“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 33: Scarlett’s Side of the Story

 On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

“Princess Scarlett?”

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I approach the fence with caution, my eyes trained on her forlorn expression as I take slow, careful steps. If my hunch is correct, Scarlett is also unhappy about the recent turn of events…

Lucy said this isn’t something I can help her fix, but this may be the only chance to make things right between them!

Scarlett barely lifts her head in response to my greeting.

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“Is…something wrong?” I ask quietly, taking a seat in front of the fence.

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“You would like to know if there is ‘something wrong’? What could have given you such a fallacious impression? Do tell, please,” Scarlett snaps with a weak, disinterested bark.

I let out the breath I’ve been holding. She can’t be too sad, since her sarcasm is sharp as ever!

“Well…you seem pretty down. Your golden fur isn’t as shiny as usual, and your nose is pointed towards the ground. You’re not acting like yourself. If you need someone to talk to, I’m happy to –”

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“The aid you could provide me would be insufficient! I alone must bear the weight of this tragedy,” Scarlett says, her cold, glittering gaze meeting mine for the first time.

She and Lucy have more in common than they suspect. But I can’t lose sight of my mission, no matter what!

“Look, Lucy told me what happened. I know that your mom went on a date with her dad. And I also know that you…weren’t too happy about the situation, so you said something that wasn’t…well…I’m sure you’d agree that it wasn’t very, well…”

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Scarlett rises to her feet with renewed vigor, her dark eyes blazing with fierce indignation.

“My words were mild, given the circumstances! If she has led you to believe otherwise, she is far more deceitful than I could have imagined!”

Deceitful? Lucy? Am I missing something?

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“She didn’t lead me to believe anything. But you haven’t told me your side of the story, so how can I make a decision one way or the other?” I ask, taking a step towards the fence.

The fur that had risen along the length of her spine settles once more, and her fury dissipates with a few deep breaths. We stand there in silence for what feels like minutes, and just when I’m sure she’ll never answer, she clears her throat.

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“Ahem. Since you are desperate, I shall tell you what transpired this weekend at the dog park. Mother gave me breakfast in bed, as she always does, and then brushed my coat until I was glowing. It was the perfect beginning to a horrid day! When we arrived at the park, I caught the trace of a scent I recognized, and particularly dislike. My worst fears were confirmed when, to my utter dismay, I saw Lucy and her father approaching us,” Scarlett begins, her lip curling at the memory.

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So far their stories match up…but I’d better keep listening.

“I was prepared to chide Lucy for daring to appear before me outside of the Lodge, but the look on Mother’s face halted the bark in my throat. She seemed elated at the sight of them…I had never seen her so happy. Despite my personal disdain for your friend, I was willing to support our parents’ wishes, as a dignified princess ought to do. But Lucy felt differently. She said as much when we were forced to socialize. ‘I don’t like this any more than you do,’ she said, throwing a contemptible glare at them as they talked. ‘This is the worst thing that could happen…’ she said, and I knew then that she didn’t believe my mother was worthy of her father. How should I have responded? Mother is an incredible human! Lucy’s father is lucky that she even acknowledges his presence! And it required my utmost magnanimity to approve of their…relationship…in the first place…”

Scarlett’s voice falters a bit as she finishes speaking. Quietly staring at her paws, I have no doubt that she’s telling me the truth. But why would Lucy leave that part out? She didn’t mention Scarlett’s mother at all…

“Did Lucy say that she thought your mother wasn’t worthy?” I ask, and my boldness surprises me.

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It surprises Scarlett too, because she suddenly lifts her head.

“Did she say that? Not exactly…however, she clearly implied her feelings!” Scarlett snaps, moving closer to the fence.

“Isn’t it possible that you misunderstood what she was saying? I don’t think Lucy is the sort of dog who would – ”

“Why don’t you ask me yourself?”

That voice! That scent!

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Scarlett’s eyes narrow as she stares past me. Turning around, I see Lucy approaching, her kind face stiff and severe.

How much of our conversation did she hear…?

As my two friends glare at each other from opposite sides of the fence, time seems to slow to a stop…

What am I going to do?

…to be continued…