Lilly and Fran Conclusion

Lilly drew a long suffering sigh as she made her way to Fran’s house. If Fran didn’t rally, soon, someone was going to end up carting her through old age. That someone wasn’t going to be Lilly. She let herself into Fran’s house. It was designed in hard edges and cold colors, Fran’s idea of elegant living. Luckily, Fran was about to lose the place. Maybe with a clean slate to work from she could create an inviting, comfortable, sanctuary for herself. Thankfully, Lexie’s father hadn’t lived to see the mess Fran made of her life.

She found Fran in her bedroom, sitting before her dressing table. She walked over and gave her a quick hug. “Frannie, I’m going to talk and you’re going to listen, then we’re going  to get on with it. This is the deal- we’re not girls anymore. I want to be a strong, old woman and that’s what I want for you too. A man at your side does not confirm your existence. You define you  and who you’d like to be. There is not a man alive who’ll be able to save you from the hurt in life, not a man who’ll be able to sustain the level of adoration you’re demanding, not one who’ll escape vulnerability from sickness or heartbreak. I don’t know what you’re looking for Fran, but you better give it up because it isn’t there.” Fran started to interrupt, Lilly raised her hand, “No, this is my turn and I’m not done yet. Just sit and listen.”

“You had everything you needed when you had Gregory. He worked himself to exhaustion for you but it wasn’t enough. You wanted a grand life, so you chose style over substance, and you dumped him. That didn’t work out so well, did it? You’ve effectively lost all that Greg worked so hard to provide, a place for you and Lexie to live that was yours free and clear. Jesus Fran, the man worked, while he was dying, to be certain this house was paid off. Then, you signed it over to Maurice the Moron, for what? To keep that slimy liar here at home instead of out chasing 19 year old girls?” Fran had gone from watery eyed self-pity (Lilly knew the cycle) to weeping in earnest.

“You’re not a victim so stop pretending you are. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, like you didn’t beg for exactly what you’ve gotten. Another thing, stop screwing that scumbag Woody Carmichael. Mae Lee might be blind but she isn’t stupid. What do you see in him anyway? You lost your virginity to him close to forty years ago. Still, you feel a need to reenact the crime? He’s a slob with a big, hairy, beer gut peeking out from under a sloppy old sweatshirt and every time the man turns around you see his butt crack smiling at you. You’re doing Mae Lee a favor, keeping that pig from grunting and heaving all over her. You’re not revisiting glory days, you’re just fucking a fat man. Where do you think that tired endeavor is going to take you? That’s the problem Fran, you don’t think. What is it that so scares you that you can’t be alone in your own good company? You’re funny and smart. You’re still pretty. Why can’t you be satisfied with all that you have, instead of chasing what isn’t there?”

Fran’s face was red and she took little gasps of air, as though she were drawing her last breath, the old drama queen. Lilly gave her a tissue and continued. “I’ve bailed you out for the last time, Frannie. I’m paying for Lexie’s wedding. She and Ben will choose a destination and they’ll invite the people they love the most. It will be small and fun, a happy start to their marriage. Lexie is a wonderful young woman, she’s a loving daughter and a loyal friend. You should be proud of yourself for the person you raised her to be.”

Lilly looked at her watch. “I have to go. Think about what I’ve said; call me if you need to review the fine points. Get yourself a lawyer and don’t try to seduce him. Save your energy for rebuilding your life. I love you, Fran.” Lilly hugged her again and she was out the door.

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About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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28 Responses to Lilly and Fran Conclusion

  1. Ray Colon says:

    While everything that Lilly said about Fran may be true, she was a little harsh during her scolding — and a lot late. Once bottom has been hit, a blow-by-blow reminder of past misdeeds amounts to venting for venting’s sake. I feel for Fran, despite it all. Folks search for love in many ways and the wrongness that others may see in their choices are rarely considered in the moment.

    I enjoyed reading the story.

    • elroyjones says:

      I get what you’re saying Ray, but I have noticed that people are often harsh while they’re trying to “help”. The people who write checks seem to believe that it is an even exchange, one of the many reasons I didn’t ask for help when I was young, wild and reckless.
      I feel sorry for Fran too. Everything she needs is within but she hasn’t discovered that yet. I don’t think it’s too late in the day for her to live a life that makes her happy. She managed to raise a wonderful daughter in spite of her own insecurities.
      Thanks for reading, and for commenting.

  2. More fiction — hooray. A great study. Lilly reminds me of someone; wonder who it could be. And I suppose you’re going to tell us that you posted each part before writing the next. That’s downright reckless. You succeeded admirably, but it’s still reckless.

  3. Unless you want to show off.

    • elroyjones says:

      No! Really, I had no idea. I’ve never done this before so I figured it would just come to me. If it didn’t come to me, who cares? I’ve quit lots of things so I could have quit this story too.
      I felt pretty sure that something would turn up because Fran was loosely based on a woman I knew when I was a kid. There was so much history to mine that an end had to be there. In real life she died so I could have killed her off I suppose. I hoped she wouldn’t turn into a cougar and put the moves on the cabana boy at the wedding. I feel certain she’s headed for redemption. Lilly will get her set up with a yoga class and she’ll find her center.

      • Wow, you’ve just outlined another half dozen parts. You could be working on a novel here.

      • elroyjones says:

        I could be but I’m a short story writer, along with a celebrated but brief foray into the dark life of an oar murderer. Well, I certainly screwed that whole sentence up. Too late now, back to filing tax reports- the universe HATES me!

  4. An insight into human nature and the sometimes wry humor of fate. Well done.

  5. Nooooo… don’t let it end… this needs to be a movie or a novel or a real world somewhere.

  6. sacha1nch1 says:

    excellent! my favourite line is of course, “You’re not revisiting glory days, you’re just fucking a fat man.”
    However; apart from the inverted commas being where they shouldn’t – end of para 2 – if lexi’s father died, how could fran have ‘stayed put’ as you say in lilly and fran III?
    i did say excellent didn’t i?

    • elroyjones says:

      He did die but not before she ditched him.

      What is a better way to indicate a pause in the monologue? While Lilly is continuing her lecture in the next paragraph she has concluded one portion of it and stops for a moment before going further.

      I am pretty fond of “…you’re just fucking a fat man.” too.

      You are very kind to comment.

      • sacha1nch1 says:

        ah; then i retract my continuity comment

        new paragraph is fine, but if it’s the same person continuing to talk then you don’t have inverted commas at the end of the para but you do at the beginning of the next, otherwise it’s suggesting that someone new has begun to speak.

        i like commenting, i wish i could do it more….although i don’t think i could ever reach the dizzy heights of PMAO!

  7. George says:

    Loved the series—top-notch! You really create believable characters—seriously! Keep it up or I’ll yell at you until you do!

    • elroyjones says:

      I was inspired by a woman who was my mother’s friend in the 70s. She’s been dead for decades. I wondered what happened in her life to cause her to make the decisions she did.

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