As mentioned, Gwendolyn has not only changed in appearance, but has
changed her attitude as well. Tired of feeling hurt after every jeer or
whisper behind her back in the hallways at school, she has learned to
reject others before they have a chance to reject her.
Gwendolyn, who now insists on being called just ‘Gwen,’ is
famished after a long swim.
Sarah is finally figuring out how the Pratt family works. Although
she is the housekeeper, she is still treated as part of the family,
which includes eating at the dining room table.
Gwen joins Sarah at the table. Sarah is shocked by Gwen’s drastic
change in appearance. She’s too polite to say anything, but her eyes
discretely cut towards Gwen from time to time unapprovingly taking in her
She sneaks in a full view when she gets up to return her dish to the
kitchen. She predicts that Candy will not be very happy with
Gwen’s new look.
Sarah’s prediction is correct. Candy almost drops her plate in
shock when she walks into the dining room and sees Gwen.
Gwen is waiting for Candy to say something, but she doesn’t.
Does this mean that she approves?
Something in Gwen wanted Candy to disapprove. Gwen’s whole goal is to
shock others with her appearance. She’s been an outcast all her life and
is relieved that her external self now matches what she’s felt internally for
Candy almost cannot believe what she just saw. “Was that
Gwendolyn who just walked out of here?” She asks herself, already
knowing the answer.
Candy is concerned about Gwendolyn. She realizes that it’s been
difficult for Gwendolyn to adjust and to feel like part of the family,
but this drastic change seems like a cry for help.
While Gwendolyn is in the downstairs bathroom washing up, Candy
sits outside the door waiting for her. It’s time they had a talk.
Gwendolyn exits the bathroom and Candy asks her to have a seat.
Candy notices a brief subtle smirk of satisfaction spread across
Gwendolyn's face, but it quickly disappears.
“So what’s going on with this new look Gwendolyn?” Candy asks, cutting
to the chase. She didn’t intend to be so blunt, but something in
Gwendolyn’s smirk just doesn’t sit well with her.
“It’s Gwen…what about my look?” Gwen answers with a bit of attitude.
“You know what I mean…Gwendo – uh…Gwen. Why the dark hair and
“I‘m just being me.” Gwen defiantly answers.
“You? Well the ‘you’ that I saw yesterday had brown hair, normal
clothes and did not look like a devil worshiper. What changed
“The way I look has nothing to do with the devil,” Gwen answers
“Well that’s what people are going to think when they see you
“Well maybe I don’t care what people think...”Gwen says and
“…I’m going to bed.”
Candy also stands up. “No, you’ll stay right there!”
Candy walks around the chair to stand closer to Gwen. This is not going
well Candy thinks to herself, but the words are a speeding train with no
brakes…“I’m raising you to be a proper young woman. No proper girl
looks the way you do right now!”
Candy continues. “So I want you to march upstairs, put on a decent
outfit and I’ll take you to have your hair dyed back tomorrow.
Gwen just stares at Candy; fed up with masquerading her true self in
order to make other people feel more comfortable. For once she has
found inner peace and she’s not about to let Candy or anyone else take
that away from her.
“Well I’m sorry to disappoint you by not being a ‘proper’ girl, but this
is who I am! I like the way I look and I’m not about to change
…I’ve always been looked down upon and disregarded because of
my background. All my life I’ve been an outcast! That’s the only
thing I know how to be. I didn’t choose it, it chose me!
What do you want from me? I can’t be something that I don’t know how to
Candy is speechless. Beyond the ice in Gwen’s eyes, she can see
vulnerability and years of hurt. Gwen is nothing more than a broken child
hiding behind the mask of darkness that she’s created.
Candy will never fully know Gwen’s past. She could not even
begin to comprehend what secrets those icy eyes contain. Who is
she to question any of it?
This discussion has taken a turn that Candy never intended. If this
change was a cry for help, Candy did nothing but put Gwen on the
defensive. She has pushed her further away.
Candy notes Gwen’s tense hands and posture. She would give anything
to be able to just grab her, hold her and love that tough exterior away, but
affection only seems to discomfort Gwen. Where can they go from here?
Candy softens her face and calms herself. She doesn’t want to do
any more damage to this relationship. She backs down.
Candy turns to walk upstairs. She needs time to think about this situation.
Finding herself heading down the wrong path with Gwen, she needs to
figure out the best way to make a turn and head in the other direction.
“We’ll discuss this at another time,” she says over her shoulder.
Gwen gets ready for bed; not sure what just happened between her and
Candy. She just wants to be understood, but she doesn’t want to burn the
only bridge that she has towards having a real mother in her life that cares