chapter four: No One Had Even Noticed..

Nastasia was pretty sure it had been Fred that had sped off, slamming the door on his way out. The look on Cat’s face when she returned to the kitchen confirmed it.

Though Nastasia was tired and sick to her stomach from all she’d found out already, she couldn’t help but to sit back down across from Cat, waiting for her to go on.

“Killed on impact,”Cat said flippantly as she sat back down in her chair. Nastasia was a little shocked at the way Cat delved right back into the conversation as if they’d never been interrupted.  “Both of them. I was lucky to be married to a wonderful attorney…” “Fred?”, Nastasia asked. “Fred is the one who got you off?”  “Yep,”Cat replied. “Fred agreed to be my lawyer, and at first he thought I was innocent….I was sent to a hospital. Shit, let’s just be frank-an asylum, okay? But because of Fred, I was only in for a year. With both your parents gone, the courts tried to place you with your next closest relatives, but they couldn’t find any. After the both of us bickering back and forth for a while, I eventually convinced Fred to do his best to try to get legal custody of you..I sure as hell wouldn’t have been able to..not after all the mess I’d made..I told Fred your father had been a man I’d worked with in the past, and that your mom had already passed away from cancer..I told him that you needed a family, and a home.. and I was definitely shocked when he wrote to me while I was holed up in that crazy-place and said that all of it had been settled and you were coming to the house, but then that’s a plus side I guess of knowing the kinds of people Fred knows through his line of work. It wasn’t until I was released that I told Fred the truth about everything. He threatened to leave me, and to take you with him, but for God knows what reasons he never did leave. I like to think he forgave me, but if that was truly the case I don’t think he’d have sneaked off like he just did..” Nastasia cocked a brow at Cat. “Anyway, back in the beginning of my relationship with your father, he had given me that journal…I believe about a week or two before our night at the motel. From what he said, he’d never read it..He said it was meant for you to read..that your mother had been writing in it since before you were born, all with the intention of you someday having it. I guess he’d thought of Adoria’s future already and figured I could keep that journal put away for you…I don’t know..”

“Of course, I read it. I knew there were going to be things in there I didn’t want you to know. I was right. Apparently, Adoria knew Zef was having an affair, and she actually knew before I did that Zef would wind up being the one to take matters into his own hands for whatever his reasons may be..”

Nastasia began to cry softly.

“I tore out tons of pages…Pages where she talked of the affair she suspected-rightfully-Zef was entangled in. Pages that said your real name. Pages that named friends your mother had. I wanted you to believe that we’d just normally adopted you, and if you’d known of your mother’s friends it would have been too easy for you to get in touch with them…Find things out…I was determined for us all to be a normal family someday..and even when it turned out it would be you and I and Fred and not you and I and Zef, I convinced myself we were the average, every day family..

Cat stopped speaking and her eyes glazed over. Seconds ticked by, then minutes. Cat did not speak.

Nastasia’s entire body felt weak and leaden. Her bones felt hollow. All she wanted was to curl up under her big comforter and sleep. She wished she could forget the whole night, the whole talk she’d had with the woman she’d known as her mother all these years.

Nastasia wasn’t sure what she would have to do tomorrow, but she knew what she wanted to do right then. Slowly, Nastasia stood from her chair. She walked half way out of the kitchen but then turned to look at Cat, who was still staring off into space. Tears still streaming down her face, Nastasia went up to her room climbing each step slowly, deliberately..She’d known since she first laid eyes on that journal, that “Memory Book”, that life was not as she’d always thought it was…She’d known that things were about to be different..What if she’d never read it, or if she’d never told her therapist about her dreams? What if she’d tucked the Memory Book away and gone about her everyday life.. Going to Damon’s band’s concerts, eating ice cream at Rockin’ Willie’s with Hannah and Chloe, swinging on the swings with Daisy and Lou at the park after school…

Nastasia knew life wouldn’t be that simple anymore.

Gratefully, Nastasia closed her eyes and let sleep overcome her.

In her dreams, she went back to that day… She was walking out of the book store, just like she’d done that day..taking a seat at the small bench to wait for the bus..

She’d had to turn around and grab her book bag-she’d accidentally left it behind, right beside the cash register..She’d gone back inside to retrieve it, and then pulled out her mother’s journal..

In her dream, the truth of what she’d done that day played out..

Nastasia really had lost track of time..she really had lingered there until late at night, long after the sun had gone from the sky to be replaced by the fluorescent moon…

But then, Nastasia had gathered her things..She’d walked back home…When she got to the front door, she’d paused. The door had been open, so Nastasia had peered into the living room. Only then did she realize that in her peripheral vision was a silver Chrysler-her therapists’ car. As she’d  looked inside, she couldn’t see anyone, but she’d  heard voices..and soon she’d heard her therapist say,“I’m only telling you this because she deserves to know, and I promised you and your husband that I wouldn’t say a word of it until the both of you thought it was the right time. I’m telling you, Catherine…now is the time. She’s 17, for goodness sake! Don’t you think that’s old enough?” She’d been frozen there, and she’d waited to see how her mother would respond.                “Marie..I can’t. No..I just can’t do it. I mean I’ll discuss these dreams she’s been having with Fred and see what he thinks, and if he thinks we should tell her, then fine, but I can’t be the one to do it. I don’t even know how things got this far when all I did was give her the journal!”

Nastasia had turned ’round and walked to the side of her home, where she’d entered the house through the screen door there. No one had noticed her as she’d crept upstairs to her room. She’d changed into her pj’s  and was going to curl up in her bed, maybe get a little rest..but then she’d had the urge to just get out, to leave..to go somewhere where the air didn’t seem to be so damn suffocating…

When she’d come back home to be accosted by Fred, with his whiny, nasal voice, no one had even taken notice that Nastasia had been in her pj’s and barefoot…

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~ by Daylilypetals on 12/03/2009.

One Response to “chapter four: No One Had Even Noticed..”

  1. Oh that were pj’s!

    I think you’ve wrapped up all the ends very efficiently. It all makes sense in a way…
    No wonder Adoria haunts Onamara’s dream. This is so far removed from everything she wished for her little girl. And poor Onamara, this is a lot to deal with for a teen. I hope she recovers from it.

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