A few weeks had gone by since Clarissa met Roy, and though they hadn’t actually seen each other since then, they had spent just about every night playing Biliblock together. Clarissa’s grades were slipping as a result, but Grainna was so busy with work and taking care of Esmeralda that she hadn’t really noticed (the old cliche about middle children was certainly proving true in Clarissa’s case).
But on a lazy Saturday evening, there was an unexpected knock on the door..
Clarissa: Roy! I can’t believe you’re actually here!
Roy: I know! Apparently my parents had some more talking to do, so my mom dropped me off at the Goth’s this afternoon! I told Mrs. Goth I was going to the park and came here straight away!
Clarissa wasn’t actually a glutton, but she sure had been showing some glutton-like tendencies lately. She’d just been chowing down on some leftover birthday cake when Roy arrived, so she invited him inside.
Clarissa: Want some cake? It’s really good and since you’re my best friend, I’ll share it with you.
Meanwhile, Seraphina had just walked into the room.
Clarissa: Hey Seraphina! This is my friend Roy Landgraab! He’s the one I keep beating at Biliblock!
Seraphina stopped dead in her tracks and took a long hard look at the boy. There was no denying it – he looked just like Geoffrey. That day when Seraphina had met Nancy on the street — THIS was the baby she’d been pregnant with. Roy was her brother!
….and he was rambling on about something or other. Seraphina had been too shocked to catch the beginning of his run-on sentence, but her ears perked up at the mention of her —their father.
Roy: ….my laptop was broken so my dad took me to the library instead, or my book report would have been late. The library in Willow Creek is a lot nicer and I wanted to go there! – Mrs. Goth took me there once – but dad said it was too far. So anyway, I was supposed to be doing my book report but I started playing Biliblock instead, but then dad saw me and I got in trouble and we were supposed to go to the Promenade after to buy Malcolm a birthday present, and dad said he would buy me a treat at the bakery, but I was in trouble so we didn’t get to go there, we just went home instead, and I was supposed to go to my room and finish my book report, but then mom and dad starting “talking about stuff” again so that’s when I snuck out in the backyard to go in the pool! They didn’t even notice!!!!
He’d been talking so fast, almost without taking a breath, but Seraphina had heard every word. She’d heard all about the life of luxury Roy lived with her father, about the quality time Geoffrey spent with his sons, and most importantly, all the PUBLIC PLACES they were able to go together. Because Roy was an acknowledged child, a source of pride for Geoffrey. Not a seedy secret from long-ago tryst, like Seraphina.
Seraphina: Must be nice to live such a charmed life, huh, kid? But guess what? Nobody cares! Just get lost and don’t come back!
Seraphina stormed off, but Grainna, who’d walked in just in time to witness the outburst, saw that there were tears in her daughter’s eyes.
Grainna hung her head in worry. She had known that Geoffrey had a younger son, but she’d never met Roy and had no way of knowing that Clarissa’s little friend was actually Seraphina’s brother. Grainna sighed. This is all my fault – so much drama, all because I was young and stupid and too juiced up to ask the man in my bed if he was single…
She could only hope that the mix-up with Esmeralda’s father could be swept under the rug for good, and that her youngest daughter could escape the heartache that had been forced on Seraphina.