Single Mom (7)

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 56.

Here’s the scene immediately after the last one; note that it’s totally unconnected to Harriet. There’s just a blank line between them, where a cop show would do the Chung-chung! noise or go to commercial.

Andrea Jellicoe’s teenage daughter Chloe was going to end up looking just like her mom, no matter how much time and trouble she spent on her hair, clothes and makeup. “I know the guy slept over the other night. The walls in this shithole are paper-thin.” At Mustapha’s raised eyebrow, “I’m not judging. He’s a step up from the usual, and every inch of dick she gets is one less… inch, of grief she gives me. You really think she killed him? That’s fucked up.” She looked Mustapha up and down. “Hey, you got any smokes?”

Of course he did. “No.”

Diana said, “You really need to be out of the officers’ way while they search.”

“Come on. This is cool.” She put a thumb to her mouth, bit off some cuticle. “Look, my mom’s no killer.” She indicated the woven wall hanging of wolves in a forest, under a full moon. “That’s about as wild as it gets. Someone breaks up with her, she buys ice cream, we pretend to be the Gilmore Girls. She came home the other day, she’s all excited. I figure it’s the D she got, but no, she thinks her blog is going to finally let us get out of this dump.”

Diana said, in spite of herself, “Do you read the blog?”

“Fuck, yes: it’s hilarious. I cannot believe anyone would be desperate enough to fall for that crap. But then she brings home ice cream.” Another bite, this time at her pinky. “Any guy worth fucking, you want him to stick around, only way to do it is make sure he knows you’ll cut his balls off if he cheats on you. Unless it’s a three-way.” Chloe furrowed her brow for a second, pulled her phone from her pocket, put it to her ear, stuck a finger in her other ear. “Oh. My. God. There’s like some next-level Law & Order shit going down…” She walked to the other side of the room, but kept talking.

Diana shook her head. “So glad my daughter was a nerd.”

Mustapha found himself grinning. “I like her. I should introduce her to my own kid.”

“Don’t: she’ll think it’s mentoring.”

“That might not be such a bad idea. Maybe she could–”

Before he could explain, they both saw Melissa from Crime Scene come through the back door, carrying a thick, clear evidence bag with a bloody blade inside. “Detectives?” began Melissa.

Before either of them could answer, Chloe dropped her phone, put her hands to her cheeks, and said softly, “Mommy?”

This scene does four things: it gives us a fun tertiary character; it gives us insight into Jellicoe’s personality through that character; it confirms or at least corroborates Jellicoe’s lack of motive; and then it flips all of this around by bringing in a clue that appears to make Jellicoe the killer—and flips Chloe at the same time.

Underneath all this, there’s another perspective on the single mom (single parent, really) effect on the kids: Chloe has watched her mother make a lot of crappy choices, and has learned from this many lessons, some of which are actually good. Imagine Chloe being fooled by either the Red Pill losers or the character her mother made up for the blog.

The passage also brings up Mustapha’s and Diana’s daughters, which in this context seems organic, but which will come in handy later on.

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  1. Single Mom (9) | Julian Cage
  2. Single Mom (8) | Julian Cage
  3. Single Mom (10) | Julian Cage

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