Thinking It Over (65)

Josephine Falcone sat alone in her bedroom, angry with her husband. She began to ponder what Peter had said to her. In her own mind, she really did care about family. Apparently, her actions said otherwise. Peter Falcone walked in and interrupted her thoughts.

“Josephine,” said Peter, “I’m sorry if I upset you before. It needed to be said though. You can’t hold it over Louise’s head that she’s not, well, Annette. Michael made a choice, and we have to accept that. She’s really not a bad girl, you know.”

“Peter, don’t you understand? It’s not just her, it’s the whole family. They’re users. Annette used Michael until she found something better, Stella married Edward for his money, and Louise obviously married Michael just to spite Annette. No, Peter, they’re not good people. I won’t have my son happily involved with a woman like that,” said Josephine.

“You know, you’re making an awful lot of assumptions. If you remember correctly, Annette was perfectly happy here until she found out about what we do. Stella and Edward married out of college, so they were both incredibly poor. Anyways, he built his fortune by himself with the support of that woman. As for Louise, I’ll admit she’s a shrew. I’m sure you never thought of this, Josephine, but she’ just like you. They always say that boys marry their mothers.”

Josephine turned away from her husband as if insulted by the very thought. In reality though, she knew it was true.

“I know…” said Josephine begrudgingly. If there was one thing Josephine Falcone could not argue, it was that Louise Falcone was just like her. That’s what made it all the harder to accept.

***

Annette Gardner sat in her kitchen, thumbing aimlessly through a magazine. It was one of the “free” moments she had when she was not by Elaine’s bedside. She was interrupted by the clamor of the telephone.

“Hello? Gardner residence said Annette.

“Hi, Annette? It’s Brian Matthews. You have a minute?”

“Hello Dr. M–I mean, hello Brian,” said Annette with a laugh, “Is everything all right? Is Elaine okay?”

“Oh, yes, yes, Elaine’s doing very well. I was actually calling to talk to you.”

“Something about family visiting? If I’m there too often, I can stop. I wouldn’t want to get in your way.”

“No, no, I was actually calling to see if you were free this Friday. Maybe we could have dinner?”

Shocked, Annette said, “Well, um, Brian, I don’t think that would work…”

“So another day then? I’m free on Saturday if–“

“No, I mean I don’t think it’s right of you to ask me to dinner. A) You’re Elaine’s doctor, and we see each other frequently. That wouldn’t be good for anyone, especially Elaine. It would be a distraction. B) I’m still a married woman, and my husband and I are having a child. I’m very flattered, but it wouldn’t be right,” said Annette.

“You said you and your husband were getting a divorce though. As for Elaine, no one at the hospital has to know,” said Dr. Matthews eagerly.

Dr. Matthews,” said Annette with resolution, “I ‘m sorry, but anything further than our present relationship would be inappropriate. Goodbye.” Annette slammed the receiver down.

Annette Gardner was a woman of principles. She had felt the guilt that comes along when one betrays them. She knew all too well from her recent, short-lived infatuation with Michael Falcone. Elaine needed her, and she would not betray the bond they had. Though she was alone, she was not about to jump into anything else, romantic or otherwise.

Dr. Matthews would have to wait.

END

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