“Back to America”
The boat was navigating on the ocean. It was the Mauritania. So many things had happened since the last time she was on that boat. The waves were rocking the ship and she was yawning. She was taking a walk before she goes to bed. Going back to America after all these years, she was excited to see everybody. Everybody? Well, maybe not everybody, but at least her family. She was bringing them a surprise…
She went back to her suite. Two heads turned around to look at her when she got in.
- Are you ok mum? Said a young man
- Yes, she replied
- Did you have a nice walk? Said a young girl
- I’m sleepy now...
- No dandy tonight?
- I saw him earlier…
- What do you see in him?
- That’s none of your beeswax...
- Oh yes it is! If you’re going to become his wife, he’s going to become our step father…
- He’s a man from a good family
- That dandy is so full of himself…
- Are we talking about the same person?
- I have to start to make a life for myself, right?
- You had nobody for all these years, and you wait for our trip to America to start going out with that dandy, said her son
- I went out with other men during all these years
- Went out? You had diner, that’s all, you did nothing else, said her daughter
- Yes, and we never caught you with a man in bed, said her son
- Oh my God! Said Candy
- You’re not living mum, said her daughter, ever since our father… have you even been with another man?
- I’m still your mother! Stop with all these questions!
- Mum, we want you to be happy, said her daughter
- Winston is going to make me happy, said Candy
- That dandy, said her son, are you kidding? He not good for you at all!
- It’s my life children, you’re going to grow up and leave, I can’t stay alone
- Mum, we’re not going to abandon you, said her daughter, you’re still young and you’re talking about aging…
- If our father hadn’t died, said her son
Candy looked at the two blond heads in front of her. Her children… Life was not fair… but she had to confront her past and move on. Winston Knight wanted to marry her… She had said yes, it was about time… But the pain was still so strong.
- But your father is no more, said Candy, now let’s go to bed, it’s late. Tomorrow we’ll be in America…
They went to their room to go to bed.
Candy was thinking about her children… the boy Dawson was at an age when boy start acting out… He had had problems with the police… he needed a father’s authority… so Winston was right on cue… She had her own money, she didn’t need Winston’s, she needed a father for her children…Her daughter Roselyne loved English literature and the theatre…And Candy didn’t want her to become an actress… but she stopped thinking about that. She was going to see her family and friends again…
The boat finally arrived in New York. The children were glad.
- We’re finally in America, said Dawson, on solid ground
- Yes, and in one piece! Said Roselyne smiling
- You shouldn’t joke about the Titanic, said Candy
- We know you suffered mum, said Roselyne
- As a matter of fact! Said the voice of a man, you should be more compassionate to your mother with what she had lived, it was something that doesn’t happen everyday, and joking about it, is very poor taste…
- Hello Winston, said Candy smiling
- Candy, you should yell more at your children, the Titanic topic shouldn’t be part of their jokes
- It’s ok, said Candy
- Candy, you should be harder on them… they’re going to become difficult...
The children were sulking
- No, said Candy softly
- Your son already had problems with the law…
- He’s young, everybody make mistakes
- You’re mothering him too much! He’s spoiled… Candy…
- Winston, can we talk about it later? I would like to be off this ship as soon as possible… the memories from the Titanic
- Of course honey, let’s go. The carriers are going to take care of the luggage…
They got out of their suite to get off the boat. Candy had to restrain herself so she wouldn’t run, because she was in a hurry to be on solid ground. There were a lot of people and they had to move slowly, even if she wanted to push people to pass… when she finally touched the ground, she took a deep breath.
- Are you ok honey? Asked Winston
- Yes, thank you, said Candy smiling
Winston hugged her softly. The children were looking at the scene sulking.
- Can we go now? Said Dawson
- Yes, you’ll have the time to be lovy dovy later, said Roselyne
Winston looked at them with mean eyes
- Your children are insolent! Candy…you are so nice and sweet
- Winston, we’ll talk about it later…
Candy hadn’t told anybody about her return, so nobody was waiting for them at the harbour. She decided to go live in one of the empty villas in New York. There was a couple there working; the wife was the cook and the housekeeper, and the husband was the driver and handyman. The couple knew everybody in the Andrew family and they knew Master Andrew had a daughter abroad for many years. Candy had sent them a telegram to tell them she was coming.
- Miss Andrew, I’m Alvin Smith and this is my wife Carol
- I’m pleased to meet you, said Candy, these are my children; Dawson and Roselyne and my fiancé Winston Knight
- Pleased to meet you all. We got your telegram. The villa is ready and lunch will be served in half an hour, said Carol
- Thank you, said Candy smiling
They got inside the villa and they went upstairs to the bedrooms, to change and freshen up.
Winston didn’t want to let go of Candy. So he stayed with them at the villa, and kids were not happy at all about that.
- Mum! Said Dawson, can you tell your dandy to go to a hotel or something?
- Be nice kids. We’re going to be a family soon, you might as well get used to seeing him now...
- At least he’s not going to sleep in the same room as you, said Dawson
- And it’s not for lack of trying, said Roselyne
- We are not having this conversation! Said Candy outraged
She got in her room, took her shoes off with a little smile on her lips. Yes Roselyne was right; if it were up to Winston, she would’ve made love with him, but for some reason, Candy didn’t want to take that step before they get married… That only made Winston more frustrated…
- I’m going to go to my bedroom, said Roselyne, there a pink one, can I take that one?
- Of course honey…
- Thanks mum! She said getting out of the room
- And what about me? Am I confined to my room? Asked her son
- Of course…
- You go to your room young man, and don’t argue!
- You’re not going to lock me up in my room are you?
- If that’s what you need to stop doing nonsense, why not?
- Go to your room and stop arguing with me!
Dawson was sulking and got out of his mother’s room. He wanted to go out and walk around and meet young people of his age… But he was punished…
Lunch was ready on time and everybody was at the table eating in silence. The atmosphere was a little heavy for the kids and it was because of Winston’s presence…
- We’re going to enrol in a school? said Roselyne to break the silence
- Yes, honey, Mr. Smith will drive us after lunch
- I’m happy , said Roselyne
- I can’t wait to go to school and meet other people, said Dawson
- And I want to keep you here to stop you from getting in trouble…
- Come on mum! You’re not going to keep me locked in my room in this mansion! That’s ridiculous!
- Maybe it will stop you from getting into trouble
- Maybe you should put him in boarding school, a strict religious one, they should teach him discipline, you’ll see, said Winston
- You, the dandy, you shut up! You’re not my father and you will never be!!!
- Dawson! Said Candy, apologise, immediately!
- There is no way I’m apologising! Said Dawson leaving the table
He practically ran out of the dining room.
- Your son need discipline..., said Winston
- Winston..., started Candy
- You should let me discipline him...
- You’re not his father...
- He doesn’t have one, let me really be his father, I will teach him some discipline
- Let me get this straight, said Roselyne, you’re asking for permission to my mother so you can correct my brother by beating him?
- Roselyne, said Candy
- Your brother needs discipline. He already had trouble with the law… he needs a father’s discipline…
- I doubt that if my father were alive, that he would beat my brother
- Your father didn’t see what your brother is capable of…, said Winston
- I’m convinced that if my father were there, my brother wouldn’t need discipline
- Roselyne, said Candy
- I’m sorry mum, may I be excused pleased?
- Yes honey...
- Thank you.
Roselyne stood up and left the table too. Candy was alone with Winston.
- Your daughter has a ready tongue…
- I taught her to always say what’s on her mind…
- She has no respect for me…
- Respect is earned, Winston
- You mean I deserve their insolence? He said louder
- I mean you’re not making any effort to please them!
- They are children and they need to obey us…
- They are human being and they have need and feelings
- Candy… those children need a man’s hand… since they don’t have a father… I know it’s going to be difficult in the beginning… but I’m ready to be their father, to adopt them and give them my name… we’re going to be a family…
- You want to send my son to boarding school…
- That’s only to keep him safe. In boarding school, he won’t have any trouble with the law…
Candy thought about Terry who had come to her bedroom drunk, hurt and beaten up…
- If he wants trouble, believe-me, the walls of the boarding school are not going to stop him! Said Candy
- You don’t know the strict religious boarding school
- Winston, I’m not sending my son to boarding school!
- But it’s going to discipline him
- I said no! My children are staying with me!
- You’re being unreasonable! You’re refusing to make love to me… you barely kiss me… and when it comes to your two spoiled brats… you become a lioness… Sometimes I wonder why you said “yes” to my proposal
“I’m asking myself the same question. But I know the answer; I’m afraid to see Terry and Susanna… it’s going to hurt too much. I need him to know that I’ve moved on, that I’m not feeling sorry for myself… thus the dandy, like the kids say…”
- Winston, I want to set a good example for the kids. We’re going to consume our marriage on our wedding night…
- My mother said you’re very complicated, you’re raising your children alone and that you’re a stubborn woman
- Because I’m raising my children alone? Tell me, does your mother’s opinion matters that much?
- She’s my mother…
- She doesn’t approve that I’m alone, raising my children…
- She’s just wondering if you were married, because, she had never heard about you… before…
- I’m William Albert Andrew’s adoptive daughter… she must’ve heard about me somehow…
- Yes, but it was mostly as a professional, with your daycares you’re opening
- She doesn’t approve of women who are working
- A woman like you, with all your millions, you don’t need to work…
- I know, but I need to do something
- You can take care of charity work
- I do that too and I have my daycares… you don’t know how difficult it is sometimes to find someone to take care of the children when you have to work… not everybody can afford to have a nanny…
- But you barely charge anything to those women
- It depends on their salary… for example, a woman earning 100$ is going to pay me 10$ or if the salary is really really low, 5%, or I offer them to work for me in exchange when she they have time
- You’re way to generous… when we’re going to be married, you won’t need to do all that
Candy looked at him.
- I want to continue working Winston...
- You can hire people; I’m going to need all your attention
- You’re going to have all my attentions… don’t worry. Ok, I’m going to enrol the children to school
- What about your delinquent of a son?
- He’s not a delinquent!
- He got arrested…to me he’s a delinquent!
- He’s my delinquent! You leave him alone!
- You leave my children alone Winston!
- When we’re going to be married…
- I have to go honey, said Candy kissing him on the cheek
But he took her and kissed her on the mouth for a while
- I’m coming with you, he said
- All right , said Candy against her will
When the children came downstairs, they didn’t make any comment when they saw Winston in the car. They went to school in silence. The school was glad to have two new students. The children were going to start the next day. Candy bought uniforms and the school supplies for the children, so they would be ready to start school the next day.
They went back to the villa. The children went upstairs and Roselyne went to her brother’s bedroom.
- Are you eager to start school? She asked
- Yeah, it would be better than to stay here and look at that damn dandy!
- You know, his idea of boarding school is not that bad
- How could you say that?
- I mean, not for the discipline, but think about it… it could allow us to be at peace and not see the dandy’s dirty face everyday
- But I don’t want to leave mum alone with him
- Me neither, and I pray every night so she won’t marry the dandy
- I hope God grants your prayer
- But aside from that, we’re in New York! Broadway! The theatres!!!
- You know mum hates the theatre and especially actors
- Well, I want to become an actress
- Mum will never allow it
- Well it’s my life, not mum’s! When I’m going to be able to fly with my own wings, I’m going to become an actress… you Terrence Grandchester, the King of Broadway, was almost my age when he was first hired by the Stratford troupe…
- Well, his mother was already an actress, so he had an advantage…
- No, he told no one who his mother was. Robert Hathaway learned about it after hiring him… Eleonor Baker’s son… She is so beautiful… my friends say I look like her…
- They’re right; you even have her mole…
- I know… the same eye colour, the same hair… my hair are not wavy like mum’s
- You can tell people you’re her grand daughter…
- Yes and I can tell people that my name is “Nora Baker”, as a stage name… so mum won’t have to suffer to see my name on billboards on Broadway
- You’re sure you’re going to make it?
- I believe it in my heart… I will do everything I need to succeed, to become an actress, I can feel it, I want it with all my heart
- Good luck convincing mum…
- What about you? You’re going to stop your nonsense?
- You’re asking me if I’m going to steal more cars. It was just for fun…
- Yes, but you’re the one who got caught, they let you take the blame… Now you gave the dandy a reason to criticize you all the time
- That moron can go to hell!
- Dawson, mum raised us better than that…
- You want me to show him some respect?
- You don’t need to attack him all the time... you can be sarcastic and stay polite, be a gentleman
- You’re right… I hate it when mum has to defend us… He’s not that important for us!
- Mum is going to marry him
- That’s a real nightmare…
- Dawson, don’t get into trouble
- What trouble? I only want to get mum’s attention
- You’re impossible
- You’re one to talk! With your theatre, you know she hates it and you’re still going to break her heart
- It’s not the same…
- According to you… I say it’s your way of acting out for mum’s marriage to the dandy
- I really like the theatre… I just decided not to let my dream not come true, by doing something about it… and if mum gets upset… well too bad! She is marrying a man we don’t approve off!
- Ah ah! Said Her brother, smiling
- Yes, you know me too well! She said smiling
In another mansion, a couple was getting ready to have diner. They were in the living room having an aperitif. There were also two older women; the man’s mother and the woman’s mother.
- Terrence, said Mrs Marlowe, when are you going to decide to marry my daughter
- Are you going to leave my son alone? Said Eleonor
- He owes his life to my daughter
- Yes, and he gave up the woman he loved because of it…
- He didn’t marry my daughter
- Mrs, Marlowe, I can’t have the same conversation with you everyday! Said Terry, I would like to eat at peace if it’s possible and not be submitted to the third degree at my own dining room table
- It’s only being 15 years, said Eleonor, I don’t see what difference it’s going to make today… he didn’t comply when he was a teen, he’s not going to comply now that he’s a man!
- My daughter could’ve…
- Yes, she could’ve, should’ve, would’ve! Said Terry, but she was crazy about me… and she ruined the life I had with Candy… when I look at her, I see my life with Candy ruined… I can’t marry her!
- Mom! Said Susanna, do something
- I can’t force him…
A butler arrived in the living room to say:
- Dinner is served
- Thank you Nestor…, said Terry standing up
They went to have dinner. Terry closed his ears and let mother and daughter talk. He was talking to his mother about their work. Yes, his life was far from what he dreamt of on that boat, on the Titanic… His dream of marrying Snow-White and have 7 little dwarfs with her…