Meeting Lizbeth - Chapter Four Part III
That Awful Night
“What are you doing Louise?”
“Packing my bags Tom. I murdered my mother and I need to get out of here.”
“Why? It was an accident that happened thirty-two years ago!”
He knew his voice was rising, but so was his fear for her. This was terrible news, and he was sure she was in shock. He couldn't let her leave, but wasn't sure how to stop her. How do you deal rationally with news like this? What do you say, especially to your wife.
“I'm leaving,” she screamed “and you can't stop me.”
She grabbed her half packed bag and headed for the door.
“Louise,” he shouted louder than he intended.
Lizbeth was still sitting at the dining room table when she heard her father shout her mother's name. She couldn't imagine what was going on in her parents' room. Her poor mother. How could anyone convince her it was an accident? She heard her mother running down the stairs with her father close behind. She looked up to see her mother headed for the door.
“I'm sorry Lizbeth,” she shouted as she ran out the door.
Her father stood at the bottom of the stairs looking like a deer in the headlights. He didn't know what to do. She wondered why he wasn't moving, but could see he too was in shock. She walked over to him and he took her hand.
“We may have lost her Lizbeth. She loved her mother so much and never really got over her death. Now this. I don't know how she'll handle it.”
“Where will she go?” Lizbeth asked.
He shook his head and mumbled, “Don't know, just don't know.”
Shortly after Maddy came into the hallway.
“Louise took the gray Prius. She headed south when she pulled out of the driveway.”
That seemed to snap Tom out of his fog. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed.
“George, this is Tom Sanders. I wonder if you could do me a favor?”
He continued to talk as he walked toward his study. Lizbeth thought he was probably trying to get someone to tail or track her mother. Her father had lots of connections so it wasn't a farfetched thought and she knew it, she also knew the sooner, the better.
They both headed for the kitchen. When they got there Maddy took two Cokes out of the massive refrigerator. The huge kitchen seemed so empty and quiet. They silently sat on the stools at the counter. Finally, Maddy said, “Try not to worry too much. She needs time to think and process all that's happened. Your father won't let her get hurt. I'm sure he's got a tail on her already.”
“Maddy, do you love him? My Dad I mean.”
“Yes, Lizbeth. I always have and I probably always will, but he loves your mother and they belong together. From the moment they met your father was madly in love with your mother. I knew that was how it had to be. At their wedding, I told him I was leaving, but if he ever needed me he could let my mother know and I would come.”
“So that's how you got to be my nanny? He needed you and you came?”
Maddy smiled but said nothing more. Lizbeth kissed Maddy goodnight and went to bed.
Joseph headed straight to his bedroom. He picked up his wedding picture and looked at June.
“I read Freud Junie. He said the subconscious governs behavior to a greater degree than people suspect. That was when I knew I had to tell Louise what really happened. Her behavior towards other women was because of her guilt over what happened to you. That is what it is, right? Did I do wrong Junie?”
Lizbeth's mind was reeling. In all of this she hadn't forgotten about Doug, but how could she bring him up now? She'd explain things to him tomorrow. Now all thoughts were focused on her mother. Where would she go? She'd never been more than one hundred miles from here. She'd lived her whole life in a fifty mile radius. Even with all the money she never had a desire to travel. Kind of backwater, but that was life here. No one seemed to travel very far and if they did they always came back. Maybe there were people magnets under the ground. She was getting tired. She could tell by the way her mind was wandering and thinking crazy things. She hoped Mom would be safe wherever she was. She fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion; her mind and body were so tired. She dreamed of her mother standing just out of her reach. It was her mother and yet, she was strange. Behind her mother there was the figure of a man, he was just out of sight so she couldn't tell who he was or even what he looked like, yet he was there. She woke with Maddy standing next to her bed.
Talking to Doug
“Do you want to stay home from school today?” Maddy asked.
“No, I have things I have to do today.”
“Take it easy Lizbeth. You had a very emotional night.”
“I know and I'm tired, but Maddy I just have to go.”
The day went by in a blur. As soon as school was over she left and picked up some food for Doug. She headed to the bridge after she called her father. She asked him if he'd heard anything about her mother, somehow knowing the answer would be no. She kept trying to think of places her mother could go but came up blank every time.
She got out of the car, walked over to Doug and sat down.
“Hey little rich girl, what happened?” he asked softly with concern in his voice.
“Oh Doug,” was all she managed before she broke down.
He knew he couldn't hold her because he was in no condition to hold or be near anyone, but he wanted to. He wanted to comfort her and ease her pain. This was the first she'd cried and all her pent-up emotion came pouring out.
“She's my mother....”
“Gone, who knows where....”
“Whoa, Lizbeth. I know this is none of my business, but did you just say murder?”
She sighed and looked at him. After taking a deep breath, she told him the story about her grandmother's death and her mother's part in it.
“Can you imagine how she felt? Well, she left. She packed a bag, took one of the cars, and just left.”
“That's a lot of information to take in Lizbeth. Maybe she just needs some time to herself to think things through.”
“True, but where on earth will she go? I guess she could stay in a hotel or something, but I don't think she's ever been alone.”
“Sometimes, Lizbeth, our minds take over our bodies and manage to point us in the right direction. More commonly known as a gut instinct. Your mother will find herself going in the right direction before she even realizes she's done it.”
“Oh Doug, I hope you're right. I mean, she's all alone.”
Doug wished they weren't sitting under a bridge. He wished that they were sitting in his old Ford pickup and he could drive her around to try to find her mother. She would laugh at his old pickup with the peeling paint, but boy that engine purred. Back to the issue at hand he told himself.
“The best thing to do is make sure all your phones are on and you're ready to answer them. You have to be there for her. Maybe your Dad knows somewhere she'd go but hasn't told you yet.”
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