An Education


Savannah looked over her shoulder. What she saw made her smile. Her husband, Byron, snoring lightly and turned on his side away from her. She rose from the bed and pulled on her nightshirt and robe. After checking to ensure that Tray and Tony were asleep, she walked to the home office and powered up her laptop. Between a busy day at work and at home, she hadn't had any alone time to think. An idea had been rolling around in her mind for a couple of days. It had started as a small seed planted during a conversation with Sierra.

"I don't think Livia is going to change her mind. It pains me to see you all like this…fighting. It has driven a big wedge in this family. It's not like it used to be between us even with the extended family. They don't know what to do when family gatherings come around. Invite both of you or not? If Livia finds out you are coming to a family event she stays away. Since she's been with Fitz, she barely comes around at all. She missed Easter, Janelle's birthday, and Anthony's christening. Just leave it alone, Savannah, for now…at least until after the wedding. Maybe once things slow down for her she'll be willing to talk to you and work this out, okay?" Sierra said, almost pleading.

"Excuse me in advance, but Livia's being a real bitch about this, Sierra…holding a grudge about something that happened in college! I think she just likes being the center of attention and doesn't want me around to overshadow her as I usually do, unintentionally, I might add. She needs to realize she can't pretend I'm not her sister. She can't write me off like this," Savannah said.

"That's not accurate or fair. You were the one who slept with Edison over two years ago. And you've never overshadowed Livia. She was the one always putting you first, looking out for you, Savannah. She forgave you for what you did in college. It's what you did with Edison that really hurt her. I'm still trying to understand why you slept with him. It was a double deception. You not only betrayed Livia, but you cheated on your husband. She could have told Byron what you did, but she, yet again, was looking out for you by not telling him. It doesn't make sense to me."

"I'm so sick and tired of rehashing this. Edison pursued me! I regret giving in, but Byron and I were going through some changes in our marriage and it just happened. I gave in to Edison when I know I shouldn't have. I did her a favor, though. She shouldn't have married someone like him anyway...It would have been someone else if not me. She's never been good at choosing men. Who's to say Fitz is right for her? He's been divorced. He's her boss for god's sake so he must not have any ethics for dating one of his employees. Who knows how many other teachers he's dated there? And now, this pregnancy? It couldn't have been planned. They should have known better!" Savannah said.

"Oh Savannah, the more I talk to you the angrier I get. John has been telling me to stop defending you…that Livia is justified in shutting you out. He's right! The way you talk about her gets meaner each time we speak. You seem like the jealous one. Let me ask you a question. Why haven't you tried to reconcile before now? You didn't start showing interest until we told you she was seriously dating Fitz. He really loves her. His two teenaged children Karen and Gerry love her as well as his whole family. You need to back off, Savannah. Stop trying to get Mom on your side. Livia told me how Mom called her with reservations about Fitz. She liked him before you butted in. I think you need to take some time and examine your own motives in all this. I thought you were serious about being sorry and making amends for what happened," Sierra said.

"I am! Each time I try, she just won't listen, Sierra! I didn't contact her because I was trying to give her some time to get over it. I was trying to focus on my marriage," said Savannah.

"Leave her alone. She is happy. You can write her a letter, maybe after the wedding. Let her deal with this on her terms. Stop trying to force her!" Sierra said.

After that conversation, some of Sierra's words kept replaying in her mind: Karen and Gerry love her. Interested in Olivia's relationship with his kids, Savannah had found pictures of them on Ambrose High's online sports page. When she saw Gerry's picture, she became more intrigued and started reading more about him. He looked like a younger version of Fitz with lighter hair. He's probably 18, she thought. Looking at his pictures began to remind her about her days in high school and college. She began reminiscing about the power she had over guys. She'd an outfit for each type of guy she wanted to attract.

She continued to mull the thought over in her head. Before she could get any second thoughts, she pulled up her Facebook account and began searching for Gerry. First she searched "Gerry Grant" and "Gerald Grant" but the results did not bring up his page. She then went to the Facebook group page of Ambrose High, which was linked to the Lacrosse Team's page. After a quick search, she found his account through a comment he made. She clicked on his account and sent him a personal message.

Savannah: Hi Gerry. Please accept my friend request. I'm Olivia's sister, Savannah. Sorry I haven't met you in person yet, but I've heard a lot of great things about you and Karen. I need your help with a wedding gift surprise for your Dad and Olivia.

After sending the message, a rush of adrenaline fueled excitement filled Savannah. She hoped he was online tonight. While she waited, she changed her profile picture from a family portrait to a single self-portrait. Then she looked up information about Lacrosse on the web.

Meanwhile at the Grant residence, Gerry was online perusing Duke University's website. After he read the message from Savannah, he went to Karen's room.

"Kare, how many sisters does Liv have? It's just Sierra, right?" he asked.

"She has a little sister too. I can't remember her name, but it starts with an "s" like Sierra. I wonder why Liv's parents didn't give her an "s" name too? Why are you asking?"

"I just got a message and friend request on Facebook from someone named, Savannah, who says she's Liv's sister. She wants me to help her with a wedding surprise for Liv and Dad."

"Oh, that has to be her. Tell her I want to help too," Karen said.

Gerry returned to his room and accepted the request. He replied to her message.

Within 10 minutes, Savannah saw the flag indicating a new message and that her friend request had been accepted. She clicked on the message.

FTGIV: My sister, Karen, wants to help too. What do you need us to do?

Savannah responded by instant messaging instead of the personal message through Facebook.

Savannah: Do you think Karen can keep a secret? I think only a guy can keep this secret. Karen won't be able to resist telling. You know how girls are…

FTGIV: Okay, but she already knows that you are planning something.

Savannah:Tell her I changed my mind and decided to do something else. Don't tell anyone I contacted you either. This is so big. It has to be a secret…just between us. I really want this to be special for my sister and your dad.

Savannah's heartbeat quickened as she watched the cursor blink, waiting for him to reply. "Come on…Come on…" she whispered.

Gerry felt uneasy. Then he thought that this was Liv's sister. He cast his uneasiness aside.

FTGIV: Ok. Just let me know what you want me to do.

Savannah: What's your cell number? Can you meet me tomorrow so we can discuss this…5pm? You can come to my office. Cherry Creek Veterinary Clinic on Leetsdale Dr. I'll text you the full address.

FTGIV: OK. 303 555 1975

Savannah Pope: Okay. See you then ;-)

"Wow. That was easy," she said, "Three weeks before the wedding…Sis, you won't be able to ignore me any longer."

Savannah spent the next hour studying Gerry's Facebook page and the Lacrosse Wikipedia page.

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