GENRE: Mainstream fiction
DIALOGUE EMOTION: Understanding
Setting: Local deli, two women, as the older women tries to convey to the younger one her mother is not the evil person that she appears to be.
Rosa reached over and took Greta’s chin in her hand, turning her face towards her.
“My dear Greta, please don’t think that I am picking on you or trying to make you upset.” She peered into Greta’s face, her eyes full of concern.
Greta nodded again. “I know,” she whispered. She felt vulnerable and exposed under Rosa’s worried scrutiny.
Rosa put her hand back on the table and sat back in her chair.
“When Lillian was your age,” Rosa began, “she was already married with a young child that she was raising all by herself. Your father was gone, my son was gone, and there was only you and Lillian. I felt sorry for her.”
Greta looked at Rosa in surprise. She couldn’t imagine anyone feeling sympathetic toward Lillian.
“What, I can’t feel sorry for her?” Rosa laughed. “Lillian was very different than she is now.”
Greta was dubious as she waited for Rosa to continue.
“Oh, she always had that haughty look, like telling the world, ‘look at me, I am all put together.’ But that was not who she was, not really.”
Rosa leaned back in the chair.
“Do you remember the story about how Lillian’s parents died?” she asked.
Greta nodded. “Some of it.”
“Well, when Lillian was a little girl, she was quite happy. She was an only child and she had all of her parents’ attention, especially her father. Her father doted on her …”
Rosa scrutinized Greta, an eyebrow raised.
“Pretty much the way your father doted on you.”