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2.53 Conversations: Caprice and Bianca have Pancakes

April 10, 2015

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“I don’t know what to do Mom.”

It wasn’t the start to the day Bianca had expected. She steadied her hand on the carton of eggs she was holding and tried not to cast a worried look at her youngest daughter.

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“What about dear?” she asked.

“You know,” said Caprice with a vague eye roll. “Life, love, career – just everything.”

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“I see,” said Bianca.

“There’s just so much to decide,” said Caprice. “I mean, I don’t even know where to begin.”

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“Pancake?” asked Bianca.

“What?  Well…okay,” said Caprice, and followed her mother into the dining room for a plate of Bianca’s famous pancakes.

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Bianca dove into her stack like she hadn’t seen food in days while Caprice twirled her fork and stared out the window.

“I like Tank,” said Caprice, “a lot. Love him even, maybe. I just don’t know if I want to settle down yet. And where to live! Tank wants to live here, in Strangetown. Of course, I could move in with Phebe. Downtown Blackwater would be fun, but then I’d have to get a job – a real job – and oh, I just don’t know. There are a couple of ad firms who said they would hire me on the spot – they’re always nosing around campus eyeing up the Art majors so they can snatch us up right after graduation and pay us slave wages. The privilege of working for so-and-so, and all. It just feels so corporate, you know? Even though I could wear jeans to work and one of the companies has an office just down the road from Phebe’s apartment building. But this is my home! And Aniello is here now, and you.”

Caprice hung her head and waited for Bianca to say something. Anything. Her mom always knew what to do. But only silence filled the air. Well, silence and the sound of pancakes being inhaled.

“Mom?” Caprice said. “What do you think?”

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“I think I’m going to re-do the kitchen,” said Bianca, standing to clear her plate.

Caprice blinked. She must have misheard. That or age was catching up with her mother at last. She shook her head at the thought and followed Bianca into the kitchen. “I don’t think I heard you right,” she said.

“I think I’m going to redo the kitchen,” Bianca repeated. “I have a little nest egg from your Dad’s retirement fund, and just look at all this wasted space. There’s no room for Aniello’s chair in the dining room and we don’t really need to be so formal anyway. And that gorgeous window,” she said, gesturing out the floor-to-ceiling window at the back of the room. “I’d love to be able to sit right here and watch the sunrise with my coffee.”

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Caprice was confused and worried. This wasn’t like her mom at all. “Um, Mom? Did you hear what I was saying?”

“Of course I did, sweetie. You know, a kitchen overhaul is no small thing. I’ll need to get someone in for an estimate, or maybe Red would have the time now that the twins are in school. And then there’s color, and window treatments – do I keep what I have or get something different? Do I add in an island, or not? So many questions, so much work, so little time.”

“Mom, are you okay?”

“Of course I’m okay, honey,” said Bianca.

“Well, what should I do?”

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“I don’t know what you should do, dear,” said Bianca. “Those are your questions. You have to work them out, and you will – in your own time. All I have to worry about right now is whether to stick with yellow or go bold with turquoise – and that’s a big enough decision for one day. You’re trying to plan your whole life over breakfast. Even if it could be done like that, it shouldn’t. You have the luxury of time, dear. Use it. Your sisters were different – they knew exactly what they wanted at your age. You don’t, and that’s okay too. Take your time, you’ll find your answers. And in the meantime, you can help your old Mom here with some paint colors.”

Caprice smiled. Her mom was just fine. And she would be too.

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