Interlude 2 – “You Know What You Are?”
Read the story so far Pretty Fate Machine – Book 1 “Movie Night”
It’s difficult living a lie.
Trying to hide something from someone close to you.
Even when it’s the right thing, when you’re doing it for your own protection.
Every awkward pause is a moment where you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. Every time they have something they want to talk about, you wonder if they found out.
Especially with your parents. Especially when you’re still living with them.
As a teen, a low level stress seeps into your relationship with them. You avoid spending too much time alone. You find excuses to not be as present.
The need to remove yourself from the specter of investigation looms over you day and night. As if not being physically present would somehow shield them from ever finding the truth.
So when you father calls you in to “talk about something important” your heart rate goes crazy. You look for an excuse.
When he says “No, we can’t talk about it later,” your adrenaline is kicking in.
You try and maintain composure. You try to act like you haven’t been waiting for this for months.
“I wanted to talk to you about this, just the two of us. I know how much it would upset your mother.” He says, that look on his face saying he’s not mad, just disappointed.
You try to see what’s on the laptop screen open next to him.
Try to not look like your about to throw up. Wonder how much he knows.
The porn? That’s a given. No way to hide it from him. He works in tech, he probably has been sniffing the history from the moment the internet was installed.
The mind control stuff? That’s the big one. It wouldn’t be hard to get there. You’ve been safe, trying to cover your tracks while you investigated.
Whatever you did to obscure yourself though, it obviously wasn’t enough.
Your father has the doc open, the smoking gun that you were hoping would be your proof. Now starting back at you, used to damn you.
PERFECT WIFE INC.
He sighs heavily, shakes his head.
“You weren’t supposed to find out. Not yet. Not until you were older. Not until you were done with college.”
You start running through your insane nuclear options. You had have a half packed bug-out bag. You had the backups, the files ready to go. You’d made plans with your girlfriend to escape somewhere far enough away to buy time.
All that means nothing now.
“You want to know what happened to your mother? If I did this?” He looks genuinely pained to talk about it.
This is already going different than you’d planned. You’d sooner expect to have been carried off in the middle of the night by some black ops goons.
Instead, you feel like he’s about to scold you for a bad grade, or finding your stash of pot.
He closes his eyes in, sighs again.
No, this is you finding his stash of pot. You relax, just the smallest amount.
Maybe you were wrong. Maybe he didn’t make his wife, your mother, into some airheaded bimbo. Maybe this is some impossibly strange misunderstanding.
But the words are still on the screen.
PERFECT WIFE INC.
And below it, is your mother’s name. As much as the trusting, childlike part of your mind wants to cling to finding a way to excuse him – he had erased the woman staring back from the screen.
He did something awful to her.
He’s still doing it.
And now he’s going to do it to you.
His own daughter.
But you still can’t move. You’re paralyzed by fear and painful curiosity. You need to find out the truth.
“I know what you did to her.” You say, trying to sound accusatory, but your voice is cracking. You erased her. You erased Naomi.”
And with that your father nodes his head.
Then he begins to talk.
And you listen. Because your father needed to tell this story for a long time.