An Unnatural Influence 5
A Lifetime of Recognition ...
Contrary to Marme’s wishes; Renée had developed a strong bond with both Lee and Katie and they with her. Although Katie was the same age as Renée, Lee was a bit older and that maturity proved to be a great asset as far as Renée was concerned.
There were a few other people that Marme considered Western Wall Flowers that Renée enjoyed outings and other activities. However, one exception was Samantha Beasley. Samantha was originally from Bakersfield and Marme did her best to encourage their relationship while attempting to destroy the one she had with Lee and Katie.
“Now that Samantha Beasley is a girl of real class. She carries herself well and is loyal as any good Southerner. I think you should spend more time with her and less time with that Kilpatrick girl. Nothing good can ever come of it!” Sadie chastised.
“Katie is a good friend and I’m sorry you feel this way. Besides, I need more than one friend—don’t I?” Renée stated and ended the conversation.
It was only because Renée was a young woman needing companions of her own age that Sadie reluctantly indulged her whims. However, now that Sadie Bakersfield would be returning to her hometown, Renée’s life would take a sudden turn for the better. This turn would not be to the liking of Sadie Bakersfield.
While Renée was away at college; Sadie filled the days with parties and other social functions. Sadie made sure that she invited only the cream of the crop of the Southern Social Elite to the gatherings. There were many young men and women of the Bakersfield aristocracy and their parents all handsomely contributing to Sadie and the Bakersfield Foundation which handled: Cripple Children’s Ministry, The Preservation of the Southern Order, and The Friends of Bakersfield. These groups all met with the purpose of exposing the many faucets of Bakersfield Living to other southern communities and to assist children with crippling and life-threatening disorders.
Sadie received worldwide recognition for her work with the handicapped children of Bakersfield. Bakersfield Cripple Children’s Ministry sponsored research into many disorders and children the world over were beneficiaries of the information. Sadie Bakersfield had also been awarded a Southern Comfort Award because of her tireless efforts in preserving the genteel atmosphere of Southern Living. It did not take long for Sadie to not only pull her foundation into the black but also line her pockets through the many personal contributions.
However, her mind was still preoccupied in the life of Renée. Sadie persuaded Mrs. Beasley into having her daughter spy on Renée and report the activities back to her. When Marme discovered the uninhibited wardrobe and bohemian lifestyle Renée had adapted—she was more determined than ever to put a stop to it and resume her authority over her.
The Joy of Freedom ...
Meanwhile while in college Renée was becoming very poplar, and like her mother, attended many functions. Renée was seeing more and more of Lee and even Katie teased her about what was going on between the two of them. Samantha however, was always in the background taking notes and only occasionally giving comments.
“I just don’t know what has gotten into you, Renée Latimoore. One would think you were brought up in a brothel instead of a gentle southern environment.” Samantha retorted one day.
“And one would also think that perhaps you’ve been spying for Marme and reporting my every move to her.” Renée threw back. Samantha blushed deep red and after that made no further comment regarding Renée’s behavior. In fact she explained to her mother that she would no longer be spying on Renée because she didn’t want to lose her friendship. This of course infuriated Marme.
Renée excelled in academics and journalism was at the top of the theoretical list. Renée volunteered to accompany one of the professors on a tour of the Persian Gulf and received the coveted Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for the outstanding coverage and photos she did on the aftermath of the war. Her professor was so impressed that he recommended she receive a special fellowship that allowed her to simultaneous obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Journalism. Renée was thrilled about the honor and told Marme about it in an impromptu long-distance call.
“Child I heard all the way in Bakersfield about what you had done. What possessed you to go over there to that crazy country? You could have been killed.” Marme scolded.
“My professor asked me to go with him, and I felt that it was an honor. Besides, now I will be able to graduate with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. I have also contributed half of my Nobel prize money to the university!” Renée said excitedly.
“What? Do you know what that money could have done for the Bakersfield Foundation?” Renée could imagine the veins rising up in Marme’s neck. She became extremely agitated every time someone (especially Renée) did something that she thought was utterly preposterous.
“My money will help young people major in journalism. Young people who are not blessed enough to have money to go on their own.” Renée defended.
“All that news writing is a lot of nonsense. What kind of money can you make with it? Going to crazy countries that hate Americans and then putting your life on the line. I see it was a mistake to ever let you stay in California.” Marme admonished.
“YOU didn’t have any choice.” Renée replied angrily.
“How dare you speak to me that way?” Marme said in utter surprise. “After all I have done for you.” From the sound of her voice, Sadie was on the verge of tears. Sadie knew exactly how to manipulate Renée even long distance. Then in the background Lee’s voice could be heard.
“I’m sorry, Marme. I’ve got to go now, love you. Bye!” And Renée hung up the phone before Marme could respond. It was then that Sadie Bakersfield purposed in her heart that she would ‘rescue’ Renée from California and return her to Bakersfield where Sadie Bakersfield reigned.
Under the capable hands of Justin and Fairmont accountants, Renée had made several additional investments that reaped generous dividend checks. She could live on the residue without even touching the principle! Renée had even considered buying a home. However, after foolishly discussing it with Sadie, it was obvious that it was a bad decision.
To Be Continued …
An Unnatural Influnce 6
- An Unnatural Influence 6
Never underestimate the abilities of your adversary. You may be playing with "a full deck of cards" but that doesn't mean he or she is. Besides, have you ever heard of "the dead man's hand?"
© 2018 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS