“Felicia, sit down,” instructed Adelaide calmly, as she took a seat at the table. “This is going to happen, unless you prefer to move in at the homeless shelter.”
The calmness in her mother’s voice suddenly made Felicia very nervous. She had never seen this quiet, confident, and determined side of the woman. Reluctantly, she returned to her chair.
“I am really concerned about you,” her mother continued. “I know you aren’t happy, and haven’t been for a long time. Talking about it with someone who’s objective and experienced at helping people through difficult times may make a difference. I know you want to be the best mother you can be for Betsy, and that doesn’t mean just loving her and taking care of her; it means loving and taking care of you, too.”
Adelaide paused to let her Felicia digest her words. “I’m glad that thanks to Michael, I can do this for you. I can give you a place to live and pay for counseling; but the rest you need to do for yourself.”
Part of Felicia couldn’t believe that her mother would actually turn her and Betsy out on the streets, but on the other hand, she had never seen Addie this composed and sure of herself, either. Did she really want to put her to the test? No, there was something about her mother’s demeanor that said, ‘Don’t press your luck.’
“Okay, I guess I don’t have much choice,” Felicia responded, an air of defeat in her tone. The hard lines that had been living on her face for the past months began to soften, and her lower lip quivered, slightly.
Addie rose from her chair and leaned over to hug her daughter. “Please don’t look at this as some kind of punishment, but as an opportunity; a chance to start a new chapter in your life! This is a chance for you to become the person Betsy can look up to and admire as she grows up.”
A tear escaped from Felicia’s eyes and dropped onto her mother’s shoulder, and then, as though the flood gates had been opened, she surrendered to her mother’s hug and began to sob profusely.
“Mom, I’m so sorry I’ve been so horrible. I’ve been angry and scared and lonely, and I’ve been taking it out on you and everyone else! I've made such a mess of everything."
“Well, now you have a chance to fix it.” And with those words, Addie gave her daughter another hug, extricated herself from her daughter’s clutching arms, both literally and figuratively, and went outside to where Michael was waiting. She gave him a quick hug, then climbed into her car.
“Come on, Michael; I’ll follow you to your castle,” she called through the open window as she turned the key and started the car engine.
With a broad smile on his face, Michael climbed into the back of the Town Car and said, “Let’s go home, Ben. I think it’s time I start enjoying life again!”
Ben closed the trunk on both cars, slid in behind the wheel, and pulled out into the street. Adelaide maneuvered her car around her daughter’s, and followed Ben, while Felicia watched from the doorway of what was now her own apartment. "This may be a new day for all of us," she thought.