Saturday, March 17, 2012

Glenn Caswell Ch. 8 Heard It Through the Grapevine Pt. 2

Gareth had just told his mother the incredible news that his sister-in-law, Lalique Flynn, was pregnant with John Lassiter's child. And John didn't even know.
This left Glenn with a dilemma--should she tell John? She was his closest friend. He had said goodbye to Lalique or she had said it to him. Right now he and Melora were on rocky ground. They were beginning marital counseling sessions soon. Things were very tentative. The affair was over, but this could change everything. Possibly that was one of the reasons Lalique had not told John. If Glenn told him this he might fly to Lalique's side, wanted or not.

"So, I feel a lot better, but now I guess you don't," Gareth spoke, "After she told me Melanie said she was relieved not to be alone with it anymore. Are you going to tell him? What about Aunt Melora?"

Glenn sighed,

"I'll have to think about it. I'll have to pray about it. But right now I can't deal with it. Why don't you tell me more about how things are going with you and your family?"

He shrugged,

"That's about it. Everything else is going as usual. Dinnertime is family time, especially on Sundays, but that's good, I think. It's nice we're all together at least once every 24 hours. The rest of the day we're all off in different directions, especially Errol and Olivia. They are pretty active for their age and we're pretty low key. I mean we both keep physically active, but they just have all these friends they do stuff with at the country club like tennis and golf and they do a lot of community activities. They're tapering off some, Errol wants to fish and work on his car, Olivia says she's going to write another novel. Oh, yeah, and I'm getting a little better when I play pool with him. He doesn't beat me every single time, now it's just more like two out of three."

Glenn grinned,

"What does he say to that?"

"Oh, well, you know Errol..." and here he followed with a dead-on impersonation of his famous father-in-law, "'Your game's improving, old boy. I see I shall have to bear down a bit harder in future. Never mind, you're still young and nose to the grindstone will win the day eventually.' Great. So, maybe someday when he's 90 he'll only lick me half the time."

Glenn laughed and Gareth joined in. After another half hour he said goodbye and went on his way. Now Glenn had to think long and hard. 

For years John had hosted a once a week poker game with his childhood friends Jim Candeloro and Glenn, and Melora. The game had been canceled when Melora had kicked him out. But now that he had new digs he'd told Glen she should come to this new apartment and asked Jim to bring his wife Bonnie. Not surprisingly Melora had made it clear she had other things to do and wasn't interested.
Glenn had decided she would tell John, but in private. So to that end she planned to get to his apartment a bit early.

John's new apartment in Bluewater (opposite side of town from Lalique). This shot shows the locations of several businesses that are prominent in the stories. You'll have to click the thumbnail to read them; Amelia's Closet (owned by Kevin Candeloro), Flowers by Chelsea, Brian's Club Dante, Trey's Galaxy Arcade, Lonnie's restaurant Le Magnifique!, Elle's Art Gallery, Barbara's hair salon Bei Capelli, Harvey's Feel the Burn Gym, and Larry Max's Good Eats Cafe.

John's apartment has three floors, the main floor held the garage where John had his Viking convertible parked. The 2nd floor had the living room, dining room, and guest bath. Top floor was the master bedroom, bathroom and a 2nd bedroom John was using for his poker table.

Staircase coming from the top floor down to the 2nd floor:

Living room and kitchen on the second floor

Third floor master bedroom and bath

John's new apartment was quite nice but Glenn knew that he hoped he wouldn't be living there long. All  his efforts were now geared toward reuniting with Melora. Their first marriage therapy session was to be the very next day.

"So, what's shakin'?" Glenn asked him when he answered his bell. The entrance was in the garage and then you had to cross the room, go up a spiral staircase to the first floor and then enter the living room. Weird.

"Not too much. I'm hoping to convince Melora to have dinner with me tomorrow after the session at the shrink's office. No telling if she'll agree yet."

"You dope, he's not a 'shrink', he's a marriage counselor. No meds; just talk."


"I wanted to get here early so I could talk to you alone," she suddenly blurted. Now she was nervous. Maybe he already knew. Maybe she shouldn't tell him. This might make him run back to Lalique's side. If she wanted him, that is.

"Okay, shoot."

"We should sit down," Glenn stalled.

"I'm supposed to be putting the nuts and stuff in bowls by now, you know. This better be good. "

"Yeah, it is. Well, I mean no. It's not good. I mean, I guess it depends."

Glenn was never tongue-tied. Until now.

"Slats, c'mon, spit it out, will ya?"

"Have you talked to Lalique recently?"

He frowned,

"Why are you asking that? She made it clear she wants to move on, and I have to agree. I promised Melora it's over and I meant it; getting back with her is everything to me," he looked down and his face showed his pain, for once, "You know that."

He did not mention Lalique's request that he get information on Ray Nolan. He didn't consider that significant since it was not about their former relationship and they had not spoken in weeks, anyway. He would soon have to contact her and tell her what he'd found out though. 

"Uh huh," Glenn nodded sadly.

Just then the doorbell rang.

"That's Jim and Bonnie; they're early, too. Will you put the candy and nuts in the bowls on the counter while I go get the door?" he got up, "It's a pain to have to go downstairs every time I have to let someone in. I guess it's good exercise..."

"Swell," Glenn sighed, "John, I have to talk to you--if not now, then later."
He turned back and gave her a probing look. Something was definitely wrong. Glenn never acted like this. Whatever was bothering her was evidently not a matter she felt she could discuss in a hurry nor share with their old friends,

"I see. Then we'll discuss it later."

During the evening Glenn realized for the billionth time in her life what an inscrutable face John could hide behind when he wished. He joked with his friends in the dry way that he had, insulting Jim and Glenn, and flattering and teasing Bonnie and no one would have guessed how worried he had become since Glenn had spoken to him earlier.

Ordinarily they played for some time on these poker nights and this was no exception. Glenn usually loved it but tonight she wished so hard for it to be over that she had developed a splitting headache. By now she was just dying to get the horrible moment over with and go home to her Chiquitita and forget about John's messy life for a few hours.

At last the Candeloros were saying goodnight. They actually had sensed something going on under the radar between Glenn and John, but had no idea what it was.

Glenn helped John clear and wash glasses and snack dishes quickly and then he was standing in the dining room crooking his finger at her,

"In here. Now."

"Okay, I don't know how to say this gently," she began, but then he glared impatiently at her, just like when they were kids, so she rushed on, "So here I go in my clumsy way. I have it on good authority that Lalique is pregnant. Melanie told Gareth because she was upset about it and she said he could tell me. They thought I should be the one to tell you since Lalique has not seen fit to do so."

He continued to look at her with no change in his expression for a moment. Then he said stupidly,


"John! I'm not saying it all again!"

He'd heard it was like his "what?" should have been "wait" while he gathered his wits about him.

"But she hasn't said anything to me--nothing. Why would she do that?"

Glenn shrugged,

"I would have to say that it appears she doesn't want you to know about it. You said she broke it off just before she left."

"That's why she was in such a hurry to move--that's why she wanted to break up," he muttered to himself. His "poker" face was gone and he looked stunned, "What can I do? I mean, what should I do? Has she had the baby yet? I should try to contact her."

Glenn struggled to remember John ever having asked advice on a personal matter from her before. She'd tendered plenty of it but she didn't think he'd ever asked for it. She'd better move judiciously now.

"I don't know if she's had the baby or not. Gareth did not mention how far along she was, but she evidently had some problems early on with the pregnancy that were resolved," she saw he was jolted by that bit of information, but she went on smoothly, "Now, John; think. You told Melora it was over and she just now agreed to attend counseling with you. Do you want to endanger a possible reconciliation?"

"No. Of course not. No. No way," he shook his head, "I don't want to hurt her any more than I have, either. I don't want to lose her for good, I can't lose her. But if I'm the father I have some responsibility. If I'm the father don't I have some rights?"

"How do I know? I'm not a lawyer. But I have to point out that Lalique's actions would seem to indicate that you do not figure in her life anymore. She appears to be a somewhat mercurial, but independent and resilient woman from what I can tell. She might not welcome your presence."

"Oh, yeah? Well, it's my kid, too," he growled belligerently. Touchy. Glenn could see he'd lapsed into his 'mi familia' mode to the nth degree.

"Uh oh. Don't go all caveman on me, boy, maybe she will be okay with it. But do something for me, John. THINK about it. DO NOTHING. Just think about it. Also be aware that no matter what you do about it you will definitely have to tell Melora. I suggest you do it at counseling tomorrow."

He groaned,

"Oh, man! I'd rather have to walk on hot coals than tell her this. Especially right now when she's just beginning to be able to look at me without wanting to kill me."

"She'll have to know sooner or later. You're trying to assure her that you are being honest and and aboveboard from now on. And you didn't know until this moment so you haven't withheld the truth from her, but if you don't tell her right away you'll damage your credibility, even more than you already have."

"I guess you're right; I mean I know you're right," then he said almost as though speaking to himself, "...I just can't take it in. I thought she was on the pill."

Glenn made a gagging sound and rolled her eyes,

"Please. The pill is not infallible you know. You should have been more careful yourself. But that's what happens when you stop thinking with your head and start thinking with--well, don't get me started."

His eyes unfocused and he looked off into the distance out the window a moment,

"And the hits just keep on coming..."

"I'm going home. My head is killing me. Tonight I just want to rest. Don't call me. I'm too old for this crap, Johnson. But tomorrow...well, tomorrow let me know how everything goes. Especially if you do not tell Melora. I have to know what she knows so I don't say something out of school."

She hugged him briefly and headed to the door. When she looked back John was still sitting at the table looking as though he'd been hit by a truck.


Mrs. Stuffy said...

Ohhh, Glenn was cool headed about the news. I hope John takes the time to figure things out and tell his wife.

Sovereign Dark said...

I'd 'like' to feel sympathy for John, really, I would. I think he's got a boatload of confidence and respect to earn back, even from us readers. xD!! I hope he'll heed his friend's advice and think on it all before he acts. Glenn is about the best thing since sliced bread. I'll say it again, I just adore her. Thank you for yet another marvelous read, Lor.

Sim Girl said...

Glenn is definitely right, THINK before acting.
I read this yesterday but did not have time to comment, sorry.
Wonderful read, I am actually glad he knows, maybe he will feel the proper amount of torture... maybe lol. I saw the sneak peek pic, and can not wait to see the entry for Lilique and the baby. I know John will make the right decision in telling Melora about the pregnancy.

Sim Girl said...

Also.. I like his apartment, it is cute. Anxiously awaiting the next update xD!

Lorelei said...

Yes, Glenn is one of a kind. I've loved her since I first conceived her about 9 years ago. :D