Does too, she said, laughing now as he gripped her, manhandling her in the tussle for the cheese.
Marietta took a long drink of her tea, reflecting on that point. I really don’t know. Do you have help?Imogene nodded. I have a nurse come by daily. And someone stays with him when I’m away, of course. But it’s not the same as when I’m there. I calm him. As much as I’d like to stay, I must return.
Of course. Mamaw patted Imogene’s hand comfortingly.I had dreams that Harper would return with me. Imogene’s smile was wistful. It would have been comforting to have her with me now. It gets quite lonely rattling around alone in that big house. I’d hoped she’d eventually take over the estate. I wanted her to love Greenfields Park like she does Sea Breeze. But I think we both know the answer to that, don’t we? Imogene took another long sip of tea.Marietta followed suit, sipping her tea and reserving comment.
Selfish of me, I realize that now, Imogene continued. She’s her own person. Capable of making her own decisions. For me to force the responsibilities of Greenfields Park on her by virtue of guilt would be to take advantage of her willing nature. I wouldn’t want to do that to her. Imogene brought her hand to her heart and her voice cracked. I love Harper far too much to burden her in that way.Marietta felt her heart soften toward the woman and refreshed both of their glasses.
This tea is growing on me with every sip. It has a bit of kick. What exactly is your secret ingredient?
Marietta smiled mischievously. Rum.She burst out laughing at my dry tone and hurried to thread her arm through my elbow. I bet that’s not true. You’re really pretty, Comet. It’s just this uniform does nothing for you. For any of us.
He needs to see you as the real Comet. She squeezed my arm, grinning at me. He won’t be able to take his eyes off you then.It was sweet of her to try to reassure me, but I was over it. It doesn’t matter. Did you see who he’s hanging out with? I wrinkled my nose in disdain. Stevie Macdonald and those idiots. Ugh. No thanks.
Stevie’s not so bad, Vicki disagreed.He’s disrespectful to teachers, I argued.