've been thinking. Like, maybe we shouldn't care too much about guys right now, you know? I mean, we should just have God, each other, our friends and kick a*s in school!" Theresa suggests.

"That sounds perfect," I agree, smiling to know that my advice over the years has impacted her. Theresa and I continue our gabfest until well after 2 A.M. I'm too tired to go to my room to sleep and Theresa doesn't tell me to leave. We fall asleep, cuddling, like we used to when we were kids. I can only assume that Jane had my bed to herself. Oh, to live a dog's life...


 



© 2011 Beatles9322


My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Reviews

A very good story. I like how you make the story seem real life and the character with real emotion and thoughts. A excellent chapter.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A beautiful opening sentence, followed by an elegantly-crafted story! I love the way you put me right inside the main character's head! GREAT STUFF!! ㋡

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

225 Views
2 Reviews
Added on August 27, 2011
Last Updated on November 18, 2011


Author

Beatles9322
Beatles9322

NY



About
I love God, music, make-up, nail polish, traveling, singing, reading, writing, poetry, traveling, going to antique stores and wishing I could afford the stuff, thrift stores, farmers markets, movies, .. more..

Writing