The child stood swaying uncomfortably. Then with a hearty, “Good Morning”,
Dad appeared in his long frock coat. “Everyone comes to brunch and..” he stopped surprised and glanced down at the child dressed in a lace dress.
“ugh,” hoping his question might not ruin his morning, he asked, “Why is our son dressed as a girl?”
Grace remained seated but her bodice plunged a bit higher as she stiffened on the edge of her seat. Her festering wound begged her to scream but instead her words came low, sharp and stained with resentment. “Dear, you said we shan’t have the money for a new outfit so I figured Marcellina’s hand me down would do.”
It was dad’s turn to sigh now. He fought an urge to plunder his wife with the reality of their situation knowing full well she knew it. Grace was intelligent, artistic, a singer of great talent who gave up a future on the stage and in the spotlight to be his wife. He also knew she was fragile, easily broken. At times she was like a child caught in a wave of misery, petulant and pouty. His meager wages as a beginning physician didn’t begin to cover the luxuries she was used to, the extravagant clothes, the perfumes.
He bent down and whispered in her ear, “Oh dear, you are exasperating at times.” He was having trouble containing his disbelief at how far his wife would go for her own satisfaction. ‘I believe it will come out that Ernest is a boy sooner or later.” He winked at his son, proud even of the little chaps resolve to do as his mother asked.
“Umph “ Grace dismissed him loudly. Her chin plummeted upward as she twisted away, “Go see your patient’s Dr. Hemingway and leave us alone.”