Olivia and Katherine Go to the Beach (Faces of Courage Deleted Scene)
Below them the waves swished around the pilings of the pier as Olivia and Katherine took in the soothing tones of the sea and the cheerful squawking of the sea gulls whirling overhead.
Katherine lifted her face into the salty spray, her eyes closed. Katherine’s joy curled around Olivia’s heart, comforting her like a sleeping infant at her breast.
“Living in Buffalo, I miss the sounds of the ocean. Maybe I should move here.”
Had Katherine heard her thoughts about living nearby? Since Adam’s and DeeDee’s passing, Olivia had felt the lack of family. Yes, Jorge and Carmen were dear friends, and Vanessa was a high-beam light of honesty when she needed it, but nothing took the place of family. Especially when one had so little of it growing up. Her own trust issues interfered with making many new friends. Having Katherine near would be an answer to prayer.
“Please. Why don’t you?” Was that too eager?
“It would be nice, wouldn’t it?”
“You’d get to spend more time with your grandchildren.” Yes, definitely eager.
“Ahhh, that would be heavenly. Something to think about.”
Would Katherine really consider it? A big decision to be sure. Sell the family home? Or maybe rent it out? It meant moving away from all her friends, most she’d known since she was a young bride. And moving from New York to California cost a great deal. Could she afford to live here in Orange County?
Katherine’s “something to think about” was probably like the parent’s universal “we’ll see,” really meaning “no way, not on your life.”
Head down, Olivia tapped her toe against the railing several times. Why would Katherine want to live near her anyway? I’m just a daughter-in-law. Not a daughter.
Two seagulls perched on a piling, their screeches sounding suspiciously like laughter. Yes, they definitely laughed at her.
Olivia and Katherine turned from the ocean view to watch the humanity milling about. The Huntington Beach pier was always crowded with tourists and locals, today being no exception. A gray-haired man with shoulders so stooped, Olivia imagined him carrying the weight of the world on them. A couple of less-than-buff teenage boys repeatedly swaggered past the micro-bikini-clad girls who pretended not to notice. Weren’t they cold? It was only March after all. And why weren’t they in school? Was it spring break?
Then there was the little family—young husband and wife with two little ones in strollers. Tourists, she guessed, by the look of the awe on their faces.
Katherine nodded toward the family. “Making memories. I think it’s time for ice cream.”
They wove in and out of the throngs toward Main Street and the lure of the ice cream shop. They weren’t the only ones with ice cream on their mind, and the line was long. Just as they were about to be called to the counter, a tall, twenty-something guy, seemingly built with all sharp angles, elbowed his way in front of them. In the process he knocked Katherine aside. He and his female companion addressed the clerk loudly in a foreign language.
How rude! “Are you all right, Katherine?”
“Just fine. No problem.”
The couple became agitated when the clerk, who apparently didn’t understand their language, just shook his head.
They huffed and turned aside from the counter. Angle man, as Olivia thought of him, strode ahead toward the door. The woman, also quite angular, in her hurry struck a chair with her bony hip. Her low-slung beach skirt tangled with her foot and the edge of the chair, slinging her against the corner of a table. Her head bounced from the corner to the floor.
Katherine jumped forward, put her hand under the woman’s head, and stroked her arm.
“Are you all right, my dear? Better not sit up just yet. Looks like you scraped your head a little. I’m so sorry.”
The young woman moaned as she felt the scraped flesh on her temple.
“Maria!” Angle man had turned back.
Katherine’s back blocked their view so he could only see that someone bent over his wife. He rushed to the woman, pushing Katherine aside. After the couple chattered a little, Angle man turned to Katherine, relief evident on his face. “Thank you. Thank you.”
Katherine whispered to them for a few moments, the man nodded and took Katherine’s hand, pumping it up and down twice, repeating the gesture with Olivia.
“Thank you.” The woman managed in heavily accented English.
The man and woman gone, Olivia said, “I’m sorry she got hurt, but they were so rude, and you were so kind.”
Katherine flapped her hand in dismissal.
“You managed to communicate with them? What language were they speaking?”
“I don’t know. We found a few common English words.”
This woman was full of surprises. Still, Katherine personified kindness with how she pampered and encouraged them. Sometimes, only sometimes when Olivia pressed, Katherine talked about the good deeds she did for others in the church and the community, always playing down her role.
“Praise God I was here to help,” Katherine murmured. “From the best I can figure, they had a rough day, felt lost, and this seemed to be the last straw.”
Olivia snorted. “That doesn’t excuse his cutting in line in front of us—and rudely shoving us out of the way, I might add.”
Katherine patted Olivia’s arm. “It’s all right, my dear. Let it go. Now let’s try the ice cream line again.”
Was this what being scolded for acting childish and spoiled felt like? Her childhood left no room for being a spoiled child, so she had no real experience. And even though her mother-in-law hadn’t actually chastised her, the sting as if she had, and rightly so, bloomed on her cheeks. She wanted to be like Katherine when she grew up. Better start now then.