Tommy Morrow sat where his father had when the red scare had been a threat to the family’s international company. He remembered every summer visit from his Uncle Michael, Aunt Val, and cousins Shasta and Natalia. For the most part, the family was normal. But Nattie had been mentally off, even as a child. It always seemed as if Nattie lived inside her head instead in the real world.
She had no head for business. No mind for industry or accounts. She was always absent, even when she was present. Because of this, he had never became remotely close to her.
Shasta, on the other hand, had been intriguing. Smart, beautiful, extremely in tune with science and math, and amazing as an orator, she was the exact opposite of her own sister. She had a head for business and now ran her father’s branch of the company as co-CEO. Not bad for a girl.
But a new member to the family had drawn his attention. Nattie’s son, Matt, had emerged as an amazing businessman, even at the young age of thirteen—something rarely heard of, even within the Morrow family. The boy had a magic that made him a hot commodity within the music industry. And an iron grasp upon the concept of reality.
Street smart, tough as nails, and often violent when the situation called for it, the youth took no prisoners. The gods of industry had been indulgent with the boy, indeed. He laughed. He would have to meet young Matt in person soon. He would have to see for himself if everything he had heard was true.
It would be easier, since Matt lived in New York. After all, Tommy ran the New York offices of Morrow Industries. Since both were in the same city, it would seem that their paths would have to cross at some time. Tommy hoped that it would be soon.
He sat back. It was uncanny how the entire family seemed to have an aptitude for business. Well, everyone but Nattie. But then, she had never seemed to want to be a part of the family. It was as if she felt that she had been born in the wrong family. Perhaps she thought that she should have had Rita Hayworth or Marilyn Monroe for a mother. Or Bette Davis.
Instead, she had been born in Iowa to Michael and Valeria Morrow, a couple who had been fortunate to be very successful as a part of the larger Morrow Industries network, not some starlet or megastar. She had been born so far away from both Broadway and Hollywood that her dreams seemed to be just that, dreams. Her personality and attitude, along with her penchant for getting involved with the wrong men had led to the births of multiple children and a very nasty drug addiction.
Yes, Tommy had followed her life closely. He knew, also, that she was currently in rehab. He couldn’t help but wonder if she would succeed in making her son proud. She had spent so long ignoring his pleas that tommy had no faith in her. she had always proved to be too selfish to desire happiness. It was so hard to admit that she was actually a part of the family. In fact, it was often embarrassing.
But, he would sit back and observe all that went on. He would watch to see whether she could make good on her promise to Matt. For her own sake, he hoped that she did. He would hate to see matt abandon his own mother because of her own inability to change. The family had never turned their backs on any member. Ever.
He swiveled his chair and looked out the window of his office. New York. His domain. While she was here, he had to keep an eye on her.
Natalia was feeling better. She had been able to overcome the worst of the withdrawals and had come out with her sanity intact. No more feeling like something was crawling. No more feeling as if she had caught on fire. No more vomiting every hour on the hour.
Now she just felt as if she had been hit by a bus. Or a Mac truck. She wasn’t sure which. All she knew was that she hurt all over.
Still, the worst was behind her. She understood that ‘once an addict, always an addict’, but she didn’t care. If she could remain clean, even for a little while, she would make Matty happy. And she wanted to make him happy.
She wanted to make all of her kids proud of her. Even if it was just a little while. Personally, she hoped that she could keep clean for the rest of her life. It was so much better.
She had such clarity. Sure, the pain of all that had happened to her was still there. But she saw things so much clearer when she was sober. And she realized that she had so much to be thankful for. Her kids should have always been central to her life, she now realized, and she should have been less selfish.
God, she had been so wrong! And she had terrible taste in men! Perhaps it was just a case of bad judgment. She didn’t know.
Ever since the death of her beloved Trent, she had just not cared. A man was a man, and she hated to be alone. But in her haste, she had not seen that she had never been alone. Matty had always been there. He had always stayed close and done as she asked-no, pleaded-him to do.
She felt a tinge of guilt. Why had she put her boy through that? Why had she expected him to pick up the pieces all of the time? He should have been allowed a childhood, but he had not. All because she had been too selfish and blind to allow it.
She had a lot to repay him for. She had a lot to make up for as a mother. A lot to apologize for. A lot to make right.
She took a deep breath. She would have to make the sobriety stick. No matter what the temptation, she had to be strong. She had to keep clean.
That would mean staying away from those men she was normally attracted to. No more dangerous men. No more bad boy types. But how would she find anyone that even came close to Trent? He had been one-of-a-kind. A keeper.
She had not found any more like him. at least not here in New York. Perhaps she had just been looking in all the wrong places. But maybe that would change once she went to Hollywood.
She took a pained deep breath and leaned back on the pillows. God, it felt good to be sober again! She smiled and closed her eyes. Reality really wasn’t that bad.