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It was the summer of 1939 when 20 year old Pammy Buchanan returned to her family home in East Egg Rode Island after completing her second year at the University of North Carolina. She looked like a younger version of her mother Daisy, petite, fair skinned, blonde hair, and light blue eyes, nothing like her father Tom, she often wondered if that was even her real father. While at her family home one warm June night she found an old copy of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Gatsby?" she whispered to herself feeling as if she had heard the name before. She curled up in one courier of the sofa in her favorite room of the house, which just so happened to also be her mother's favorite, across from her mother who was at the other corner. "What are you reading there Pammy?" questioned Daisy.
"Oh just this old book I found, The Great Gatsby, have you ever read it?" responded Pammy. At hearing the name Gatsby, Daisy froze, her breath catching it her throat. After a minute or two, she finally answered with,
"Oh Pammy, I haven't read that book since I got it signed by the author." Upon hearing this, Pammy frantically opened the front cover to see a signature that read "To Daisy, Love- Nikkie"
"Mom, the authors name isn't Nikkie. Who signed this?" She asked
"I told you already honey, the author I promise." Daisy insisted. Pammy shrugged it off and began to read the novel. Five pages into the book she reads "I drove over there to have dinner with the Tom Buchanans. Daisy..." Wait, there is no way that these people in this book are my mom and dad? But it did say that it was in East Egg and that they were from Chicago She thought. She continued to read until she got to a part where Daisy said, "And I hope she'll be a fool—that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool." she gasped. Her mind started racing, These are my parents. They are the characters in this story! From the corner of her eye she could see her mother smirking at her shocked and confused face. "Mom, are you the same Daisy in this book?" asked Pammy, Daisy just smiled and nodded slightly, "Mom! Why have you never told me about this before? This is amazing! How did this happen? What happens in here, did it all really happen?" at this last question Daisy's smile faded a bit and gave a slight nod.
"Pammy dear," Daisy started, "the author is actually my second cousin, Nick Carraway, but he now goes by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Everything in this novel did actually happen, but I remember them in a different way. And as you read please didn't judge your family too harshly, we have changed from back then." her eyes pleading for Pammy to understand. Pammy just looked from the book to her mother in disbelief, she nodded to her mother agreeing to understand, and returned to the book her eyes racing across the pages, remembering her Aunt Jordan who she spent time with as a young girl and hadn't seen in many years, trying to read as fast as possible in order to finish and ask her mother questions. She was reading rapidly until she reached her father saying, "I want to see you," to another women proving the small suspicions she had from earlier on when they mentioned that "He's got a women." Furious she slammed the book shut and screamed,
"Father! Father, come here!" As Tom entered the room, he glanced down at the book Pammy was reading, he instantly became furious,
"Daisy, I thought we agreed that she would never read this book or find out about all of this!" He yelled at Daisy
"Father, don't you dare yell at her!" demanded Pammy, "she not the one who went out and had an affair during her marriage!" Tom looked down at his shoes seeming, for the first time, to be ashamed of what he had done.
"Pammy, honey, I'll be honest with you, I never thought what I did was wrong, until just now, seeing how angry you are at this. I'm so sorry you had to find out about this. You were never meant to know." Pammy just continued to stand there, arms crossed across her chest, tapping her foot frantically, until she saw a tear drip down from his eyes. She had never seen her father cry before. She slowly walked around the sofa to her father who was standing there crying, and took his head in her hands so he was forced to look at her, and told him,
"Father, its all gonna be alright. Mom has forgiven you for this, although it probably took her many years. And it's probably going to take me many years to do so to. What I want to know, is why you wanted to keep this all hidden from me?" He sighed,
"Well Pammy, that was a very dark and rough time for our family, and as the socialites that we are, we just wanted all of these problems to go away. So we tried to just sort of brush them under a rug to not have people talking about them." he paused, "You'll see now if you continue through the novel" Pammy then gave her father a hug, whispering in his ear,
"Thank you for telling me the truth." Then realizing what he said, she quickly ran around the sofa to resume her spot to continue reading the novel.
* * *
It was later on when her mother asked her if she was going to go to bed soon. Pammy looked at the old grandfather clock only realizing now that it was 11:45 p.m., she had been reading non-stop from eight o'clock, with a notebook and pen next to her jotting down questions to ask her mother, father, Aunt Jordan, and Nick Carraway the next day or when ever she saw them. She had 50 or so pages left so she told her mother, "I hadn't realized the time." she paused for a yawn, and continued with "I only have a couple of pages left, I'll go to bed soon, promise." Daisy just responded with a small, tired nod and began to turn away to leave the room. "Mom?" asked Pammy
"Yes dear?" responded Daisy
"Do you think that tomorrow I can ask you a couple questions on the book?" she paused then spit out quickly "Oh, and do you think that you can call Aunt Jordan and your cousin Nick tomorrow to see if they could come by one day soon so that I can ask them some question worried her mother wouldn't what to discuss her questions or call her friends.
"Of course sweetie, you can ask me anything and I'll call Jordan to see if she can come by tomorrow as well." answered Daisy "But I can't make any promises about Nikkie. He's been in and out of many mental institutions and doctors and he's in Hollywood, California right now."
"Thank you mom, and that's ok with Nikkie there is no harm in trying." answered Pammy "Good night mother."
"Good night sweetie, we'll talk tomorrow." responded Daisy. Pammy stayed up to finish The Great Gatsby gripping on to every word she read, not wanting to finish it. Once she finally finished it was a little past midnight. She lazily walked to her room, the same one from when she was a little girl and met Gatsby, and slowly crawled into bed. Her mind racing with all her questions and dreaming of life in the 1920s as she drifted off to sleep.
* * *
The next morning, Pammy jumped out of bed to the sound of distant and oddly familiar voices. She quickly changed in order to see what was going on in her usually quiet home. As she walked into the sun room, she saw her mother and another tall, slender, dark haired women lounging and talking and laughing on her favorite sofa with her copy of The Great Gatsby and her notebook opened on the coffee table in front of the sofa. Her mother peeked over the back of the sofa and called to Pammy saying, "Oh Pammy dear, you remember your Aunt Jordan don't you? I know you haven't seen her in quite awhile but you do remember her don't you?" Surprised to actually see her "aunt" her so early she quietly said,
"Oh yes of course, your voice sounded familiar but I couldn't place it where I had heard it before." Jordan responded with a gasp,
"Oh Daisy, she's gorgeous I haven't seen her in such a long time! You heard my voice for probably the entire summer of '22 when this book," tapping The Great Gatsby "was actually took place. There were very few days that summer that I wasn't with Daisy, Nick, or Gatsby." she paused a bit after saying the last two names remembering what happened to Gatsby.
"Thank you" responded Pammy quietly. She gave her mom a look as if to ask how Jordan was even sitting there in her house right now. To which Daisy whispered,
"I talked to her last night because I saw how excited you were to ask questions." Pammy just smiled at her mother, happy to see that she understood how much this meant to her.
"So Pammy I heard that you had some questions to ask us?" began Jordan.
"Oh yes! I have them all written down in my notebook." answered Pammy. She quickly reached over to get it off the coffee table and settled in between Jordan and her mother who were sitting at the corners of the sofa. "Ok so mom," she began, "did you know that dad was having an affair?"
"At first no," answered Daisy, "but I did always have the slightest suspension that there was something fishy going on." she paused, "That's why I always told you to be a fool. Cause if you're too smart and clever you end up getting hurt by the truth."
"But if you knew that he was having an affair, why did you stay with him?" questioned Pammy.
"My parents, your grandparents, got divorced when I was very young. And I always swore that I would never put my child through that situation. I promised myself that I would stick through it in order to spare them." responded Daisy.
"And what about Gatsby letter? What did it say and why didn't you leave dad before you got married?" continued Pammy.
Daisy sighed, "The letter basically said that he was back from the war. And now had money so my parents would let me marry him." she paused, "A-and that he loved me. And probably always would." A small tear ran down her face, remembering her love for Gatsby and all their good times. "I was already pregnant with you Pammy, so I couldn't leave your father with being judged or punished." At his point all three of them had small, silent tears falling slowly from their matching pale blue eyes.
"C-c-can I see a picture of Gatsby?" stuttered Pammy.
"Of course," she rustled around in an old hat box that Pammy just noticed was by her feet, she pulled out an old black and white photo of a young Daisy and Gatsby in a car, "I've kept this picture for many years." added Daisy. Pammy took the delicate photo in her delicate hands and just look at it in awe of how happy and at peace her mother look in this photo with the man who was quite obviously the love of her life. Daisy tried to lighten the mood by pointing out how this photo showed the one and only time she ever had a pimple on her face, making all three of them burst into a small fit of laughter and giggles. Pammy continued to ask her mother questions until she finally decided to move on to Jordan and ask her some too.
"Ok so Aunt Jordan, what ever happened between you and Nick!?" asked Pammy excitedly.
Jordan chuckled before answering, "Well during that summer we got very close, but nothing ever happened. There always seemed to be some strange force not letting us be together. It also didn't help that right after everything went down, he left to New Orleans to be alone for a bit. And none of us heard anything from him for a few years until we all got sent a copy of The Great Gatsby signed by him. And I've tried to stay in contact with him ever since but it's been hard with him being sick and all over the place."
"Oh that reminds me! I talked to Nikkie last night, and he said that he is actually flying into New York this night so I set up for us all to have dinner tonight here at home." interrupted Daisy.
"Mom that's amazing! Wait what time is it?" She glanced quickly at the clock, "Oh my! It's already 5:00 p.m.! We have to start getting ready!" All three of them quickly jumped off of the sofa and quickly ran to separate parts of the house to start getting ready. As they were all getting ready, all of their minds were excitedly racing at the thought of seeing Nick after so many years.
* * *
At 6:30 there was a ring at the door. All three girls popped out of their sections of the house and quickly ran to the front door to greet their honored guest. Daisy opened the door and yelled, "Nikkie!" instantly springing forward and wrapping her arms around his neck in a hug. Pammy and Jordan just stood off to the side watching, nervous yet excited to see him too. He smiled and chuckled as he returned Daisy's hug and moved on to Jordan who he looked at with such fondness as if this was the girl that he had been waiting years to see. They hugged and shared some small talk before he moved on to Pammy, taking her two petite hands in his larger ones saying,
"Ah, and you must be Pammy. Who I haven't seen since you were about three. You're the whole reason why I'm here aren't you?" Pammy stood there shocked and a bit embarrassed the red color rushing to her cheeks.
"Why yes I am." Pammy responded with a slight giggle. "I read your novel, The Great Gatsby, and absolutely loved it and wanted to know if it was possible for me to ask you some questions before we all ate?" continued Pammy.
"Of course, you can ask me any questions you like." answered Nick. They both went to sit at her favorite sofa as Daisy and Jordan went to get two more chairs for them to sit on.
"First question," started Pammy, "is any of this exaggerated at all or is it all true?"
"Well," began Nick, "everything in this novel did actually happen except for the fact that Mrytle was killed from the car. Her husband had actually already shot her and killed her for having an affair and took out the bullets in order to stop them from figuring out she was shot. Then he waited for a car to come racing through and he threw her body out onto the car without anyone noticing. Then he simply played the role of the devastated and delusional husband. In order to spare Tom, Mrtyle said she has having the affair with a "fellow named Gatsby" knowing that Tom despised him anyways. Which ended in him going and killing Gatsby and himself." answered Nick. Everyone just look at him with their jaws dropped, no one, except for Nick of course, knew that this was the truth, everyone thought it was the car that had killed her. After a few minutes Pammy finally continued to ask Nick her questions until dinner was called. They all ate and talked and laughed until it was late and Nick had to go to back to his hotel.
"Promise to stay in touch Nikkie!" called Pammy, Daisy, and Jordan.
"Of course!" responded Nick, "And Pammy, if you ever want to see some new writing come out to Hollywood and look for me!"
"Will do!" shouted Pammy as his car drove off the lot. Daisy came up to her and hugged her from behind, asking her if she had gotten all her questions answered. Pammy just shook her head no. Her mother turned her around with a face of shock, knowing how Mitch she wanted her questions answered, to which Pammy responded, "Sometimes its good to be a fool and not know the answer to some questions." To which they both just smiled at each other understanding what the other one meant.