Monday, May 28, 2012

Harvey and Lori Ferguson Ch. 18 The Good and The Bad

The big new house was ready; since it was across the street they didn't have to move much since they were mostly going to be using new furnishings which had already been moved in to the new home. Their old furniture would be sold or stored over the next two weeks. The small stuff like clothing, paintings and wall art and so on was what they had to transfer. 

There were three floors in the house, also a garage, a pool and a treehouse plus room for more so Harvey picked up swings and monkey bars to install near the treehouse.

The first floor contained a large entryway, formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, guest bath, a separate room for a piano and a large living room. Access to the second floor was via a beautiful oak spiral staircase in the entryway.

The second floor included a large hall, master bedroom and en suite bath, the twins' bedroom, another bathroom, a playroom and a small room suitable for a nursery (in case it was needed!) There was a spiral staircase in the hall leading to the third floor.

 The third floor was split between a recreation room with a wide screen TV, a table for Don't Wake the Llama, a regulation pool table and a chess set banquette and an art studio/sewing room with a small area set aside for the exercise machine. Harvey usually worked out at his fitness center but Lori did not have time to go down there every day.

The front door opened opposite the spiral staircase. The view shown here is from the left of the staircase; the front door is on the right but doesn't show:

First floor photos: The living room showing the fireplace and TV area at the end of the room. The next two photos show the extra room with Lori's piano in it and more clearly shows the TV and love seats. The 4th picture shows the front end of the living room with the front entrance on the right and the front windows on the left.

Looking left from the staircase towards the formal dining room on the left and the kitchen through the doorway on the right.

The large "eat-in" kitchen with dining area

2nd Floor photos:

The master bedroom and master bathroom had much more space than in their old house:

The twins elected to have a bedroom together again and turn the other room into a sunny playroom. Lori knew that would change when they hit their teens but that was all right.

The bathroom

Third floor photos showing the gameroom, exercise corner and combo art studio/sewing room:

Lori couldn't wait to start using her big airy kitchen; she still loved cooking and, especially, baking. Over the first couple days she got everything organized in there, making adjustments the more she used the kitchen.

Gray rather appropriated the TV in the living room while Valrae enjoyed playing in the playroom upstairs that had a scenic view of their front yard and, actually, the whole block.

That first week they were all busy acclimating to their new surroundings. Harvey called about hiring a gardener, but Lori didn't want a maid. She well remembered how disagreeable the one was that her mother used to have.

She and Harvey were still best friends as well as lovers...

Their first guests arrived on the very day they moved in and introduced themselves as Greg and Carla Howard who were renting Lalique Flynn's house a couple blocks away. At this time Lori had no idea that Lalique was the other woman in her father's life.

About a week after the move Gray was outside trying the new monkey bars after lunch. The Tiki pinball machine was moved to the backyard and Harvey checked it out to make sure all was installed properly while Gray switched to the Twist & Wobble ride.

Valrae quickly found a cozy corner to work on her bookworm skills. The living room with the big windows and comfy chairs was her pick.

That very night was when Lori got a phone call from her twin brother, Trey. Trey was a controlled and somewhat stoic man, very much like their father, John, and a polar opposite of Lori. He tried to relay the news he had with some attempt at not upsetting her unduly; the news that John, after cheating on their mother Melora for over a year, had managed to get his mistress pregnant and evidently she was due at any moment. John had claimed he had not seen her in months and still maintained that was true. But Lori was bipolar--even though she was medicated and doing well--this kind of drama was apt to trip her into hypomania, at least for a couple of hours if not worse. Trey kicked himself for not making sure Harvey was close by before he talked to Lori. That the woman in question was Lori's best friend's older sister, Lalique Flynn, made it all worse.

"Trey, you have to be kidding me--you just can't be serious!" she wailed.

"Lor', why would I joke about something like this?"

"What did Mom say?"

"I don't know; Gracie is the one who talked to her and Mom asked her to pass it on so she called David."

"I can't believe Daddy has done this to Mother. It's like we're talking about another person entirely."

"There's no fool like an old fool, I guess."

Lori started to cry and Trey asked,

"Sis, is Harvey there?"

"What? Oh, yeah, he's...I don't know, it's Saturday, he's around here somewhere, I think he might be hanging pictures for me," she sounded distracted.

"I think you should get him," Trey said, "He needs to be with you right now."

She momentarily ignored him,

"Poor Mom!," she sniffled, "What will she do?"

"I don't know. She won't do anything in a hurry if I can help it. David and I are meeting over there after I get off with you. She shouldn't be alone, no matter what she says."

"Good. So, does Daddy plan on seeing Lalique and the baby? Or has he already done so."

"Again, I don't know. I haven't talked to him since I found this out so I don't know what his thoughts or plans are."

"He doesn't think! That's obvious," Lori spat out.

Trey took a deep breath but said nothing as she continued,

"When you do talk to him you can tell him for me that I think he can just ------- put it where the sun don't shine and he's never going to see my children again! Never!" her voice was getting shrill as her crying picked up, "He's ------ decadent and disgusting and he's not my father any more he's just a..."

Trey was squirming and wishing more than ever that he'd talked to Harvey first. Lori was fast spiraling into a manic rant, she'd already cut loose with a couple f-bombs in this last tirade, something she never did and then he heard Harvey's quiet, deep voice. He must be standing nearby.

"Lori. Give me the phone. Give me the phone, honey."

"It's Trey--" she said to Harvey, but couldn't say more as she handed him the phone.

"What's up?" Harvey spoke into the phone, wrapping one arm around Lori's waist before she could move too far away. Trey quickly related what had happened regarding their father and Lalique.

"Will Lori be okay?" he ventured.

"She'll get back to you, Trey," Harvey said ending the call and laying the phone on the table by Lori's side of the bed.

Lori flung herself into her husband's arms as her crying accelerated,

"I hate him! I hate my own father!"

"Shhh, no, you don't, honey; you don't. You're just angry and sad and disappointed and that's natural."

"I don't want to ever see him again!" she insisted dramatically as fresh tears coursed down her cheeks and Harvey rubbed her back, "And if I ever see Lalique again I will scratch her eyes out. Do you think Melanie knew? Knew all the time and kept it from me? I bet Lalique got pregnant on purpose to try to trap Daddy--do you think she did, Harvey?"

"Time enough to figure all that out later. Honey, I want you to take an Atavan. I'm going to get you one now and a cold cloth for your face; you're burning up," Harvey said in his comforting voice. He thanked heaven that she'd been up in their bedroom when she got Trey's call. The kids were both downstairs and, so far, had no idea their mother was coming apart. He'd been up on the third floor hanging some pictures that Lori wanted to go in the entertainment area when something had told him to stop and seek her out. He didn't know why he'd felt that premonition but he was glad that he had.

Lori didn't even argue with him about her medication; that's how devastated she was. She swallowed it meekly with a glass of water and seemed to calm down a bit as he wiped her face gently with a cold, wet washcloth, cleaning off the mascara that had run down and cooling her flushed skin. 

She put her arms around him,

"Just hold me for a little while longer, Harvey."

That was never a problem for him. Never.

It had been such a wonderful, if exhausting, week up until the call. It was a shame to end on this painful note, but they had two young children who needed a snack now and then baths. So Lori put aside the pain and the questions until tomorrow when she had time, with Harvey's help, to think it out.