Note: This is the second in a series about Corrine's point of view on certain events referred to in the books. The first one was "Corrine's Discovery".
Secrets of Corrine 2: The Winslows at the Ballet
It was a beautiful winter night in New York City. Corrine Foxworth-Winslow was at the mirror in her hotel bathroom applying makeup for a night out. Her and Bart were heading out for dinner with friends and then take in a ballet performance. Growing up, her parents forbade dancing because it involves physical contact with the opposite sex, but yet allowed her to see ballet performances.
This night it would be a performance of Swan Lake. Her mind flashed back to when she got Cathy the outfit for that play while they were in the attic. One size too large, but it had the cap and everything. Tears begin to form, but she quickly blotted them out so as not to smear her mascara.
Joining her and Bart would be his brother and wife, along with some of his friends from law school. They were the ones who got tickets to the play. It had been so long since she took in some live theatre, and felt a change would be good. He calls her, asking if she was ready.
In her designer lavender dress, Corrine steps out while slipping on her heels and putting in her earrings. "Yes honey." Then she grabs her purse while Bart helps her into her mink coat. Then they go and meet up with their friends and in-laws. After a nice early evening dinner at a out of the way restaurant, they headed for a theater not far from there for the ballet.
Front row seats were hard to come about, but Bart manages to get them. Settling down just before the curtain, Corrine was still a little shook up from earlier when thinking about what the performance was. She wondered where Cathy was today. She has to be in her early twenties now. And what about Chris and Carrie? Those thoughts faded as the house lights dimmed and the music began.
She managed to get a glimpse of the program. "The Madame Zolta Ballet Company is pleased to present Swan Lake." It says by what she could see in the dim light. Then a list of the dancers and their roles followed. Bart was not into ballet very much, but enjoyed a live performance now and then.
The curtain rises and the show begins. Immediately Corrine takes interest in one particular female dancer. The female lead looked familiar. It can't be, Cathy? She thinks seeing through all the makeup the dancer wore. Then the lead couple comes forward to the edge of the stage, bringing Corrine almost face to face with her. It was Cathy all right. She was more beautiful than ever, graceful and talented. Had more drive than Corrine ever could have.
But it was the look on her face she saw. Cathy recognized her, she was sure of it! Her oldest daughter had a brief look of shock as the performance went on. Then the tears came. Afterwards, Bart asks what's wrong. She tells him that it had been a long while since she had seen such a moving performance, she couldn't help but cry. The real reason though was that it had been so long since she's seen her kids. But Bart was never to know, to tell him would take away her inheritance as stated by her late father's will.
But the maternal instinct remains. Seeing the cast doing their bows at the end Corrine heard the name "Catherine Dahl". That had to be a stage name, she thinks. That urge of screaming at the top of her lungs, "that's my girl" nearly overwhelmed her. But she chickened out of for the sake of the Foxworth name. Instead, she felt a great pain inside her.
Curse you Malcolm Foxworth! May the devil flog you like Mother did me on your orders! Stripping me naked and my back peeled of flesh for your gratification! She thought as they left the theater. On their way back, Bart suggested they send some flowers to the cast. Especially the lead female dancer. "She looked an you Corrine, and she's really good." They arrange to have a big bouquet sent for the next day. The card enclosed says, "From the Winslows, Bart and Corrine."
Corrine sat at the breakfast table the next morning, a little worn out from a night of passion with Bart after coming back from the theater. She debates whether or not to tell him Catherine Dahl was her daughter, but was torn between her inheritance or her husband. It was that great pain inside that made her choose to hold her tongue. Maybe after Mother dies, I can tell him. They can't harm me then. She rationalizes, because then she gets it all, and nobody to stop her.
Still, after all these years, she still had them on her mind always. Where were they and knowing them, they're survivors, unlike her. A frown wrinkled Corrine's face at the thought of Cory. She had questioned why she poisoned them, resulting in her youngest son's death. The last time she saw him was when her and John Amos left him at the hospital. He had the nerve to suggest dumping him on the side of the road, but she insisted on taking Cory to a hospital. Leaving him just outside the door so the staff could get to him. In her mind, he was going to die with someone at his side.
On the way back, John Amos kept telling her Cory was dead and so, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Breaking the news to her remaining three was harder. The look on Carrie's face at the news her other half was gone broke her heart. Soon after, they too were gone.
They were smart to get out, I didn't want them to go mad while under the roof of Foxworth Hall. She thinks, sipping her coffee, All the ghosts that dwell there would drive anyone mad. Makes me want to burn the place down and never look back.
Picking up the morning paper, she browses through it and comes across an article on the play from last night. There was a picture of her daughter getting the spotlight. Tears fill her eyes as she begins to tear out the article (Bart had already read the paper and was out for a jog before she sat down for breakfast). Corrine begins to cry. I have failed you Cathy, all of you. Maybe one day I can ask for your forgiveness for what I did to you.
She pulls herself together and finishes her breakfast of coffee and toast with marmalade. Then she changes and is packing for when her and Bart leave for Virginia that evening.