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FORSAKEN AND BETAKEN

by Catherine C. Straub

Chapter 13


FORSAKEN AND BETAKEN

by Catherine C. Straub

Chapter 13

“The Lord is the one who chose Moses and Aaron and who brought your ancestors out of Egypt.”
— 1 Samuel 12:6

Court gossip and thievery ruined many rulers reign accosted by take over.

Sly Mitchell Senior blabbed… slandering his son to many people or that Gilda’s depression never daunted her faith in God. Those that knew him best…were aware of his atheist views. His wife attended church; he just did it for a front.

Emmy was secretly four months pregnant by Eugene and feeling it. She had to make believe she and Mitchell junior were having a baby or Thomas that fell asleep once in her room — and she convinced him they copulated They discussed where she could stay the last months of her pregnancy. Thomas had taken her to shop (to her pleasure) for maternity clothes. “Do you recall your mother fixing a different dish at Thanksgiving?”

“I was so young, but I recall searching outdoors for chestnuts to add cut up in the extra stuffing because it was tasty? Are the relatives getting together for those holidays?”

“They are snobs — feeling they are better than anyone. Will you leave for your pregnancy tenure?”

“How can ‘I manage’ my four year study? I’m completing this year without a teacher — and due in April? What can I do about the problem of my studies? It is Mitchell’s child? Who cares what they say, do you really mind Aunt Flo?”

Flo went along with the flow giving her a comfortable peer.

“Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, ‘who is coming’ — anyone different?”

“I did invite Mitchell, the wife, Chief of Police, and Chad ‘is coming.’

Marcy came over at nine in the morning. “Let’s go to church at ten o’clock. We need a break before we get involved with more baking?”

*****

At home, Emmy basted the turkey. She let Thomas go home to rest for two hours; he caught a fever? He seemed a bit warm, and she remembered when she last gave him pills? As she worked, Beth appeared at the door.

“What desserts did you labor on yesterday? The grown ups are still out. I thought I better check this big bird.”

“We fixed a pineapple upside down cake, pecan, mince meat pie, pumpkin and apple pies. Beth beamed proud of herself. Kieran half awake and late strolled into the kitchen — for the first meal of the day. Did Mom leave any breakfast for me?”

“Here’s something.” She handed the dried out plate to him. He didn’t mind, as he chowed down dried out food. Beth drank coffee feeling uncomfortable around him? She expected; she could talk to Emmy alone. Kieran gobbled his breakfast and left the kitchen. She turned to watch him? “He sure acts different!”

“Who do different if one brother and neighbor got back at me? I suppose he will go to college — finishing in the spring. He probably thinks; he’s lucky to be alive!” In less than an hour, the two women came home. Flo was thankful Emmy basted the turkey. She’s her little homemaker; she smiled warmly…

“I gave Thomas a dose of two aspirin, three hours ago, and if he is still a bit warm, he should have more,” she told his mother. Flo eyed them always something, “no rest for the wicked.”

“Marcy idled, when did this bug come on?”

“I’d say during the night, he seemed okay last night.”

She moved to the side door. “I’ll go check on him.” She waved; she’d be back. Flo fixed a sweet potato dish — adding extra brown sugar with marshmallows on top. She hoped to bring the pies over with Beth’s help.

Emmy — happy with the first big dinner with the neighbors, she knew for years. Thanksgiving was becoming a blur — more all the time back home and not missing? The growing up years passed by (the hurt of the matter) a gaze of memories venturing into that faze years ago?

Marcy tiptoed into Thomas’s room and felt his head…? He felt cooler, and she was relieved — he’s on the mend. He just needed rest. She took her own shoes off in her room and lay down. She’d rest for an hour, and that’s all? Her mind spun to the present day with all the flurry of the meal, and when they’d dine…?

*****

Percy escaped to his car rather than stays around — speaking to the rest of his siblings on Thanksgiving. He’s leaving the city area on his way to Flo’s, when he noticed; he’s being followed. Low and behold it was that dark blue Chevrolet the girls talked about after Chief of Police Mitchell was killed. His interest peaked, he wanted to find out the license plate and get behind him. He came to a spot where off the highway where he could go off and back on the road quick as a split. He scribbled the number down and passed him innocent like.

Arriving at the office, he ran the plate. He’d lost the stranger — and soon he was outside — driving to Flo’s. The car was registered to a Sam Wilson. Later he’d visit him. He had a funny feeling this man worked somewhere. Someone could take his car — and did numerous times. Crime matters never worked out in a day or so. He parked outside Flo’s. He peeked in the kitchen window. She saw him while basting the turkey, and opened it wide. “The others are in the parlor!” At the door, she took his arm feeling comfortable with his suave exterior.

“You need helps with anything?” She nodded, No? She wished she did — to work with him, but unless men stuffed the turkey there’s not much to do.

Chad, the doctor entertained them with a tale when he was young. All the participants took up a story they thought of? Flo could hear the laughter and peeked in — taking turns telling a Thanksgiving story. She heard Chad relates his many times, “Chad that story is getting old as a cold.”

“Dinner time is at five in the afternoon,” she spoke, when there was a lull. Percy went to the kitchen. “The dark blue car followed me. I found out the owner?” She nodded silently. The time arrived to recline and dine.

“Emmy will say grace, and then we can dig into our meal.” Emmy read a four line verse on “caring for your neighbor.” The food dishes began to be passed around by Percy sitting next to the hostess. As they were exchanging food, the

Morrison’s came in and found their seats.

“How is everybody doing here” they chortled, with their mouths, but not reaching their eyes, Percy noticed. You had to get them in the right mood to be sincere. Mitchell (careless) constantly smeared the faults of their dead son. The ladies plied him with coffee and donuts. She reclined like a solid sheet of ice. She was a pole apart from the sympathy days when the people came to give commiseration. He was unaware when she took on this cold exterior?

He whispered to Flo, “did you notice ‘the different composure’ of Gilda from the days, she met people for condolences?”

Flo stared her way. She seemed so stoical might it be the investigation, he was doing reminded her of her lost son. During the meal, she glanced at them different times. She grasped, he was jovial (out of place) making fun of Mitchell junior. At times, she faintly smiled.

“Bring on the desserts!” Flo bought a connoisseur’s cart to present the desserts. Mitchell and Gilda embraced her. Flo peered at her close, and took Mitchell aside prior to their leave? “Is it me or is Gilda too sad, should she see a counselor, he was her only son?” Mitchell listened to her and patted her arm. “I’ll take her to see someone for her depression. Thank you for mentioning it; you are a special friend? He embraced her again, which made her feel uncomfortable?

*****

The next day Flo heard Gilda was placed in the same facility as Joyce. And to beat it all off her daughter Nell called in a tiff. The daughters “up in the air” (about their mother’s confinement) be over this morning? She sat down with a coffee, before she started breakfast thinking of Gilda. She mumbled a few prayers. Emmy had met them dating Mitchell Junior. How elated she was seeing her, assisting her with the wedding… She even bought a wedding dress.

Rats she’d wait to find out what he arranged. Flo and Marcy sat down and invited the three staid former Morrison sisters to sit. She gawked at the outlandish outfits Noel and Olive donned. Their strait laced sister Nell presented herself like a normal sister. She took the lead… “We are saddened… you suggested Mother be admitted to an institution. Really, who do you think you are?”

“Now — wait… just a minute! She reddened, irate. I care for your sweet mother… she seemed so depressed here yesterday. Since your brother died, she doesn’t seem right. — I couldn’t help think of her seeing a doctor?”

Olive patted Flo’s shoulder… “I told you Nell, our dad has messed around with other woman. It doesn’t look good — she should have first spoken to a physiatrist rather than him pushing her inside an institution with his lies?”

Flo gave them a sympatric glance. “My daughter is in the same facility.” They left soon after — all embracing.

Marcy gabbed with Flo. “We miss seeing Joyce every day? If we did, would she improve — and do us stick up for her. Thomas’s words were too sharp.”

“Has she been alive all these years thinking, she eventually have him, what a nut, I say again? She makes out men there — like her — that sounds worse?”

*****

Mitchell sat drinking alone. He’d upset Gilda last night to the point; she required immediate help. The doctors had glared at him like they loathed him. Afterward he had gone to a bar and got drunk. He should have taken her to a shrink before yesterday. He was thinking; she’d come out of her depression. The more he demanded of her; she slipped into her own world. Why did he ever take her brood of kids on? He had a peaceful single life before he met her — a recent widow? She wanted a father for her toddlers? He filled the coffee pot, and decided to call Percy?

*****

Flo opened the door to the institution, and walked to the desk. “Could you tell us ‘what room’ Gilda Morrison is in?” The nurses turned to one another concerned.

“Who would you be? We had to put her into a straight jacket; she was so out of control last night, and through the night.” The ladies were shocked…

“My daughter Joyce Stuart is here. We heard from Gilda’s daughters that she was stuck here — without prior treatment.”

“She is roomed two doors down from Joyce — who shows a great improvement with home work to work on.” The nurse primly shut her mouth.

Janice and Grace were enough to try a saint’s patience. She laughed why imagine nutty matters. She might need help if they were pushed on her. They walked back the hall?

Joyce had finished her homework — and ready to talk some.

“I’m all caught up with the class, and soon I’ll go home?”

Marcy sat on the bed. “What do you want to do in life?”

Joyce thought for a minute. “I’d like to be a nurse. I have two more years of school. I’ve thought about this many times?”

“Did you ‘sleep well’ last night?”

“I heard a racket not far away… Do you know what happened?”

“Mitchell’s wife was suddenly brought in after he left the house on Thanksgiving.” How cruel, she thought, not for the hundred time.

“You mean that kind lady we saw that sympathy day, I had trouble. She seemed okay then, what happened, did I cause it? Are Kieran and Beth an item?” She blandly peered at them for answers not caring anyway.

“No, croaked Flo (exhausted with these matters). She is not together with him, and it’s not your fault. Sometime after… something went wrong with her mind? We should stop down and see her. Emmy will get your work. Someone will drop it off?” Flo took her finished homework. She left anxious, before anything went wrong. Gilda was sleeping when they looking in? They decided lunch duty was on.

Marcy sat down in the passenger side. Flo slid in the driver’s side reflecting about the visit to the mental home. She wished that Gilda had been unrestrained, and able to converse. “Let’s say our prayers here….”

“Now we can converse…. I wonder what loathsome words were spoken last night, said Marcy. Gilda should have considered herself, if she needed help? Maybe, she drove herself nuts, by not seeking health? I just know if a partner says anything like you need help, it doesn’t go over good. Why wouldn’t she go, was it a sign of weakness. Marcy hesitated, Flo I never told anyone — but when I was a teen, I got into a teen marriage and two of the kids are Earl’s.

“WHAT — ARE — YOU — GOING — TO — TELL — THE — TEENS?”

She ignited the car? “I wonder who the owner of the dark blue car is. Percy told me yesterday, he was followed?” Marcy stared at her alert! She did have to tell Thomas or mention to Beth that she was the only child of Hilly.

“When did he confide this tidbit? We were followed for two days, after Mitchell died, as you well recall?” She pointedly glared at Flo. Why omit telling her long before this point in time.

“So? Did the owner follow us or someone else? He must have taken the license plate down?”

“I’ll find out soon,” Flo moved to the phone to call Percy?

“West Side Police Station, Sergeant Percy speaking: We are leaving to see the man who works across from a parking lot. I have no idea, why the follower would use the car the keys let in; this is a summation. He’s not out of the woods?”

“Is — there any other news other than Gilda being in a mental home?”

“He called me distressed, he was alone? His girls are angry with him. He needed to talk to someone?”

“The reason I’ll never call is: I noticed her condition, and somehow to help herself. I mentioned it to him last night; she looked more depressed. He held me closer than normal. I never expected Gilda be shoved into a mental home.”

“He officially sounded like he felt bad. Did he actually think since you talked to him concerning his wife (for her betterment) you wanted him to take up with you? Oh! He admitted those kids were toddlers — when he married her, and took in her kids, all born within months.”

“What a tidbit of information? So — the kids aren’t his, huh, said Flo? I really don’t think you should say anything to him; he would lie about it anyway?”

“You’re — better ‘not talking’ to him. Did you see her inside the home?”

“She’s sleeping and her girls came over this morning mad at me until I explained. I certainly had no notion; she wouldn’t see a doctor first? They are supposed to visit again. Now that I think about it, I don’t want to be a substitute for their father unless we speak of different matters?”

“I’m really sorry your calls would involve more to him, but it is callus to commit her? She may have gone nuts or her mental health receded living with him. She did look as hard rocked as him.”

“Who’d ‘conjure up’ that he’d institute the wife that way? He actually called me a friend, but are woman only friends to men like him?”

“I have to go, you know what you feel.” He hung up — staring at the wall. He didn’t need a connection to him, for his interest in Flo; they were going to get married before Christmas? He was aware Marcy would be the Maid of Honor.

Marcy came back after she checked her house. She noticed Flo seemed distracted. “Chad called and asked if I wanted to go to dinner. What should I do?”

“Sounds good, what do you mean, did you accept? I never went to dinner, maybe he is thinking different.” “Oh the kids of Gilda’s are not Mitchell’s, but a Judge husband dying young from a heart attack. The toddlers took his name. It reminds me — Marcy why you’d keep private a young marriage involving two children.”

“I never wanted to think of my mistake rather than speak… “That Mitchell either feels…. they’re ‘his or not.’ It depends how caring he is? It seems he lacks compassion. He probably managed well with the little ones — looking on him as dad. I’m ignorant if the girls know that fact of their parentage, he told Percy, probably because they’re mad at him.”

“When are you going to tell Thomas?”

“Don’t worry over me — but are you keeping a secret from me? Did you tell Percy you’d wed, and is he’s afraid it’ll hurt our friendship?”

“Do you really… want to know — it would be a fast deal?” Flo said.

“You really ‘beat around the bush,’ Flo. I’ll be your attendant.”

“Great! They embraced. We just talked about a Christmas wedding.”

“Go for it and we can try them on, peering in the mirror?” Flo took her dress out of the bag and donned it? In a few minutes, Marcy walked in with hers? They both stood in front of the mirror — swiveling around.

“I feel the two tone shade difference will do, so now we have our dress and accessories. You will wear a corsage anyway on one side? Our shoes or purses are not the same tone either?”

*****

Later Emmy cried when she arrived home, hearing the news about Gilda. She had counted on her for money support with her baby. Eugene didn’t care who she filched. She had never thought something like this could happen. Wait she told herself? She would be out soon. A new senior had made himself known to Emmy when school was over for the day. She sat in study hall until her extra learning class commenced? His name was Landry Burns. He noticed her lush endowed shape and startling beauty and made contact. He heard she was pregnant with a dead man’s child; she’s going to wed.

Standing by Landry Burns when school was out for the day, Emmy gave Thomas, Joyce’s homework, and he glared like she’s a stranger. He flung a rude remark her way... That dork, Thomas, was so immature living with Mommy.

*****

“I think Emmy wants to break with Thomas — Joyce is coming home. Moreover varied males say they’ll help with the baby. Maybe, she is better off than with a junior in school and a neighbor? I feel as though she is my responsibility. She had a tough time here with Job teaching the kids to treat her rotten. She took it hard that Gilda was in a mental home. I bet she’s counting on financial support from her. She’s pregnant and donning maternity clothes?”

“That freak is still awaiting trial, said he, what a cad and rotten apple to do that plus wreck your place. I can’t see where boarding with another senior solves anything. Maybe, I’ll stop to see them and inform who, she is with, said Percy, she is a minor? Do you mind, Flo?” She nodded to do it.

Percy entered the high school right before the bell rang. He saw Emmy hand a grouchy looking Thomas — Joyce’s homework. He hurried over to watch where she’d go. He did not have long to wait… whom she was friendly with. He strolled in the study hall and introduced himself. He saw the kid stand to meet him.

“Glad to meet you officer, my name is Landry Burns?” She saw Percy look her over. Emmy wondered what this was about. She didn’t have a guardian?

“Just where — ‘do you’ hail from?” Percy inquired leaning on a desk.

“My family lives along ‘The Loop’ on Clark Street in an apartment, in downtown Chicago. The apartment is owned by my family, and the family name is used on the building?” Personally, he wondered how this cop found out about them.

He stood. “This ‘whole matter’ better be ‘on the up and up.’ You two are minors. A minor is not supposed to leave an adult they’re residing with, without consent? Good day!” Emmy sat down to concentrate on her homework, feeling nervous. Not long, she was moving to the solitary room for her upper class studies.

After school, she hurried home and it looked like she’d be staying. When she attended school the next day, Landry wasn’t with another girl. What would she do if everyone deserted her?

*****

The weather around Chicago and the Great Lakes turned cold and windy. Emmy shivered in school, she needed sweaters and more clothes. She’d stay with her aunt.

She didn’t like “the rough and ready way” that Percy looked at her?

Percy’s sister ribbed him about his purity when she stopped into the office.

Trudy liked to jest with a family member. She pulled a chair over in front of his desk — sipping a cola… with a question on her shapely lips?

“So you’re ‘leaving your single life’ for conjugal life the rest of your days?”

“Trudy you are an open book? Go see Flo. Here is the address and introduce your self go on; she’d love to meet you?” She hurried to her Gold tan Le Sabre Custom Buick. She knew about the young pure marriage (her brother was wed) that the wife’s parents broke up. Her brother must be busy shoving her out the door.

Flo first studied the car stumped, in minutes, she recognized Trudy.




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