Loan Some

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Vote by March 31, 2014!

In the previous episode, readers voted that after telling Vera the story of why she was given up for adoption as a baby, her mother admitted she didn’t regret the decision.

Episode 29

“And I don’t regret it. As selfish as that may sound.”

Vera tried to put herself in her mother’s shoes. While she would probably never understand her mother’s actions, she would also never understand what it was like to be in that situation, with limited options in a different decade.

“I see your father did a great job. I’m glad I didn’t stand in the way of that.”

It dawned on Vera that her mother didn’t even know the real “her.”

“How do you know Dad did a great job? You think I’m Denise, the blackjack dealer who may or may not be an escort on the side.”

“I’ve seen the way you’ve dealt with my son—err, your brother—the past couple of days.”

And she didn’t say anything else after that, as if she, too, knew her son was a real asshole.

“I know we may never have a typical mother-daughter relationship,” said Vera. “But if you’d like, I’d love for you get to know ‘Vera’ as opposed to ‘Denise.’”

“I’d like that,” said Betsey.

Just then, there was a knock at the door. Vera got up to answer it, and peeping through the peephole, discovered it was Cole. She took a deep breath before letting him in.

“Hey,” he said.

“Hello.”

“I didn’t tell Uncle Bruce. This situation has been insane for you. I should have understood that.”

“Thank you.” She only hoped he would then leave after this confession so he wouldn’t see her having a heart to heart with her birth mother. This could really cause him to fly off the rails.

Unfortunately, he didn’t sense that Vera was trying to keep him at the door. Instead, he walked right in and spotted Betsey.

“Hi.” Cole looked at her as if he weren’t really all that surprised.

“Hello, Kevin. Er. Whatever your real name is.”

“It’s Cole.” He looked at Vera, whose eyes confirmed what he already knew: The secret was out.

“Let me get this straight, according to what Owen told me. Your company loans out people for weddings?”

“For all occasions, really.”

“And people utilize your services often?”

“Like you wouldn’t believe.”

Betsey paused, looking down at her hands, before looking up at Cole and Vera. “Could you do DAR dinners?”

**

Later that night, Owen arrived at the hotel room like a zombie, climbing into bed with no other purpose than to sleep off the alcohol. The next morning, as Vera clutched his arm on the elevator to keep him propped up, he whispered to her, “There’s no way Catherine’s getting married today.” It looked like the drama of this week wasn’t quite over yet.

When they got to the church, Owen wasn’t doing his job as an usher very well, especially since he would barely stand. Soon, the crowd filled up, with Cole in the back on the groom’s side, and Betsey and Richard right up front. 

“You need to keep him upright,” said Charlie, who Vera was still pretty sure didn’t know they were related. Betsey had said she wanted to sit down and talk to Charlie and Richard after the wedding.

Once the wedding actually started, with Catherine coming down the aisle, Vera stood behind Owen on the altar, as a makeshift support beam so he could stand up straight. When the minister got to the “Speak now or forever hold your peace part,” Owen cleared his throat as if he were going to speak. But someone else did for him.

“Stop this wedding,” said a man, walking down the aisle in a crisp black suit. He looked like something out of a magazine ad, his deep black skin jumping off the page of this white-bread audience.

The wedding guests gasped.

“Catherine is carrying my baby,” he said. “This marriage is a sham.”

Soon, the wedding guests started to turn on Catherine, mainly because this finally gave them a reason to hate her other than just their general disinterest. They booed her.

“I . . . I. . .” Catherine never finished this thought. Instead of denying it, she was forced off of the altar by the unruliness of the crowd, heading toward the back of the church with the mystery man. Charlie and Owen followed, with Charlie clutching his brother like an injured soldier as they advanced up the aisle.

And just as the church was buzzing, with some wedding guests up and leaving and other family members sitting in the pews gossiping about the events that had just taken place, a lone figure stood at the back of the church searching the room with his eyes. Vote below on what will happen next or if viewing from email, click Take our Poll.

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