Lizzie examined the photo. The family was posing in front of the house. Beverley and her grandmother were holding hands, and each was clutching a purse. Caroline was smiling and clutching an Easter basket, Beverley looked a little less thrilled, and the tight smile Annabeth had, indicated to Lizzie they were not the happy family they were pretending to be.
Lizzie bit her lip; she did not want to start the visit by offending Aunt Beverley with her thoughts. Instead, she smiled, “Tell me more about this, what do you remember?”
Aunt Beverley took it back and really looked at it. “Well, I think your mother was oblivious to it, but I had just witnessed an argument between your parents. I was home from Europe on a visit that coincided with Easter. You have to understand— well I mean to say—my brother-in-law was not the easiest if men. He was upset because along with our new Easter dresses, Annabeth had had her hair cut in the new style and Ted thought it was totally inappropriate.”
Lizzie peered over Aunt Beverley’s shoulder at Annabeth. She was sporting a mid-length bob and looked beautiful. “I think she looks stunning.”
“I did too, but Ted was furious that she would emulate the hair of some movie star when he could not abide their politics.”
Lizzie’s stomach did a flip, but her brain was too quick, and before she knew it she blurted out what she was thinking. “So, he was a racist?”
Her face reddened, and her hand flew up to her mouth. “I’m sorry Aunt Beverley, that was much more direct than I intended.”
Aunt Beverley gave her a smile. “At my age, direct is all I have time for my dear. I think I have tried to forget that side of Ted, but yes, he was a racist, and he was really not a nice man, even to those he claimed as family.”
Lizzie raised her eyebrows. “Maybe I should sit for this conversation.”
Aunt Beverley backed her chair with a press of a button and rolled over to the settee, motioning for Lizzie to sit.
“I know we don’t really know each other very well yet, but you are my niece and having lost your mother so young, I feel I owe you the truth about our family. Yes, Theodore Bowman was a racist, I think of the worst kind.”
Lizzie felt her lips go dry. “What do you mean?”
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