A Short Little Missing Scene from “Angel Day and her Sunshine Girls”
Teresa sat on her bed, staring forlornly at the luggage on the floor in front of her. She held a crumpled handkerchief in her hand, but didn’t even try to use it to staunch the tears flowing down her face. How could this have happened? How could her life be over? How could she have been betrayed by the very people she loved?
A knock came on the door. No! It couldn’t be time yet. Please!
“Teresa? It’s us. Me and Scott.”
She took a breath and wiped her tears as she opened the door. “I’m not much company right now.”
Scott came in and put his arms around her. “We just wanted to see how you were.”
She pulled away from him and took a step back. “How I am? I’m upset. And angry. And scared. And sad. And , and…”
Now Johnny took her in his arms. “It’s okay, Querida. It’s okay to be all of those things.” He looked over at Scott. “We were talkin’ and we thought it might help to know you’re not alone.”
She looked up at him. “What do you mean?”
He led her back over to the bed and they both sat down. Scott pulled a chair closer and sat in it.
“Our stories are all different,” Scott began, “but we each have things in common as well.”
Teresa sniffed and nodded. “Like we’ve talked about how it felt to think our mother died when we were born.” Her faced changed from sorrow to anger. “Only she didn’t. Now I know it wasn’t true. She just left me.”
“She left your daddy,” Johnny said. “Like mine did. But I think I’d been better off if mine had left me here like Angel did you. In a way, she took better care of you doin’ that then Mama did keeping me with her and goin’ from cantina to cantina.”
Teresa looked at him in surprise. “Your mother sang in those places…like Angel does?”
“She…” Johnny looked down away from her eyes, “…did a lot of things. In those places.”
She shook her head. “But if Angel cared she could’ve written me or visited …just to let me know she loved me…” A look of horror came over her face suddenly and she looked at Scott. “You don’t think my father or Murdoch kept letters from me? Like your grandfather did?”
“As much as he hated what Grandfather did, I can’t imagine he would. Although there are other similarities. It’s odd to see it from this side. Here we want to fight to keep you from your parent. Just as Grandfather did in my case.”
Johnny frowned at him. “It ain’t the same thing Scott. She’s safer here.”
“He thought I was there too.” He held up a hand to stop Teresa’s angry retort. “I am not saying it’s right for her to force you to go. It just feels…”
“Like we’re all connected to each other,” Teresa sighed. “My life is kind of like yours and kind of like Johnny’s.” She couldn’t stop the tears from starting again. “I don’t want to leave Lancer! I don’t want to leave you two!”
Scott got up and joined them on the bed, sitting on the other side of Teresa. He put his arm around her shoulders and she leaned against him.
“Do you ever imagine what it would’ve been like to grow up here together?” she asked. “Or is that something only silly girls do?”
Johnny grinned. “Never been accused of bein’ a silly girl. And I think about it sometimes.” He reached around her and poked Scott. “Ol’ Boston here would’ve been a bossy big brother and you would’ve been all freckles and long braids, playin’ with puppies in the barn.”
She smiled at the image. “And what would you have been?”
Scott cleared his throat. “That’s not hard to figure. Someone would have to be ‘bossy’ to keep you in line. I can see it now. Skipping school to watch horses.”
“Damn right I would!”
Scott wagged a finger at him. “Now, now. No swearing in front of our little sister.”
Johnny made a face at him. “What’cha gonna do? Tell Papi on me?”
“Damn right I would!”
Teresa had to laugh out loud. Johnny pulled her close and kissed the top of her head.
Murdoch stood out in the hall listening to them with a sad smile on his face. Angel came passed him and reached for the door.
He took her arm and stopped her. “No. She’s saying goodbye to her brothers.”
Angel pursed her lips. “They’re not her brothers. “
“In all the ways that matter, yes they are. You’re taking everything else away from her. Don’t take that too.”
Angel paused and took her hand off of the doorknob. But when Murdoch let go of her, she straightened up, tapped once on the door and opened it. She looked at the three of them sitting on the bed laughing. As soon as they saw her, however, they froze. “It’s time to go, honey,” she said in forced brightness. She glanced at the suitcases sitting there with the wrap and bonnet on top. “Need any help?”
“No,” Teresa answered coldly. “I don’t need your help.”
Scott stood up, keeping a hand protectively on her shoulder. Johnny glared at the woman in undisguised hatred.
Teresa continued, “I’ll be down in a minute.”
“Okay, honey,” Angel still had the forced smile. “We’ll be waitin’ outside.” She brushed past Murdoch on the way out, who was also glaring at her.
Teresa stood up with a sigh. Johnny grabbed her and hugged her again. “No matter when we get you back, no matter where you go, you’re still our little sister.” He kissed her forehead. “Pigtails, puppies and all.”
She nodded, unable to answer. She turned to Scott and hugged him.
“I look forward to continuing this conversation,” he told her. “And to ‘reminiscing’ about our childhood together.”
“I love you both,” she sniffed.
“Te amo tambien, hernamita.” Johnny said softly.
Murdoch stepped into the room, with Jelly following on his heels. “Boys, take her luggage on out.”
Jelly pushed past him and grabbed one as well. “Least I can do is give you a hand.” The three of them left with her things without another word.
Teresa started to follow, then turned and buried her face in her guardian’s chest. “I wish you hadn’t lied to me.”
He held her and closed his eyes in pain. “I wish I hadn’t promised your father I would. He never dreamed she’d be back.”
“She…:” Teresa looked down hesitantly, “…she never wrote to me , did she?”
“Not that I know of, darling. I heard of her act, but she never contacted either of us before now.”
She took a deep breath. “Alright. Guess I’d better go.” She put her cape and bonnet on and left her room with one sad glance over her shoulder. At the front door, she met up with Jelly and walked out with him as he babbled…
“Now don’t you worry about us…”
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