Chapter 11 - Sorry seems to be the hardest word
After the big fall out during Thanksgiving lunch, I went back to the cottage to find Carla.
When I opened the door, she was busy packing my things into my suitcases.
I stood frozen at the door, my hand trembling on the doorknob.
“Carla… let me explain… please…” I tried to bite back the tears “Please… just give me a chance…”
The person staring back at me didn’t seem like my big sister. I’ve angered and disappointed her before, but she’s never looked at me the way she was at that moment.
“I gave you a chance Alessa… to come here and make things right with Mamá and Papá… and you humiliated me in front of the McGraths”
She finishes up packing the last of my things before zipping up the suitcase. Carla marches over to the door and places my suitcase on the porch.
“You’ve done enough here… now you have to go”
Carla walks back inside and heads to the kitchen, puts the kettle on and proceeds to make tea.
Even though she didn’t seem to care about anything I had to say, I follow her inside. I had to make things right.
I join her sitting at the kitchen counter.
“I messed up Carla… I know that. I own up to that! But sorella… I didn’t do this to intentionally hurt you… you’ve got to believe that”
I reach out to take her hand in mine. I’m not sure why I was surprised that she pulled away, she was that angry with me.
“Oh, so you own up to that? And that’s supposed to make everything okay?” she raised her voice, almost screaming at me.
“No! Nothing about this is okay Carla… I get that… I screwed things up for you here”
“This is the place I live; this is where I work… you have no regard for anyone but yourself Alessandra! And I’m just tired of having to deal with the fallout of what is your pathetic excuse for a life!”
Carla’s attack was vicious and cruel. This was a side to her that I rarely saw, as she was always so zen and always took the moral higher ground.
“Sometimes I think that you hate our family for how your life turned out…” Carla looked at me with such disdain.
“That’s not true Carla… I love being a part of this family…” tears were brimming, as I tried to make things right with my sister “I’m just not like you… I can’t be this person…”
Carla’s eyes were filled with contempt, as she looked into mine. “You make it so hard… to love you Alessa…”
A tear trickles down her cheek. “You’re my sister and I want to love you… but it’s just so hard…”
Her words stung but I couldn’t blame her for saying these things. Time and time again I had disappointed Carla, even when she gave me so many opportunities to make it up to her.
All she wanted was to be proud of me… and every single time I let her down.
“I can’t tell you how sorry I am Carla… I know how much you wanted this to work out… me being here and following in you and mom’s footsteps…” I shake my head, trying to justify my way out of this was just a slap in Carla’s face.
“Alessa… this isn’t about you not cutting it as a maid. This is about you not respecting yourself as a woman. Sleeping with every man you meet, no regard for anyone or anything…”
She gets up from the kitchen table and stops short of the door before looking back at me, the same scowl she’s had for most of the lecture.
“All I’ve ever wanted for you was to respect yourself, as a woman… as a Laurenti…”
I felt the cold tear trickle down my cheek, “All I’ve ever wanted… was to be me… and be accepted for it”
“Well maybe Belle Meade is not the place for you… maybe it never was”
Carla turns on her heels and continues walking out the front door.
How could I possibly have screwed things up so bad and in such a short space of time? Maybe Carla was right… maybe Belle Meade wasn’t the place for me…
I got up and walked to the front porch, looking at my packed suitcases, and then looking down at the maid’s outfit I was still wearing.
I grab the suitcase and head to the bedroom. I grab a pair of jeans and t-shirt from the neatly packed suitcase. A laugh escapes my mouth. Carla… even though she was fuming, she still packed all my things in such a neat and tidy fashion. If it were me, I would’ve not only just tossed everything inside; I would’ve made a point of crumpling every single clothing item… just out of spite.
After changing out of the maid’s uniform, I neatly fold it and leave it on the bed, along with a note to Carla.
There are no words to tell you how sorry I am for messing things up again… and for messing things up for you.
I wish there was something I could do to make things right between us. But I understand if you never want to speak to me or see me again.
It sucks that I let you down again…
All I can do now is try to be better. So, I’m going home… back to Sicily.
And not to worry, I spoke to mamá first
After speaking to Alex on the patio, I had to find Callum and explain. Or at least try to explain and make things right between the two of us.
It felt good that I still knew my brother as well as he knew himself. I knew I would find him at the stables, and fortunately not the stable he saw me with Alex last night.
He was busy brushing down Diana.
“Knew I’d find you here” I try to ease the tension
“Good for you. Do you want a treat?”
“Easy brother, sarcasm isn’t becoming of you…”
If looks could kill, I’d be a pool of blood on the floor.
“I’m sorry Cal… what I did was wrong…”
His silence was intimidating. For the first time I couldn’t figure out what was going on inside Callum’s complicated head.
“I should’ve checked with you if you liked her… and I guess deep down inside I kinda had a feeling that you did… I just thought…” I run my hand through my hair “I knew I’d have to give her up if you liked her… because we always vowed never to let a girl come between us… and I guess… I kinda like her too”
Callum stopped midway through stroking the brush down Diana’s back and looked at me.
“Of course, you like her… you had sex with her Finn”
I laugh at my brother’s naivety, “that’s not always the case bro…”
I walk over to the box stall, leaning against the door.
“I guess it started off as just a random hook-up at the pub… but I guess I kinda started toying with the idea of having her around all the time… and it drove me insane seeing the connection the two of you had”
Even though Callum was quiet throughout my speech, his facial expressions spoke volumes. He was taking in the confusing rollercoaster that Alex has put me through.
“I was jealous Cal… but I was wrong… because if there’s anyone who deserves a girl like Alex, with all her spunk and personality, it’s you. And she deserves someone like you… you’re the better man for her brother”
“Don’t say that Finn…”
“It’s true… I can’t even commit to Stanford… how was I ever going to make it last with Alex?”
I let out a frustrated sigh, “I’m just sorry that we hurt you. And I want you to know, it still stands… I will never let any girl, not even Alex, come between the two of us Cal…”
“From the sounds of it Finn… you have feelings for Alex too. So, what makes what I feel any better that what you do? Why should I be able to break that promise? You’re still my brother and that vow still means everything to me…”
I walk over and gently squeeze Callum’s shoulder.
“I’ve seen the way you look at her Cal… and it would be selfish and wrong of me to keep the two of you apart.”
“Who says I still want to be with Alex?”
“You’d be a fool not to” I point out to him. “Look, I can’t tell you what to do… but this girl, she’s magic bro. You should at least give her another shot…”
I decide to step back and give Callum some time to think things through.
As I head for the door, Callum shouts after me “Finn!”
He smiles, “Thanks for the talk… and I was a bit upset earlier… I didn’t mean all those things I said. I know how much you care about this family… you’re a pain in the ass but you’re a good brother.”