Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Only a Kiss ~ Part 16
She folded her arms and tapped her finger against her against her bicep. Ana had seen her do this many times. Tilde was forming a plan.
“Mother, please, I can handle this,” Ana said quickly.
“I’ve seen how you’ve handled it and now it’s my turn,” said Tilde.
“What are you planning?” asked Ana.
“Since you’ve burned all your bridges, there seems to be only one rational route,” said Tilde. “I’ll need to find you a husband as soon as possible.”
“No, Mother, I’ll find another job.” Ana stood. “I was thinking of going to San Francisco and getting a fresh start. Maybe I …”
“You will do no such thing,” snapped Tilde.
Ana took a step back.
Tilde plastered on a small smile. “Ana, dear, I can’t have my daughter running off across the country to chase some fairy tale dream. You need someone to look after you. Someone to make sure your bills are paid and you live a lifestyle that is becoming of a Durrant.”
“I can make my own way,” Ana whispered. Tears threatened to fall as Ana silently begged them to stay put. She didn’t want to cry in front of her mother, especially since they were tears of frustration and anger. Tilde would see the tears as a sign of weakness.
“You’ve proven that you can’t,” said Tilde. “How did you expect to pay for this move across country? Do you have the money saved?”
Ana shook her head and looked at her feet. “I was going to ask you for a loan. I would pay it back in full by the end of the year. I just need a new start…”
“Now, why would I give you a loan when you can’t even pay rent?” asked Tilde.
Ana snapped her head up in surprise. “How do you know I can’t pay rent this month?”
“I check your accounts weekly,” said Tilde with no remorse. “I’m your mother, I have a right to know how you’re doing financially.”
“I’m twenty-eight years old, Mother,” said Ana. “You have no right to look at my accounts. I’m not a child anymore!”
Tilde’s eyes squinted causing Ana to take another step back. “Fine. As an adult you better have rent paid in full tomorrow by noon or you will be evicted without prejudice.”
“You know I don’t have it.” Ana hated the words that slipped from her mouth. But it was the truth. She didn’t have the rent payment that was due and she had no other place to go.
“Then your alternative is to follow my plan,” said Tilde, a smug smile tugging at her lips.
“What do I have to do?” asked Ana.
“I will set you up on dates with eligible bachelors of wealthy status. At the end of the month you will pick one to court exclusively, which should result in a proposal by the end of the year and a wedding in the next,” stated Tilde nonchalantly.
“And what if I don’t like any of the men you pick for me? What if I cannot love them?” asked Ana.
“Not an option.” Tilde narrowed her eyes. “If you don’t choose a gentleman of my approval, I’ll throw you out on the streets.”