Ellie’s Story, Part 2
For part 1 of Ellie’s Story, click here.
I woke up with a pounding headache, probably from crying myself to sleep. It was Saturday morning, I looked over at the digital clock hanging over the doorway, and it read 9:30. Nine thirty, for the past month I’ve been waking up at exactly nine thirty, why? I laid in bed until noon, not wanting to deal with Jesse or Dad. All I wanted was Mom to hold me and tell me I will be okay. I eventually had to get up and socialize with them, so I could go back to my room and pretend to be busy. I turned my face into my pillow, “AHHHHH! Hmm, I’m ready now.”
I saunter into the kitchen to find no one, thank god! I pour my cereal and peak into the living room where I find Jesse sleeping. I wonder where dad is. Regardless, I’m still upset with both of them. I take my cereal and head back to my room for the rest of the afternoon. I nod in and out of sleep, when I hear a bang at the front door.
I jumped up out of bed to run and peak through my door. Dad is at the door, whispering to someone through the crack. I can just barely hear what is being said, “You need to leave, now!” I can’t hear what’s being said on the other side, but I know it’s an argument because Dad continues on his rant, “If you don’t leave I’ll… I’ll call the cops! Yes, I will! Get out of here!” He slams the door, only to turn and see me. I back out of the space in my door so fast I nearly knock myself out with the wall behind me. I tried to close the door faster than he could come in, but he barged in and demanded to know what I heard.
“Ellie, what did you hear?!”
“Whatever you heard isn’t true.”
“I think it is,” I had to lie, I needed to know what he was hiding.
“Wha… you said you didn’t hear anything, maybe you misheard. Tell me what you heard.”
“No, tell me why you lied.” He stood quiet, I’ve never seen Dad like this, so vulnerable.
“I knew this day would come, I just wished I had more time…”
“More time for what Dad!?” I interrupted, “We’re old enough to know the truth! I knew there was more to her story.”
“Ellie, please. This is as hard as it is for you, for me.”
There was a long, ear piercing silence that felt like it lasted for an eternity. He broke the silence, “I loved her just as much as you girls did.”
“I need to start dinner.” He started walking into the kitchen.
“What!? Seriously! You’re the worst father in history! Tell me about Mom!”
“Ellie Ann! Enough, let your mother rest in piece for once!”
“I can’t, I don’t even know the truth! Why can’t you tell me? We’re older now!” I started to sob, out of frustration and anger.
“Baby, don’t cry… please, I’m sorry I can’t be your mother. I know she was always better at these things,” He tried comforting me as he started to cry.
“Dad, just tell me. Please.” I begged.
“Okay… you give me no choice. I have to tell your sister as well, no more secrets.” He professed.
“Okay! Where is she?” I wondered, knowing she was just here an hour ago.
“I took her to your grandmothers’, I didn’t want her to get in the middle of things between us.”
“What do you mean?” I started to get anxious, the words out of his mouth seemed… different.
“I planned on speaking to you about your behavior lately, and I also felt a distance between us. I just know in times like this we should come together, not be against each other.” He sounded so genuine, but something just doesn’t feel right.
“Okay, let’s go get her. Where do you want to talk? I’m kind of hungry now.” I said through a laugh.
He giggled, “Japanese? I’m hungry too. We can talk after dinner, but not here. We have to go to somewhere I always took your mother.”
That’s so shady. “Um, okay. I trust you Dad.” We get dressed and head into the car, and on our way to get Jesse. Once we pick up Jesse, we head to our favorite Japanese restaurant, the one Mom loved. We eat our meals silently and in tension.
Dad drove us to the park by our house. Walking in the park, things were tense and one could tell Dad was on edge. We sit down at a picnic bench and he spills out everything like a runny faucet.
“Okay girls, you’re older now and should know the truth. I loved your mother from the deepest part of me…”He’s started to scare me, but I won’t interrupt now.
“She was the one for me, I would never let something bad happen to her, but…” He drifts off, and tries to continue through a soft sob, “I only did what she told me to do.”
“Okay, so your mother had been severely depressed for a number of years after Jesse was born. It wasn’t anything you did, Jesse, it was her post-postpartum, she had no control over it. She would spend hours alone in her room because of the bad thoughts she had. She stopped eating and started drinking more, she shut me out and started talking crazy. I found her once… in our room, trying to hang herself. I screamed and yelled at her asking why and what I did wrong… and she just stood there, emotionless, as if what she was trying to do was normal. That night, I made a promise with her, to help her do it…”
“You did what!?” Jesse and I screamed.
”That’s not how it ended! Just listen.” We settled down a bit, but we know it ends badly.
”We went to Oregon, we get to our hotel, because we knew it couldn’t be traced back to me. We went into our hotel and I begged her to have a last meal with me. She agreed and we had the best night that I’ll always remember. We laughed, we drank, we kissed and I managed to change her mind. We checked out and started heading back home. Your mother saw a hitch-hiker, who needed help. I told her we shouldn’t stop…”
He started to get choked up. ”Your mother was always too sweet. We stopped and asked him what was wrong and he said he’d been kicked out by his wife and had no where to go. I didn’t believe it for a second, but your mother felt sympathy for the prick. As soon as I got out the car to help him with his suitcase, I immediately regret it. As I was making my way around, he whistled and I knew, that was the end. Three men came out of the woods and one bashed me over the head with a glass, I fell and was in and out of consciousness. I saw them dragging your mother out of the car by her hair… and in one instance, her life was over. They slit her throat… I managed to knock one guy out and get back in the car to drive off. I sobbed and considered going back to get her body, or kill those low lives. I stopped at the next pit stop and stood at the nearest hotel that night. I watched the only person that meant anything to me get murdered, right before me. I couldn’t do anything, I felt pathetic and helpless.” He started to sob harder and harder.
All these years, I thought it was cancer, but she was murdered. I felt angry, sad and emotionless all at once. ”Did you report it!?”
”Why not?” I yelled.
”I couldn’t… repeat the story, for a while. By the time I could muster up any strength, I lost hope in finding the killers. I’m sorry, I failed you girls.”
”There’s something else.”
”What else is there?” I seethed through my teeth, annoyed with him.
”She left videos for you both.”
To be continued…