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Becca hopped to the towel on the counter and wrapped it around her foot. Jenny continued reading through the papers. Becca put her foot in the sink and started the water. She inspected the cut. It didn’t appear too deep or large, but it was pretty ugly.
“I can’t believe this,” Jenny said. “Do you think it has anything to do with last night?”
“Wouldn’t it have already been done?” Becca asked. She turned the water off and held the towel to her foot.
Jenny sat the papers down, grabbed the broom and began sweeping up the glass. Becca jumped up onto the counter to sit.
“Yeah,” Jenny replied. “It would have had to have been done at least a week or so ago. But why? Why would he do this? He was so adamant about all his special instructions and shit. He went from making it impossible, probably because he’s the one in charge of Cora’s estate,” she said under her breath, “to just giving it to you.”
“I don’t know,” Becca said. “But you’re right. One minute he’s trying to kill me and the next he’s giving me everything? It doesn’t make any sense.”
“I’m going to comb it over and make sure there aren’t any catches,” Jenny added. “I’ll probably even have dad look at it.”
“That’s not a bad idea,” Becca said. “I can take it to him,” she added.
“No worries, I’ve got to get into the office and get some work done anyway,” she finished sweeping up the glass into the dustpan when Becca’s phone rang. Andrew’s name appeared across the screen. Jenny picked up the phone and Becca could see the look of disgust on her face. “Really?” she asked as she tossed Becca the phone. “You don’t have to hide it from me,” she said. “I know you two have something going on,” she added.
Becca caught the phone. She didn’t say anything and she didn’t answer it. “So what?” she asked. “What’s the big deal anyway?”
“For one, he’s kind of a jerk and for two, you don’t mix work and family,” Jenny said. “That’s what.”
“I don’t work there,” Becca said.
“I work there. Dad works there,” her voice rose and the words were so sharp, they felt cutting. “You’re a part of it whether you like it or not. Dad’s gonna be pissed if he finds out you are sleeping around with all his guys.”
Becca’s face turned red. “Sleeping around with all his guys?” she asked. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She didn’t wait for an answer. She jumped down and hobbled off to her room as fast as she could, Jenny still spewing at her, but she was afraid of what might fall from her own lips if she opened her mouth.
She reached her bed and flopped down on her back. She was pissed. Seething. She felt as if she finally understood the phrase, seeing red as the pressure behind her were blinding. She was glad when she heard the front door open and close. The house was hers and she could let down her guard. Jenny wasn’t going to do her usual – follow her and continue the barrage. And that’s when it really hit her. The house was hers.
Like a flipped switch, she began to dream about possibilities she knew were impossible. But with the money they would share after the sell, she could travel, she could move. But a little voice inside her also spoke, stay, I have so much to offer.
Becca walked into her dad’s office. “What did you do?” he asked when he saw her limping.
“Nothing,” she said. “Just cut my foot. It’s not that bad,” she lifted her foot to show him, “it’s just in a weird spot.” She pulled the bandage off.
He looked it over and shuddered. “Are you sure you don’t need to get some stitches?” he asked. “Maybe you should have your mom take a look at it.”
She could see the disgusted look on his face and laughed. “I’m sure it’s okay. It’s not bleeding anymore.” She sat down in one of his big chairs across from his desk. “Did Jenny give you the papers?”
“Yes, I’m going over them right now,” he said, “and after I’m finished, I think we might want to look into filing charges and we are definitely filing a PPO against this man.”
Becca saw the stern look of disappointment on his face. “What are you talking about?”
“I understand that he had something to do with your illness,” he began, lips pursed, eyebrows raised. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.”
Becca could feel the emotions rise in her. How the hell did he find out? Only two people knew what had happened. One was there, Jenny, and one she told, Andrew. She hated drama more than anything and thoughts began spilling into her head about confronting them both and then cutting them both out of her life forever, something she knew she could never do in actuality. But at the moment, it was more important to placate John. “I don’t even know if it was him,” she said and she did truly believe that even though she didn’t know why. “I don’t even know if it was anybody. Maybe I just passed out.”
“Becca, are you listening to yourself?” John said as if talking to a teenager who was trying to rationalize away a night of partying after getting caught.
“Dad,” Becca gathered her whits and remembered exactly how to talk to him. “I’m fine now. The house is mine,” she said and added, “Unless you can see that it isn’t.” She motioned to the papers, get him concentrating back on work. “This guy is out of my life and I’d like to keep it that way. Not stretch it out in court where I have to prove something that is almost unprovable.”
“You know I can make it happen.”
“Dad.” Becca gave him a look that said she had it all under control. “You know I always ask for help when I need it.” They both knew that was a lie. Becca was more likely to go to her grave in her stubbornness of solving her own problems and the look John was giving said as such so she added, “If he makes any contact with me again, I’ll do what needs to be done.”
“Fine,” he said. “I will look these over. But if there is anything in here that isn’t straightforward and cuts all ties with him, we are going forward with my plan.” He emphasized the “my”. He always did like to do things his own way.
“Then you should be prepared to know the cat was the most important thing to Aunt Jo. Cora is mentioned several times with many instructions. I know that is weird and not straightforward, but,” she added, “It’s not so weird when you think, we are dealing with Aunt Jo here.”
“What the fuck was wrong with that old lady?”