“The house is beautiful,” said Elaine.
“Thank you. We’re still fixing everything, but we’re very proud of it. It’s not a mansion in the Dunes like Tommy’s but—”
“Well, you have to live within your means, Rose. And he doesn’t live in a mansion. It’s a nice house on a prestigious golf course. But that’s what he and Linda can afford. What you and Eddie have here is nice for your family, and you need to appreciate it.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Rose said, like a kicked dog. She knew her place, when to be quiet. That came to her naturally. She learned to anticipate what her parents needed; this one silently stewing about his hard day, his sore feet, the rubbing they needed. The other ranting about the perverted man in the office, the unfair hard work, coming home to a filthy house. Rose figured out how to keep them quiet.
But Elaine had a sharp tongue, not like Audrey. Audrey was loud. Elaine was cutting. Yet Rose knew what both women wanted: to have the upper hand.
“Would you get me an ashtray, dear? And a drink?” Elaine sat down in the leather chair in the Florida room, lit her Raleigh Filter Tip, and noticed the sun-screened porch outside. “I’ve always wanted a sunroom. It’s so nice that you have one.”
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