Broken Wings (Broken Wings 1) - Page 141

“Phoebe Eld

er!” Aunt Mae Louise called after me. “You don’t get up from the table until you are excused. Do you hear what I said?”

“Let her go,” Uncle Buster said.

I slammed the door behind me. What little I had eaten seemed to be caught in my throat. My stomach churned, and I went into the bathroom and threw up. They heard me, but no one came to see how I was. Now I was thinking that I wouldn’t wait for them to contact Daddy. I would pack my things and just leave. I could hitchhike a ride back into Atlanta proper, and I knew where we kept our key outside the apartment. There was no sense in staying here a moment longer.

It was still raining very hard, however, so I thought I would at least wait for it to let up. In the meantime, I packed everything and then I sat on the bed with my arms folded, facing the door. To my surprise, it opened slowly and little Jake poked his head in.

“What do you want?” I asked him.

“Are you really going to hell?” he replied.

“Your mother tell you that?”

He nodded.

“No. I am not going to hell. I am in hell and so are you,” I snapped back at him.

“No, I’m not. Only bad people go to hell,” he said. Even at his young age, he had Aunt Mae Louise’s scowl.

“Not just bad people,” I said, “also unlucky people.”

My answer put some confusion in his eyes. He shook his head and said, “No, they don’t.”

“You better not come too close to me,” I warned, “or I’ll take you with me. I’ll wrap my arms around you so tightly you won’t be able to get loose and we’ll go down, down, down.”

He started to shake his head and then I went, “Boo!” He backed out quickly and closed the door. I started to laugh, but stopped and suddenly felt more like I should cry.

Maybe Aunt Mae Louise was right to tell her children that. Maybe I am going to hell, I thought. I’m my mother’s daughter, aren’t I? What chance do I have to avoid it? The only thing I’ve accomplished in my short life is get myself deeper and deeper into trouble. It was a dark, descending road I traveled, and perhaps hell was at the end after all. I had no idea how or what would stop my fall. It seemed hopeless and useless to think of a way. I guess Mama had the right idea after all, I thought. Have a good time and don’t worry about tomorrow.

The rain began to let up. I didn’t hear it on the win-dowpane any longer, and when I looked out toward the street light, I saw the downpour had thinned to a slight drizzle. I decided I would wait until they were all asleep and then I would quietly slip out of the house and be out of their hair forever. Aunt Mae Louise would not have to worry about me corrupting her children, and she and Uncle Buster could make up any story they wanted and tell it to their friends in the community. Everyone but Daddy would be happier, including me.

It grew quieter and quieter in the house. I could hear only the muffled sounds of the television set, some water running in the kitchen, and then Aunt Mae Louise getting Barbara Ann and Jake to bed. Not much longer to wait, I thought. I felt like a racehorse champing at the bit. What lay ahead was not exactly a hike in the country. I had to carry my suitcase and get myself onto the more traveled highway before I could get any sort of ride. I didn’t have enough money anymore to take a bus.

A little more than a half hour or so later, I heard the telephone ring. I was anticipating that they had finally contacted Daddy. I had made up my mind I wasn’t going to talk to him on the phone. I had nothing to say now. This was his fault, too. He shouldn’t have brought me here, and I shouldn’t have come.

Why did I come? Did I hope this would work? Did I believe Daddy when he told me my life would change and I could have a future? I’m too poor and too cursed to afford a fairy tale, I thought. I should have known that only the rich and lucky become Cinderellas. Now, I would do what I had to do, and that was that.

Suddenly, I heard Aunt Mae Louise scream, “Lord, have mercy.”

Uncle Buster called to her, and there was the sound of his heavy feet pounding the floor as he ran into the kitchen. I opened my door and listened. I heard him ask, “When?” and then, “How? Oh, Christ!”

Slowly, I made my way down the hall and stopped in the kitchen doorway. Uncle Buster had his back to me. He was still on the phone. Aunt Mae Louise was collapsed in a chair, both her hands over her face.

“Yes,” Uncle Buster said into the phone, “we understand. We’ll take care of it. Give me that address again.” He waved his hand toward Aunt Mae Louise, but she didn’t see. She still had her hands over her face.

“What is it?” I demanded, and she lowered her hands and saw Uncle Buster’s hand.

“Give me a pen and something to write on,” he ordered. She jumped up and opened a drawer, found what he wanted, and gave it to him before turning to me.

“Terrible, terrible news,” she said. Uncle Buster kept writing.


“Your daddy, an accident. He’s gone,” she said.

I looked at her suspiciously, my head tilted.

Tags: V.C. Andrews Broken Wings Horror
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