A tea party with Elle and a surprise comment from Liv
Dylan shrugged, “Didn’t dickwad Rooney tell you?”
Mike’s face was full of rage, “He just fucking called me into his office and told me I was expelled for a week for physically abusing Kelly.”
“What the fuck did you say?”
Mike waited until the couple getting into the car next to his pulled out. School had just been let out for the day and he had just left Mr. Rooney’s office. “I told him I had no idea what he was talking about.”
“Guess he didn’t believe you.”
“He said she had bruises on her wrist that she told him I made. Fuckin’ bitch. Just wait until I get a hold of her.”
“Dude, maybe you should stay away from her.” Dylan was trying to be the voice of reason. Not an easy task then Mike was this pissed off.
Mike glared at him, “Oh, I’m gonna get even with her. She ain’t gonna spread this kinda shit about me around. I didn’t do shit to her. Stupid cunt thinks she can lie about me. She’s just trying to make shit up about me to make it look like her sister had a reason for punching me.”
Dylan knew enough about his friends temper not to argue with him. When Mike got pissed you didn’t cross him.
Mike moved towards the driver’s door, “Come on let’s get the fuck out of here. I gotta think.”
Almost reluctantly Dylan got into the passengers seat. “Where we headed?”
“Anywhere away from here.” Mike ground out. “My parents are gonna be home tomorrow morning and the shit is gonna hit the fan. I gotta figure out what I’m gonna tell them.”
“Just tell them Kelly’s lying.” Dylan said pulling out a pack of cigarettes.
Mike who had already lit one put the car in gear. “Fuck yeah, I’ll tell them that, for sure. I just gotta make sure the bitch stops talking shit about me. She could screw up everything.”
“I don’t know how the fuck you think you’re gonna talk to her. You sure as shit know her mom ain’t gonna let you.”
Mike thought a moment then suddenly started hitting the steering wheel with the palm of his hand, “Fuck, fuck, fuck. What am I gonna do?”
Dylan remained quiet. Frankly he just wanted to get away from Mike right now.
“I’ll make her pay. One way or another that bitch is goin’ down.”
Monica gathered all her inner strength then entered Kara's room carrying a tray of cookies and a pitcher of sweet tea. Elle was dancing in the middle of the room wearing one of Kelly's skirts and a feather boa. She spotted Monica and raced at her full tilt, crashing into her legs in a big bear hug. Monica struggled to not drop the cookies or splash the tea.
"Mommyca!" The little girl laughed as she tilted her head back peering straight up. Monica laughed at the picture she made. She looked up to see Kara staring at her, frowning. Kelly was avoiding her gaze, choosing instead to straighten the lace on Pooketta's dress.
"Mommyca, sit down." Elle stepped back and grabbed Monica's pant leg, tugging her toward the table. Everyone else was already seated at the table; Pookie, head askew, and Pooketta, Kara and Kelly. There were three empty chairs, each with a place setting.
"Where do you want me to sit?"
Elle pulled out the chair "Here." Monica looked at it. This could be interesting. Elle had picked out the smallest chair in the room for her. Monica sighed and set down the cookies. She reached for the teapot, filling it with the tea she had brought from downstairs. She placed it in front of Elle who had taken her own chair.
Monica laughed as Elle, biting her tongue in concentration, carefully poured tea into the first cup.
While Elle was busy pouring, Monica tried to change seats, opting to sit in the empty chair beside Kara.
"Mommyca, you can't sit on Mr.Ginganap. You skish him." Elle said in all seriousness.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Monica turned to the chair. "I didn't see you sitting there." Elle laughed as if that was the funniest thing she had heard in quite awhile. Monica went back to her woefully inadequate chair and waited for Elle to finish serving everyone. Kelly passed out cookies while Kara sat back, arms folded watching. The atmosphere was strained but thankfully Elle didn't seem to notice. She chattered away to no one in particular, perfectly content to be the hostess with the mostest. She made sure that Pookie got an extra cookie and that Mr. Gingersnap's tea was not too hot. Soon all the guests seemed to be having a fun time, though a peak at their thoughts would reveal otherwise.
"I shouldn't have hit the loser, but damn - it felt good. Look at her over there just laughing at everything Elle does. She finally got her perfect daughter."
"Mom hates me. I know it. How am I ever going to face everyone at school now? They'll all know."
"My own kids hate me. I let them both down. What in the world am I going to say to Kelly? How can I fix this?"
Elle was busily passing out another round of cookies when the doorbell rang. Fortunately, Elle didn't notice the looks of relief on everyone else's faces. She instead bounced up with a look of anticipation. Monica stood up, stretching to try to restore the blood flow to her lower limbs before walking back downstairs.
"We had tea poddy." Elle excitedly told her mother who was standing outside on the porch. Monica opened the screen door but Liv shook her head declining the unspoken offer to enter.
"That sounds like fun baby. Ready to go?" Liv asked.
"Me's gotta tell Kawa and Kewee bye." She scampered back up the stairs.
"Hold on to the railing." Monica called after her. She watched to make sure the child followed her instructions then walked out onto the porch.
Liv gave her a questioning look, "Bad day?"
Monica hadn't realized the look on her face must mirror her emotions. "Yeah."
"Did Elle give you any problems?"
"No" Monica was surprised by the question. "She was the only bright spot of the day."
Liv turned slightly to look out across the yard. "I, uh, I'm sorry you're having a bad day." It was so hard for her to offer compassion; especially to the woman she considered to have it all.
Monica was shocked. "Thanks." She knew that simple line had been hard for Liv to say. She took looked out across the yard lost in thought. "I feel so weak sometimes,” she murmured.
Liv turned to her, "Weak?"
Monica was slightly embarrassed she had uttered the words in her heart out loud. She nodded, "Yeah, almost pathetic." Her repressed anger was beginning to show. "I'm fucking pathetic"
Liv stared at her, shocked by her words. "Why would you think that?"
Monica closed her eyes, "Cause I didn't see something I should have."
"Something about Gee?" Liv asked quietly.
Monica's eyes snapped open, "No, not Gee. One of my daughters."
Liv watched her closely wondering if she would say more.
Suddenly Monica couldn't stop herself. "Kelly's boyfriend abused her and I didn't fucking know. What kind of a mother am I?' The tears she had been holding back rolled down her cheeks.
Liv looked down, "Monica, stop blaming yourself, you're not the victim, she is."
Monica was shocked by her words, "I know she's the victim. I just hate myself for not being able to stop it from happening."
"She hid it from you because she didn't want you to know. That's what victims of abuse do, they hide and pretend it will go away."
Monica nodded, "but it doesn't just go away." she said softly.
Liv studied her and realized there was so much about this woman she didn't know. So many things she needed to know. “You understand about being a victim."
Monica realized her past was being laid bare. She simple stared at Liv.
Hearing Elle coming down the stairs she smiled and took her hand as she came out onto the porch. Elle kissed Monica goodbye and she and Liv started down the steps. When they reached the bottom Liv turned, "We understand." she said sadly.