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Friday, May 8, 2009

The Course of True Love Never Runs Smoothly


Even though the course of true love nevers runs smoothly, Tommy Price and Nikki Lane from The Best Selling Toy Of The Season seem to have more than their share of obstacles to face. In a previous post you met Cherie Blake, Nikki's rival for Tommy's affections. Today, let's meet Tom Price, Tommy's father.

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“Cherie is a charming woman,” Tom senior, Tommy’s father,
ventured the next afternoon as they relaxed in Tom senior’s den
following a truly splendid Christmas dinner. Mrs. Price and Cherie sat
in the living room having their own private chat.

Tommy shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “I didn’t want Mom
to invite her for Christmas dinner. I wish that she had cleared it with
me first.”

“Your mother likes Cherie. You know how desperate she is for
you to marry and give us grandchildren.” Mr. Price looked hopefully
at Tommy, and Tommy could see that his mother wasn’t the only one
who looked forward to his marriage and the birth of grandchildren.
“We would have had a house full of kids if we could,” Mr. Price
continued, “but your mother had to have an emergency hysterectomy
after your birth.”

“I know the story, Dad. It smacks a little of emotional blackmail
if you ask me.”

“I don’t mean it to sound that way, but what’s wrong with
Cherie? Don’t you like her?” He paused to light his pipe.

“You won’t be around to see grandchildren if you don’t quit
smoking.”

“Let’s make a bargain. I’ll quit smoking on the day you get
married.”

Tommy just shook his head and groaned. More blackmail.

“Now about Cherie…”

Tommy impatiently shrugged. “She’s just another woman, Dad.
She doesn’t really stand out in any way. Yes, she’s pretty, but so
what? Lots of women are pretty, and if we came from the other side
of town, I don’t think Cherie would be interested in me at all. She’s
very ambitious.”

“So what? The two of you come from similar backgrounds, and
you have a lot in common. I think you’d be very happy together.”

“I don’t think so. She’s a little plastic replica of all the women
I’ve ever known.”

A short silence fell in the room, and when the fire popped
Tommy jumped slightly. “I did meet a woman this week. She’s even
prettier than Susan if that’s possible, and I …really had a good time
with her.”

Tom senior leaned forward intently. “This sounds promising. Tell
me about her.”

Tommy recounted the story of his collision in Super Mart and
told his father about the delivery of the robots.

“So, this woman works at Super Mart and lives in Higgins
Court?”

“Yes, sir.”

“She has two children, but no husband.”

“That’s right.”

“And she’s cleaning your house to pay you for the robots.”

“Yes.”

Tom laid his pipe in the ashtray and wandered to the bar. He
poured a brandy for himself and Tommy and sat back down in his
recliner, a huge, overstuffed chair that Mrs. Price loathed. “Don’t do
it, Tommy.”

“Do what?”

“Don’t get involved with her. The Lane family is notorious in
Fairfield. Only one or two of them ever amounted to anything. Most
of them are drunkards who’re a blight on the city. Don’t let her trap
you. You’ve always looked for the best in everyone, but in this case,
there probably isn’t much to find. Tell her that she doesn’t have to
pay off the debt, and don’t see her anymore.”

“Rather snobbish, isn’t it?” Tommy demanded as his face flushed
red.

“Maybe, but I don’t want to see you make a mistake. For the sake
of everyone involved, will you promise me not to see this woman
again?”

“No, I certainly won’t,” Tommy coldly answered. “I’m a grown
man, Dad. I don’t need my father to plan my love life for me. You’ll
have to let me be the judge of what’s best for me. I like Nikki. She’s
more authentic, real, and genuine than any woman I’ve met in a long
time.”

Mr. Price shook his head again. “You’re making a mistake. You
may get angry and call me a snob, but she isn’t our kind. Get involved
with a woman like her and you’ll be sorry. She probably just sees you
as a meal ticket anyway.”

“It’s nice to know that you think I’m so unattractive to women,”
Tommy retorted, but he hushed when he heard Cherie’s voice.

“Tommy? Where are you?”

“We’re in the study, Cherie,” called Tom senior.

“I should have known I’d find you gentlemen drinking brandy
and smoking your pipes,” Cherie teased. She walked over and took
Tommy by the hand. “I came to say goodbye. I have to be at Mom’s
house in thirty minutes. Are you sure that you can’t come with me?”

“No, I’m afraid not,” Tommy replied. He set his brandy glass on
the table beside his chair and rose to his feet. “Let me walk you out.”

Tom senior said his goodbye as well, beaming approval the entire
time, as Tommy walked Cherie to her car.

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