Requiem for Claire 2

Updated on September 5, 2019
Jacqueline4390 profile image

Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!

Things are looking bad …
Things are looking bad …

Can’t You Listen to Reason ...

Rev Westbrook, Rachel and Cedric Osbourne are not the only family members to have a confrontation with Claire on that fateful night. Karen Osbourne has been seeing Jonathan Anderson in spite of her aunt’s blatant fascination with his younger brother, Wyatt. Claire feels that Karen is jeopardizing her chances with Wyatt by being seen with his younger brother.

Nevertheless, Karen decides to visit her aunt to try one last time to get her to listen to reason. As she pulls up into the driveway of the stately home she experiences an unexpected chill.

“I have to do this—I have to try.” Karen says as she musters up the courage to confront her formative aunt. When she rings the doorbell, Amanda Anderson, a middle-aged brunette with tiny specks of gray in her severely pulled back hair, answers.

“Hello, Amanda.” Karen says her lips turned up to produce a small smile.

“Karen!” Amanda replies in surprise. She nods towards the stairs that lead to the master bedroom as she gives Karen admittance to the home. The two women share a knowing glance and Karen proceeds slowly toward her aunt’s boudoir.

“You should definitely stop seeing that other Anderson boy, Karen.” Claire plows into Karen the minute she walks into her aunt’s bedchamber and occupies a seat near her bed.

“Okay, I’ll admit he’s definitely different from Wyatt. That’s why I really like him, Aunt Claire. He’s very nice and he treats me extremely well.” Karen defends.

“Nice! He treats you extremely well!” Clarice mimics.

“What’s wrong with that?” Karen’s courage waivers a bit.

“What’s wrong? That coarse throwback—honestly Karen. I did not groom you all these years for you to just settle for a Dime Store Dandy. You know that Wyatt would be perfect for you! He is handsome, refined— if only he wasn’t so enthralled by your little sister Katherine … that traipse!” Claire declares with disdain.

“Katherine is absolutely not a tramp. It is true that Kate sometimes lacks a few of the social graces but—” Claire interrupts.

“A few of the social graces? You could put Jonathan and Kate on a cattle car, and they would blend right in—” No longer able to tolerate her aunt’s belittling of her younger sister, Karen begins to defend Kate, pointing out her admirable traits to a very disinterested Claire.

“Kate is a fine young woman. She excels in athletic pursuits and is exceptional in academics. Her interests are just different from ours. And by far she is much prettier than I am.” Claire throws her hand up in a halting gesture, staring in disbelief and disdain.

“Stop, not another word. I understand that she is your younger sister, and you feel the need to protect her, but she is also your rival. You must not let yourself be blinded by sentimentality!” Claire admonishes, rubbing her throbbing temples.

“Like your relationship with my mother, Aunt Claire?” Karen smiles as she knows that her comment has struck a nerve.

“How dare you compare this with Rachel and me!” Claire has a menacing expression on her face. This doesn’t help the approaching migraine.

“I have to go, Aunt Claire. Jonathan is waiting for me.” Karen rises from her chair near her aunt’s bed and politely brushes her lips against Claire’s forehead. She notices how the woman winces when the connection is made.

“So, you plan on seeing him in spite of my wishes?” Claire questions frowning.

“Yes …” The one word speaks volumes.

These stairs lead to trouble ...
These stairs lead to trouble ...

“Very well then. I have a headache. Please leave.” Claire raises her right hand in a dismissing fashion and begins to search for her medicine to hamper the escalating migraine episode.

However, her telephone rings, interrupting her quest. It’s Claire’s quixotic interest, Paul Cunningham.

“What is it?” Claire barks into the phone in a very insipid manner, Claire never does anything “down-to-earth.”

“Claire honey, I’ve been trying to reach you all day. Where have you been?” Paul queries.

“Paul, I’ve been so very busy. Things are just not going according to my plans. First with my sister Rachel. She is as helpful as wet tissue. Then with my problem child brother, Patrick. That man shouldn't be in charge of an ant farm, much less an ecclesiastical organizational. And now Karen’s insane fascinate with that, that Jonathan Anderson!” At this point, Claire is really beginning to feel the telltale effects of a fully developed migraine.

“Darling, why don’t you let me come over? You just worry too much. Besides, you can’t control the lives of everyone.” Paul’s feeble attempts at empathy fall on death ears.

“Paul don’t patronize me! I just wish you’d be a conscientious with that company of yours as you try to be with me.” Claire flings at the man.

“Claire, that’s not fair.” Paul recoils instantly. He recognizes the signs immediately. His Claire is in the grips of a full-fledged migraine episode.

“Stop whining. I don’t know why I put up with you anyway. You have so much potential. Then, you allowed that docile father of yours to hire a new accountant. I believe the new man is extremely incompetent. You need to fire him.” Claire yells.

“Calm down, Claire. George Beasley is a fine accountant. I don’t know why you don’t like him?” Paul is beginning to feel very annoyed.

“George Beasley is a pathetic old man. The only reason Jeffery Cunningham hired him is because George is as big a loser as he is.” Claire rips into Paul.

“Now just a minute Claire! You have no reason attacking my father like that. Anyone can have a financial setback. I know you were instrumental in bailing him out but there’s no need in calling him a loser. Neither my father nor his friend George deserve that!” Paul emphatically defends.

“When I first met you five years ago Paul, I felt that I had found a great asset. Your striking good looks and your obvious business savvy fascinated me. Now that I have really gotten to know you, you are just like that porcelain vase. It appears fine on the outside but there is nothing inside.” Claire is filled with venom.

“What are you trying to say, Claire?” Paul complete drops the façade of being a gentleman.

“I’m saying good-bye, Paul.” There is an extreme coldness in her voice.

“Just like that?” Paul questions incredulously.

“Yes, just like that. Now, if you’ll excuse me I have other things to do.” Claire retorts in a condescending manner.

“You can’t mean it, Claire I—” The next instance, Paul is left with the silence of a disconnected phone.

“You’ll never get away with this, bitch!” Paul responds as he places his cell on his desk. “I’ve invested too much in this relationship.”

To Be Continued ...

© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS

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    • Jacqueline4390 profile imageAUTHOR

      Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS 

      2 weeks ago from Memphis

      Who doesn't want to silence Claire Westbrook?

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