Maybe Beatrix hadn’t grown up with her, but sometimes she seems to know how to handle Franka better than anyone else does.
So when her sister-in-law comes up with a comb and scoots her forward, Franka knows she’s going to be forced to spill her guts. Her mother used to brush her hair when she was frustrated or upset, and the gentle hand on her head, the repetitive motion of the comb still relaxes her.
Franka can try to resist talking – hell, each time she does. But eventually she finds herself confiding in Beatrix.
She doesn't tell her everything. Beatrix knows nothing of Boyd and it's better that way. She'd either be shocked that Franka could even consider sleeping with a man that has bedded half of Chicago and make her promise to forget about him, or she'd start forcing her to put on more make up and raise her skirts a bit in an attempt to win the man.
Franka's not sure which response would be worse.
But other things, more simple situations? They all come pouring out after about ten minutes.
"Franka?" the soft tone started.
"What’s wrong, liebling?" Beatrix has started early, barely a few minutes into brushing her hair, and Franka tries to hold fast.
"Nothing. Everything's fine. Just been busy," she answers, but her curt response doesn’t stop her sister-in-law.
"Of course," Beatrix agrees, but Franka knows that tone. It's the same one her sister uses on Lukas when he's cranky. If the brushing weren't so relaxing, she might take more offense.
Why Beatrix is even concerned at the moment is beyond her, and she let her know that. "I mean, honestly. You and Stefan have plenty of problems right now without listening to mine."
The two are silent for a minute, and Franka thinks that the woman might agree with that sentiment. But she doesn’t stop brushing, and eventually she answers.
"I worry about you, though. Just tell me what’s going on." Beatrix sounds so sincere and troubled, and Franka gives in.
"I’m just feeling a bit...God, I don't know, Bea."
Her sister-in-law waits for her to continue and Franka tries to put her thoughts in some semblance of order.
Out of nowhere, she thinks of the man she met the other night. "There was this guy...Ryan." She can feel Beatrix interest rise, and despite that, she continues on. "I met him the other night."
She laughed at that idea. Worry about a another man she's met at work? "God, no. Not at Lord's. On my night off."
"Well, he invited me for dinne'. And I wanted to go, but..." Franka broke off, trying to explain why she didn’t go. It wasn’t just because she thought she was needed at home. There was something else. "But I turned him down. First fella who's been interested in me in a while, and I turned him down."
Beatrix asked the most obvious question, namely...why on earth did she do that? "Did he smell bad? Terrible warts?" Franka laughs helplessly as she points out all his possible terrible disfigurements.
"No, Bea, I didn't notice him having either webbed fingers or toes. He's good looking. He has a great smile." That was indeed true, and Franka smiles while remembering it.
Beatrix thumped her on the head lightly with her comb. "Well, dummkopf, why don’t you just go out with him next time?"
"Seriously, Franka. I don’t understand the problem."
The problem, she wants to tell Bea, is that she doesn't have time for the niceties of a date. Not only that but she doesn't have money – hell, she still needs to ask Viggo for some. Added to that, she's, against her better judgment, fascinated with a bartender who barely notices her unless she has a tray right in front of his face.
But she doesn't say that. She knows that Bea will get upset if she hears that Franka is worried about getting money for them, and god knows she's not mentioning Boyd. So she just stays silent.
But her silence only makes Beatrix continue. "You create so many problems for yourself. They all sit in this little crazy head here. I don't know why you worry so much." She stopped brushing, laying her hands on Franka's shoulders and resting her cheek against her back. "You could have fun, you know. You just don't let yourself..."
"I have fun," Franka protests, though neither one of them really believes her. "I do," she continues mulishly.
Beatrix turns her around so they are facing one another. "Prove it," she says with a smile. "Next time the man with the nice smile asks you out, do it."
"I don’t know, Bea..." Franka trails off and tries to think of something that would get her out of promising. She hates to break a promise, especially with a family member. "He’s not German, you know?"
Beatrix face scrunches up, and Franka would bet that she is weighing the lesser of two evils - her sister-in-law seeing a guy who isn’t German or her sister-in-law never ever marrying.
"He's not a schwarzie, is he?" she whispers with ridiculously wide eyes.
Instead of arguing on the prejudice – which Franka has tried more than once, only to fail miserably – she simply reassures, "Of course not, Bea."
"Well that's fine then. So you'll go out with him next time he asks." Franka rolls her eyes at Bea's persistence, which only seems to make her sister more insistent. "I’m not leaving you alone until you promise." Her face is set, and Franka knows exactly where Maria gets the stubborn look from.
"I...Okay. I will. If he asks again, that is."
"Perfect," Bea says with a wide grin and then hands over the comb. "Okay, my turn."
Franka shifts her seat and starts combing.
"So, Beatrix...tell me what’s going on."