General Fiction posted February 14, 2009 Chapters:  ...19 20 -21- 22... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
The family conference does not go as planned

A chapter in the book A Leaf on the Wind

Betrayal Part 2

by Sasha

Illustration of Auntie Bea done by author from BW photograph taken in 1937
The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
The author has placed a warning on this post for language.

Valerie's mother sets up a family conference to confront her father about his deviant behavior. But the conference does not go as planned. Devastated, Valerie decides the only way to be free of the
“Tragedy in life normally comes with betrayal and compromise, and trading on your integrity and not having dignity in life.  That’s really were failure comes.”
Tom Cochrane

I hardly slept the night before. In the morning, I was filled with so much stress and anxiety from anticipating what was to come, I was convinced, that at any moment, I would pass out in front of everyone. I focused on breathing deeply, hoping to calm myself down.

Auntie Bea and Uncle Bill had arrived the previous morning. Everyone stayed up late drinking, laughing and, telling each other old stories I had heard a hundred times before. The atmosphere was jovial, giving no indication of what was to come.

The next morning, the drive to Stillicum took about an hour. Mom told Daddy we were going to meet with Colleen's doctor to discuss her treatment plan. He didn't appear to suspect anything.

I felt uneasy as we walked up to the front door of the hospital. Mom, Teresa, Auntie Bea, and Uncle Bill were acting strange. Every time I caught up with them, they either sped up or slowed down, obviously trying to separate themselves from me.

We were ushered into a large room. In the center of the room was a very large oak table surrounded by chairs on all sides. When I sat down, everyone else took a chair on the opposite side of the table. I immediately sensed something was wrong.

We stared at each other in silence for several minutes before the door finally opened and a elderly man wearing a dark suit, glasses, and carrying a thick pad of yellow paper entered. He sat down at the far end of the table and, after introducing himself, he smiled and said, "Who would like to tell us why we are here today?"

Teresa shook her head, shrugged her shoulders, and said, "I don't know." Daddy chuckled and said, "Don't ask me." In a voice barely audible and staring down at the floor Mom said, "I don't know either". Glaring at me with her large, piercing, brown eyes, Auntie Bea said in an unnecessary loud voice, "I don't care what Valerie says, my brother is a Saint and would never do anything to hurt his children. Valerie is a mean, vicious, manipulative child, and cannot be trusted." Uncle Bill remained silent.

Tapping his finger against the table the doctor turned and stared directly at me. "Well, young lady, it seems you are the only one here with a problem".

I immediately felt a sharp pain in my chest as though a large knife had pierced my heart. The room began to slowly spin. I was afraid I was about to pass out. My hands gripped the arms of my chair so tightly they burned as the blood fought to reach my fingers. My entire body began to shake. uncontrollably.

I could hardly breathe. I stood up, grabbed the empty chair next to me and threw it against the wall.

"Fuck you! Fuck all of you!" I let out a loud scream that seemed like an eternity then stomped out of the room slamming the door behind me. I ran out of the building past the parking lot and into the street in front of the hospital. I ran, and I ran, and I ran until my legs buckled from exhaustion, causing me to fall to the ground. I sobbed uncontrollably. My tears were so hot they burned my eyes and I could not see. My chest heaved in pain as I gasped for every breath. I covered my face with my hands and continued to sob.

The hope I had entertained that morning, was gone forever. I cried until there were no more tears in me. I felt like an animal trapped in a cage. I stood up and, with nowhere to go, I slowly walked back to the car. I received no reaction from my family when I approached. They, as always, acted as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

The ride home was uneventful. For an hour, I listened to mundane chitchat about absolutely nothing. It was apparent each of them subscribed to Mom's philosophy, ignore it and it will go away. There were no signs of guilt or remorse from any of them. They had successfully resolved the problem by pointing an accusatory finger at me. I regretted my naivety, believing that Mom had gathered everyone together to confront Daddy. Her plan all along was to set everyone against me. My heart ached over their betrayal.

At home, the cheerful atmosphere continued late into the night. I wanted nothing to do with any of them and stayed in my room. The love I felt for my family died that day and was replaced with a hatred greater than anything I had ever felt before.

I waited until everyone had gone to bed. I got up, quietly went into the bathroom, and locked the door behind me. I opened the cabinet door and reached for a box of Daddy's razors lying on the shelf. I removed a single razor and without hesitating, turned on the cold water, held my arm under the faucet, and proceeded to slice a two-inch long cut across my wrist.

The cut was deep and bled considerably but I failed to do much damage. The pain was much greater than I had anticipated and prevented me from trying again. I wrapped my wrist in gauze and quietly went back to my room. I wanted to die. I promised myself that next time I would find a better, less painful way to kill myself.

I lay in bed a long time before finally falling to sleep. For several weeks, I wore a long sleeve blouse to hide my injury. No one ever knew about my pathetic suicide attempt. I doubted anyone would have missed me if I had succeeded.

Earned A Seal Of Quality

The physical an psychological pain Valerie suffers at the hands of her father, pale in comparison to the betrayal of her family. Unable to exert any control in her life, she decides that death is the only viable escape from her daily torments.
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