Original Work: You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home, Chapter 10, Part 4
Chapter 10, Part 4
I tried to ignore Linda, Schapelle and Garth talking in the kitchen but I could only do so much to block out the way their voices rose and fell sharply and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to ignore a conversation that involved the repeated use of your own name but it’s not easy to do. But I didn’t have to fake like my attention was on the movie for long because Schapelle strode into the living room, remarked, “I assume you’ve seen what your sister has been up to,” by way of a greeting and picked up the remote and started flicking through channels like I wasn’t sitting there at all.
The coverage on the morning entertainment shows that I’d been wondering about last night dealing with my date with Joshua had been upstaged by Emilia’s antics, even though they were nothing new, especially not to her. Though I had the feeling that bad news sold more papers than a mostly sweet story about two pop stars going out to dinner. The news story running on CNN’s showbiz section featured grainy cell phone video of Emilia dancing on top of the bar, doing shots with and off her gaggle of male followers and dance-grinding on many of them. I was glad that Schapelle had decided that I would rather watch my sister’s antics than my favorite movie.
Schapelle looked at me and raised an eyebrow. “What do you think about all of this?”
I decided to answer the way any sister would when her sibling was on the hot seat. I shrugged and muttered, “It doesn’t really matter what I think,” deciding not to say anything negative about Emilia that might later be used against me. I was still hoping that I could do something that would make my sister decide to not completely hate me.
It seemed as though Schapelle had been hoping for a little something more. “This isn’t just about Emilia anymore, you know.” She pointed out, turning the volume down on the television so we didn’t have to hear the anchor’s opinion on Emilia’s antics. “People are getting to know you now, this reflects badly on you.” I thought about what Linda had said about people thinking that ‘Emilia’ was a liar, but in reality the person that was doing the lying was me. The people I’d met and made a good impression on over the past two days were going to think that the girl doing body shots off strangers was the same girl they’d met. I frowned but didn’t say anything. “What will Joshua think?”
I hadn’t thought about Joshua before now and I quickly realized that Schapelle had a point. Joshua was going to think that grinding, binge-drinker was the same person he’d gone out to dinner with. He was going to think that I was just playing him, that I was manipulating him to make myself (well Emilia) look good and he was deciding to realize that I wasn’t as different as he thought I was. All that stuff he’d said about me last night, about not being the person he thought I was (or Emilia was, whatever!) was about to mean nothing as soon as he saw this footage and realized that Emilia was exactly the person she was portrayed to be in the press. Suddenly, my desire to go home was replaced by a stronger desire to see Joshua and explain or at least make up some really, really good story about what the hell Emilia had done last night and try to repair any relationship we might have had.
I scowled and Schapelle seemed aware that she’d struck the right nerve. “Maybe you could try talking to Emilia, Scout, you’re her sister, you might be able to get through to her.”
If that was the brilliant plan they’d come up with in the kitchen, obviously they really were at the end of their rope. I raised an eyebrow at Schapelle. “Emilia is never going to listen to me.” I assured her. “She doesn’t listen to anyone. I might look like her but I doubt she thinks of me as her sister.”
Schapelle frowned. “We can’t have her sneaking out of the house every chance she gets.” She remarked, looking back at the television. “What do you suggest Scout?”
“Bars on the windows.” I mumbled, taking a bite of cereal.
For a minute, Schapelle seemed to be considering my suggestion but then she frowned, shaking her head. “We still need her to sing.” She seemed to be reminding herself of this fact.
I looked at Schapelle. “Emilia is a person, you know, not a puppet.” I pointed out. “Have you ever thought about asking her?”
Schapelle matched my expression. “Have you ever actually had a conversation with Emilia? Have you ever asked her to do something she doesn’t want to do? It’s like paddling a canoe in a circle.” I had to admit that she had a point. “Doesn’t she make you mad? Frustrated?”
I wasn’t entirely sure what Schapelle was hoping for, that I would get worked up enough to storm out to Emilia’s music studio and demand that she join the nunnery until she reformed her ways? I wanted to tell her that Emilia’s actions didn’t make me mad, just worried about my ‘future’ with Joshua, but I didn’t want Schapelle to feel victorious about implanting those worries in my head.
I shrugged. “I’m still not even really sure what I’m doing here.” I confessed instead. “I only seem to be making things worse.” I had the feeling that a lot of Emilia’s behavior was a retaliation to my presence.
“No, Emilia is only making things worse for herself.” Schapelle assured me. “I can’t tell you how much your mother and I appreciate you being here and you’re doing more to help than you know. This is just a minor set-back and you’re going to help us smooth it all out.”
I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to do all of that and I really hoped it didn’t involve another press conference. I wasn’t sure how Schapelle and Linda were going to spin this under-age drinking party into a positive situation, even if they somehow brought in the encounter with Michaela. One drink to unwind after fighting with the diva might be acceptable but deciding to hit all the major night spots in the city might make it a little harder to win sympathy points. But I decided not to question Schapelle or her plans because things seemed to work out much better for me when I just did as I was told.
Thankfully, Schapelle didn’t seem to have any plans for immediate damage control and, though I had the feeling that she was disappointed with our conversation (I still had the feeling that she was hoping I would be a little more proactive with Emilia and try to stage my own intervention) she headed back into the kitchen to continue talking with Linda and Garth, leaving me to finish my breakfast and movie in peace. And it seemed like the yelling and arguing had been put on hold for the time being.