22.2 The Talk

In the spirit of coming clean, Eliza left the Jones residence and headed to Breanne’s room. Robert admonished her to speak with their daughter regarding her future, but she lacked the courage and confidence. He was much more proficient in handling the children, but Eliza’s experiences made her the prime candidate. Speaking to Breanne on such a personal level scared her. She was a strong and brazen young woman. Eliza only pretended to be strong. Would Breanne receive her words? As much as Eliza loved her daughter, Breanne had haughty tendencies and lacked maturity. People always said the hardest child to raise was the one the most like ourselves. If only it weren’t true.

She couldn’t stand there all afternoon staring at the back of Breanne’s head. The show had to go on similarly to what just happened across the street. Skipping the conversation would have dire consequences, and Eliza wouldn’t have anyone to blame except herself.

She cleared her throat. “Hello, dear. What are you doing?” From what she could see, the girl seemed tired and frustrated.

“I’m trying to figure out how I can get on the list for the mayor’s ball in Brindleton Bay next weekend.”

“Oh?” She sat on the bed.

“There are bound to be many eligible, wealthy bachelors. I need to be there.”

Fiddlesticks! No more stalling. The conversation needed to happen at once. “Breanne… Come sit. I need to speak with you.”

“But, I need to—”

Please. This is important.”

Breanne pushed herself away from the desk, trudged over to the bed and plopped down like a moody teenager. Eliza envied Asia and Mary for many reasons. At the moment, having children who aged up and actually grew up was at the top of the list.

Now, how did one begin such a verbal journey? So much needed to be discussed.

She cleared her throat again. “What I need to say will not be pleasant for you. But, if you can hear the wisdom in it, you will find your life one hundred times better.”

Breanne’s expression softened. Did she look forward to their chat? They never had a serious conversation like that before. Eliza had gone wrong with her in so many ways, indulging her crazy plan and scaring her with “bad people.” She vowed to do better with the twins.

“I want you to have the best life filled with all the things you desire. You are not wrong to think about future generations and your legacy. But, I will give you some things to consider that may alter your perspective.”

It took Breanne a while to agree, but she did.

A huge knot attempted to steal Eliza’s voice, and she cleared her throat even louder. “How do you feel about Josh?”

Breanne’s eyebrows couldn’t get any higher. She turned up her nose and glared at Eliza like a dirty peasant begging for scraps. “I’m going to pretend you didn’t ask me that.”

Eliza had just begun her tale and already sighed in defeat. Breanne’s strength couldn’t overpower her. Not this time. She had to press on. “He’s a lovely young ma–”

Lovely? That half naked hippie? Were you abducted by aliens?”

Breanne’s tone was venomous. Eliza needed a minute to recover.

“Breanne… Sometimes we create pictures of what our lives should be like. But, those pictures rarely happen as they appeared. In those situations, it is best to be open and prepared for what does take place.”

The child’s squinted eyes told her all she needed to know. The vagueness wouldn’t cut it. She needed to get deep. And personal. Why was this so hard? Even apologizing to Mary went better.

She closed her eyes to get the initial words out. “Your father was not the man I imagined for myself. He was far from it.”

Breanne gasped. “You didn’t like daddy?” Her voice sounded so pitiful.

“We are very different. I can’t quite say how we’ve made it this far, but here we are. I wanted what you want. Someone from a well-known family with a lot of money. I thought I had that person once, and I put all my eggs in one basket as they say. As I neared my young adult birthday, that sham of a relationship went up in flames, and I had nothing.”

As she delved deeper into her past, she found that talking to Breanne about the most delicate part of her life, though awkward and humiliating, wasn’t all that difficult. Johnny had hurt her in so many ways. Not only did he break her heart and humiliate her but also he exposed her situation. She had no plan B and, for the first time, her life headed toward a dead end right next to her parents. That part hurt the most.

“I…”

How could she skirt around the assault while maintaining the integrity of the story? Telling the tale may have gotten easier, but that part of the story was off limits.

She closed her eyes and breathed deeply while thinking through the next few sentences. “I needed help, and your father stepped in. That’s how we met, officially. He was the star basketball player, so I knew of him and assumed what kind of person he was. I expected a lewd peacock, but he the total opposite. I came to like him a great deal.”

Breanne smiled at the happy ending but snapped back into guarded mode. “So you want me to go out with Josh because I may like him later?”

Truthfully? Yes. Sure, the quirky, young man was an acquired taste, but she found him to be quite charming after a few meetings. But, that wasn’t the entire point of the story.

“If you feel that is what you should do, then yes. However, what I am saying is we always envision what we want, but many times life has a better picture we are not able to see. If we are open to the process, and let come what may, you could find something much greater than you imagined.”

Breanne’s head bobbed slowly, but only The Watcher knew what really went on in that head of hers.

“Might I make a suggestion?”

Breanne shrugged.

“I think you should get a job.”

“Mom!”

“Listen, please. You are always welcome here, and we would never throw you out. But, you’re wasting your talents sitting up here day after day trying to find someone to hitch yourself to. You should be out in the world contributing to society. Who knows? Maybe along the way you’ll meet someone wonderful. I know you want children, but it doesn’t have to happen right this instance, my dear.”

Her shoulders caved and arms fell to her sides. At last, The Great Breanne Wall came tumbling down. “But, I don’t know what kind of job to get! I’m not interested in much, mom.”

“My dear, you don’t need a long resume to find your true calling. Just look at your personality and things you enjoy. Why don’t you become an art critic? You love fine art and seem to have an eye for what is good or not.”

Breanne’s face lit up like a child in an ice cream shop. “That’s perfect, mom! I’m going to apply for that right after I figure out how to get into that ball.”

At least she agreed on one of the three points presented. Eliza considered it a win. Perhaps later she would realize the value of the rest of the conversation.

22.1 Apologies
22.3 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

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