Tuesday, April 07, 2020

The Best Medicine by Dellani Oakes – Part 26


Talk turns to the subject of Morgan's ex, Vanessa. Kenny, who has been fairly quiet, speaks up.
"She was one of the nastiest people I've ever known, and I couldn't stand her from the moment I met her. But I will say this in her favor, she was a non-partisan bitch. She was horrible to everyone, and didn't discriminate based on race, gender, religion, sexual preference or national origin." His chair dropped to the floor and he leaned across the table, eyes locked with Morgan's. "I've waited a long time to say that, but I couldn't bring it up with you while you, were still suffering. Now that you're not, I'm free to speak my mind. I'll never mention her again." He tipped back in his chair looking around expectantly. "How about them Red Sox, eh?"
The others were stunned by his sudden pronouncement. Morgan stared wide eyed, Molly's mouth fell open and Tanya blinked rapidly wondering what to say. There was a long, awkward silence.
"I'd like to see them win the series next season," Tanya said quietly.
It was her turn to be gaped at. A slow grin started at the corner of Kenny's mouth and spread upward setting his eyes sparkling.
"By God, I like this girl more every time I see her!" Impulsively, he took Tanya in a friendly bear hug. "You did good this time, Morph! And to think it was all an accident!"
Morgan looked at his feet, shuffling them back and forth on the floor. "Well, mostly. I admit, I didn't make her faint, but I waited in that room for two hours hoping she'd come in. I noticed you the first day you arrived, and I knew you were the girl for me. Meeting you was hard, you were always working! But finally it was kismet."
"Really? Wow, I had no idea!"
"You're going to laugh when I tell you what got my interest." He chuckled, blushing. "You remember shortly after you came, there was that freak accident, where some kid put a foil pan in the microwave and it exploded? He got hit with some shrapnel, and I needed X-rays to work with. You spotted stuff on that film I never would have seen, and gave a really precise analysis of it. Because of you, Cal Sherman and I were able to save his eyes. It was really impressive. I asked Grace about you that same day."
"Really?" Tanya didn't know what to think. She was flattered and pleased that he'd noticed her dedication to her work. "I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't really notice you. But then I hardly noticed anyone, or anything, when I first got here. I was reeling from a horrible divorce, and my grandmother's death," she explained.
"Noticed me now though," Morgan grinned, raising his eyebrows.
"Oh, that's for sure!" She giggled, blushing deeply in front of Molly and Kenny.
"I think it's time for you to go to the grocery store now," Kenny told them flatly.
"Oh, hell no, Kenny. I'm taking her back to bed! She still has time before she has to be to work!" He kissed his sister and shook Kenny's hand in record time, dragging Tanya out the door and down the steps.
Tanya was vaguely aware of a woman standing in the parking lot by Morgan's car. She was bending over the hood, writing something on a piece of paper. She had just snapped it under a windshield wiper when she heard them behind her. Morgan stopped dead, mouth open, eyes wide. Tanya ran into his back, but he hardly noticed. The woman smiled, but it didn't reach her eyes. She was medium height, all harsh angles and sharp points. Her hair was bleached a shade of blonde that nature never intended, and was teased within and inch of its life. Her makeup looked like it had been applied in the Tammy Faye Baker School of Beauty. She wore a turquoise satin outfit that was too tight and too short, as if she'd stepped out of a bad Eighties movie.
"Morgan, hi." She had a hard edged voice with an accent that came from somewhere around New York City. She forced another smile from her thin, red lips. "Molly. Kenny."
She gave a curt nod acknowledging Morgan's family. Her cold, ice-blue eyes lingered on Tanya for a moment, before flickering back at Morgan.
"Vanessa," Morgan hissed.
"Why are you here?" Molly regained her balance before Morgan did. She advanced on Vanessa, like a mongoose on a snake. "Haven't you caused enough trouble?" She turned to her husband who was still standing calmly on the porch. "Kenneth, call the police. I want her removed."
"Yes, Kenneth. Call them. You always do everything she tells you." She waved him away as if he were a peasant.
"That's because she has excellent ideas," Kenny told her bluntly. Taking his cell phone from his pocket, he dialed the police. His conversation was short and to the point. He stood on the porch with his arms crossed.
"Why are you here, Vanessa?" Morgan finally found his tongue.
Tanya could see the fury in every line of his face. It had been such a happy moment, and now that had been ruined by the queen bitch. She waited to see what would happen next.
"I saw a clip from the video," Vanessa said simply, crossing her arms in front of her chest. "I also saw an interview with Cullen afterwards. He was talking about the song, and how you wrote it about me."
"It's not about you," Morgan said. "It's about pain and heartache. It has nothing to do with you."
"It has everything to do with me! If I hadn't left, you'd never have written it, and your crummy, no talent brother wouldn't be famous! I want a cut, Morgan. I know you're going to make royalties from the song sales. I want my cut. I think I'm entitled to half."
Morgan closed his eyes, inhaling deeply before he proceeded. "You aren't entitled to any of it, Vanessa. Any judge in the country will tell you that. We weren't together when I wrote it."
© 2020 Dellani Oakes

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