Alright here it is the long awaited final chapter of The Family Connection.
Monica came up the stairs with a suitcase full of her belongings. It wasn’t much but, it was hers. The Mazza’s had given her a house on the edge of town. It had enough yard to accommodate a few goats or a cow if she wanted, and it had a plot set aside for a private garden. They also gave her a large chunk of money and an annual stipend. It was very generous. Angela had been right, they had paid their debt to Monica as best they could. They could not return her tongue. But, her freedom was worth more.
She still had it in her mind to try and find Calisto. She knew that her sister was behind all of her misfortune. She believed it with all her heart until, she overheard Thomas talking to the rest of the family about what had happened at the café. Monica had heard it ten times before but, the driver had a bit of information that changed her entire outlook on life.
“I’m telling you Senor. The woman that wore the Vinccencio ring and sat with her back to you, and the windows, was the child whore. She killed Senor Vinccencio. She had to have been the one. It was only she and Senora Vinccencio at the house, when he died.”
“But, no-one saw how he died, and the body is gone.” Charles argued.
“It doesn’t matter how he died. Senora Vinccencio is now in charge.” Jeanette was still angry. She had wanted to kill Monica when she was just a child. Now they had to pay the little shit for the rest of her days.
“Yes, and she has always been close with the whore, Calisto. Now she is an honorary member of the family. What I don’t understand is why Senor Vinccencio didn’t tell us that Monica was his whore’s sister.” Thomas had been played, and now he finally knew it.
Monica’s knees buckled. She slid down the wall to the floor. Cali had been there? What had he said? The woman with her back to the family and the window.The woman that wore the Vinccencio ring. The breath escaped her lungs and she had to remind herself to breath. She rubbed her hand. She could still feel the warmth of the woman’s shoulder blade against her fingers. She had thought it odd at the time that the woman had seemed to press up against her hand deliberately. Monica had nearly pulled her hand away. But, she hadn’t. Somehow, the warmth had felt… comforting. It wasn’t as if any of these people had ever hugged her, or made her feel at home here. She had always been an outsider.
Monica thought of her sister. She thought of the last time she had seen her. Monica had been so angry at her. She had been told that Cali would play with her in the pool. Daddy had promised. But, they had all left her and JW standing in the hallway with those men, and Cali, when she did show up, had walked right past her, without saying a word.
Monica tried to remember what the woman at the table had looked like. But she had not seen her face. The woman, Cali had been wearing a big floppy hat. Angela had told her that Cali was not in the United States, no…she had not lied… Cali had been sitting right in front of her. Monica wasn’t sure if she was excited or angry. She reviewed all that Angela had said about Cali. If she does not want to see you, you will not see her. That part had been a lie. Clearly Cali had wanted to see me, she just didn’t want me to see her.
For a moment it made Monica angry that Angela had lied to her, and that Cali had hid in plain sight. But, on reflection she realized that Cali was probably still upset about all that had happened to her as a child. Monica remembered being so mean to her sister. I was so jealous! Having lived as a slave in this house, Monica had learned a thing or two about what Cali must have felt. Being alone, it’s crippling. By the sounds of it, Cali had no idea what Ben had done. She was his property. He had probably gotten rid of Cali’s family to better control her. She had no place left to go. Trapped, Monica knew a little about being trapped. The darker thoughts ran their course and she came back to Cali. Why had Cali been there?
Monica smiled. Cali had come back to save her. A fat hot tear rolled down her cheek. She didn’t want me to know it was her that did it… but, my sissy came back for me. She let out a sigh that she had been holding for over ten years. After all I did to her… she still came back to save me, just like she always said she’d do. Another tear slid down her cheek. And she killed Ben to get to me. Then like a cake baking in the oven, something warm rose up inside of Monica. She had not felt its presence in a very long time. That’s my sister. She whispered in her mind, as she came to her feet. And as the pride filled her soul, she wanted to scream it to the world. That’s my sister!
Silently and unseen, Patricia sat and watched the Demons of anger, jealousy and fear leave her baby daughter. She smiled. Both of her babies would be alright now.
And that is how you write a book in 30 days or less. It starts with an idea, and the idea takes on a life of it's own. I was fortunate that this story already had lots of back story. If you are familiar with Cali and her story then the death of Ben was almost inevitable. It is actually easier to accept than the turn around of Monica. Originally, I had Monica dying a broken old woman in the house of the Mazza's as their servant/slave. However, at the end here, I realized that Monica was just a child when her mother died as well. I could have left her as just another crazy in the house but, it just seemed like a horrible injustice. Monica had been abused in her own way as well. She was left alone to grieve with only Cali as comfort. Like many children she pushed away her mother, and wanted to cling to the living parent. But, he really didn't want anything to do with her. That in turn made Monica a victim of neglect. Cali never saw it because she had her own problems to deal with. And Monica in time pushed everyone away. It made her bitter, angry and jealous of what she considered to be the lavish attention given to Cali.
In time, not in the next book, but later on, Cali will realize that Monica is not her enemy. She will try to reconcile with her sister. In the mean time Angela will try to make some glue for them, and a common place where they can meet. Both are proud women. They will not find it easy to bury the past. But, I think in the end they will. Will I ever bring them back together as sisters? I'm not sure yet. As a child, Monica could see their mother as well as Cali. Should I give her a gift as well or just leave it at the one? It's a thought that bears considering. Connie can see the ghosts too. She talked to their mother as well as a child.
Ahh well, things to consider another time. Now I get to go back to Michaels Folly. Bet you thought I had forgotten about old Michael... Never! I love the guy.
Live well and be good to each other.