“Dad? Do you mind?” Maggie asked her father.
“Not at all. We talked about it this morning. I can help Conner around the property and she can help make sure that everything is in order down there.”
“Also, I haven't seen Shelly in almost ten years.” Bernice admitted. “I've missed her being around all the time, like when we lived in Castro Valley, when you were Tracy's age.”
Big thanks to Djkauf for the edits
A big one this time. Tracy on the day of her departure. William at work. And a surprise visit from Molly Hallmark
Monday morning came and found Tracy in the kitchen once again. Sage and Rachel were waiting on a shower and Brooke had showered the night before. Maggie was up early taking a turn in the shower. Her grandparents were up too, being used to an early start to their day, and wanting to give William and Vance a send off to work and school. Bernice was helping Tracy, who was busy making breakfast for William and Vance. Marion was in the seat that Vance normally took, so Vance and William could sit at the end of the table and get out the door in time for their days.
Bernice put a plate of eggs at William's spot at the table as he came in. Sage simply pointed to the chair as she brought over a cup of coffee. “You are my guest, young lady. You don't have to serve me.” William said. “That goes the same for you, Mom.”
“I know, but I'm just helping Tracy.” Sage replied.
“Yeah Daddy. After this we're going to load the car.” Tracy said.
“And I wanted to spend a little time with my Granddaughter, is that so wrong?” Bernice said as she held the plate as Tracy put some eggs on it for her grandfather and William stopped for a moment, unsure of what had happened while he slept.
“It's all been apologized for, William.” His mother-in-law said. “And now I am trying to make up for lost time and get to know my granddaughter.”
“I see.” William nodded as he picked up a fork, as his son came staggering out of the bathroom, hair a mess from his night, as he headed to the bedroom. He was still in partial zombie mode as he went to the bathroom. Lok was just stepping into the house, after working on his early morning routine for half an hour.
“Come on in. have a bite to eat.” William gestured to the table. “I thought you slept in Tracy's bed?”
“I did, but I get up at five in the morning every morning and work out, but because the house is not mine, I waited till six, then I went outside to do my usual routine.”
“I see.” William said. A plate was placed in front of Lok, who gave his thanks to the girls, then he moved to the spot by the wall.
Maggie came in, surprised to see the kitchen full. “Maybe I'll go enjoy my coffee in the living-room.”
Maggie, could I go with you?” Bernice asked. “To Livermore, I mean. I have all these years worth of catching up I need to do with my Granddaughter and if you take her down there today, I won't get it. Plus who knows when I'll ever make it to the Bay area.”
“Dad? Do you mind?” Maggie asked her father.
“Not at all. We talked about it this morning. I can help Conner around the property and she can help make sure that everything is in order down there.”
“Also, I haven't seen Shelly in almost ten years.” Bernice admitted. “I've missed her being around all the time, like when we lived in Castro Valley.”
“Has it been that long?” Maggie asked
“It was for Vance's second or third birthday.” Bernice said.
Maggie nodded slowly. “It has been a while.”
William looked at the clock and he started to stand up. “Well, breakfast was good. Thank you young ladies. And you too, Mom.” William went to each of the girls and hugged them. He pulled a bag out of the refrigerator, then he turned to his daughter. “See me to the door?” Tracy nodded.
Tracy walked to the front door with her father and he stopped, turned and dropped to one knee. “Five months little girl. That's how long till I'm down there.”
“Five months.” Tracy repeated. “Five long months.” She couldn't stop the tears from forming around her eyes. William pulled her in close for a hug.
“I know, baby.” William said as he wiped at his own tears. “I wish you didn't have to go like this.”
“I wish you didn't need to stay.” Tracy answered.
Tracy touched the paper bag with his lunch. “I made you a special lunch for today. I used some of the roast from last night for a sandwich.”
“I'm gonna miss you little girl. You spoil me way too much.”
“I'll miss you more, Daddy.” Tracy replied.
“I doubt it.” He kissed her cheek, then stood up, not wanting to leave for work, but he didn't want to get in trouble for being late.
“Call me on the weekends?” Tracy asked.
“Every weekend.” William agreed.
“Have a good day at work, Daddy. See you when.....” She trailed off. Maggie came over and hugged her husband, then they both pulled Tracy into the one last embrace. William let them go, aware that his wife and youngest were walking out of the house with him.
Tracy stood on the porch, in her pajamas as her father went to his car and slowly pulled out. She leaned into her mother and began to cry. Maggie took her back into the kitchen, to make sure Vance left in time.
Tracy went to the door with Vance, still teared up from her fathers departure. “Got the letters?”
“Yeah. I'll give them to Emily May when I get off the bus.” Vance replied.
Without warning, Tracy hugged him. “See you in five months.”
“Yeah, see you then.”
“Have a good day Vance.”
“Don't have all the fun without me.” Vance said.
“I won't.” Tracy replied.
Maggie touched his shoulder. “You need to get going. Have fun and go to your grandparents when you get home. Grandpa will be over there helping out and my Mom is coming with me, so you and your Dad will be eating there, okay?”
“Be good and see you in a week.”
“Okay, Mom.” Vance hugged his mother, then he left to start his day of school.”
It was almost eight in the morning when Modine and Conner had come over to help load the vehicles. Modine watched as the girls and the both of Tracy's grandfathers and Lok, loaded the two vehicles. Most of her larger boxes were put into Persephone's van, which was only going to hold Persephone, Andromeda and Lok and Brooke's wheelchair. The girls were staying with Tracy, putting Brooke in the middle of the front bench seat and to help out on space, Conner had loaned them his Cadillac. Tracy had wanted to wear a skirt, but Rachel and Sage both pointed out the possibility of getting it dirty or ruined, or her legs scratched up while moving stuff, so she went with the only pants she had, Troy’s, and a light blue shirt.
Tracy walked up to Modine and she gently hugged the older woman. “I'm gonna miss you.” The girl said as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
“There's always Christmas and Thanksgiving. Plus Easter is coming fast.” Modine replied.
“If I can come up for those. I mean I can ask.” Tracy said
“Also, I can take her down there to visit.” Conner said as he walked over to them. Tracy looked up and she saw the tracks of tears in his eyes. She knew her grandmother would cry, but she didn't expect it from her grandfather. She gave him a hug and he held her for several seconds. “This isn't good bye, it's just going to be a longer trip to come see us.”
“Yeah.” Tracy said as she started to cry again.
“Come on. Let's get you in the car.” Conner said and he led Modine and Tracy to his vehicle. “Girls, it was good seeing you and anytime you want to return, just let us know.” He turned to Lok and held out a hand. “Sir, it was good meeting you and your granddaughter. Anytime you need to escape the big city, we'll be glad for the company.”
“Thank you.” Lok replied.
Modine watched as they helped Brooke into the car, then loaded her wheelchair into the van. Each of the girls slid into the backseat and all of them waved as Maggie pulled out. Conner waited with his wife and Tracy's other grandfather, for a few moments, till they had gone. Modine dabbed at her eye with a handkerchief.
Vance got off the bus and he was doing his best to not cry. It hadn't occurred to him till that morning, how much he'd miss his sister. As he waited for Emily May and Mary Beth to get off the bus, Peter came over to him. “You okay?” Peter asked as he looked over Vance.
“Yeah. Just can't believe it's come to this.”
Peter nodded as the Higgins children departed the bus. “I know.”
Vance stopped Emily May as she and her siblings got close and he reached into his pack and pulled out a stack of letters. Emily pulled out one of her own, as did her sister. “These are from Tracy and her friends. They were up for the weekend.”
“Brooke, Sage, Rachel and Stacey?” Mary Beth asked.
“And the quiet girl.” Vance added.
“Casey, she's the deaf one.” Emily May replied.
“Yeah. Her.” Vance agreed.
“Who ever sent that picture ruined everything. I’d so love to kick his ass.” Mary Beth muttered.
“That would be Clark Millet.” Vance stated. “And Tracy did a good enough job on Saturday when he came to the house. She beat the stuffing out of him and Bobby Anderson at the same time.”
“So it was Clark? Who made the phone calls? That wasn't his voice.” Mary Beth leaned forward, wanting all the information.
“That was his cousin, A guy who worked with my Dad.” Vance replied. “But there's more. Mom and Dad have decided to send Tracy away for her own good. She leaves for Livermore today. I'll gladly send the letters back and forth, but in June, Dad and I are moving, too. Mom is leaving in a few weeks.”
Both of the girls stood there, unsure what to do. Emily finally spoke up. “Has she left yet?”
“She was to leave this morning, so who knows. I'd say yes, though.”
“Dammit. Clark ruined everything.”
“Yeah.” Vance nodded. “But at least he's in jail, where he belongs.”
“Him and that waste of a brother.” Peter added.
Tracy was busy picking out a candy-bar and a soda, not at all paying attention to the people in the store. She knew Sage, Brooke, Andromeda and Rachel were in there with her. Their mothers were busy washing windows to the vehicles.
Sage giggled as she picked up some candy and went over to Tracy. Rachel and Brooke were already at the counter, waiting on them. Andromeda came bounding over and she hugged Tracy, but didn't say a name. She held up a candy bar and a soda. “This okay?”
“Get away from her you freak!” Molly shouted as she ran over to where Tracy and the Miller girls were. She grabbed Sage and pulled her hard away from Tracy, but let her go, causing Sage to take a couple of stumbling steps and crash into the candy rack. Then she yanked 'Romy away who started screaming as the woman touched her. The six year old hit the floor, landing on her butt, and quickly began backing away from them, crying as she did.
“It was only a matter of time, you freak! I know you couldn't be trusted!” Molly screamed as she brought a backhand across Tracy's face. “Maybe you'll learn your lesson this time!” Tracy had been so stunned by her arrival that she missed blocking the first hit, but she managed to duck the second blow. The older woman's hand gripped her arm, then she swung again. “Freaks like you can't be trusted! Freaks like you should be locked away! And that one's still just a baby!!!” Tracy covered her face with her free arm and dropped to the floor as the store attendant and a couple of the people in the store tried to pull Molly away from Tracy.
Molly slapped at one man, catching him across the nose, then a hand clamped onto her shoulder and dug in, while another bore a finger into the wrist of the hand that held Tracy. The scared child looked up to see her Grandmother standing there. As Molly let go, Bernice gave her a simple shove away from the girls. Molly staggered, hit the floor and then scrambled to her feet. “Leave me alone! Someone has to stop that freak!”
Bernice walked over, glaring daggers at Molly. She pushed the woman away from her grandchild and her eyes closed to slits. “I don't know who you are, but no one attacks my grandchildren with me around.” She balled up her fists as Sage went over to Tracy, and Molly started to move to stop her,
“That little freak was touching those girls! You want the little freak to rape those little girls?!?”
“Bitch, that child you’re calling a freak is my grandchild and those girls are friends of the family.” Bernice took a step closer and Tracy could see the difference in the two women. Her grandmother had always seemed larger than life, at about six foot three and well into the two hundred pound range, most of it muscle from doing manual labor. She towered over the skinny five foot five Molly. “Insult my family again and you're asking to have your stupid ass beat senseless.”
Persephone had come in, and she went to over to the kids and picked up Tracy and pulled both her and Sage away from the two women. 'Romy came running over to them. “Don't let the freak near that little girl! He's gonna hurt her!”
Andromeda buried her head against her mother, but by this point Rachel and Brooke had come over and Rachel was holding Tracy, as was Sage. Brooke sat in front of them, waiting to see what would happen.
“NO!!! GET AWAY FROM HIM!!!” Molly tried to fake Bernice out by acting like she was going to go on the bigger woman's left side. She lunged to the right, and as she got even with Bernice, the bigger woman caught her shoulder, then she turned in a circle, letting go of Molly so she went stumbling towards the doors, “What did I tell you about touching my family?!?”
Molly stopped at the door of the store, only to find Maggie, who had a scowl to match her mother’s in front of one of the double doors and Lok in front of the other one, the only one to look passive in the entire store, yet somehow that just made him look dangerous. Several of the patrons stood around, making sure she had no where to run and Molly began screaming at them. “Don't defend the rapist! Did any of you see how he touched her?!?” She pointed to where Sage was now holding Tracy, both children too afraid to cry. “Let go of the freak! None of our children are safe from this child!!! He's like the rest of them! You think he's innocent, but he's a monster waiting to strike!!! It's only a matter of time before he tricks that girl into thinking he's harmless, then he rapes her!!! All his kind are like that!! Every last one of them!!!”
A pair of sheriff’s officers came into the store, both of them touching a gun with one hand. Molly saw them and by this point she was visibly unhinged. “Arrest that freak!!! It was assaulting that girl here in the store and he'll rape the others too!!!” When the officers hadn't moved she gestured to Tracy. “No one is safe!!! That child is a murdering rapist!!! He'll trick them all and rape them before killing them!!! It tricks them to get in close!!! We're all in danger!!!”
As Molly was pulled to the ground, Maggie moved to her daughter and pulled her into a hug. “Look. She allows it! That woman is guilty, too!!!” Lok had moved to where the girls were and stood next to Bernice, blocking Molly's view of the girls. Maggie and Persephone did their best to calm down Tracy and Sage, who had both found the ability to cry again. Rachel and Brooke stayed close to them, which caused another rant from Molly.
After Molly was finally shoved into a car, she kept ranting and screaming at the store, one of the two deputies came over, as another squad car pulled in. “Ma'am, can we ask you what happened?” One of the Deputies said to Bernice. “We saw you touching her.”
“My grandchild was on the ground and she was hitting and kicking him. I did grab her, but it was to push her away from my grandchild. Then I got between him and her, nothing more then that. But when she tried to rush my grandson and Persephone's children, I simply grabbed her and turned. I wasn't letting her near those kids again.”
The deputy nodded, having heard the same version of the story now at least six times. “Okay, and you have no idea who she is?”
“I don't, but I'm here from Wyoming. I'm only helping my daughter take my grandchild to live in Livermore. That's why we stopped here for fuel.”
“I see. “Mrs. Patterson, do you know her? She's claiming this is all your doing.”
“I know her, but I had nothing to do with this. I only needed gas in my car.” Maggie stated. “She's Molly Hallmark and if you ask Deputy Kline, he knows that we have already received one threat from Mrs. Hallmark. She threatened to run us out of town, no matter what.”
As if on cue, Deputy Kline came walking over. “Ask me what?” He asked, then he saw Tracy and Maggie. “Mrs. Patterson.” And Maggie prepared to tell the events of what had happened one more time.
William was about to climb back on his forklift, after his break and start working again, when Steven walked over to him. “William, a moment please.”
“What's up?” William asked.
“I need you to come with me to Mr. Bailey's office. He wants to talk to you about Friday and the absence of Billy O'Brien.”
William nodded and he got a feeling deep in his gut. “I want my Union rep and I want him here now.” he stated.
“Mrs. Patterson, Mrs. Richter, we need to ask if you want to press charges.”
“I think my husband will agree, we want to press charges against Molly Hallmark.” Maggie stated. “She crossed the line by striking my child.”
“I want to press charges against her for shoving my girl into the candy rack.” Persephone gestured to Sage.
And for pushing my other girl.” Sage lifted her shirt slightly to show the red mark, from where she had been shoved into the rack.
“Here is the number of the report. Go to a hospital and get that examined and use the Police report if there's trouble with the doctor.”
“Is there a way we can speed it up?” Maggie asked. “Persephone needs to get the other two girls with us back home before their parents worry.”
“Hey.” The familiar voice of Deputy Kline sounded off. “I'll go with them and see about getting them in and out quickly.”
Bernice looked to the first of the deputies. “Is she going to be in jail? Because I still have a grandchild here and if she's openly threatening my daughter’s family, I want to make sure my eldest Grandchild will be safe from her mental instabilities.”
“Actually with her ranting, and attacking the other girls, we may just take her to County Mental Health.” the Deputy replied. “But I would also suggest a Restraining Order, with both of your names on it.”
“Could she get one to cover her husband and other child?” Bernice asked.
“Yeah. It's really simple. You can go and file for a temporary one, or you can go down with a lawyer and he can do the work for you.”
“Thank you. We'll do that.”
“What about you Ma'am, do you want one on her?”
“Well, I live in Livermore, but.....my address is on the police report....to be safe I'll get one for Sage and Andromeda.”
Twenty minutes later, they were sitting at the hospital. The ER wasn't too busy and the girls were taken in to be seen rather quickly. Keith had stayed with them to get pictures of any bruising and possible wounds for the police report.
Maggie went to the nurses station and for the line of people to go away. “Could I borrow your phone. It's a local number, I just need to call my in-laws so they know what's going on and to get my son from the school bus, and my husband who works at the wood mill, so he knows what happened.”
“No problem.” The nurse at the counter said and gestured to where the phone was. Maggie walked around the counter to where the phone was.
She waited for it to ring and when someone picked up she started speaking. “My Name is Maggie Patterson. I need to get a message to my husband, his name is William, he drives a forklift.
Susan nodded, which was lost to Maggie. “I know him. What’s the message.”
“Tell him this. Our youngest and I were just attacked, by the lady who has been threatening us and she is headed to jail. Tell him it was the woman we expected it to be, he'll know who I mean. Also tell him that Sage and Andromeda were involved in the attack and both Persephone and I are headed to the hospital to get the kids checked out so there is a medical report for the lawsuit that we will press against the attacker. Then we'll leave town as planned and to call Shelly's tonight.”
“He'll understand this?”
“Yes, he will.” Maggie stated.
“Ma'am, I'm Susan. The other day he kinda filled me in on what's going on. I shouldn't tell you this, but he's currently getting chewed out because of problem on Friday and that call he made to the cops.”
“Damn it.” Maggie muttered.
“Mrs. Patterson, I'll slip in and try to help.
“Thank you.” Maggie said.
Inside the office, the conversation was going the way that William had expected it to. The one thing he had going on for him was that Larry O'Brien was his Union steward. “Mr. Patterson, it's simple. You called the police on a fellow worker and that creates a hostile work environment.”
“Excuse me, but I called the cops because some...
The Manager didn't let him finish. “You created a hostile work environment. We can't have that type of employee here.”
William stood up and glared at the tiny man in the nice suit. “I called because someone had been calling and sending threatening pictures to my family, plus three other children. I called because someone has been threatening to rape and murder my family, all of which is on a police report. This man, who did work here, said he would murder and rape my wife, while I and my youngest would be forced to watch, then he threatened to kill me, my other child and rape and murder my youngest. I called because there is an open investigation going on and if I didn't, that's withholding evidence and I'd rather not go to prison over that, and you can't make me break the law, it's in the employee handbook.”
“Mr. Bailey, none of your complaints against Mr. Patterson hold water. Trying to claim he is making a hostile work environment is a load of crap. Are you saying that if another manager threatened to rape and kill your family, you wouldn't feel like it's a hostile work environment when you saw pictures of your family with threats on them?” Larry asked. “Because if you try to follow through with that line of thinking, I wouldn't be shocked if the press caught wind of that. For him, this was a hostile environment when someone began threatening him last week, both here and at home. I hear they had to change their phone number and pull their children out of school because of the threats.” He was glad William had quickly filled him in on the events of the past few weekends, even is William didn't want to because it had been his son who started the whole problem.
The head manager thought for a moment and looked over a piece of paper, looking for anything he could find to make a point. “What about his absences? Didn't he take sick time with just a days notice?”
“Yes, I did.” William replied. At this point Larry also looked at the paper and shook his head.
“And if you look at the files, that was the first sick time he had taken in well over ten years. You try to fire him for that, you need to fire everyone in this mill who has taken any sick time over the past ten years with just a days notice. While I may not agree with William at times, he has been here for ten years, with no write ups. He's always on time and he has offered to cover for people when they have had family matters like funerals and weddings. This man is a model employee, better then a lot of the new guys out there.”
“How about the fact that he caused a huge mess on the floor on Friday and refused to clean it up?”
“You realize that William drives the forklifts, not works the line. Also he had clocked out by that point and you've fired people for working off the clock. Plus, it's not his fault that those three people were not paying attention to their station. Is it his job to observe every station in this mill? He didn't force them to antagonize him, and harass him, which made it a hostile workplace for William.” Larry arched an eyebrow. “Are you going to threaten any of them, or is it just him?”
“They haven't called the cops on anyone.”
“Mister Bailey, what he did was give information to the cops concerning an open case, one that has since been closed by the arrest of two people. One that could end up as a federal crime for sending threats through the mail. Or would you rather this man's family would have been murdered and raped? Is that the kind of boss you are? Or how about the fact that numerous laws were being broken? You don't care about that either? You believe that the criminal's should be allowed to just run free?”
“I never said that!”
“And as the father of the man who was threatening to rape and murder an eleven year old and a thirteen year old, I have to say I back William for his actions. I pity anyone who openly threatens my wife to my face.”
There was a knock at the door and a second later, Susan stepped in. “Mr. Bailey, I'm sorry to intrude, but I have an important message for William concerning his wife and youngest.” Before the man could object, she looked to William. “Your wife just called and said that they are at the hospital, getting your youngest and two kids named Sage and and Andromeda checked out. She said to say that the woman who was still attempting to attack your family caught them at a gas station and assaulted your son and the other two kids in full view of several people at the gas station, but she's currently headed to jail. The attacker, not your wife, that is. Maggie said not to worry. Troy is fine, just a little bruised and same with Sage and Andromeda. The cops just wanted a doctor's exam for the arrest record of the woman who assaulted them.” Susan stopped and took a quick breath. “She also said not to worry and call Shelly's tonight. She said you'd understand what that meant.”
“Yeah. I do.”
“Who is Shelly?” Mr. Bailey asked, now curious.
“Not that it matters to you, but she is the Godmother to my children. That's where my youngest is moving to. The plan was to get him out of town before anyone could make good on the threat to rape and murder him and my wife.” William stated, then he added. “At least it was just an attack, too bad the other children were involved. One of them is only six years old.”
“See Mr. Bailey. You're coming down on William and all he was doing was trying to protect his children. Would you rather people who are guilty of attacking innocent children are allowed to be set free, is that the face you want people associating with this company? Or would you want a man who is willing to protect his children, stand up for what he believes in to be the face the public sees when they think of us?”
“Okay, okay.” Mr. Bailey held up his hands in defeat. He could see the press nightmare that could happen from a story like this. “He's not fired.”
“And there's no other measures being taken against him? No write ups for not helping while off the clock?” Larry asked.
“None. Just don't go calling the cops on other workers.....”
“Mr. Bailey, you can't openly ask that members of your crew break the law like that. If someone sees a crime being committed, should they refuse to call, just because the guilty party works here? That's not the side of the company the public wants to see.”
“Fine, fine. There's no problems, no write ups. Just get back to work, the both of you and we'll treat this like it never happened, okay?”
William looked to the steward, then back at Mr. Bailey. “I'll treat it as though nothing happened, as long as I am not punished at a later date for any of this.”
Larry waited, watching Mister Bailey. “Nothing will happen because of the events of this past weekend.”
“Good. Now can I get back my forklift and finish out my shift?”
“Yes, go ahead.”
Susan walked out first, followed by William and Larry. William stopped at Susan's desk for a quick moment to thank her, then he walked with Larry to the main part of the mill.
“A friendly word of advice, watch your ass.” Larry said to William as they walked through the offices. “I may not totally understand what is going on with your family, and I am really pissed that my stupid son had the gall to threaten to rape and kill your family, but watch yourself. I wouldn't put it past Bailey to try and find anything he can to fire you. Just keep your nose to the grindstone, like normally. Treat this like nothing happened. Let the other a-holes insult you, just don't give into the bait for a fight, okay?”
“Okay.” William nodded slowly.
“And I am really sorry for everything that has happened.”
“Me too. Because of the pictures that some kid passed out, my son and wife are moving away from here. I'm moving in June to be with them.”
“I wouldn't announce that too loud.” Larry advised.
“I wont. They'll get my two week, when I'm ready.”
“Hey, one last thing. My son really messed up big, but if you sue him, you won't get anything from him. Everything he owned is actually in my name. So if you got the chance, I would like to make you an offer.”
“What kind of offer.”
“Well, lets get back to work, we'll discuss it later, okay?”
While an x-ray was being run on both Sage and Andromeda, making sure nothing had been broken when she hit the rack, Bernice went to her daughter. “Maggie?”
“Was that one of the church ladies? The ones you talked about yesterday?” Bernice asked.
“Yeah. That was the head one.” Maggie nodded.
“Is she usually that.....crazy?”
Maggie sighed. “I don't know. But as I think about it, she was quite rabid when preaching against a pair of women who lived together, just to save money. I never saw her attack them though.”
“You know, it reminds me of Mr. Lutz from Castro Valley. Remember him? Was fine till he saw someone holding a bag from a produce stand and then he claimed there was a body in it. Insisted that the mob was controlling all the produce stores and trying to kill off all the Irish people.”
“I remember him.....” Maggie thought about it for a moment. “Didn't he end up carted off to a mental institution?”
“Yeah. Schizophrenia I think.” Bernice stated.
“I wouldn't put that past Molly. She was ranting there at the end.”
“I'm just glad no one got hurt too bad. The little girl is fine, as are Sage and Tracy.”
Maggie nodded. “And I'll have Lance help me get a restraining order when we get down there.”
“Good.” Bernice said with a nod. “If anything, it should help keep her away.”
“One can hope.” Maggie agreed.
Three hours after they had left home they were finally reaching the highway to leave Oroville. It had taken an hour to calm Andromeda down. Tracy was still a bit jumpy, but once they hit the main highway, she began to relax. “Okay girls. Persephone agrees with me. We'll be stopping in Marysville for lunch. Can you two eat?” Maggie asked, looking in the mirror at Tracy and Sage.
“Yeah.” Both of them said with a nod.
“You both going to be okay?”
“I'm a little shook up.” Tracy admitted. “I had no idea she was even there.”
“Yeah. I was gonna see if you were ready and next thing I knew I was being thrown away from you.”
“And that crazy talk.” Rachel said. “She has no idea who you really are, does she? I mean you've slept in all of our arms and you never did anything to us.”
“Oh, Rachel, so you know, I had William's mother call your mother so she knows what happened and why we're running late.”
“Cool.” Rachel said.
“Hey, could we listen to the radio?” Brooke asked. Maggie shrugged.
“Sure, could help calm some nerves I guess. But not too loud.”
Brooke reached out and began fiddling with the radio. “Hey Sage, think we can pull KSJO?”
“No chance. It's out of San Jose and there's a bunch of mountains between us. Try for KFOG.”
“K Fog?” Bernice asked.
“San Francisco station with killer rock.” Brooke replied.
“I doubt it.” Bernice said. “That would be almost as far as San Jose.”
“Hey, go to Ninety nine point nine. That's modern stuff.” Tracy stated. “It's what I went to the last couple of times that Mom and I went down.”
Brooke began turning the knob and the car filled with the sounds of John Cougar's song Jack and Diane. The girls began clapping along with the musicians on the recording and Bernice chuckled lightly. Rachel began singing with the song. “Now this takes me back.”
“What?” Brooke asked.
“This takes me to the time when Marg...Maggie and her sister were about eleven and Elvis was all the rage.”
“Wait for Men at Work.” Maggie stated. “There's a flute part that will get stuck in your head for ages.”
“Men at Work rocks!” Sage exclaimed from the backseat. “So does Billy Joel.”
“Maggie, I remember having the song Only the lonely stuck in my head for months, but back then I always thought he was singing Tony Bologna.”
Maggie began snickering, then she started laughing. This caused the girls to start up. A simple truth helped lighten the mood that Molly had put on their day.
Believe it or not, Molly's turn in this story may just be starting. As for her ranting, a story of her past shall be told at some point. I actually looked up a lot of things before I finished this part. I promise her mental meltdown has a reason behind it
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