A Mississippi River Romance - Part 11

A Mississippi
River Romance

Heartache and Healing!

by Andrea Lena DiMaggio
Thanks to Annette for the help!
Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care
your skin your body and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are

Romance Along the Mississippi

Previously...at the Magliano home...

“Why the tears, honey? You sound sad, but you look…surprised?” Adele nodded as her mother began to stroke her hair.

“He…doesn’t want to make love to me, Mom…” A statement that would have had an entirely different meaning only weeks before; she seemed almost happy that she was being rejected. Giada smiled.

“He cares too much for you to make love…he respects you?” Almost an unnecessary guess, it needed asking nonetheless for Adele’s sake.

“Right…like…I…I don’t have to do anything…he just likes me.” Truth be told, Danny was falling in love with Adele, but like would suffice for the time being.

“He doesn’t expect anything…he gives instead of takes.” She didn’t want Adele to feel condemned, but the distinction had to be made since Adele needed to move away from how she had believed and behaved; almost performing on demand.

“No...Yes…he’s just such a nice guy. Oh…Mommy…what if…maybe I’m…..” Her voice trailed off as she thought of conversations past with her mother. And of course, the ringing accusations of her father continued to follow her like the bells of a leper marking her as unclean.

“You are more than just okay, honey…Remember…’fearfully and wonderfully made…” Giada quoted Psalm 119 to her children often, partly as a way of undoing the harm of her inaction and neglect when she was drinking; but even more so, as she remembered the verse for herself. “God don’t make no junk,” she remembered a preacher saying once; ironically a preacher who was against gay marriage and anything transgender, but in this case, was entirely on the mark.

“I feel bad…like he’s missing something…like he needs glasses, Mom. I mean…I …with his brother....Oh, Mommy, I’m so ashamed…what did I do…I messed up big time….he can’t…it’s not fair.”

“Honey…Danny strikes me as a man who thinks and acts for himself, no matter what. If he kissed ...since he kissed you, I think he’s looking past who you used to be. Like Aunt Chloe used to say about your Uncle Dave…when everybody else had given up on him? ‘Most folks see Dave as he is…I see Dave as he can become.’ That’s Danny with you.” Giada kissed her daughter’s forehead before finishing.

“There’s just one thing that you need to do, honey.” Adele was so used to doing things to maintain a relationship she feared one more task.

“What, Mom…what should I do?” She began to cry. Giada stroked her cheek and said softly.

“You need to see yourself the way Danny and I and your sisters…yes, SISTERS…see you…and the way God sees you, honey…fearfully and wonderfully made’” She gathered her daughter in her arms and showered her with kisses even as the girl sobbed enough to shake the bed. More healing for another Magliano child.

Later that night...

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

It was nearly nine and everyone was tired from the day’s events except for Miri. She was just coming into the living room with a tray with tea and cookies when she heard a knock at the front door. Putting the tray down on the coffee table, she quickly walked to the door and opened it, finding Danny Pearson standing literally with hat in hand.

“Hi, Miri…I’m so sorry for coming over so late. Would Adele happen to be at home?”

“Sure, come on in; I’ve just made some tea,” Miri said as she opened the door wider in invitation.

“If it’s all the same, I need to talk with her?” Danny smiled and gestured toward the bench on the porch.

“Hi,” a voice came from behind Miri as Adele walked to the doorway.

“It’s okay, Mir…Just a sec.” Adele walked back to the living room and grabbed her mug of tea off the tray before joining Danny on the porch. He shrugged and his face turned red when she stepped out. He turned his glance away.

“What?” She asked as she looked at herself, wondering what was wrong.

“You forgot your robe.” He replied.

She looked down and noticed buttons of her pajamas had come undone. Her breasts, while not completely bared, were still somewhat exposed. It was then, in such a simple observation that she realized just how much the young man cared. She ran quickly buttoned her pajamas and ran to the couch and grabbed her robe. Putting it on, she turned to walk back to the porch when it struck her. He didn’t see a replica or a facsimile of a girl; he saw the woman she was, and deferred to her modesty. She returned to the porch and tried to smile and make light of the situation, but his look and reply completed the moment.

“I’m sorry. I come across as being abrupt and maybe even rude sometimes, and I don’t want you to think you’re not pretty when I turn away…I just thought…” He was unable to complete the sentence as she burst into tears.

“Oh…damn….I did it again.” He turned red as he stood, helpless before the weeping girl

“No…it’s ….it’s alright…I just…” She sobbed. Miri went to run back to the porch but Jerry grabbed her arm softly and shook his head no.

“Oh…okay.” She knew immediately what he meant; that this was actually a good thing for both of them, and that everything was more than just okay. She turned toward her mother who nodded in agreement.

“Adele…are you okay?” That word…mere approval, which would have been enough, but the young man had just communicated to her very clearly with no room for misinterpretation or negotiation that he cared enough about her for her to be embarrassed; a silly notion perhaps to some, but a very real feeling to Adele.

“Danny…I have to …you need to know what just happened.” He leaned closer and tilted his head ever so slightly, as if it would help him understand.

“No man…no one I’ve ever been with has ever cared about my modesty. I could wear anything and it wouldn’t make a difference. I felt so….” She started to sob and he went to console her. She was starved for his embrace, but at that moment, it wasn’t the right time, and she put her hand out to stop him.

“Hear me out, okay?” She paused and collected herself.

“I…I gave myself away…I wanted so bad to be loved that I just gave myself away. The…..” Once again he went to hug her and once again she put up her hand.

“But you…you…” she stammered.

“How could I not, Adele?” His own eyes began to fill with tears. “You mean the world to me; no expectations, no demands…I care too much to put that on you.” Seeing his tears made her cry all the more as she broke down completely, falling into his arms. He began to kiss her, but pulled back. Before that moment, his retreat might have signaled rejection, but then and there, it was all about him accepting and comforting and valuing her; not about him at all.

“Mom…listen to her…” Miri practically begged her mother to go to rescue Adele from the pain, but
Giada shook her head no, ever so gently while saying softly,

“Honey…this is exactly what your sister has needed all along.’ She choked up a bit as she glanced over at the scene on the porch before finishing,

“This is exactly who she’s needed.”

Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there's a man whose love is true
And he'll treat you like the jewel you are

The next morning...at the Pearson home...

Danny was pouring a cup of coffee when the doorbell rang. Odd, since it was six-fourteen AM and everybody in the neighborhood always came to the side door. He walked through down the hallway and opened the front door. Two uniformed officers stood on the porch. One looked very anxious, revealing his lack of experience. The calmer and older of the two stepped forward.

“Excuse me sir, is this the Pearson residence?”

“Yes, this is my mother’s home, Estelle Pearson. What’s wrong?” Danny knew enough that police officers don’t ask for donations to the Police Benevolence fund at six in the morning. His worse fears weren’t realized, but what would have been his last choice did.

“I’m sorry…there was a shooting at your father’s apartment…” His voice trailed off as he paused, hoping that Danny would fill in the blanks.

“I…” Danny couldn’t speak. He never loved his father, for so many understandable reasons, but his face grew warm and his nostrils flared slightly as he began to cry. Years of abuse and neglect may erase respect and care, but a little boy never stops wanting his dad, even it that dad never existed. A few moments passed and he collected himself.

“I’ve..I’ve got to tell my mother and my brother.” He opened the door further and motioned for the officers to come in.

“Someone has to stay with my mother….my brother Rick…or me…one of us can come with you.” Danny saw a very troubled look cross the face of the younger cop and he felt a chill up his spine.’

“I’m…I’m sorry…Mr. Pearson. We arrested your brother at the scene. He’s being charged with killing your father. He asked if we'd let you know and to call the family lawyer.” The younger of the two cops turned away as Danny’s face went from warm and red to cold and almost white in a second, and he dropped the coffee cup to the floor where it shattered.

“Danny? Danny….” He heard a voice calling from behind. Turning around, he found his mother standing in the hall. He shuddered once before stepping next to her, Grabbing her by both hands, he led her past the two officers and sat her down on the couch.

“Mom…we….Daddy’s dead.” A look of relief almost was followed quickly by horror as Danny explained that his brother, her eldest son, was in jail for the crime.

The pain of twenty-five plus years of neglect and abuse doesn’t go away quickly, but neither in some way for some women does the love that held that horrible alliance together. Danny pulled his mother closer as she sobbed over the loss of the only man she had ever loved.

Little girl twenty-one the things that you've already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you've got a man but he's got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead

The first kiss, the first date, the first time they made love; all were precious, but they could never outweigh the first slap or punch, and nothing would ever make the pain of knowing she had married a monster go away. She wept for her loss; of her innocence and her love, but much more in guilt over the loss of innocence of her children. Years of abandoning her escape and the salvation for her sons in the hope that things would change; a prison perhaps of his making, but one in which she held the key.

"Ricky? No...tell me he didn't. Oh, God...it's my fault...Danny....Where's Vinnie?"

"He's still in the hospital, Mom...You remember." It all came back to her; the boy in the hospital who hated to go to his father's place.

"Oh...yes...hospital...he's sick...that flu that's going around." She said it and Danny was not going to make a point of correcting her but his look betrayed his feelings.

"No...no...that's not right...ulcers...he's afraid...afraid of his father..." The look of sad recognition crossed her face and she cried out.

"Vinnie...my baby...he...your father swore he'd stop...he told me it was over....Oh God...it's my fault...my baby..." She touched Danny's face in confusion.

"It's okay, Vinnie...it's okay..." She sobbed and started to shake.

She didn’t pull the trigger, but at that moment she felt her inability to stand up to her husband put the gun in Rick’s hand. Estelle Pearson collapsed in her son’s arms.

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Next: You're Still Not From Here!

More Beautiful You
Composed and Performed by
Johnny Diaz

Thanks to Annette for helping me tweak this; I apologize to the folks who read it in its previous form, but I hope this version makes things easier and plainer to understand about these two families. Much thanks and love to you, dear reader, as well! Andrea

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