When Vera awoke, she found herself on a champagne-colored couch, with a shiny mahogany coffee table next to her that had the contents of her entire purse dumped out onto it.
She was all alone in an open lobby area, with giant windows saturated with sunlight overlooking the green of the golf course. At first she felt slightly embarrassed, having been passed out on a couch in an area where the general public would congregate. But she could tell by the bustle of clinking glasses and silverware in the dish-washing area that the clubhouse dining hall was experiencing a break.
There was a good chance no one had seen her sprawled out on the lobby couch like some sort of bum.
Just then, clad in sunglasses, Cole came in from the outside with an ice pack.
“Hey. You’re awake.”
“What happened?” Vera rubbed her head. It felt like two people were taking dueling hammers to one side of her head.
“Those two nitwit brothers took a swing with their golf clubs just as you interfered.”
Vera looked around. “Where are they?”
“The caretaker and I carried you off the green, and then they all kept golfing after that.”
Vera felt that tinge of anger from before, when she was sort of left for dead in the Atlantic Ocean. But this time, that tinge had grown into a heap. She couldn’t believe they would just keep playing after hitting her in the head. Despite her fury, she tried to tamper it down and underplay it, mostly for Cole’s benefit.
“I can’t wait until this week is over. You’re gonna get yourself killed at this rate. I’m sorry this has been such an awful assignment.”
“It hasn’t been all that bad.” Vera was being truthful. Despite a throbbing head and hands that wanted to throttle her brothers, she appreciated getting to know her family. Even if now she, too, was ready for this time to be up.
“What’s with you? You defend this family, when they’ve been nothing but jerks.”
Vera massaged her face with her hands. “I need to be honest with you. Sit down.”
Cole sat down next to her on the couch, taking off his sunglasses because he sensed things were about to get serious.
“The reason why I’ve been so forgiving of these people is because Betsey may be my mother. Meaning Charlie and Owen are my half-brothers.”
This didn’t quite register with Cole.
“Put this ice on your head.” He positioned the ice pack over the goose egg above her right temple.
“I’m serious, Cole.” She went on to explain the entire story—from being abandoned as a child to the Facebook search. As the word vomit erupted, it felt almost cathartic to Vera, as she had wanted to tell someone—anyone—this information for days now.
Cole didn’t say anything for a long time, digesting everything she had just told him.
“You had Facebook?”
Vera narrowed her eyes at him.
“This is just unbelievable.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “I mean, what are the chances?”
“I know. It was like it was fate.”
“Well, obviously, you can’t tell anyone.”
Vera’s heart sank a little bit. Even though she had no idea how she would do it, she had always intended to eventually tell Betsey that she might be her daughter, even if it did go against the Loan Some rules.
“If anything, you’ve been given a great gift. You’ve tested out this family without ever having to commit to them. A lot of us wish we could do that.”
“That is an awful thing to say.”
“It’s the truth. Do you really want to be a part of this family?”
The truth was no, actually. Vera had no intention of becoming a part of this family, mainly because she already had a family at home and because this family was truly just awful. Even if she had wanted to make this her second family, there was no way she could fit in. All she really wanted was just for Betsey to know who she was.
Vera never answered Cole’s question and turned to collect the items on the coffee table.
“Why did you dump out my purse?”
“I didn’t,” he said. “You woke up at one point.”
Rummaging through the likes of Altoids and cherry red lipstick, Vera finally came across her phone, with one missed call on it. Apparently, she had made a phone call while she was in and out of consciousness, and this person had called her back. Who did Vera call? Please return to the top of this episode to vote on what happens next!