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Joanna Jelen

Hi Peter,

Does it make us feel empathy for Veronique? I wrote this scene from her perspective.

I clamped my lips together when my father pushed my chin up. He didn’t need to use so much force and neither did I, but I was afraid my lips would tremble. He wouldn’t like it. The funny metallic taste in my mouth was easier to bear than his disappointing frown.

“Who did it to you?” he hissed.

“We got this new student, and she tried for the same part of the musical I wanted.” I swallowed as slowly as I could, watching his reaction. He let the corners of his mouth relax a bit. His eyebrows raised, the left one slightly higher, in a silent question.

Suppressing a triumph smile, I tried to keep my face calm. It was worth extra points in my father’s mind, and I needed the points. “I got the part.”

“That’s my girl.” He only allowed himself for a gleam in his eyes. Nothing more. The gleam was priceless. It made me feel priceless if only for a moment. His bombshell secretary got his gleam all the time she passed him. My mother got none. That’s why she was withering in her room and even her favorite bourbon couldn’t make her flourish again.

I wasn’t biting my lips anymore and he didn’t need to push my chin up. That lesson I learned already, so instead of asking I demanded, “I need ten grands for the singing class.”

“All right.” His nod was as good as a gentleman handshake.

I left his office with a quick glance at the bombshell. Her boob job costed ten thousand dollars and I knew the clinic name from my father’s credit card statement as well. I already made an appointment for the week he’d be in Europe. Although he didn’t care anymore to be sneaky about his travels with bombshells, I still had to outsmart him. Considering the outcome, it was worth to make up a new student and hit my check bone on the round corner of a sink. My mother’s bourbon stunk while my father’s gleam smelled like desire.

I still didn’t smile, the practice made me perfect.


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