Episode 838: CompanyLucy pinned up her hair and buttoned a black blazer over a plain black dress. She checked her appearance in the mirror, wishing she had an invisibility cloak to wear to glide in and glide out of the service without being seen, without being snubbed.
She pressed a hand to her abdomen as if the pressure might somehow undo the knot ever tightening there. That knot wasn’t going anywhere though, not with the goodbye ahead of her, and saying hello to the rest of her family. Would they even say hello?
Lucy dabbed at the increasingly wet corners of her eyes with her fingertips. She should have just gone into work that morning, kept herself busy so she wouldn’t have time to stand around thinking and crying. Tansy probably would have asked if she was okay, asked to hear stories about her grandma, she was such a sweet, thoughtful kid.
Xavier had been sweet and thoughtful too, obviously he’d tipped off Tansy, he’d also stopped by last night, aware Lucy would dwell on today’s proceedings if she didn’t have someone there to distract her with other things. Before he’d left he’d even offered to come with her.
As much as she would have liked having someone to lean on, she hadn’t wanted the scrutiny spreading to him, for him to possibly be recognized and be publicly identified as Xavier, the long lost scandalized rock star. Maybe someday he’d embrace that life again, but she didn’t want to be the reason he’d have to, she’d have to get through this day on her own.
But just as Lucy had that daunting thought, a knock at the door filled her with possibility, maybe it was her family, maybe they’d finally thought to reach out to her.
She rushed to the door. Her heart sank. Paul.
“Whatever it is, I can’t deal with it now,” she told him.
“You have the day off,” he argued. “I tried to call the school, so I know you do have time to talk to me, it’s important-”
“I know, it’s about Hope, it’s always about Hope, as it should be, but there are other things,” emotion crashed into her voice, “other things like my grandmother dying, and attending a funeral I’m not even invited to, so if you could lay off me about our daughter just this once so I don’t have to face my family as even more of an emotional mess than I already am, that would be great, thanks.”