Part II. Cathy’s so dramatic, all these “Parts” and “Books”, it’s the most flowery memoir ever.
So guys, when you were reading the first recap, were you like, “Wow Megan, but I wish there was more ballet?” I bet you were! Worry no longer! Because here comes so much ballet.
We start at Christmas, where the kids are actually getting presents that they want for a change. Paul has gotten the family tickets to see the Rosencoff School of Ballet perform The Nutcracker. He’s heard that it’s a great company and ballet school (what, you’re not on that board of trustees too?) and asks what level dancer Cathy is. Chris pipes up to say that she’s advanced, which, if she taught herself to dance en pointe then I agree. The ballet is amazing and Cathy is dazzled, particularly by a certain lead dancer named Julian Marquet.
BACK IT UP CATHY. ABORT. ABORT.
HERE IS A MOVIE VISION OF YOUR FUTURE
Paul takes everyone backstage at intermission and introduces them to the heads of the company, Madame and Georges. They’re disappointed to learn that Chris isn’t a dancer too and, naturally, utterly dismiss poor Carrie. She asks Cathy about her dancing history, excited to learn that she started at 4 and is now 16 (assuming that she’s had professional training the whole time), but is prepared to dismiss her when she learns that no one’s ever told Cathy if she’s excellent or mediocre. See, in Madame’s world, if no one’s ever told you that you’re excellent, then there’s only one other option. The couple is going to leave when Chris stands up for his sister again and tells Madame that while he might not be an expert on ballet, he knows how Cathy’s dancing makes him feel, and he knows that she’s better than any dancer on that stage. It’s sweet, really. I’m serious! It works too, because Madame tells Cathy that her audition is the next day at 1pm sharp–they’ll supply all of the equipment, but she better not be late. Julian, it turns out, has been listening the whole time, and tells Cathy that she’s lucky–people can wait for years to even get an audition for Madame and Georges.
Cathy is a wee bit overwhelmed by this turn of events (and understandably so) and cries to Chris that she’s out of practice and is going to fail. Chris brushes that aside and tells her that she’s going to be wonderful, then goes to bed. Cathy tries to go to bed too, but she has nightmares of her mother and ends up waking up and going back downstairs to lie underneath the Christmas tree and look up at the lights. It’s a thing she and Chris used to do as kids, so she’s not surprised to find he’s there too. She joins him and he ends up kissing her neck. YOU GUYS WERE DOING SO WELL. Cathy asks him not to do it again, and Chris tells her that he loves her and always will, and that there won’t ever be anyone else for him. She asks why he has to go away and be a doctor and starts to cry. Chris is like, it is literally my one ambition, you KNOW that, but he holds her as she cries and asks, pretty poetically (and accurately) how he can ever find somebody else when Cathy is a part of him, when “you’ve been bred into my bones!”. They start making out and things are about to go to the next level when Cathy protests that it’s sinful and they have to stop. Chris is all for sinning then and Cathy begs him not to leave her, that she’ll go along with it if he stays with her, since she does crazy things without him. Chris points out that she would never give up dancing, so why is she asking him to give up the one thing he has to do?
And you know what? He’s right. Now, I don’t think it’s any big secret that I’m not a Christopher fan, generally. I do, however, think he’s a good big brother to the twins, and likely a good doctor, and he’s definitely usually the sensible one (except where Corinne is concerned) and he’s right here–Cathy wants him to give up his dreams to stay with her, and he knows that she wouldn’t give up her dreams (be they dancing or revenge) for him. Cathy’s story is largely a series of people saying “Stop that!”
or “Think about this!” and Cathy saying no. She’s the Daenerys Targaryen of Clairmont.
Speaking of Targaryens, Chris and Cathy continue to make out until he wants to take it to his room. Cathy protests that A. she’s his sister and B. his room is too close to Paul’s, so Chris decides that they’ll go to her room since Carrie can sleep through anything.
Moving on, they almost have sex until Cathy pushes Chris off of her, thinking that she can’t let it happen again. They end up on the floor, where Chris discovers that Cathy has been stealing Paul’s food and silverware and is keeping a box of same under her bed, just in case. Chris immediately understands–she’s hoarding in case they get punished and locked up again, and he points out (again, not entirely incorrectly) that he gets it and is likely the only one who ever really will. He still wants to sleep with Cathy, just one more time, but she makes him leave and says again that as long as he’s going to leave, then the answer is no. Catherine, that is some manipulative bullshit and you know it. She realizes it, thank god, and cries in Chris’ arms, not understanding why she’s acting the way that she is, since she can’t ask Chris to give up his dreams for her. More realizations, Cathy! They’re good for you.
The next day is Cathy’s audition, the scene of maybe the second most debated plot point in the series. Madame (who Cathy can call Madame Marisha if she gets in and never speak to again if she does not) rolls her eyes at Cathy’s choice of music (Sleeping Beauty) and gets her some pointe shoes. When she’s called out for her turn, Cathy is about to panic until she catches Chris’ eyes, which calms her down. She avoids looking at Paul, since she worries that if she disappoints him today he won’t care about her anymore. Julian comes up and wishes Cathy good luck and they have some mild flirting before her music starts and she begins dancing. As soon as she starts she’s transported back to the attic, paper flowers and all, and she’s pleasantly surprised when she realizes that Julian has joined her. She’s beginning to leap into his arms when she suddenly gets a terrible pain and realizes that she’s bleeding everywhere. She passes out as she hears Carrie screaming and wakes up in the hospital with Christopher. Chris tells her that she had to have a D & C because her missed periods had clotted and broken free. They exchange some loaded glances and he assures her that’s all it was. Cathy, our sweet dramatic soul, wonders why life is always so cruel to her and Chris tells her to look around at all of the flowers she’s been sent. One of the bouquets is from Madame, who signs it Madame Marisha, meaning Cathy is in! There’s also flowers from Julian, along with a note that he’ll be seeing her soon. (RUN) Chris and Cathy hug but quickly break it up when Paul comes in, frowning at them. Uh oh.
SPOILERS AHEAD: There’s a persistent question about what exactly happened to Cathy at her audition. Chris tells her that it was her periods, and Cathy believes him for years until she hears from Amanda (Paul’s sister) that she in fact miscarried a deformed fetus. Cathy confronts Paul with this, which leads to the confirmation of his suspicions regarding her relationship with Chris, but also his reassurances that she didn’t have a miscarriage. I tend to believe that, honestly. There are so many health issues that these poor kids have, even if there’s not a lot of medical basis for what happened*, it doesn’t seem like the MOST far-fetched thing? I do think that while Chris would lie to her to spare her feelings at that particular moment, Paul would’ve told her the truth later on. So that’s my take on this FitA mystery. Jury’s still out on poor Cory though.
The school year starts up again that January and Cathy is put in the tenth grade, Chris in a college prep school, and Carrie in boarding school. (Still a bad idea) Carrie is understandably upset by this news and so is Cathy, especially since Chris is leaving the day after her sister. I still think it seems really cruel to split Carrie off from them. Cathy tries to convince Carrie that she’s going to have so much fun with all of her new friends and roommates, but she doesn’t really believe it herself. Paul gets her some sweet red luggage though, that helps. Cathy also gives her the porcelain dolls from the attic doll house, which causes Carrie to ask where Corrine is. Awkward. They drop Carrie off at school and then Chris and Cathy have to say goodbye to each other. Chris promises that he’ll love her forever and will throw himself into his studies so as not to obsess about her all the time. Cathy tells him that they have to lock their love away and not repeat their parents’ sins. Chris warns her not to throw herself into anything (like say Paul’s bed) just to try to escape what they feel. This is solid advice, Chris, I must say. Ain’t gonna work though. Cathy assures her brother that she doesn’t think about Paul that way and vice versa and they say goodbye. Cathy and Paul leave and head back to their first night in the house all alone.
Cathy can’t sleep that night, so she goes downstairs to get some warm milk and finds Paul sitting in the living room. She goes in and touches his face (though she can’t really understand why) and he snaps at her about wandering around the house at night in her nightgown and touching people. He calls her a witch, being a naive girl one minute and a seductive woman the next. Bite me Paul, you’re the goddamned adult in this situation. Go to bed. Tell her to go away. Send HER to boarding school. Don’t blame your shit on the 16-year old who just got free from an attic. He wants to know what’s going on between her and Chris. She starts to tell him about the bond that they developed during the time in the attic and then Paul PULLS HER ON HIS LAP to finish her story. I’m going to set him on fire. Paul gets that, absent of other people, she and Chris loved each other, but he wants to know if it’s sisterly or motherly or what. Cathy’s had about enough, so she launches into him about all the things he’s doing for her, with the implication that he’s going to want payment eventually. And what payment, you might ask? Well Cathy will tell you. And by “tell you”, I mean she’ll rip open her peignoir to show off her nightgown and yell at him about giving her creepy presents. And Paul laughs, because he is a creep. Some inappropriate stuff takes place and he realizes what he’s doing and stops and starts blaming himself, and Cathy forgives him (all while blaming herself because oh my god this poor child has had to internalize so much guilt) and she tells him that she loves him and he can use her if he needs to.
Oh this whole relationship is so screwed up. Cathy is so eager for love and affection and to break away from Chris and she so honestly thinks that she owes this to Paul and it’s tragic so I’m going to rush. BASICALLY Paul comes to his senses a bit and says that she’s a child and he’s an adult and if he tries to touch her again she should hit him over the head with something. He also notes that he doesn’t have the best reputation in town, so people are already talking about him and Cathy. He tells her that she lives in fairyland and not reality and to wait for a man that she really loves. Cathy runs back to her room and wonders if Paul is really the sort of man she wants at all.
Cathy starts going to school where she can tell that she’s different from the other students and she worries about her brother and sister at their schools, blaming Corinne more and more everyday. Julian keeps coming back to Clairmont (he lives in New York) and she learns that Madame and Georges are his parents. Cathy doesn’t think too highly of Julian, considering his trips home to be ego-based so he can dance for all of the impressed students, and he asks her rude questions about personal stuff. Cathy spends most of her free time with Paul, getting up early to eat breakfast with him, going to the movies, and feeling proud that she has him bewitched like Corinne would. Well this is ominous. Julian comes to visit again and makes it clear he’s there to see Cathy, which wins her over a bit. They go driving and he tries to get her to come to New York and join his dance company (and, it’s heavily implied, be his lover) but Cathy isn’t here for that, pointing out that they don’t even know each other. Julian agrees to tell her all about himself if she’ll go out with him that night and she agrees, wondering if Chris would approve of Julian at all. No. No, he would not, and that’s the correct way to be.
Coming up! Julian’s a creep. Paul’s a creep. Paul confesses his dark gross secrets. Cathy has a birthday party.
I am chopping the book up into smaller sections so that I can write faster, which means that I won’t be done by the time the movie (!!!) airs, so it’ll be like last time, spoilers galore! I will say it now: Recap next Friday, and you can yell at me on Facebook about it. 😉
See y’all next time!
*I haven’t really researched this though, please tell me if there is!