(Updated again) Early Access: The Taste Of A Smile Part 38 ‘That girl’ Excerpt Teaser

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Hey,

Before you start reading: this is a very early script excerpt of part 38. Part 37 is out in audio on this page. Don’t want to give you an accidental spoiler! 😉

Update 28/03: I added some more excerpt!

Update 01/04: Some more script excerpt for Wednesday Excerpt day!

Update 08/04: And some more script excerpt for Wednesday Excerpt day!

How are you doing? How are things going in your country? I hope you and your loved ones are still safe and healthy.

I’ve actually been stuck inside sick for almost a week now. I have some mild symptoms that come and go, and my doctor suspects it’s covid-19. One day I feel okayish. The next, I’m extremely tired. Some days, I suddenly have a bad cough. In other words: it’s weird and it’s annoying.

I’m staying in bed for a couple of days now, hoping lots of rest will finally kick out this virus for good. I live near a center of family doctors and they’re keeping a good eye on me. Muriel has some symptoms too but is mostly fine. That means she can give lots of TLC. 😉

One last thing before I go back to napping… Talking to you here is so uplifting! I’m so glad our community and Keybase chat has been buzzing lately. In times of self-isolation, it’s lovely to feel surrounded by friends. (Or ‘pocket friends’ as one of you would say 😉

Update: I’m feeling a lot better!

Much love!

Sigrid

PS: It’s my mom’s birthday! We’re not allowed to visit her so any festive energy you can send her way is definitely welcome. Maybe it’ll lift her spirits and keep her smiling. 🙂

 

Lex unzipped her coat. Her hand was shaking. It had taken her longer than expected to get here because of the heavy traffic. Unfortunately, the extra travel time had allowed her to start thinking about what she was about to do.
She had felt so determined after seeing Mary all morning. But every step away from Mary had made her feel less and less powerful. By the time she had reached her parents’ building, she was absolutely terrified.

Still, Lex didn’t hesitate to push the doorbell in the lobby of the building. She felt the fear and did it anyway. Now, there was no way back. The elevator was approaching the upper floor rapidly. Lex sucked in air as she braced herself.

“Lexie, this is a surprise,” Betty said as soon as the doors opened. “We are leaving for the club in thirty minutes.” Lex’s mother was wearing neatly pressed slacks and a wool polo shirt. In her ears, small diamonds glittered.

“I know, but I needed to talk to you,” Lex replied and got out of the elevator. She pressed her cheek against her mother’s.

Betty stepped back and regarded her daughter. “You do look better. Are you okay?”

Lex’s shoulders dropped. The worry in her mother’s eyes seemed sincere. An aching settled in her chest. Why couldn’t her mother be more like this all the time?

“I’m fine,” Lex smiled and took off her coat. “I just need to tell you and dad something.”

Betty cocked her head. “Your father is in his study. But I’ll go get him.”

“Thanks,” Lex replied.

She walked over to the large closet in the hallway. It would take her mother a few minutes to convince her father to step out of his study. He didn’t like to be interrupted while working. He probably also wouldn’t appreciate the surprise visit.

With her heart thumping in her ears, Lex walked into her parents’ living room. They had moved into this penthouse a few years back, saying they wanted to downsize. There was nothing modest about this place, though. On the contrary.

Lex had been sad when her parents had sold their old house. It had been the only place where she had felt like home. It hadn’t been a warm or even a safe home, but a home nonetheless.

Lex lowered herself into one of the plush chairs. There were a dozen of framed pictures on top of the fireplace. In each one of them, her parents were smiling and posing in some faraway country. There were no pictures of Lex.

She chuckled sadly and shifted her focus to the large windows. The view of the Hudson River was breathtaking. Lex followed one of the ferries making its way across the shimmering water. She hadn’t been on one in ages.

An image of Mary in her winter coat on the deck of the ferry popped up in her mind. She smiled and imagined wrapping her arms around Mary while the wind played with their hair. Maybe she could invite Mary for a ferry ride this weekend?

“Electra,” a gruff voice sounded. “This is unexpected.”

Lex shifted in her seat and looked at her father. Walter Emsworth was also wearing his usual outfit for an afternoon of golf. His sweater looked a bit tight around the waist, though.

“Father,” Lex said and got up.

Betty had hurried into the room as well. “I will put the kettle on for some tea.”

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” Walter said, crossing his arms. “Why are you here? You do know your mother and I have plans.”

“Yes,” Lex answered, “I know. That’s why I came now. I knew you’d be home and I wanted to see you both.”

Betty walked over to a chair by the fireplace and sat down, tucking her legs neatly to the side. “Let’s sit down, Wallie,” she told her husband.

Lex nodded at her mom, grateful for the help. She doubted Betty would still be as cooperative when she found out what Lex was here for. Walter huffed, making a point of showing his reluctance, but did sit down on the other couch.

Taking a seat again too, Lex said, “I want to tell you both about some changes I’m making in my life.” Her voice wasn’t as steady as she wanted it to be.

“Have you finally come to your senses?” her father snorted. “It’s too late now. I can’t fix this for you.”

Lex shook her head, annoyed. “I don’t want you to.”

“Are you moving to the West coast?” Betty asked, sounding hopeful.

“No, mom. I’m not,” Lex sighed.

“Then what exactly will you do to put your life back on the rails?” Walter asked, crossing his arms again. His gold watch snuck out from under his sweater.

“I work for Hannah now,” Lex said, wringing her hands. She tried not to avert her eyes but her father’s disapproving gaze was increasingly hard to hold.

“Honey, surely you can do better than being the CFO of a small chocolate company,” Betty pleaded.

“A lot better. I didn’t pay all that money so you can go play chocolate factory with Hannah,” Walter chortled.

Lex’s jaw tightened. She wanted to defend Hannah but she knew her parents wouldn’t even listen to whatever she said. Plus, that wasn’t why she was here. She needed to focus. There wasn’t much time.

“I’m not the CFO,” Lex said, straightening her back.

Walter tilted his head. “Hannah is stepping down as CEO?”

“What?!” Lex asked, confused. “No, of course not.”

Betty placed her hands on the armrests of the chair. “Then what is your job exactly?”

Lex’s throat grew tighter. “I am the store manager in Manhattan.”

Both of her parents froze in their seats. The look in Walter’s eyes grew ice cold.

Lex stuck her chin in the air and added, “I love my new job.”

Betty wagged a finger at her, her eyes narrowing. “It’s that girl, isn’t it? She brainwashed you!”

Lex was surprised that Betty would even remember Mary. She had always been quick to put two and two together, though. She must have suspected something the moment she met Mary.

“She has nothing to do with this,” Lex said, trying to stay calm.

“What girl?” Walter barked.

The hair on the back of Lex’s neck rose in alarm. This was not the direction she wanted this conversation to take.

“When I went to see Lex at her apartment, a girl stopped by to visit her,” Betty explained. “She said she was the Manhattan store manager.”

Betty’s eyes flicked back to Lex. “I didn’t understand why she would know where you live. It’s improper, to say the least.”

A shiver ran down Lex’s spine.

“What exactly are you saying, Betty? Get to the point,” Walter snapped.

Betty looked at her daughter for a moment. There was a flicker of doubt in her eyes. It disappeared quickly, though, and she said, “I think Lex is involved with this girl.”

 

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