Jack stood at the top of the stairs, watching his mother in law read. He was again struck by the resemblance to Rose. The same fiery red hair, the same pale complexion, and some of their facial expressions were alike as well. But he knew that they were as different as night and day. Where Rose was sweet and warm, Ruth was bitter and cold. Where Ruth was arrogant and hateful, Rose was modest and full of love.
How he wished that his own mother would see reason and let him kick Ruth out. But as far as he could see, that wasnt going to happen. So in order to make things peaceable, he decided to talk with Ruth. Somehow, get her to see how she was hurting her daughter. Taking a deep breath, he approached her, hoping for the best.
"Mrs. Dewitt Bukater we need to talk. About Rose," Jack cleared his throat, ignoring the prickly feeling going down his spine when she turned that stare on him.
"What about my daughter, Mr. Dawson? Tired of her already are you? Well too bad. You wanted her, now deal with her," Ruth went back to her book. Besides, Cals married now and even if he wasnt, Id doubt hed take the ungrateful girl back."
Angry about how Ruth was talking about his wife, Jack snatched the book out of her hand. "You know, I wonder how Rose turned out to be so sweet and caring with an ice queen like you for a mother! Youve been nothing but rude and arrogant since you got here!"
"Am I supposed to care about this, Mr. Dawson? Am I supposed to be saddened by my treatment of my selfish and ungrateful daughter? Well Im not. Rose deserves everything I dish out. We had a good life. Our future was set. But she had to go ruin it all."
"She was miserable. Doesnt that mean anything to you? Ruth, Rose wasnt looking at the propellers that night. She was going to kill herself. Just to get out of the situation you had put her in. Luckily, I was able to talk her out of it, and pull her back.
Ruth glared at Jack, not believing a word. "Youre a terrible liar Mr. Dawson. Rose would never do such a thing."
"Really Ruth? Think about it. Would my wife really be curious about something as mundane as propellers? Youve known Rose longer then I have. Think."
"Why should I care about that now? She obviously didnt do it. Listen Jack, the only reason Im here is to look after my Grandson. After all, Rose and the baby are all the family I have left, like it or not. Besides, Im too old to change my ways."
Having enough of the discussion, Jack decided to bring everything to a head. "Listen, I do respect you, because, not only are you my elder but you brought Rose into the world. But I cant let you continue putting my wife down. Its too much stress for her and Andrew. So if you cant at least be civil, Ill just take both Rose and my son and take them somewhere where you can never bother them again. You think Im bluffing? Try me. Keep treating Rose the way you do."
"Youre serious arent you?" Ruth asked, her voice softening as she thought of never seeing her daughter and grandson ever again. Shivering, she came to a decision. "You win Jack. They are the only family I have. I cant lose them. Ill stop critiquing both you and Rose. For now on, Ill treat you both with respect," Ruth sighed in defeat.
"No more talk of Cal?"
"No more talk of Cal. I am truly sorry for my treatment of you both," Rose bowed her head.
"Dont say sorry to me Ruth. Say sorry to Rose. Shes the one youve hurt."
Ruth looked up at Jack, worry evident in her face. "Do you do you think shell forgive me?"
Jack shrugged. "Thats her decision."
"Yes it is, I suppose. Ill go up now. Try to make things right with my daughter," Ruth sighed, getting to her feet. She looked at Jack curiously. "You really do love my daughter, dont you?"
"With everything I am."
Nodding, Ruth continued up the stairs for a long overdue talk with her daughter.
Ruth found Rose wide-awake, softly singing to the baby in her arms. The baby stared up at his mother with wide blue eyes. It was a picture out of a picture book. Mother and child in the process of bonding.
Not looking up, Rose sighed happily. "He has your eyes Jack. Such beautiful blue eyes."
"Im not Jack Rose. Im sorry to disappoint you," Ruth entered the room and approached Roses bed. Gently she caressed the babys head. "Hes such a beautiful baby."
"Mother, what do you want?" Rose asked, very wary of her mothers motives.
Ruth took a deep breath. This wasnt going to be easy. She had so much to say, so much to be forgiven for what if Rose refused to forgive her? Then what would she do? Jack will be sure to take them away then and shell never see her grandson again.
"Your husband hes a fiery one," Ruth nervously smiled. "Hes a keeper Rose. Handsome and protective."
"Mother, whatever youre here to say, say it. Im not in the mood for nay of your games!"
Hurt shone in Ruths eyes and voice. It was obvious that what little trust Rose had in her was long gone now. "I Rose I came to beg your forgiveness. I just had a conversation with your husband. He he made it clear that Ive hurt you greatly that I had almost destroyed you completely. So Im here to beg your forgiveness. To promise to be a better mother to you and a doting grandmother to Andrew. Please Rose. Tell me that you accept my apology. That youll accept me back into your life."
Looking at her mother, Roses weariness remained. She wasnt sure that she could trust Ruth. This might be some ploy to get her back to Cal. But she looked so sad so sincere how can Rose not forgive her? "Mother after such a speech I cant help but to forgive you. But I cant trust you. Not yet anyway. Youve held out the olive branch, just to snatch it back one time too many. I forgive you mother, but my trust is going to have to be earned."
Ruth covered her mouth as she sobbed in gratitude. Rose had forgiven her. That was all she had hoped for. She could earn the trust back. The forgiveness was the hardest factor.
"Thank you," she wrapped her arms around her daughter. "Thank you so much."
Watching from the doorway, Jack found himself smiling. Somehow he knew that everything was going to work out fine. Someday, perhaps soon, they were all going to be one big happy family.