When she danced, she could dream...
Beautiful and talented, Rose was the apple of her father's eye. But when he is tragically taken from her, his carefully hidden secrets destroy the only life Rose has ever known -- and lead her into a world of luxury unlike any she has imagined. Rose is whisked off to a prestigious private school, while her mother falls into a hateful whirlwind of wealth and greed. But a most unlikely person will show Rose the true meaning of family -- and give her the courage to follow her dream....
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February 28, 2002
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Excerpt from Rose by V.C. Andrews
I always believed there was something different about my father. He was whimsical and airy, light of foot and so smooth and graceful, he could slip in and out of a room full of people without anyone realizing he was gone. I don't think I ever saw him depressed or even deeply concerned about anything, no matter how dark the possibilities were. He lost jobs, had cars repossessed, saw his homes go into foreclosure. Twice, that I knew of, he was forced to declare personal bankruptcy. There was even a time when we left one of our homes with little more than we carried on our very selves. Yet he never lost his spirit or betrayed his unhappiness in his voice.
I used to imagine him as a little boy stumbling and rolling over and over until he stopped and jumped right to his feet, smiling, with his arms out and singing a big "Ta-da!" as if his accident was an accomplishment. He was actually expecting applause, laughter, and encouragement after a fiasco. He once told me that when he received a failing grade on a test in school, he took joy in having a bright red mark on his paper while the other, less fortunate students who happened to have passed had only the common black. Defeat was never in his vocabulary. Every mistake, every failure was merely a minor setback, and what was a setback anyway? Just an opportunity to start anew. Pity the poor successful ones who spent their whole lives in one town, in one job, in one house.
Daddy, I would learn, carried that idea even into the concept of family.
He was a handsome man in a Harrison Ford sort of way, not perfect, but surprising because his pastel blue eyes could suddenly brighten with a burst of happy energy that made his smile magnetic, his laughter musical, and his every gesture as graceful as a bull fighter's. He stood six feet one, with an unruly shock of flaxen-blond hair that somehow never looked messy, but instead always looked interesting, making someone think that here was a man who had just run a mile or fought a great fight. He was athletic-looking, trim with firm shoulders. He never had the patience or the discipline to be a good school athlete when he was young, but he was not above stopping whatever he was doing, no matter how important, and joining some teenagers in the neighborhood to play a game of driveway basketball.
Daddy's impulsiveness and childlike joy in leaping out of one persona into another in an instant annoyed my mother to no end. She always seemed embarrassed by his antics and depressed by his failures, yet she held onto him like someone clinging to a wayward sailboat in a storm, hoping the wind would die down, the rain would stop, and soon, maybe just over the horizon, there would be sunny skies. On what she built these sails full of optimism, I never knew. Maybe that was her fantasy: believing in Daddy, a fantasy I thought belonged only to a young and innocent daughter, me.