Dinner was served at 7 PM every night. Bill Ludlow liked his meal warm and ready for him when he arrived home. He liked it even better when his wife, Catherine and his two daughters sat at the dining table, waiting for him to have dinner together. They greeted him with a perfect smile, and the courtesy of ladies from an upper class family.
They exchanged stories of how they went about their day with Bill usually dominating the conversation. He meticulously laid out his plans and rules so each and every member of the family knows who's in charge and what they have to do. Obedience is the key to Bill Ludlow's heart, the girls have learned that if they obey their father's rules, they can ask for almost anything.
"I've invited my good friend, Lloyd Friedman to your birthday party, Charlene," her father said.
She nodded even though she didn't know who it was.
"Lloyd is coming all the way from Gastonburry?" Catherine asked.
Bill nodded, "He's coming with his son, Landon, he'll be graduating from Law school in a couple of years ... a fine young man." Catherine kept eating and glanced at Charlene who didn't have a clue what's going on. "Landon will be helping me with my campaign next year, and he'll be working for me at the Mayor's office after he graduates ... given if I'm elected," there was a glow on Bill's face when he said that.
"I think you should spend some time with him at your party, get to know him, after all ... you'll be admitted to University of Gastonburry next year and he can be your mentor, give you some insights on higher education and campus life," he said to Charlene.
She smiled and nodded, "Yes, daddy."
"I've sent a recommendation letter to UOG for your enrollment next year, the law major there is one of the best in the country ... I'm sure they'll accept you, no problem."
"Law?" Charlene asked.
"Of course, what else would it be? I have the best connection in the world for that line of work, it's one of the advantages of all my hard work all those times, and if you're any good, you get to implement laws and regulations and ultimately change the course of society one day," he explained why it was the only choice for her.
"I was thinking ... I was interested in Film Art," said Charlene and made her father laugh.
"Film? Don't waste your brains on that ... you're way too smart for a miniscule major like that, anyways they don't have a Film Major at UOG."
Her mother gave her a look, she knew it was a code to keep her mouth shut. Bill Ludlow decided everything in the household, to argue with him was not an option they have the luxury of. "Don't be silly, Charlene, you can have Film Art for a hobby, but trust me, Law is where you should concentrate your future in ... Landon will help you with everything you need, I've met him a few times and that fine young man is not only going to be graduating top of his class, ... he will be suitable." Catherine touched her husband's hand to stop him from saying what he wanted to say.
"I'm sure Landon is a nice young man, and it's always good to have friends when you enter a new environment," Catherine said while signaling to her husband not to impose on Charlene more than she can handle.
"Yes, you're mother's right ... I hope everything is ready for the big day, sweet seventeen ... how time flies, you'll be a young woman in two weeks," Bill said as he wiped his mouth with the table cloth.
The soonest dinner was over, everyone went to their rooms. Charlotte liked to stay in her big sister's room before they go to sleep. She loved watching her sister brush her hair and slipped into her nightgown.
"I think daddy wants you to marry that Landon boy, Charlene," Charlotte said.
Charlene stopped her brushing and sighed, "I'm too young to marry, Charlotte, I've never even had a boyfriend," she replied.
Charlotte laid down on the bed, "I think daddy wants Landon to be your boyfriend," she commented.
Charlene sighed, "I wish he wouldn't choose everything for me ... I wouldn't mind if I like him, but if not, no one can make me," she said.
"What if he turns out to be handsome, smart and wonderful? And what if he asks for a kiss?" she asked naively.
Charlene laughed and threw a pillow at her sister, "I wouldn't know what to do," she giggled.
"Would you tell me, though? Tell me what you'd do?"
They laughed and hugged, "You know I tell you everything," Charlene said.
"I met a boy today," she said. Charlotte's eyes widened in anticipation, "His name is Tommy ... he has the bluest eyes I've ever seen ... I'll probably see him again tomorrow," Charlene told her, she was blushing. Charlotte shrieked in excitement. "You should never tell mom or daddy, promise?" Charlene offered her a pinky, she took it.
"Do you like him?" her sister asked.
She smiled, "I don't know ... maybe ... he said I was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen." They both giggled.
"You are, Charlene ... the most beautiful girl in the world," Charlotte said in admiration.
"Oh no I'm not ... you are the most beautiful girl in the world," they laughed.