In this excerpt from An Accidental Life, a mother contemplates recent actions she has taken. Pleased, she is ready to reap the rewards of her efforts. But then....
Alexandra sat in her wingback chair at the window, watching the social worker leave and smiling to herself. She had won this round, hadn’t she?
She was suddenly jolted back to the present by the slamming of the back door. Now what? She turned her gaze toward the back of the house and waited. Within seconds, she saw Blake. He looked sheepish, as well he should! He seemed to come to the house only when he wanted something, usually money. He seemed to breeze in and out of their lives, almost a visitor in it. At least he was still in school. She could be grateful for that! He would be starting his junior year in just a week, and in spite of all the hassle and distractions of the previous year, he seemed to be maintaining an appropriate GPA.
“Hey, Mom,” he greeted. “What’s up?” He motioned toward the driveway, where Molly had just taken her departure.
“Oh, that was Sasha’s social worker,” she replied dismissively. “Discussing plans for the baby.”
“Did she say anything about Savannah?” His interest disturbed Alexandra, but she pretended a nonchalance she did not feel.
“Not really.” She stood up and sailed on past him to the great room beyond, busying herself with some activity or other.
But Blake knew her well and recognized her attempts to keep him in the dark. He had watched her smoothing things over and sweeping things under the rug his whole life. “What is it, Mother?”
“Just some problems I’ve been discussing…About the visits between Savannah and the baby.” She lifted her chin, defying him to argue with her.
“Why are you doing this?” Blake paced angrily, not letting her off the hook on this one.
“Whatever do you mean?” She shot back, obviously feeling more in control than her son.
“You know exactly what I mean. I did what you wanted. I dropped Savannah and I supported having the baby placed with you. What more do you want from me? I thought that if I did what you wanted, you wouldn’t get in the way of Savannah and the baby…Isn’t that what you promised?”
“I’m only doing what’s best for Sasha. If I thought that Savannah could truly be a mother to her, I would support that completely. But she’s too immature, too mixed up…After all, if she’d been a good-enough mother, they wouldn’t have taken her away!”
“Now, that’s not fair and you know it! She made a mistake. But she should be given the chance to have her baby with her. She’s proving herself, isn’t she, by going to her program? She can’t change the past. You, of all people, should know all about that!”
He turned, in disgust, when she met his remarks with a smug, superior look.
Seething inwardly, he headed upstairs. At the top of the steps, he reflected on what had just happened. Well, now, all bets were off! If she wasn’t going to keep her end of the bargain, neither would he! Determinedly, he headed toward his old boyhood room.
Sitting down in the armchair by the bed, he picked up the phone.