An Unnatural Influence 9
The Sins of the Father ...
“There is a letter from my father?” Renée said.
“Yes. It was written shortly after the news of Sadie’s death.” Lee said.
“But why would I receive a letter from Sir Latimoore after all these years? He has never had more than seven words to say to me.” Renée said bitterly gripping the pendant.
“Let me explain a few things to you. You see Sadie never approved of the marriage of Andréa and Alex. Sadie and Alex were very close friends during their years of college at Stanford University. Besides that, Sir Latimoore was strongly against having children. So when your mother became pregnant Sir Latimoore became very distraught.” Lee said watching the reaction on Renée’s face.
“I knew that my father, Sir Latimoore, loved my mother very much, but I never knew that he ever had any relationships with Marme!” Renée replied in shock still holding the pendant tight.
“Yes, but there is more! Sir Latimoore was seeing your mother all while he was dating Sadie. They later were secretly married. Andréa became pregnant right after graduation. When Alex Latimoore found out, he began pressing her to have an abortion. Some thought that he was so obsessed with her that he didn’t want to share her with anyone … not even his own child.” Renée winched squeezing the pendant, and Lee continued.
“Andréa pleaded with Alex Latimoore to allow her to keep you, but in a fit of anger that Sir Latimoore has learned to regret, he demanded her to choose between him or you, her unborn child. Andréa told my dad that she looked at Alex with tears in her eyes and then one tear slid down her cheek and she tasted the salt in her mouth. After that she left England for France.”
Sadie’s Revenge ...
“Sadie, already filled with animosity against both Alex and Andrea for what she considered their betrayal, insisted that a man like him didn’t deserve anybody’s love or loyalty. She drove home the point that any man that would date two women simultaneously would do anything. Sadie told Andrea that she should have gotten herself a nice Southern gentleman anyway and not have dated her best friend’s beau. Sadie thought that the baby should have been hers anyway. She told Andrea that divorce would be the only sensible thing to do. Sadie said that divorce would be the only way that Andrea could vindicate herself of the wrong she had done to her. Sadie insisted that she should be allowed to raise you as her own.
Then, Sadie wrote a letter to Alex Latimoore and three weeks letter Andréa received the Writ of Divorcement.” Lee finished breathlessly.
“If he didn’t want me then, then I don’t want any letter from him now!” Renée said sounding like a six-year-old being forced to take Castor Oil.
“You are the only heir that Sir Latimoore has. After your mother left for France, Sir Latimoore had surgery insuring that he would never sire another child. He always believed that he would win Andréa back and he knew that somehow you would always be under Sadie’s controlling influence. I think you should read it.” Lee said.
“Very well, I will read it on the way back to Bakersfield.” Renée said.
Feeling very tired she left the law offices and went to her hotel room. She returned the pendant to its alabaster case and telephoned Katie.
“So, is it over now?” Katie asked after getting past the usual courtesies.
“I don’t know, Katie. I have this letter from Marme to read—I have a letter from my father … everything is such a turmoil!” Renée said so exhausted from the pendant thatshe began to cry.
“You are just tired.” Get some rest and you may see things differently in the morning. I will be here to give you all the support you need. You are my best friend and I care.” Katie said in sympathy.
“Thank you for being my friend Katie and I will see you on tomorrow.” Renée said and hung up the phone. She lay on the bed until she fell into a dreamless sleep.
Embracing The Present
Boarding the plane for Bakersfield, Renée clutched her purse containing the letters from her father and one from Sadie. While fingering the Blood-Red pendant she wore securely around her neck; she decided to read the letter from her Marme before reading the one from her father. It read:
My dearest Renée:
I hope you will forgive me for getting old and dying on you … but that’s just a part of life. I never wanted you to know about my illnesses; the doctors just loved fussing over me. I suppose by now, Lee Vandermier has told you how I played a vital role in the divorce of your parents. I do not apologize for that fact. If it had not been for my intervention, my pet, you would not be reading this letter! It is for that reason alone you should be grateful!
I later realized that it was not that Alex was selfish and only wanted Andréa for himself, it was that his family was the recipient of a very serious genetic deficiency and he was afraid would be passed on to you! Thank the Lord that it was not, but we could not be sure of it until your 21st birthday.
I suppose that many of us misjudged Alex and well that happens sometimes when the past is involved. But I was only thinking about what was best for your mother. Andréa would have never forgiven herself if she had done as Alex asked—and neither would I. It would have just been another thing she did. Oh well, your mother was like a little sister to me. And, like little sisters, they don’t always know what was good for them. A nice Southern gentleman, of the finest social standing, would have been marvelous for her. I told her that I knew a few in my hometown that would have been perfect.
Andréa was gorgeous; she was petite, and she could have had any boy on campus! But, no she wanted an Englishman, my Englishman. It must have had something to do with her French blood! I was not going to stand for that happening to you. After much discussion, I finally convinced Andréa that it would be best for me to raise you and not her. I told her that her unstable influence would only be detrimental to your welfare and that it would be in your best interest to limit her contact with you. However, she needed to provide financially for both of us! It was my right! Especially, if I had to live in that accursed California mansion!
Aha, but that is history! I have had many wonderful years with you and I would not have traded them even for a longer life! You and John Cummings have been my joys. Yes, for many years I have had an ongoing affair with that married man. We would meet after board meetings and go on many trips together. That was of course before you came to live with me again and that wife of his developed brain cancer. She became so useless and he became laden with guilt.
We could never marry though, because he was devoted to that invalid wife of his, and I became devoted to you and the little children of Bakersfield. However, John and I enjoyed many marvelous times together! Had it not been for the necessity of that terrible accident, he may have been alive today.
I have not left you empty-handed. I knew about your plans once you received your mother’s inheritance. However, I hope leaving you the lovely town of Bakersfield along with the Bakersfield Foundation will give you cause for staying here in Bakersfield. The town will need someone, and it should be you.
Good-bye Renée and know that my love for you is eternal—
To Be Continued …
An Unnatural Influence 10
- An Unnatural Influence 10
The Blood-Red Ruby ... a jewel of exquisite beauty and infamous history. Many through the years have possessed it with the same consequences--madness and death!
© 2018 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS