Broken Ch. 11

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Author’s Note:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Author, except where permitted by law.

This is a work of fiction, and as such, certain events or situations may be improbable, and certain details may not correspond to real life. If you’re looking for strictly likely situations and exact reality, I suggest you skip this.

**

“Bonnie! Haley! Stop. Please, listen to me,” Amanda ordered, just below a shout.

To Amanda, the girls looked like they were ready to physically attack Lisa.

“It’s bad enough she fucked my boyfriend just to prove she could, but now she’s…she’s, I don’t know, infiltrating our family?” Haley hissed.

“She shouldn’t be here, Grandma,” Bonnie spit out the words.

Amanda had imagined everyone would sit down and calmly allow her to explain. At this moment, she didn’t know what made her think that was even a possibility.

Lisa sighed loudly and closed her eyes.

“I’m your sister.

Maria, standing just out of view outside the family room, was disappointed she needed to finish dinner preparations. She almost felt like her job would be worth doing for free because the family she worked for was so freaking aberrant. She loved them, especially Amanda.

“That doesn’t make it okay to fuck my boyfriend…”

“Wait? What?” Christie interrupted.

“Christie, she’s Bonnie and Haley’s half-sister,” Amanda said as she took a step toward her daughter.

“No,” Christie moaned.

“I thought he was lying…trying to hurt me, I didn’t believe there were other…babies.”

Christie put her hands up, as if to ward off her own mother.

“You knew?”

“Fuck you, Dad,” Bonnie whispered hoarsely.

“I didn’t know, Christie, and Bonnie? Your dad found her. He told me about her.”

“Not true, Grandma. I found him ,” Lisa announced.

“I don’t care who you are to me, you slept with my boyfriend.”

“Weren’t much sleeping going on, but yeah, I was wrong and wished that ain’t happened every day since, Haley. I quit him cause o’ him hurting you. I hate him ’cause he fucked me when he supposed to love you.”

Amanda looked over her shoulder at Lisa. Lisa’s accent had changed.

Amanda was starting to think maybe Lisa didn’t have as much control over it as she thought, or maybe stress made her forget to talk the way her mother wanted her to.

“I don’t believe you,” Haley growled.

“I miss you Haley,” Lisa whispered through the tears streaming down her face.

Haley glared at Lisa and shook her head.

“Ask him yourself. I told him I hated him for what he did to you, and he laughed at me. Said I weren’t no better’n him.

“I knowed it was true, too.”

“It’s too late to be sorry, two years later, Lisa,” Haley hissed.

“Don’t stop me none from being sorry,” Lisa whispered, almost to herself.

Bonnie almost felt sorry for Lisa, but the memory of Lisa asking Clyde if he wanted her yet, right in front of Bonnie, still left a sting in her heart that more than overcame any sympathy she might have felt.

“She’s not worth it, Haley. She treated you and me like dirt on The B that time we went and she asked Clyde if he wanted a real woman, meaning her,” Bonnie growled, sounding like she was talking to Haley, but she hoped everyone knew she was talking right to Lisa.

“Bonnie…Haley,” Amanda interrupted.

“Lisa is your sister, and she’s hurting, and has been for over a year, since she met her brother. She loves him like the two of you do.”

“She can’t love him like we do, Grandma. I’m married to him, and Haley may as well be. We’ve had his babies, we live with him, we sleep with him every night, we take care of him, and he takes care of us.

“We love him. She just thinks she does.”

“Bonnie, you remember how you felt when Clyde left home to work for Rusty?”

“I do. I couldn’t stand it another day, and walked fifteen miles carrying my clothes in a pillowcase to find him.”

“Haley? How’d you feel when you met Clyde?”

“I wished Ma and Pa weren’t in the next room so I could have him right there on the kitchen floor.”

“Oh shit…” Lisa mumbled.

“Bonnie, were you happy when you found Clyde?”

“Grandma, you know I wasn’t. He made me sleep by myself that first night, and I almost burst knowing he was so close but still so far away from me. I told you that.”

“You did, Bonnie.”

“At least you only had to wait one day,” Haley interjected. “I had to wait pert near a week.”

“You forgot to count that almost a whole week I stayed on that god-awful ranch without him, Hay.”

“Both of you need to imagine canlı bahis waiting a year and still not being able to be happy, or even think there’s a chance you’ll ever get to.”

Amanda was now sounding like she was scolding her two granddaughters.

Bonnie and Haley looked at each other for a few seconds before Haley spoke up.

“That still don’t give her no excuse for sleeping with my boyfriend.”

“When were you born Lisa?” Christie interrupted again.

Lisa looked at Christie, mouth agape.

“Um…December two thousand. December eighth, two thousand. One day short of a year before Haley. Why?”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot our birthdays were so close, but almost exactly a year apart,” Haley chuckled.

Christie appeared to think for a few seconds.

“Her mom slept with your dad while he was fucking me, so it makes sense.”

“And I fucked their dad with you in the room, Christie. What’s your point?”

June had been silent up to that point.

“That’s right June, but you thought I was fine with it, Jim didn’t care, and Rusty was too embarrassed to admit he didn’t get any that night. I was too crazy with anger to talk about it for almost twenty years. It’s not the same thing,” Christie tried to explain.

“I don’t think she knew,” Lisa murmured.

“She said she loved him: I think she loved him to the end. She never got married. She said not to blame him.”

“To the end?” Bonnie asked.

“She died a few months ago, Bonnie,” Haley told Bonnie, trying to be quiet.

“You noticed, Haley?”

Lisa looked like she was going to cry.

“I noticed. No matter how good she was to me, how much I loved her, I couldn’t stand to see you, so I didn’t go to the funeral.”

Lisa nodded, looking at the floor.

“I’m sorry. She would have liked seeing you there.”

“I visited her grave, you know, to say goodbye.”

Lisa nodded again.

“My mom was all I had, but she’s gone now. Now, all of a sudden, I have a dad, but he probably hates me, and I have a Grandma, and sisters, and an aunt, and a…brother.

“But y’all hate me. It’s worse than being alone, ‘cept now I know why I need my brother so much. It’s cause I’m in this family, so I can’t just give it up, even when all y’all hate me.”

“I don’t hate you, Lisa,” Amanda tried to sooth her distraught granddaughter.

“I might not hate her, someday, but she’s not getting my husband,” Bonnie stated emphatically.

“Does he have a say in it, Bon?” Haley asked.

“I’m not sure that even matters, Hay,” Bonnie said thoughtfully.

“I think if he didn’t ask me what I wanted, he would try to answer the way I wanted him to.”

“I could ask him myself,” Lisa offered timidly.

Haley snorted, then laughed.

“If he didn’t just plain ignore you, he’d definitely tell you no,” Haley derided her newest sister.

“Miss Steele, dinner is ready,” Maria announced from the doorway.

“Nothing’s gonna fix that she fucked my boyfriend,” Haley muttered.

Amanda led the women, her women into the dining room, and stood behind the chair at the head of the table. That was her spot.

June sat opposite Amanda, and Bonnie and Haley took the two seats on one side.

Christie went opposite Haley, leaving the last empty chair between her and Amanda.

Amanda thought that was a good arrangement because only Christie could actually reach Lisa, and Christie didn’t seem upset with her niece, just her niece’s father.

The tension in the room felt like it could have been cut with a knife as everyone began eating. More like picking at their food for Bonnie and Haley.

“Christie, I’ve never heard how you and the kids ended up in Beaver,” Amanda finally broke the silence.

She had been wanting to ask that since Jim had surprised her with her fourth grandchild, and this seemed as good of a time as any. It might get their minds off the elephant in the room, and it wouldn’t hurt them to know the story.

“Oh…um, I’m not really sure, Mother.”

Christie thought for a few seconds.

“That was so long ago…a different lifetime ago, a few lifetimes ago.

“We talked about LA, San Francisco…someplace we could disappear into the crowd…”

Christie stopped and almost laughed.

“I guess we didn’t need a crowd to disappear. This is about the biggest crowd I’ve seen in Beaver.”

Bonnie giggled a little, and Haley shook her head.

“So what made you stop here?” Amanda asked to keep her on topic.

“I should have caught on. All Jim really talked about was he couldn’t go to military school, barely even mentioning losing the kids…or me. I saw, eventually, that’s all he was worried about…military school.

“I was the one with the plan: disappear. I didn’t want to lose my children or my man. I see now he wasn’t my man.”

“So why Beaver? If you were thinking LA or San Francisco, why’d you stop and stay here?”

Amanda didn’t want to get stuck on Jim being a disappointment; that could be a whole-day conversation in itself.

Christie was looking at her plate, bahis siteleri shaking her head slowly.

“We had it all planned…our escape. The minute Father said ‘military school’ we started planning. I didn’t want to be…separated…from my brother, and he didn’t want to be with all boys. I know that now, but then he made it sound so romantic. We’d be on the lamb, outlaws, like Bonnie and Clyde, but without all the bank robberies and getting shot.”

Christie looked up at her mother and smiled a crooked smile.

“He wanted to name them Bonnie and Clyde. I liked it, because I thought we’d have such a wonderful life.

“I was so stupid,” she whimpered as her smile faded and her eyes lowered to her plate again.

“You remember, Mother? I sold my convertible. I said I was going to buy a more sensible car, after the babies were born. That wasn’t why. It was so we’d have cash.

“Then when the babies were born, Jim wanted you to take him home so he could bring me clothes to wear home? It was so he could come back in his car. We had already packed what we wanted in the trunk.

“The twin stroller that doubled as car seats…that was part of the plan. We left the hospital, in his car, and went straight to a car dealership, sold Jim’s car, then took a cab to the bus station. We bought the tickets over a month before the babies were born. They were open tickets, good for whatever day we needed.

“The tickets were for Denver, but we didn’t get off in Denver. We had no plans for Denver. We got off in Kansas City, stayed three days, then bought tickets for Las Vegas. We weren’t going to Las Vegas either. We thought, at that point, we’d eventually go through there, but not on that bus.

Amanda did remember.

Her investigator had struggled with the bus tickets and had lost their trail in Las Vegas. They were already ghosts by then anyway because it had taken some months to track them that far.

“It was the middle of the night, and the bus had a stop in some little nothing town in the middle of nowhere to pick up passengers, and layover for less than an hour.

“They announced the stop and how long we’d be there. Jim repeated the name of the town, ‘Beaver, Utah’. It was like he was trying to remember something. It’s so clear to me, even after all these years.

“We hadn’t decided where we would get off and buy new tickets, but I knew it would be before we got to Las Vegas.

“He wanted to do it there, in Beaver, Utah. Seemed as good as any place to me, so we got a room.

“The next morning, he was gone when I woke up. I was a little scared, but his suitcase was still there, so I thought he would be back soon.

“He was. He had a newspaper, and he waved it at me when he came in.

“Beaver sounded special to him. He had already found a job. Running a ranch for a man from out of town. A furnished house, utilities, everything we needed included. He wanted to live right there, in that tiny village named Beaver because it sounded special to him.”

Christie raised her eyes to her Mother.

“Why do you ask?”

“I didn’t know the story,” Amanda explained.

“And since I found out I had a granddaughter here, and she had been here her entire life, I wondered how it just so happened her and her mother ended up here, and you and Jim ended up here nine months later.”

Christie stared at Amanda for a few seconds.

“You think…” she whispered.

“You think he…what? Planned it because he knew he had another baby here?”

“I think I woulda noticed some man lurking around if they had knowed each other was here,” Lisa interrupted.

“I think,” Amanda ignored Lisa, “he remembered the name of the town from reading the agreement Andrew made Lisa’s mom sign. The agreement was she wouldn’t disclose who the father is to anyone ever, wouldn’t attempt to contact him or his family ever, and would live in Beaver, Utah and never leave that town. In exchange, she got a free house and a lump sum payment that maybe lasted her a few years.”

“She had to stay in Beaver?” Bonnie gasped. “That was just plain cruel.”

“Wait a minute!” Haley exclaimed. “I grew up in Beaver. I like it.”

“Yeah, but you could leave whenever you wanted to. I know what it’s like to never be able to leave, and it’s no walk in the park,” Bonnie defended herself.

“It lasted longer than a few years,” Lisa said, almost under her breath.

“Lisa?”

Amanda sounded curious, but looked with concern at Lisa.

“My mom weren’t no dummy. She coulda gone to college.

“She never told me why she didn’t, but I figured it out, ’cause o’ me was why.”

Lisa sighed and shook her head.

“I reckoned that was why, until I got them papers. Now I know it was ’cause of my dad and them papers.

“And that she didn’t need no college, not with half a million dollars in the bank.

“I been thinking of going to college, when I had some money saved up to leave. Now I got the same reason for not going as Mom had.”

Amanda had a half scowl, half question on her face.

“I told ya she weren’t bahis şirketleri no dummy, Grandma. She had a good bit more than that half million dollars left when she died.”

“You already have, um…her money?” Amanda was certain that it would take longer than four months to probate any estate, even a small one, unless someone had been on it already before the decedent had passed away.

“Yeah. A letter came the day after I got them papers. It was from the same people as the papers. They said they had been paid to handle the money stuff…estate is what they called it, but they needed my permission to do it, and I could choose somebody else ifn I wanted.

“I don’t know no lawyers…leastwise I didn’t then,” Lisa gave Amanda a wink, “so I signed the paper and sent it back.”

Andrew, or his lawyers, had made sure the entire affair would be as secret and quiet as possible. Amanda wondered if it was going to be as easy as she was thinking it would be to convince them that she had a right to know her late husband’s secrets.

“We can keep him from fucking our Clyde like she fucked Buddy, but none of this excuses her fucking my boyfriend …”

“Haley,” Bonnie said sharply to her sister, “didn’t we agree she did you…us a favor when she had sex with your boyfriend?”

Bonnie’s voice had softened before she finished.

“You were free of him when you met our brother.”

“It don’t mean it hurt any less when she did it,” Haley whispered gruffly.

“I know, Haley. She is our sister though. Maybe we should try to think about forgiving her?”

“Maybe…” Haley whispered, then her face reddened.

“”I wonder if it’s not just our brothers…” Haley barely spoke, then looked at Bonnie.

Bonnie blushed just like her sister, then both girls looked at Lisa.

She was blushing too.

“Haley…you…um, and Lisa…” Bonnie groaned, unable to finish her question.

Haley and Lisa both nodded their heads.

“I thought it was just me…” Bonnie admitted. She was now blushing to match her sisters.

“What’s happening?” Christie broke the mood her daughter and nieces were having.

“Nothing,” the three sisters announced, in unison.

Amanda understood, mostly.

Her great grandmother had brothers and sisters, but after that generation until her son became such a prolific baby maker, there had only been the twins in each generation.

Maybe this was why her great grandmother’s family had seemed to dissolve, going off in different directions.

As far as she knew, the women in their family had been the only ones to have children, so there had not been any half anything, just the twins.

For four generations, the men had not sired offspring until Jim managed it so remarkably, with not only his sister, but other women as well.

It made sense to her, now, that the family history was matriarchal. There was no male lineage to follow.

Amanda already knew that Bonnie and Haley were as intimate with each as they were with their brother.

From the broken conversation she just witnessed, she concluded that Haley, at one time in her life, had that same intimacy with Amanda’s other granddaughter, Lisa.

There had always been the attraction for the brothers in the family, and that may have been only because there were no sisters who had sisters.

She had to wonder if she missed some instructions from her mother about having more babies than the twins.

Her mother’s life had been cut short. Would she have warned Amanda about the mess lives could turn into if there were more children besides the twins?

Maybe she was overthinking it. It all made sense though.

**

Haley looked in the rearview at her mom in the back seat. Her eyes were closed and her head was leaned back against the headrest.

“Bonnie…” she whispered.

“I know Haley. We have another sister.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that…um…” Haley whispered even quieter.

“It’s okay, Haley. I understand,” Bonnie replied, and looked at Haley.

“Do you though?”

“I do. I hated her because she was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen, before I met you. I didn’t think she deserved the way she made me feel, I didn’t want anybody to know, so I compensated.

“And I had Clyde. I wanted him to be enough, and know he was enough, all I needed. I didn’t want him to have a clue there was anybody else I wanted.”

“Then y’all met me, and that was okay?”

“That was perfect because you told me right up front, you love me, just like I love you. I wanted to share my life with you. Lisa was just a bitch.”

Bonnie shook her head.

“Yeah, Bon. She had a funny way of showing how much she loved me. She fucked my boyfriend.”

“Now she wants to fuck our man. I can’t let that happen, and I can’t act on my feelings for her without it happening. I still only want Clyde and you, mostly,” Bonnie said, looking straight ahead.

“I am ahead for what she done to me,” Haley smiled at Bonnie.

“Would it hurt you…or Clyde…um…” Haley started, then changed her mind.

“I know you say I’m his wife, Haley, but I never want you to feel like you’re not welcome. I’ve told you before, if you ever want, or need, somebody of your own, I won’t be hurt by that as long as you’re happy.”

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