52-Week Writing Challenge: Week 41
Another snippet from the dinner scene in Family Matters which will be published one day… in this lifetime. SMH.
“You have two weddings coming up? Wow.”
He gestured holding up a finger. “Yes, but I only have to pay for one of them. Farren, Pat’s fiancé, is the daughter of two attorneys. I’m sure their wedding will be glorious.”
“Two attorneys? What’s Farren’s last name?”
“Her parents are Collins and Catherine Foster?”
Pat and Bruce both nodded.
Olivia’s eyes widened. “That wedding will be more than glorious. It will make Hollywood A-listers jealous. The Fosters are the go-to investment attorneys in this part of the state. They have a waiting list… and they’re not cheap.”
“You know them, Olivia?” Bruce asked.
“Very well. I was a client a few years back.”
Bruce sat back in his chair, his mouth hanging open. His children all stared at Olivia with surprised expressions too.
“What’s wrong, Bellamy?”
“A successful law practice, that amazing house, and you’re a client of high-powered financial attorneys.” He leaned forward and smirked. “Who are you, Olivia Chandler?”
She grinned. “I’m merely a humble attorney who’s smart about managing her money.”
Bruce cast a doubtful look at her. “So you say.”
Before Bruce Bellamy could continue, Breck spoke up. “What made you decide to become an attorney, Olivia?”
Bruce’s jaw tightened, but Olivia smiled, regarding Breck warmly.
“My father was an attorney. Estate Planning and Management.”
Casey Bellamy frowned. “Really? What made you choose child advocacy instead of following in your dad’s footsteps?”
Bruce started, but Olivia reached out her hand in his direction. “It’s okay.” Clasping her hands together, Olivia regarded each of the young faces.
“When I was ten-years-old, my family was involved a very bad car accident.”
Pat returned to his seat and Shaun made no move to leave.
“M-my father was killed instantly. My mom and I suffered serious injuries. She was in a coma twice. We’d been taken to different hospitals, and I didn’t know how she was…or get to s-see her…”
Bruce had to stop her.
“It’s okay, Bruce. I’m okay.”
Casey looked from Olivia to her father, the term of endearment not lost on her.
Olivia took a deep breath to settle herself before continuing.
“When I was well enough to be discharged, my mother was still in a coma. We had no other family, so I was put into temporary foster care.”
Casey’s gasp was the only sound in the room. Pat glanced at his father, while Shaun slid down in his seat and Breck stared down at the table surface, his features marred by anguish.
“I can tell by your reactions, you know a little something about foster care. It’s not a death sentence, but it’s no walk in the park either. But I did get to go home a few months later. My mom was weak but her physical injuries were healing.” Olivia stared at her clasped hands. “Her mind was another story.”
“What happened, Olivia?” Casey question was soft and whisper-like.
“I didn’t understand it at the time, but my mother was losing touch with reality… a day at a time. Not to mention, her mental issues were hindering her full recovery from the injuries she suffered. Her doctors decided she needed care she couldn’t get at home and admitted her to a private mental facility.”
“And you went back to foster care.” It was a statement, not a question uttered by the youngest Bellamy.
“But you went to college… and law school. You’re successful, right? Your mom got well and came back, right?”
Olivia Chandler’s jaws tightened for a fraction of a second before she raised her head and answered Casey.
“No. My mother is still in that facility.”
©Felicia Denise 2017