"Our family doesn't handle imperfection very well." (Pretty Little Liars)
I saw this, and went aha! I hope you enjoy what I came up with.
Jefferson slammed the door to his and Marsha’s bedroom so hard that the portraits on other side of the wall shook. He flopped down on the bed, and heaved out a sigh. Why did his parents insist on being so impossible?
Marsha opened the bathroom door a crack and called out to her husband. “Is it safe for me to come out, or would you like me to brush my teeth again?”
Jefferson chuckled in spite of himself. “No, come out and finish getting ready for bed. It’s not you I’m cross at.”
“I didn’t think it was; if that were the case, you would have gone into the music room and abused the poor piano. Your parents?”
“How did you know?” he asked, sarcasm heavy in his voice.
“Well, considering how much they like to meddle in things that are none of their business, it was an easy guess. What have they done this time?”
“The short version is that I caught Father griping that he wasn’t notified personally about Aunt Di’s passing. Him being the head of the family and all that. So, he’s cross, and I merely pointed out that it was no wonder that Uncle Lee didn’t call in person, since Father’s not exactly well liked within our clan.”
Marsha gasped, “You didn’t!”
“I did. Something in me snapped, Marsha, thinking about how horribly he’s treated so many members of this family over the years, and I couldn’t take the hypocrisy any more. I laid into him about how he treated Aunt Henri, Uncle Alex, and how he tried to use Aunt Anne and Aunt Di to find Lizzie and me spouses.”
“Oh, he must have loved that,” laughed Marsha as she lay down and rested her head on Jefferson’s chest.
“Not exactly. Then Mother got involved, and I yelled at her for a bit about how she treated Aunt Katie and Lizzie, for starters.”
“I would have paid to see the look on your mother’s face when you said that.”
The pair laughed softly for a moment, then lapsed into silence. They heard footsteps coming up the stairs, and the voices of Jan and Matthew bickering until they went into their room across the upstairs foyer.
Jefferson sighed. “Is it wrong of me to be happy that they’re old, and won’t be around to bother us much longer?”
“No, because I’ve been thinking that practically since we were married.”
“Good. I’d hate to think I was the only horrible person in the household.”
“I just don’t understand.”
“Your father was always known for his temper. It was all the village would talk about sometimes. But why does he direct it at his family? It seems to me that all you’ve done is try to make him happy.”
“It’s complicated…”Jefferson began,
“Try me. I’m pretty smart you know.”
Jefferson smiled. “Father’s always had a set idea about how this family should behave. Dignified. Respectable. Intellectual. Above reproach. And in his eyes, most of us have failed. Aunt Henri was a flirt, and that’s why he arranged her marriage to that horrible professor. Uncle Alex married a woman Father considered to be beneath us, and me, well, I caused a scandal by jilting my fiancée and running off and eloping.”
“So what you’re saying is…”
“My father doesn’t handle what he sees as imperfection very well.”
The silence returned. Jefferson got up and went to the wardrobe to put on his pajamas. As he opened the door to the bathroom, he heard his wife mutter softly, “You know, I almost feel sorry for him.”