Later, at the celebration at the Tanaka house in San Pedro, the port area at Los Angeles’ southern edge, Sharon saw Karen off in a corner holding Kira as the young girl sobbed. The party continued on as if no one noticed, so Sharon pretended not to, either. However, she and June finally cornered Karen.
“So have you and Kira made it up?” June asked teasingly.
Karen sniffed and wiped her eyes. “More or less. She’s still grounded.” Karen sighed. “Poor kid. She took so much on herself. She said she had to make sure that Allie didn’t have to live with their dad. She wasn’t worried about herself. She didn’t like being with him. But he was really messing up Allie, calling her stupid and good for nothing and that no man would want to marry her. And Allie was apparently taking it to heart. They didn’t want to tell me because there was nothing I could do about it and they didn’t want their father to use any of my complaints as an excuse to get custody.”
“So Kira doesn’t think he’ll try again?” Sharon asked.
“He can’t,” said June.
“Well, he could try,” Karen said. “But he probably won’t get very far. According to everything I’ve heard, if he couldn’t get custody from Judge Weltzer, he won’t be able to get it from anyone. This was truly his last chance.”
“Wonder if Kira’s little press conference had any effect,” June said.
Karen and Sharon shrugged.
“That’s probably what all the talking heads are debating right now,” Karen said. “My staff volunteered to keep an eye on the pundit-o-mania so I don’t have to. I may ask for a run-down after all. But we’ll probably never know for sure. Judge Weltzer isn’t going to be saying any time soon.”
“Or admit it, even if the publicity did sway him,” Sharon said.
“This is true,” Karen replied. Then she shrugged. “I don’t know that it’ll have that much effect in the long run. And I sure hope it doesn’t. Heaven only knows what Kira will try the next time she gets pissed at me.”
Sharon and June laughed along.
“Well,” Sharon said, finally. “At least now you’ll be able to get back to normal.”
Karen laughed even harder. “Sharon, you so do not have kids. Parents do not have normal. We have crazy and less crazy.”
“All right,” Sharon put her hand on Karen’s shoulder. “Then we’ll get back to less crazy. Which doesn’t entirely reflect Washington, but what the heck.”