"Are you all right?"
questioned as he held Jillian
in his arms. "I-I can't believe your father would do something like
that? How can that man disown his own daughter?"
"Oh, I knew there'd be problems," she sighed as she rested her head
on his shoulder. "Father
is so over protective of all of us girls...me especially. I really don't
even think it's you. I'm sure he'd have a problem with any man I wanted to
marry. After all the problems he's had with Judith
can you blame him for wanting to keep a closer eye on me?"
"Well, from what I've seen of Judith, I can understand." He
let out a slight laugh. "But Janet? She seems so quiet and
demure. What kind of problems could she possibly have caused?"
"If you only knew." Jillian shook her head as she remembered
a dark period in her family's history. "I-I really don't want to go
into it. I just want you to know how much I love you."
"Enough to give up your entire family?"
"To hell with them!" she spoke firmly. "If they can't
accept my marriage, then I don't want anything to do with them!"
"But, Jillian, they're your family! Your father has completely
disowned you. He's cut you off entirely! Is that okay with
you?" Reginald was having a very difficult time understanding how a
parent could deny their own child. That was something he was sure his
parents would never do.
"Emotionally, I'm sure it's going to be the hardest thing in the
world." She lowered her head as the complete realization began to hit
her. "Financially, I'm stubborn enough to make it. I-I'll have
to move out of the hotel. I don't know where I'll live. I could stay
at the sorority
house, but without Father to pay my tuition, I'll have to drop out of school.
I-I can see if Lorraine
will let me move in with her." Jillian was realizing exactly how
resourceful she could be. She pulled away from Reginald's embrace and
scratched her head as she thought. "Of course, I'll have to get a job
to support myself. That might be the difficult part."
"Why's that?" Reginald laughed with amusement over how she
was quickly trying to think ahead and land on her feet.
"You tell me how many jobs list "inexperienced socialite" in
their job descriptions!"
They both laughed at the thought as the veil of tension slowly began to lift.
They realized that with their love, they could overcome anything...Stephanie,
and her family.
"Well, living with Lorraine is out of the question." He
carefully brushed away a strand of hair from her forehead. "You'll
stay with me and my family. There's plenty of room in that house for all
of us. Besides, your part of our family now."
"Um...excuse me," came the voice from behind them.
"Mother!" Jillian gasped as she turned to see Leticia.
"Mother, please don't cause a scene. I've been through one too many
"No, Jillian, that's not what I'm here for." She solemnly
glanced down at the floor. "I-I want to tell you that I disagree with
what your father is doing. It's not right! You are my
daughter and you always will be. I love you with all my heart."
"Oh, Mother, I love you, too!" Jillian rushed into her arms
and hugged her tightly. "B-but what about Father?"
"Jillian, dear, I'm about to do something that your father must never
know about." Leticia reached into her purse and pulled out a small
envelope. "I-I brought this for you to help with the plans for the
wedding, but I realize that you need it now for things that are more important.
I-I know it's not enough, but I promise you that I'll get more too you as soon
as I get back to Manhattan."
Jillian's eyes grew wide as she opened the envelope and saw a small bundle of
money. "Mother? How? Why?"
"Because I have not disowned you! I refuse to cut my baby
out of my life!" She lifted up her hand to wipe a tear from her
daughter's cheek. "I will use my own inheritance that my
parents left me in their wills. I've set it aside for years now in case of
an emergency. I can't think of a reason more important than this.
You can never tell your father."
"Oh, don't worry, Mother. I'll never tell him anything!"
Jillian embraced Leticia again as her tears began to flow more freely.
"I-I have to get back to Nelson. He's getting ready to leave.
I have to get back before I'm missed." She turned to go, but
hesitated as she looked at Reginald. "You take good care of my
daughter. I have a strong feeling that you might love her just as much as
I do, but I'm warning you. You ever hurt her, and I can guarantee that
I'll be far worse than you've ever seen my husband be." Silently,
Leticia walked away leaving Jillian with a newfound sense of hope.