A Parent's Lie



with Jared Harrison

Scene Title A Parent's Lie
Synopsis Home again, home again, jiggety jog.
Date Jan 19, 2010

Harrison Brownstone, Upper West Side

She doesn't want to give her father a heart attack. She calls ahead to let him know what time she'll be home. When she arrives, it's weary and carrying a sea bag over her shoulder containing her own and what few of Richard's things remained on board the carrier. Elisabeth barely slips her key into the lock of her father's brownstone before the door is wrenched open and the man inside stares at his daughter.

Jared Harrison has aged some in the past several weeks awaiting Elisabeth's return. He looks strained and more than a little relieved as he hauls his daughter to him for a tight hug, burying one hand in the hair at the back of her head and his lips in her hair. "Little girl," he whispers huskily, trying to sound stern, "You ever pull that shit on me again and I will put you over my knee and spank you like haven't been spanked since you shoved Bobby Dorsey out in front of a car."

Clearly it was serious — that was the worst spanking Liz ever got in her whole life, and the only time her father was ever the source of a spanking. She couldn't sit down for two days!

"I'm sorry," she whispers against him, her arms tight around his waist. "I'm so sorry, Daddy." There is nothing else she can say to him. And finally, away from all of them, she is once again able to feel all the sorrow. "It was… awful." She starts to shake against him, tears wetting his shoulder.

Pulling her into the house without releasing her, kicking the door shut behind them, Jared walks his daughter back into the house blinking back his own tears. Dads of big bad New York City cops don't cry. He sits with her on the couch, cradling her to him while she cries, wordless murmurs of comfort against the crown of her head as he rubs her back.

When the tears finally stop, Liz curls quietly there surrounded by artifacts of her childhood and the love of her parent. And ultimately she tells him what happened. She doesn't speak of the Vanguard precisely, instead telling him in far more general terms of a nuclear weapon in the wrong hands, of a desperate chase across four continents, of a plea deal and a new job — both of which he's actually happy to hear about, sort of — and finally of the men of those teams who made the ultimate sacrifice trying to stop a great wrong. What she doesn't say to him — names, specifics — he doesn't push for. Her demeanor tells him more about how deeply his daughter hurts than her words. And he simply holds her, his silence a tacit promise to keep all her secrets.

What else can a parent — or a lawyer, for he is still 'on retainer' after all — do when their child goes out in the world and witnesses horrors that tear your heart out but provide sanctuary from it all when they come home? You hold them, you love them, and you tell them it'll be okay. A parent's lie, perhaps, but a necessary one. A shield your child can hide behind until they are strong enough to face the world again.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License