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Teasing Me

Season 4

Episode 29

And that’s the scariest part.

I’m the daughter of a monster.

Farrow catches my eye, a sympathetic, pained look in his. “Yes, Pamona.” He grimaces again. “After she passed… My father followed pretty soon after. Coronary attack, they said, but I knew what it really was. He died of a broken heart. I don’t blame him. I nearly did too. I was only thirteen, and suddenly I had more money than I knew what to do with. Their entire fortune was mine, and I didn’t give a shit. All I wanted was to make sure no one could get hurt like that again. When I finished school, I went into the security business—bodyguards, guns, cameras, everything. I can’t change the past… But I can help protect the future.”

He reaches up to cup my cheek gently. “That’s why you’re here. To make sure your father never hurts anyone again.”

I shake away from his touch. I can’t face him, not now. Not knowing what my father did, why I’m here paying the price for his evil actions. My father is the reason Farrow has suffered, his entire life. And how many other people did my father put into this position? How many other lives has he ruined while he kept me locked up in that house like a prize of his, as if he was a good person, as if he cared about my safety and not just about what the many people he’d ruined might do to me for the sake of revenge?

No wonder the staff in this house all glare at me. They know what my father did to a woman they all adored, a good woman, an artist like my own mother…

I brush Farrow away when he reaches for me again, push past him and stumble out of the shower. Grab my towel and run, headed somewhere I can be alone to think…

It’s amazing how drunk you can get within a few hours when you really set your mind to it. I tell that to the fourth—or was this the fifth?—empty glass of whiskey in my hand, and then I pour myself another.

I can’t stop picturing it. The night the police came to tell us Mom was gone. The note they showed us. The apology she penned, painstakingly, before she stepped off that bridge and crashed into the river that night.

And then I remember the other night. The night I snuck down to the kitchen, hearing shouting. There was a letter on the table, addressed to my father, but Betsy, our cook, opened it instead. Because she’d seen the name on the return address. She was ranting, throwing pots around, screaming “How dare he!”

My father finally came, tried to calm her down. I hid in the pantry and listened as Betsy explained. Mom and Betsy had been friends, closer than any of the other staff. Mom confided in Betsy a couple of nights before she died. Told her who attacked her, and how. Gave her all the gory details, which Betsy told my father, and I listened too, shaking, hidden in that cupboard.

“And now he has the nerve to send this,” Betsy spat, thrusting the card at my father. “Calvin fucking Badiary sent you a condolence card and a check for one thousand dollars. As if that compensate for her life. As if that would make up for his savagery.”

Dad wasn’t the same after that. He didn’t talk, not to Betsy, not to the staff, not to me, not to anyone. His business partners came by the house time and again, concerned, but we had to turn them away.

After he died, I found a journal in his drawer. He started it the night after that conversation with Betsy. Rambled about his many regrets. Memories of the years he worked hand-in-hand with Calvin, never suspecting what the man was really like. Notes about the times he should’ve realized something was wrong, like the Christmas party he brought Mom to, where Calvin called her a shooting star. Toward the end of the journal, the memories gave way to mad plans instead—notes on revenge, schemes my father never had time to put into place. He died before he could carry any of them out.

But me? I was still alive.

Revenge would be mine. Our revenge, on behalf of my entire family, since I’m the only one of us left.

I decided right from the start that killing Calvin wouldn’t be enough. He thought he could send money for my mother like she was his whore? He thought he could take anyone and anything he wanted, and never pay the price?

I needed to make him suffer the way I’ve suffered. Emotionally ruin him.

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