Chapter 5 – The Battle for Trudy
Several months after Rebecca’s relocation she was in the shop cleaning up for the day when the bell rang as the door was opened. Looking up she gasped in surprise.
“Hello Rebecca, remember me? “
At the sound of his voice Trudy came running from the back room where she’d been finishing her homework.
“Daddy,” she screamed excitedly, I thought you’d never come to our new home, where have you been? Mom said you wouldn’t be coming home anymore!” The little girl babbled as he held onto her Father’s leg tightly. “Are you coming home with us now?”
Rebecca reeled from the unexpected turn of events. How had her location been shared with her husband? The Morgan intelligence system had let them all down this time. But she hesitated to deal with the situation in front of Trudy. In spite of Rebecca urging her daughter to go buy an ice cream and wait for them the little girl refused to budge holding tightly to her Father.
Jed spoke to his daughter. “Have I even hit or hurt you or Mom Trudy?”
“No Trudy said happily, you’ve always been good to us.”
“Then whatever happens to me I want you to remember that Trudy. I love you, and I did love your Mom and tried to make our home a happy one.”
“I know,” said Trudy happily. “I’m happy you came home.”
“That’s enough!” Rebecca hissed but tried to keep her anger masked so the child wouldn’t notice. “You’d better come home with us and we’ll talk after Trudy’s gone to bed.”
It took a long time to convince Trudy to go to bed that evening and it was quite late by the time Rebecca and Jed got down to serious business.
Jed tucked his daughter into bed, kissed her and stroked her head. “Tell me a story like you used to,” she murmured sleepily.
Jed laughed. “Go to sleep princess, it’s very late.”
Trudy closed her eyes while Rebecca turned out the light, but she was so excited when the door closed she crept to the door to listen to the conversation.
Jed got right down to business. “Rebecca what’s this nonsense about you complaining to the police because I harmed you and Trudy. You know that’s not true so if you have any decency in you you’ll have that order removed. And I want to have Trudy in my life. She’s my daughter too and I love her and want to be part of her life as she grows up. Why don’t you just come home and we’ll start over and make a life together. We can grow to love each other again just as we did when we started University together. I have a good job now and can provide well for you both.”
Rebecca surveyed the earnest face in front of her and laughed.
“Jed Carter you’re a loser and always will be. I don’t think I ever loved you, I just wanted to show my father he’s not in control of my life and I paid a sorry penalty for that. Now that I think back you were only a tool in my hand to show my father I’m in control of my life.”
“My father is powerful and someday we’ll be fully reconciled but how do you think I could afford this beautiful cottage and location, or for that matter operate a salon when I came away from you with nothing? It’s his money, his influence, and his legal advice.”
“You’ll give me a divorce and if you don’t cooperate the charges brought against you will have you and your pathetic family either in jail or back in poverty lane. Furthermore you won’t see Trudy again or you will end up in jail!’
The child could take it no longer, she burst through the door sobbing.
“No, you won’t do that to my Dad. You lied to me when you told me he didn’t want to see us anymore. You stole me from my Dad and I want to go back home with him now. I hate you Mom!” Trudy burst into uncontrollable sobs.
“Unless your Father leaves right now I’ll have him put in jail Trudy. Do you want me to put your Father in jail?”
“No” whimpered the child, “don’t put my Daddy in jail!” She clung to her Father for comfort.
Then go to bed Trudy, and I don’t want to see you until morning.
The child wailed pathetically, “I love you Daddy, I don’t want you to go to jail!” Rebecca steered Trudy back to her room.
Looking over her shoulder she said, “When I return to this room you’ll be gone!”
Jed knew Rebecca meant it so regretfully left with a broken heart to think through his future move. He’d heard of the Morgan reputation and knew they could do to him and his family great harm, but he was unable to reconcile himself to the loss of his daughter. He was no longer in love with Rebecca so granting her a divorce wouldn’t be a problem for him, but he must have access to Trudy.
In the usual indirect Morgan way the alternatives were given to him. A quiet mutually accepted divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, or a high profile divorce case in which the most outlandish charges would be brought, with the veiled threat of unspecified difficulties for the extended Carter family and a threat to Jed’s employment. In addition to that it was demanded Jed would sever his relationship to his daughter. The Carter family were incensed and resolved to brave it out, but Jed regretfully counselled they accept terms and move on with their lives.
MJ and Anna nodded their heads approvingly when the news was delivered to them. “No need for Plan B” Anna observed quietly.
But even in her child’s mind Trudy understood what was happening. Rebecca did her best to poison the child’s mind against her Father saying he didn’t care for the both of them anymore and that’s why he hadn’t returned after that visit to Crestville. Trudy realized she was vulnerable. Her Father couldn’t help her and probably her evil mother had somehow arranged to put him in jail so what would she do to her if she didn’t cooperate? Eventually Rebecca realized the intensity of the child’s hatred toward her and sent a message to the Morgans seeking their counsel.
MJ rubbed his hands together with pleasure. He was taming his daughter at last but he wasn’t finished with her yet.
So at an early age the child was placed in boarding school and that was to be her lot until it came time for University studies. She’d all the privileges afforded rich and powerful in those schools and was slowly conditioned to a life of wealth. Her vacations alternated between Crestville and the Morgan mansion which she discovered to her surprise was the home of her grandparents.
Her barely concealed hatred of her Mother was reinforced in the knowledge not only had she deprived her of a Father and abandoned her to a boarding school environment at an early age, but she’d no knowledge she had grandparents other than the Carters until one day a car arrived to collect her for vacation. But instead of Crestville she was deposited at the Morgan mansion. She remembered that meeting clearly. The elderly couple walking down the marble staircase introduced themselves as her grandparents. They’d pulled out all stops to make this and subsequent vacations pleasurable. She flew to exotic places and experienced the good life in all its attraction.
The vacation after that first introduction to her grandparents was spent at Crestville and her Mother quizzed her about experiences with the grandparents. Trudy observed that every pleasurable experience told was like a knife in her Mother’s vitals, so she embellished each experience and repeated them over and over to watch her Mother squirm with jealous desire. Rebecca remembered that life she’d seemingly lost forever and relived it in her daughter’s stories.
Many times Rebecca had written to try and re-establish a relationship with her parents but her letters had been ignored. Rebecca was too fearful of her parents to try to challenge them as she’d done when she married Jed Carter. So Trudy was her only indirect contact with them and she was careful to treat her with respect. As Rebecca had not finished University and her Father was on the Board of Trustees she knew it would be of little use to try and finish that and seek independence.
The legal documents she’d signed on the house were for an interest free loan against the house that was pledged to that loan with a mortgage. Attempts to repay the loan always ended up with the money being returned to her bank so the loan was never repaid and the mortgage remained. She knew her Father could foreclose any time he wished so she had no asset to sell to relocate to a university city and no source of income outside of the salon in this town to complete her studies. She was virtually in a prison with permission to move around.
To be continued.
“© Copyright Ian Grice 2015 All rights reserved”