Chapter Six---A New Day
12:04 AM | Author: Jeff
Marie-Ann sat alone on the front porch, smoking a pal mal and watching as the sun slowly sank below the distant horizon, filling the sky with an array of pink and gold. The sky looked like it was on fire, the suns warmth still holding off the chill of the night air. It was mid April, spring was all around, but winter still owned the night. Marie-Ann, inhaled the dusk air deeply, her lungs filling with the clean refreshing country air, she had forgotten what bliss there was in moments like this, as a teenager she had never really taken much notice of sunsets, just meant the end of the day to her then, now the sunset brought a sense of calm to her tired mind, she began to feel relief, the long dark day that had been her life for the past ten years was ending, what would tomorrow bring?
She wondered about Hank, hoping he’d be alright, and then cursing herself for it, for the past three days while she slept and thought and rested, she had wrestled with herself over how she should feel about Hank. On one hand, she thought of what might have happened to her if, Hank hadn’t taken her in; Marie-Ann narrowed it down to three possible outcomes. First she would have wound up in jail, that wouldn’t have been so bad, surely no different than the life she had been leading, either way she would have spent years locked away from the world, suffering in silence.
Second scenario, she packed it all in, sucked up her pride and called home, in which case she would have wound up where she now is, minus the kid though.
Thirdly the streets would have killed her, something she had sometimes wished for.
On the other hand, the hand that held reality, she remembered how she had suffered at the whim of Hank Turner, the beatings, the rape, the humiliation she felt when he began passing her off as a party favor. She had loved him totally, and she truly suffered all his shit because she was sure he loved her too, but now at a safe distance she wasn’t so sure.
The past is the past she concluded. What will I do from here she thought, dragging again on her pal mal, the emptiness in her stomach now only a distant murmur of what it had been in the city, for the first time in many years, Marie-Ann Sutherland had hope.

Henry stepped out onto the porch, trying his best to appear surprised to see his daughter sitting there, he had been watching her for the past ten minutes, hardly able to believe she was finally home, but now it was time they talked.
“Hey there” said Henry, ‘Jeez, she looks like her mother’ he thought hoping his face wouldn’t betray him.
The three day rest had worked miracles on Marie-Ann, the bruises lightened, her lips returned to their normal full selves and about half of the premature wrinkles had shrunk away, changing her from a withered old woman into a tired looking twenty something, though a shadow still hung on her expression, her eyes still lacking any spark.
“Hi” Marie-Ann replied drawing deep on her pal-mal, the beauty of the sunset instantly forgotten, the day wasn’t over yet.
“How are you feeling?” Henry asked.
“Tired” She replied, her eyes blank, still staring out at the golden horizon.
“You look a lot better” Henry smiled.
“Better than what?” Marie-Ann replied. She couldn’t stand her father measuring her.
“Just Better” Henry replied avoiding the trap. Henry stared out at the horizon, the sun slowly sinking from view. They sat there for a few minutes in silence.
“I know we’ve got a long way to go Marie-Ann…” Henry began his voice solemn.
“Where do you think we’re going?” Marie-Ann said, cutting him off, the sarcasm thick.
“We can’t stay like this” Henry replied without thinking, instantly regretting it.
“And what exactly is this Dad?” Marie-Ann said as she flicked her cigarette off the porch.
She turned and faced her father, the idea of new beginning empowered her, and she refused to fear another man again. “Do you think, that you coming to get me ten years after I left, was something I welcomed?” a small lie, “What, you thought that because I came with you to this shit hole” another lie “meant that I had decided to come home, be your little girl again, wake up old man, those days are fucking gone!” Marie-Ann glared at her father.
“Then what are we doing here?” Henry asked, very much taken back by the power he felt coming from his daughter.
“I don’t know what the fuck you’re doing, but I’ll tell you what I’m doing…”
“Enough of the cursing!” Henry Sutherland interrupted “Speak your mind by all means, but watch your mouth Marie-Ann” he was not flexible on this, Marie-Ann knew it, she lit another cigarette, recomposed herself, before continuing.
“I’m not staying Dad” she said simply
“Can I ask why?” Henry replied, more than a little hurt to hear her actually say the words he’d been dreading since they’d arrived.
“Because of you, me the last ten years, because my past is here, in you, in that boy, in the memories that hang on the walls, that fill my room, I want to forget, start over.” Marie-Ann turned and looked at the last moment of the sunset.
“The Marines consumed me, and with me it consumed your life too, after you ran away, it took me the longest time to realize why, I thought it was anyone’s fault but mine, I blamed your school, your friends, your teachers and even your mother. One day your mother said to me something that opened his eyes, she told me that she had sacrificed her life for the corps, and now it was time for the corps to give her life back. I retired one month after that.”
“She was right” said Marie-Ann "We hated the Marines."
“After we got settled here I decided to find you, I hired an investigator, but he turned up nothing more than a hunch that you may be in New York. I was about to come looking for you, to bang on every door until I found you, but then your mother got sick.” Henry eyes welled with tears; he quickly shook it off as was his habit with emotions.
“She deserved better than you, we both did.” Marie-Ann threw in trying to further weaken her father.
“Marie-Ann, it’s all my fault I know, if I had been a better father, you could have lived a normal life, I am sorry I put you through all the crap you’ve been through, I wish I could turn the clock back, give you a normal life, a chance to have lived free and safe. I failed you and I failed Jay.” Henry walked over to the edge of the porch and sat down
“But I promise you, I will do everything right, from now, by you and by my grandson, give you both a chance to live a normal life.” Henry turned to look at his daughter, hoping to gain a measure on if his words were getting through to her, half expecting to see his daughter of old, ready to forgive him, what he saw was quite different.
Marie-Ann stared at her father, he eye’s full of tears and rage, her hatred flowing off of her in almost visible waves. The two of them sat there, eyes locked for what seemed to be an eternity. Marie-Ann broke the spell whispering two words, barely audible.“Fuck you” and with that she returned to her room, leaving her father alone on the porch with his shattered dreams and a smoldering pal mal butt.
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6 comments:

On November 11, 2007 at 10:19 AM , Kathleen said...

Adam, I don't know anything about you personally, but either you are extremely good at characterization or (I suspect) there's a whole lot of YOU in your characters (not a scream, just no italics). Angst is a bandied about word these days, but perhaps there's a better Japanese word? Whatever it is, there's plenty in your writing. Btw,how did you end up in Japan (or were you born there? (Curiousity gets the best of me.)

Thanks for visiting my blog and for coming back and leaving comments. I do appreciate it. I find the blogging is a "business" in itself. The work involved in networking is just as demanding as keeping up with entries. I'm trying to find a balance with creating and posting. Thank goodness I haven't got a day job.

Poetikat
www.hyggedigter.blogspot.com

 
On November 11, 2007 at 10:36 AM , Adam said...

Thank you for the comment Kathleen!
I am not too sure how much of me is present in the characters, I guess there is always part of the author present in each character, my friends who have been reading have commented on this too, but I think more over I am really into watching people and my past has involved a great deal of moving around, which has exposed to me to many different people and situations, which I think influences my writing to a large degree.
I actually came to Japan on a whim nearly a decade ago, and have been here ever since, the country really fascinated me from day one and continues to do so even today. There is so much history and culture here thatI am forever learning something new at each turn. That said I will probably only remain here for another year or so before moving on, my travellers feet have been getting itchy for the past few years and I have never been able to stay in one place for too long.

 
On November 12, 2007 at 7:48 AM , Elise said...

I once spoke to an author who told me that; "a writer's characters can only seem real if they have elements of people that the writer knows...unless the writer is truely talented" I don't know how much truth is in this but your character seem very real. You're extremely talented Adam I love reading your blog xx

 
On November 12, 2007 at 11:26 AM , KAK said...

Ok, I'm caught up, read all the existing chapters and am eagerly awaiting the next installment.

What everyone has already said is true. Your characters, their thoughts, and their emotions are very...real (there isn't any other word to describe it).

Your writing is very sophisticated. Quite truthfully I envy your sophistication. I love reading your style, but don't think I'll ever be able to write that way. I would be truly appreciative if you would drop by my blog and comment.
http://theserialnovelist.blogspot.com

 
On November 12, 2007 at 11:56 AM , Adam said...

Thankyou all for the great feedback, you are all stars!!!
So glad to hear you are liking it so far it really buzzes me to keep writing!!!!

 
On November 16, 2007 at 10:36 PM , Keriam said...

Adam,
I am truly intriqued by your writings. I could very easily compare you to John Sanford. I really love his work. Please continue your work. You have a wonderful talent. I am hooked. I also want to thank you for commenting on my writing. I have all these things whirling around in my head and enjoy writing them down for all to enjoy. I am eagerly waiting for your next chapter.
Keriam

 

Reader Reviews!

"Wow. That's awesome. I like how you write, it's unique and descriptive and paints an image for you. when i was reading this first chapter, i could just picture this becoming a blockbuster movie or something." ...Toni Brolin

"I'm utterly and completely hooked! The characters are so defined and the relations between them are extremely deep. Keep writing. I can't wait to read more. x"...Elise

"What amazes me about your work is that you have an incredible capacity to get into the minds of your characters, regardless of age or gender. That is truly a great talent."...Kathleen

"
I'm supposed to be doing all sorts of things--writing cards, laundry, decorating and what happens? You put up another Chapter! So much for my schedule. Ooh, it's a good one, though that's for sure. What a cliffhanger. Can't wait to see what Sabian has to say. Really good tense stuff, but with just the right poignancy."...
Kat