“She’s just like her mother. Got just about as much grace as a baby hippo.”
For a moment, she could only stare slack-jawed at Jasper for his insensitive remark.
“I can’t believe you said that.” Angela crossed her arms in defiance, keeping her voice low. “Beth is your own daughter.”
A look of contempt hung on his face. “That wench turned her against me, telling her lies. She’s not my daughter.”
“Now, you’re acting like a petulant child. She’s is a kid in a terrible situation, and her parents are pulling her apart by forcing her to take sides.”
Jasper shook his head, trying to keep Angela’s arguments from taking hold. He believed his ex-wife’s behavior justified his anger, and that any relationship with his child was lost. All because that harridan he once thought he would love forever was poisoning Beth’s mind.
“If you shut Beth out of your life, then she’ll have no choice but to believe her mother.” Angela suspected she was pleading for the tween’s life. “The relationship a girl has with her father can affect every other male relationship she has during her life. You have to keep trying. Keep the lines of communication open.”
Jasper felt his anger bubbling under the surface, and didn’t want Angela lecturing him about his parenting skills.
“What could you possibly know about it, you don’t even have any children.” Despite his agitation, Jasper immediately regretted his retort, seeing the hurt on Angela’s face.
“You’re right, I don’t, but I am a child of a contentious divorce.” Angela fought down her own barded response. “My parents did the same thing to me that you and Beth’s mom are doing to her. I loved both of them, so I always felt that I disappointed each of them. It caused a huge rift between us that is only now healing.”
Jasper’s frown deepened.
“Just show a little grace yourself and call Beth, and keep reaching out.”