This is the opening scene to the book. It is the story of a family in crisis, a family broken for 10 years due to divorce, and suddenly in danger of losing the patriarch through illness.
The terminal was crowded. Typical for a Monday morning. Business travelers mostly. Men wearing overcoats and carrying brief cases. Looking at the Arrivals electronic screen, Beryl noted Angela’s flight was five minutes late. Bummer. She didn’t like having to play chauffeur to Angela. Which is probably why Ellen bribed her into doing it.
“You want a new smart phone, then don’t balk at performing a chore you should volunteer for.”
“She’ll expect Teddy or Gray. Why not them?”
“Because I’m asking you to do it.”
So, here she was, two days later, waiting for Princess Angela as if she were Cinderella scrubbing the fireplace hearth for her stepsister. Why was Angela so special? Why did everybody cater to her as if she were handicapped or as if she were a Dresden doll to be handled with velvet gloves?
The baggage carousel began moving as arriving passengers rode the Down escalator to pick up luggage. Angela appeared at the top all pink and ash blond wearing designer jeans, a hooded Marcella Ingram Boarding School sweat shirt and sporting a Louis Vuitton backpack. She looked beyond Beryl as if she were invisible. Twit.
Beryl steeled herself to ignore Angela’s aristocratic arrogance and waved vigorously to attract her attention. Their eyes met. Angela made her way toward Beryl shouldering through the crowd of passengers beginning to cluster around the noisy carousel, pulling large roller equipped bags over the side onto the shiny laminated floor. The din was a hard clatter mixed with human chatter. Too noisy to hear much talk.
“Hi” greeted Beryl, looking past Angela toward the carousel. “Do you have any more luggage?”
“No, only my backpack.” Angela’s eyes searched the area behind Beryl. “Is the car outside? Who is it? Gray or Teddy?”
“Neither. Just me and the VW bug.”
Angela seemed surprised. “Okay. Where we going?”
“The hospital. Your Dad wants to see you.”
The atmosphere on the ride to the hospital was strained. Angela stared out the passenger window as if it were a taxi. Beryl concentrated on driving, hand shifting gears at stop lights and around corners, occasionally sneaking a glance at her passenger. Traffic was moderate at midmorning, so Beryl decided to use the travel time to slake her curiosity about Angela’s aloofness. Was it real or feigned?
“Aren’t you interested in your Dad’s illness?”
“Should I be?” Angela turned and stared hard at Beryl, as if it were the first time she saw her as a living person.
Beryl blinked and swallowed hard. She could hardly believe her ears. She was mortified for the young woman. What was the source of Angela’s anger?
“Yes, I think you would be. That’s kind of normal under the circumstances, wouldn’t you say?”
“My relationship with my father is hardly normal, at any time. Why would this matter to you anyway? It’s really none of your business.” Her tone was like a slap in the face.
“Sorry. No offense intended.” This meeting was not going well. Time to cut and run ASAP.
1. Did you like the opening?
2. Is there enough conflict to keep your interest?
3. Do you want to read the rest of the story at this point?
Thank you for your feedback.