You can read the first 3 chapters below. Just scroll down.
Would you become a full-time criminal after a huge lottery win?
Would you seek a sibling you only think exists if it would expose the parents you love as criminals?
Would you continue your social work knowing you were being targeted?
Four individuals travelling on the road of life, unwittingly driving toward the same intersection, to arrive at the same time; a rapist; a Canadian lawyer; a detective; and a French lawyer.
Chapter 1 Ralph the Rapist
Ralph was in her home, in the dark, and moving stealthily toward her bedroom. There was no security system. There were no cameras. He had never talked to her, but he knew the inside of her home. He had been stalking her for about a week. He first saw her in a restaurant being assertive with a male waiter. Ralph hated assertive women. They should know their place as subordinate to men. That was when he decided to rape her and put her in her place. It was not the first time he had put a woman in her place.
He followed her from the restaurant after she finished her lunch. She worked at Walmart as a manager. He chatted up an employee and found out when the shift ended. He was waiting outside in the parking lot when she left the building and walked to her car. No boyfriend or husband picking her up made his plan easier but it would not have deterred him if there had been a male. It would just require more planning.
He followed her to her home. Her house was in a quiet old residential neighbourhood in Toronto. After parking his black van he moved into the back and drew a curtain across the cab so that the van appeared to be empty. He had installed a camera which he could operate remotely to watch what was happening outside. He waited until midnight but no one came or left the house.
The next morning he was back early and parked in a different location. Again no one came or left the home until it was time for her shift at Walmart. She came out, got into her car, and left. Ralph followed her to work and then returned to her neighbourhood but parked two blocks away on a different street. He got out a white business-size envelope which he had been careful never to touch with his naked hands. He had flesh coloured gloves which he now wore. A short walk brought him to her door. The neighbourhood was quiet since all the people that worked had gone to work and any children were in school.
He walked up onto her porch with the envelope in his hand. His plan was to drop the empty envelope into her mail slot if he couldn't quickly spot what he was looking for. But he saw the small pile of round five inch rocks to the left of the door. She had tried hard to make them look like decorations but Ralph knew that one of them was hollow and contained the spare key to the door. He reached down and quickly found the 'too light' rock, turned it over and retrieved the key. He was inside in less than fifteen seconds from the time he walked up onto the porch. He had returned the key to the rock after making a quick impression in a clay pack he carried for just that purpose. He would make a copy of the key later.
He turned and moved the window curtain just slightly to look out at the other houses and see if anyone was watching. No curtains moved in any windows. No dog had barked inside the house. He began a very careful examination looking for security systems or cameras and memorizing the layout of the building. He had a cell phone camera which he used to take detailed pictures of the inside of the building. He counted steps envisioning various scenarios, such as the front door to the steps up to the bedrooms. He didn't rush. He had her whole shift to become familiar with her home. After memorizing the layout he practiced with his eyes closed until he could move from the front door, up the stairs to her bedroom and stand beside her bed without making a sound. It took a while memorizing which boards and steps squeaked. When he was satisfied that he had it all memorized he put on a baseball cap he had in his pocket and got out a clipboard he had carried stuffed down his back under his belt. He went to the back door which had a self-locking latch when it closed. He carefully scanned the area of the backyard but saw that no one could see into it. He opened the door, exited, pulled it closed and walked along the side of the house. There was a quick stop at the electrical meter where he pretended to write something down. Finally he walked out to the sidewalk and back to his van and went home.
Ralph had been lucky three years previously when he won a lot of money in a lottery. The money allowed him to quit his old job but take on a new job as a full-time rapist. Ralph was very careful. He was smart but not educated unless street wise counted as an education. He put a lot of time and effort into his work. He did not plan on getting caught.
Now he stood beside her bed enjoying the quiet moment before...
Chapter 2 Lindsey the Canadian Lawyer
As far back as she could remember, Lindsey had felt something was missing in her life. Something that was there but wasn't there. When she was ten and playing with one of her classmates from school, the friend asked if she was adopted. Lindsey had said no, but the friend pointed out she didn't look like her mom or dad. That evening at the dinner table she asked her parents if they adopted her. She didn't notice the look they gave each other before her father said,
"Why do you ask?"
"Suzie said I don't look like either of you."
"Children don't always look like their parents. If you watch other children with their parents, you will see that they don't always resemble either their mom or dad," her mom said.
"Ok I will watch" and she promptly was on to other things going on in her life.
Years later she was in a biology class in high school learning about blood types. Both of her parents were blood donors, and she knew that her dad was AB negative and her mom was O negative. The teacher had said he had the equipment to test for blood types. If anyone was interested, they would need to get a note signed by their parents because they would have to take a blood sample from a fingertip to do the test.
Lindsey was excited because she knew that her blood type had to be A negative or B negative but when she asked her parents to sign they refused. Their explanation was that they should only do such things in a hospital. They were concerned about the sterility in the school. It disappointed Lindsey because her parents were usually supportive of her efforts in education. They both had advanced degrees. They emphasized the importance of education and Lindsey worked hard to always be the top student in any class.
Lindsey became suspicious. It wasn't only the lack of permission for the blood typing. They had also studied the genetics of eye colour in school. Both of Lindsey's parents had blue eyes and light complexions. She had dark brown eyes and a darker skin tone than either of her parents. Blue-eyed parents do not have brown-eyed babies.
The next day she went to a blood donor clinic, but they refused to take her blood because her ID showed that she was a minor. She asked them to just test her blood so she would know her type in case she was in an accident. They didn't cooperate. She was planning on confronting her parents that evening but there was a cute guy helping at the clinic as a volunteer and he asked her on a date. Lindsey had not been allowed to date until she was sixteen. Her sixteenth birthday was two weeks ago.
They exchanged phone numbers, and she said she would call after she had asked permission from her parents. But if they said no, she told him she could still talk to him on the phone if he was interested. She rushed home eager for dinnertime when she would ask her question, forgetting all about the confrontation she had planned. She wondered if a boyfriend would fill the empty spot that had always existed for her.
The food was barely served when Lindsey blurted out she had an important question. She was so wrapped up in her excitement about the boy she didn't notice both of her usually calm controlled parents become markedly tense. When she said she had met a boy and would like to go on a date, both parents drew a big sigh of relief.
"You are sixteen and we said that was when you could date. There will be rules and curfews. We know that you are a wonderful daughter and that you understand that we make up rules to protect you, not to restrict you." her dad said.
Her mom said, "Sweetheart we have always been open with you about sex. You are sixteen now and in this province that means that in most circumstances you can legally decide about when and who you begin a physical relationship with. It is your body and your decision and we will respect that decision and the answer to who and when is none of our business. We hope you will not rush into anything because sex has powerful emotions attached to it. We have carefully taught you about sexually transmitted diseases, about birth control, and about how young men, even very nice young men, have sex on their minds most of the time. We will always be available for you to ask us questions and we will answer them to the best of our ability without you having to explain why you have that question. If you have any problems with this aspect of your life and you don't want to ask us the question you need answered we will find a person you can talk to."
"Mom, it is only a date. Don't buy any diapers yet."
"I know how I feel and I know about the thoughts that girls have they don't talk about but I know little about boys. I would like to have a private talk with dad about boys. I am sorry mom but I would find it embarrassing to have you present."
Both parents knew that Lindsey was unusually smart but apparently she was also wise.
Later when everyone was in bed, he said,
"Lindsey likes facts and will not let embarrassment get in her way. Don't ask me to repeat her questions because I will blush. However our perceptive young woman is not going to be led anywhere she doesn't want to go. I think she will be the one doing the leading. This young man won't have to worry about the girl's dad. He will have to worry about the girl."
"At some point we will have to tell her the truth. I thought tonight would be the night, but a young man we don't know saved us. We shouldn't let this go on."
"But she is so happy tonight. I don't want to upset her when we have to tell her that her educated, respected parents are criminals in the eyes of the law."
Chapter 3 The French Woman
"Je veux une soeur," said ten-year-old Fleurette to her mother in their Paris apartment. (I want a sister.)
"Mais Fleurette, tu sais que je ne peux plus avoir de bébé depuis ta naissance." (But Fleurette you know I can't have any more babies since you were born.)
"I know but I still think I should have a sister."
"Why do you think you should have a sister?"
"I just know that I should have a sister."
There had been many conversations like this from not long after Fleurette had learned to talk. It always came back to the same thing. Fleurette knew she should have a sister. What her mother would never tell her was that she had a sister. She would never tell Fleurette because of what she had done as a young unwed mother. She would bear her shame silently to her grave.
Fleurette's mom had worked tirelessly and diligently since her shame trying to be the best mother she could be for Fleurette. The attention she lavished on her daughter was paid back with dividends as Fleurette was a beautiful child, with a pleasing personality, plus she was very, very smart. She often was so well prepared for her classes that her teacher would sometimes let her teach the lesson. Fleurette soaked up knowledge like an impossibly expanding sponge. Nothing was so unimportant that it could be overlooked. If there was an extra class on any subject, Fleurette would be there. She didn't watch TV. "That's for children" she would say.
As she entered her teens, her mother became concerned about boys entering her life. Fleurette responded to any enquires about the boys at school by saying, "They are immature, irresponsible, and all they want to talk about is sex but they don't have the hormones to back up the talk. They are just little boys trying to be big boys." This from Fleurette when she was twelve had her mother watching her closely to see if she had any unusual leanings toward girls. While Fleurette had female friends, she was not much more complimentary about them than she was about boys. "All they want to talk about is getting married and having children. What do they think they will do if their husband leaves them?" Her mom couldn't argue with her on that point. Fleurette's dad had not even hung around for her birth.
Fleurette came home from school one day and told her mom she had decided that she was going to be a lawyer. She wanted to study law at the Sorbonne.
"But Fleurette we don't have enough money for you to go to university."
"It isn't a problem mom. I will get a full scholarship. I will live at home with you. If we don't have enough money, I will get a job. I am going to the Sorbonne."
Her mom drew a deep breath knowing it would be a few more years of school before Fleurette could apply.
Copyright 2019 Stu Duncan
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Twogether 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.
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