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Chapter 28: Andrew Makes a Plan

Andrew limped through the door of his old bedroom and was tempted to pace around, but decided it would be too painful.  Instead, he slowly made his way to the bathroom and began running a bath.  While he waited, he peeled off his breeches and assessed the overall damage the fall had done.

The bruises were already forming.  In a day or two, his chest, back and bum would look a top tattoo artist had gone to town on them.  The colors would be spectacular, with the bruises only interrupted by the numerous cuts.  At least his face seemed relatively unscathed.  He had a bump near his temple and the cut on his cheek, the latter now covered by a bandage Jeannie had placed.  Hopefully, it would not leave scar.

He lost sight of himself in the mirror, as steam coated the glass.  Turning back to the tub, he checked the water.  Close to scalding, but it would cool quickly enough.  Besides, what was a little more pain?  He would feel better -- stronger -- afterward.  Slowly, he lowered himself into the tub, wincing as the water burned his skin.  When he was finally all the way in, he leaned back, stared at the steam rising into the air, and began to think.

Why had he lost his cool with Jeannie and opened up that entire can of worms?  It was stupid and was only going to increase the tension between him and his mother.  That would not be a good thing for either of them.  Mum did not need any more stress, and the last thing he needed was her pushing and prodding him to reveal things he did not want to reveal.

He was so smooth and collected with most people.  Super-confident, relaxed, friendly.  Nobody thought anything could faze him.  Perhaps that was why he found it so appalling that he could not control himself when he was with his family.  Jeannie seemed to read his every thought and whenever he tried to keep things from Mum, she acted like he was a wall that needed to be knocked down and she was the wrecking ball.  And all that was doing was making him edgy and increasing the tension in the house.

Shaking his head, he glanced through the bathroom door into his bedroom.  Maybe that should have told him something.  It looked pretty much the same as when he had left for Eton at 13.  The movie posters that Philip picked up from the studios gave the room the feel of a time capsule -- Fargo, Trainspotting, Independence Day.  His music posters seemed to be a nod to his British roots, Blur and Oasis, from a time before he got to England and found out that a lad could not like both.  And then there were the signed photos above his desk.  Tom Cruise and a young Andrew.  Shaquille O'Neal in his Lakers uniform signing a basketball for a young Andrew.  Andrew in a Dodgers uniform about to run out on the field with Mike Piazza, his favorite player.  All his school chums used to be so envious of Andrew, whose famous stepdad knew everyone in Hollywood.  It seemed so innocent, so long ago.  And it was.  Half his lifetime ago.

"You're not a child any more, Andrew Donovan," he told himself. 

No, he wasn't, and he had to stop acting like a child around Jeannie and Kim.  He tried to think it through.  Causing fights and exploding at people was hardly a prudent course of action.  He had to be smarter, take more care.

He ran his hands through his hair, and thought further.  Would Mum be suspicious if he suddenly dropped all pretense and did his best imitation of Father?  Suspicious, perhaps, but he could probably make out that he was acting on his best behavior, that it was a form of a truce during her treatment.  She might question it at first, but would probably accept it if it meant avoiding further conflict 

So there was the solution.  Polite, chivalrous, funny Andrew Donovan -- the bloke that most people knew and seemed to like -- would take residence in Malibu for the next several weeks. 

Andrew sank even further into the water, letting the hot water soak into his muscles, and sighed.  "Okay, mate, you've got your assignment.  Time to see just how good an actor you can be."

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Oct. 6th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
Poor Andrew. That young man definitely has some issues to deal with. I hope those get explored more at a later date.
jwsel
Oct. 6th, 2010 10:45 pm (UTC)
I plan to do a lot more with Andrew. He has a lot of issues, but also a few secrets still to be revealed.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )