“I don’t know if I can do it anymore.” Louella said to her sister. The two middle-aged women sat on the wooden deck attached to the second story of Louise’s house and looked down at the lake. A gin and tonic rested on the table between Louella and her sister. Louella sipped from a tall glass of sweet tea.
“I don’t see why not,” Louise said. Three years younger than her famous sister, Louise and her husband had two grown children. Louise had worked as a reporter for many years, but had recently retired. Her husband, Brewer, worked as a contractor.
“I can’t get to the truth of the thing,” Louella said. “I hear one story from one person and I hear the opposite from someone else. Everybody has their own agenda and I can’t trust anyone.”
“I believe that’s a cardinal,” Louise said, pointing to a little red bird perched in one of the trees on the side of the yard.
“From a writer’s standpoint, I just don’t know what to do about it.”
“Why don’t you make something up? No one will know the difference.”
“This is coming from a journalist.”
“Former journalist,” Louise corrected. “I never made anything up, but I knew some that did not mind cutting corners when they found themselves up against a deadline. As a fiction writer, however, I don’t think anyone will hold it against you.”
“Accept those that do,” Louella answered sourly.
“You can’t please everyone.”
“I’d like to be able to please myself,” Louella said. “The only way I can do that is if I stick to the truth.”
“I’m sure it will all work out,” Louise said. “Do you see the Blue Jay?”
“I need another drink.” Louella picked up her glass and swirled the ice.
“Pace yourself, Louella. It’s not even four o’clock.”
“Louise, I’m a grown woman. I’ll have a drink if I want one.”
“Well, I expect you feel you are under some pressure, but don’t take it out on me.”
“I’m not taking anything out on you,” Louella said as she drained the last bit of gin-flavored water. “You don’t know what it’s like to be in my position.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means you have everything and yet you’re still feeling sorry for yourself. You don’t even have to work if you don’t want to. You have all the money in the world. Do you know how many people would trade places with you in about ten seconds if they could?”
“Well, I might trade with them too.”
“You’d be a fool.”
“Oh, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Louella slammed her glass down on the table.
“Only the smartest person I know, Louella. The person whose shadow I’ve been living in for most of my adult life.”
“So that’s what this is about? You’re jealous?”
“Who wouldn’t be jealous of you? You won the sweepstakes of life, and you don’t even have the good sense to recognize or enjoy it.”
“That’s it. I’m done with you.”
“You can’t be done with me. I’m your sister. You’re stuck with me for life.”
“I am done with you.” Louella stood up and began looking for her purse.
“Go on. Go for one of your walks. You can walk away from me, but you can’t walk away from yourself.”
“I would if I could,” Louella said. She disappeared into the house through a sliding glass door. Within a few moments, she would leave the house. She wouldn’t look back.
Go to Chapter 33.
About This Novel; Chapter 1Chapter 2; Chapter 3Chapter 4; Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7; Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11; Chapter 12; Chapter 13Chapter 14Chapter 15Chapter 16; Chapter 17Chapter 18Chapter 19Chapter 20 Chapter 21; Blood Cries at the Half-Way PointChapter 22; Chapter 23Chapter 24; Chapter 25Chapter 26; Chapter 27Chapter 28; Chapter 29Chapter 30; Chapter 31