The women sit together, talking earnestly, as the sun moves across the sky. Shade patterns change with the angles of the light, flattening as the day becomes brighter.
Without being asked, Kassandra raises the big canvas umbrella on the side of the deck, placed to extend shade into the late morning.
She’s like that, Jeeves contemplates silently. Noticing what needs to be done to make others more comfortable, then doing it without request or thanks. How does David treat her, I wonder? Does he realize what a treasure she is?
“Thank you, honey,” she offers aloud. Taken by surprise, Kassandra only nods.
Allison is sharing the details of a conversation with her parents, in which she introduced them to the idea that she is – well, might be, well, sort of is – starting a relationship. As usual, her mother was distant with a touch of disapproval, and her father was supportive but vague. “We love you, Allison, so just as long as you are happy,” was his full contribution.
“Is it wrong, am I just ungrateful?” she continues. “But that seemed so, you know, lame, I guess. I would love it if once in a great while my parents demonstrated actual interest my life. Were enthusiastic, even.”
Franny speaks up. “But then, they’d want to visit, wouldn’t they? How would that be, for you?”
Allison pauses, considering her answer. It would be very awkward, my dear, but completely worth it, Jeeves reflects. “Do it, Allison. Invite them. You might be surprised.”
“Only if you want to,” Kassandra interjects. “I mean, Franny was just asking how it might feel to you.”
“No, Jeeves is right,” Allison says. “You’re absolutely right. Why wait for them to show interest if I’m not willing to invite them?” The young woman’s face settles into a thoughtful expression. “I’ll call them later today.” She takes a deep breath. “Probably.”
They laugh again, together, gently. Each woman understands deeply that probably, and everything it means about their own inner struggles.