I guess I'm putting this all down because... well because. It's the Patterson thing to do. For so much of my life I've wanted to do the Patterson thing to do, so what's one more try, huh? I know Liz writes her letters every month. Once upon a time, I got a copy of those letters like everyone else on the outside. These days, I don't get to see them and to be honest I don't go looking. Why invite trouble, right? There's no good reason to take on debentures without some sense of future return.
It's funny. In one sense it all comes down to the numbers. So much of my life has all come down to the numbers. You check the balance sheet, you add things up, and if the numbers don't match you go back through and figure out where the discrepancies come from. When you go into the red, you add some seed capital or work out a good credit package and get back into the short term black. I remember trying to explain all this to Gord back in the day. He just shook his head and laughed. Of course, that was before Doctor Patterson invested and we built the businesses up, and thank Mercy for that. I'd tried to set up capital for Gord before, but he didn't want to take any chances with money or the bank. He just wanted to work on cars and pump gas. Men in suits made him uncomfortable. But Doctor Patterson was different. He'd grown up with him. His money didn't scare Gord off, and with it the columns added up. Now the Mayes name's all over Milborough, and Gord's bought out Doctor Patterson's investment, and Liz and I are in Vancouver and I'm at RBS making three times what Gord paid me. Doctor Patterson took on debentures and they led to great returns for him, for the Mayes family and even for we Caines. Win, win and win.
It all works so well when it's all on paper.
That's where my problems have always come from. I go into things thinking I know what's on the balance sheet, and then I learn there's all this bad debt no one told me about. Thérèse made sense on paper. We had a good time together. We worked so well on the dance floor. Everyone commented on how great we were. And what the hey -- it wasn't like Liz was going to come back to Milborough. Everyone knew that high school romances and 'first loves' stayed in high school, right? So I bought in and so did she. But then nothing seemed to add up. We were always in the red together. So I kept adding capital -- if she wanted me to dress differently or have a mustache, those were pretty inexpensive investments. Bit by bit I added more and more. At the time, I thought I was the only one adding things in. Our three-way family sessions with Pierre helped me see how much I was missing on the other side of the equation -- that's another thing I owe to Liz. Including Thérèse has really helped me track down discrepancies from that part of my life.
It's the math that I'm having trouble with now, of course. I'm trying to see how things add up with Liz. James Allen threw the whole thing into the red. I was always better on the math/science side of the high school than Liz was -- I knew darn well that if you add a fair skinned blonde and a pale skinned ginger together you come out with strawberry-blonde or near white, especially with a baby. Dark hair and skin naturally tan compared to either parent doesn't add up. She thought she could bluff her way through it -- she always figures she can out-talk anything I say, but this comes down to math.
I may not know much, but I know math.
It came back from that night when we had our blowout. I've said my apologies a bunch of times, but you have to see it from my side. I'd seen her family. I'd known her all my life. I knew what Doctor Patterson said and did and I knew what Mrs. Patterson said and did. Finding out Liz was a gig came as a total shock, because it came out of nowhere. Thérèse I understood. It's what she came from. But Liz?
Meeting Claire helped there. It all makes more sense now. I didn't know how Mrs. Patterson added up. I feel so badly for her. She keeps trying to get it right. When Liz screwed up, she tried to make it right. When Mike and Dee screwed up, she tried to make it right. Even the 'going-after....'
This is hard to write about. If there's one thing I did right in my life, it was Howard Bunt. I blew everything else that day but I got that right. And now both Liz and Thérèse say--
It doesn't matter. If I'd known about Claire before, I'd have known that Mrs. Patterson was capable of things I didn't expect. I'd have factored all that into what I knew about where Liz came from. Her college boyfriend and that cop would have made more sense. And the way I blew up at her, I can't blame her for her mistake with the pilot. I've lived with worse, anyway. Thérèse wasn't very discreet towards the end, after all.
So now what?
I think it goes back to Doctor Patterson. I've always respected him. He understands things. He makes them orderly. Heck, his whole profession comes down to fixing things and making them look good to the outside world. When I look at the burden he's under -- trying to keep Mrs. Patterson from going any more off the rails, making her as comfortable and happy as he can during this episode, letting it run its course so he can fix it up after -- this little thing with Liz seems like nothing. At least Liz knows what year it is, right? And James Allen's a newborn. He didn't ask for any of this.
So I'll be a father. Liz is a better mother to Francie than Thérèse ever was, and Francie's better off than she was in her playpen behind my desk. I did all right by her but I can see she's better off with Liz here. She smiles more, and she laughs more, and she even likes that cat of Liz's.
If Liz can do that for my daughter, I can do it for her son. We don't need to cause a stink. We'll keep going to Pierre and we'll fix all of this. We can still make the totals balance out. I can be more like Doctor Patterson. I can say or do whatever Liz needs.
After all, it's the Patterson thing to do.