“And her voice…” I add.
“Hard to not listen when it came at you, wasn’t it?” Peggy mused back to Brooke’s earlier Tour de Force days.
“Well, of course I was always there to listen. Brooke had exquisite and unusual tastes about her own collection.” I add, “I was able to find her amazing pieces for Briarcliff, and her other estates.”
Peggy takes a sip and smiles winsomely at me. “I’ve heard some news about you lately, Bette. I’m sure it’s official by now, your new position as Dean of Arts at CU. A few calls came into me here and there.” Peggy smiles over the rim of her martini at me. “I gave you glowing recommendations and left out all the saucy stuff you seem to perennially find yourself caught up in.” She finishes with a bit of a gotcha tone.
“You know there just wasn’t anything to do about Franklin and the CAC, Bette.” Peggy shakes her head. “Helena’s still on his board.” She whispers conspiratorially, “That was reason enough for you to have given that business – not another thought.” She emphasizes.
“And the CU Board of Governors?” I ask, now that she’s dishing.
“A hand full of egos. But you’ll be fine. Phyllis is opinionated though, but Bette, she has a big university to run, and it keeps her occupied.”
“I’m ready, Peggy, fully rested, in fact, couldn’t get anymore rested unless I marinated myself.”
“I hear your child is with you only part time though.” She slips in. I wince slightly because it hurts to hear it.
“Fucking dreadful, Tina’s gone to Silver Lake with a guy named, Henry.”
“Silver Lake? Never been there. So, is she now officially one of the infamous ‘hasbians’?”
Peggy unwittingly hits a terribly raw nerve. I know she’s not a churl, but I glower back at her without being able to stop myself.
“I’m sorry dear, that was insensitive. You were in love, and for a long time, weren’t you?” She leans across her leather seat and pats my leg comforting me.
“With brief interruptions from…” I nod over to where Helena sits with her eyes closed, an iPod amusing her. “But yes, I was, am still. It’s something I don’t understand. As common as it sounds, it was partly about money. I was running out of it.”