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Theresa, Chapter 48

| Mar 22, 2010
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Theresa graphicThe Story So Far (TGF subscribers can read earlier installments): Terri’s in-laws, armed with a court order, have taken Jessie from Terri. She calls her lawyer, Bob Squires, who urges her to keep calm. He’s going to try to get the court order amended to keep Jessie in New York State and to allow Terri to visit her regularly. Terri wraps up her contract with the Berkshire Players a few days later and returns to Manhattan. She calls Squires when she gets home and learns that she has visiting rights, but she has to give notice and can see Jessie only twice per month. She decides to check out the Norrisses’ apartment and learns that they’ve moved out. This news upsets Squires, who calls the Norrisses’ lawyer and is told that they’ve bought a house in Levittown, on Long Island. Terri tells Squires she’s going to check out Levittown, too, even though he advises against this.

I hung up my phone. I had to agree with Mr. Squires – it made perfect sense to be cautious instead of pulling my cow-in-a-china-shop imitation. And yet…

decided I should call Eddie and bring him up to date on the last few weeks of my weird existence. I glanced at my watch – 5:45 here equals 2:45 in Los Angeles. I dialed his office number. He was there and seemed to have time for a leisurely chat.

Twenty minutes into that leisurely chat, I wrapped up my current adventure. “So, Mr. Squires told me to stay away from Norrisland until my officially-sanctioned visit on Friday.”

“That makes sense,” Eddie said.

“Of course it does. That’s why I’m going out to Levittown tomorrow.”
“That’s – you’re kidding.”

“No, I’m not. Don’t worry, I’m not going to barge in on them and make a scene. I just want to find their house, so I can find it again Friday. My female intuition is running amok, just like it did before I went to the Norrisses’ old apartment.”

“I see,” Eddie murmured. “Look, can I call you back in about half an hour? I need to talk to my boss.”

“Sure. That will give me a chance to rummage around in Mother’s train and bus schedule collection.”

I was knee-deep in the intricacies of the Levittown bus services when Eddie called me back about forty minutes later. “Good news!” he said.

“About what?”

“About my flight.”

“What flight?

“The one that’s going to get me into JFK at nine tomorrow morning.”

“I’m missing something,” I said. “You were going to talk to your boss and now you’re flying into JFK. Is this a business trip?”

“I had to talk to my boss about my projects,” Eddie said. “Our clients are reviewing them, but they won’t be able to approve them until next week.”

“Or disapprove,” I said.

“Don’t be negative, Sayers. Anyway, there’s nothing pressing on my calendar right now, so my boss said I could take the rest of the week off. Where better to spend my precious vacation time than on Long Island, hobnobbing with Hamptonites and Montaukers? So I called my travel agent, and she’s booked me on the midnight red-eye from here to JFK. And she’s arranged a rental car for me, so I can meet you on Amber Lane and bring you back to Manhattan after you’ve scouted the enemy castle.”

Still absorbed in buses to, from, and within Levittown, I’d been only half-listening to Eddie, but finally I understood what he was talking about. “Eddie!” I squealed. “You’re coming here? Tomorrow morning?”

“That’s right.”

“Wonderful! But why? Oh, I know. You don’t trust me. You and Mr. Squires. It’s a male thing, isn’t it?”

“Of course I trust you,” he said. “But what if you’re forced to lay Mrs. Norris out with a baseball bat? You’ll need a credible witness to testify in graphic detail that you were acting purely in self-defense.”

“That’s a good point, Eddie.”

“Good – I’m glad you agree. Well, I’ve got a busy evening of laundering and packing ahead of me, so I’d better hurry on home and get everything done so I can meet you at ten tomorrow.”

***

Now it was tomorrow and almost ten. Where was Eddie? Perhaps his plane was late or he was trapped somewhere in the legendary Long Island traffic. I’d done my part: I’d made my way to Levittown and found Amber Lane, and now I was observing Fort Norris from the other side of the street. It was actually a nice-looking house, with several patches of flowers about ready to knock off work for the winter. It seemed to be well kept-up and its large front yard was enclosed by a high chain-link fence – just the thing to keep inquiring little minds at home.

Where was Eddie? If I continued to lurk, sooner or later Mr. or Mrs. Norris would spot me and call the police. I decided to cross Amber Lane, take one more good look at the house, and walk a few feet down the street to wait for Eddie.

I stood before the gate and looked at the front steps. Was that a bundle of clothes or a small person sitting there? A child? Jessie? I didn’t think I’d spoken, but I must have, because she looked up with a big smile and said, “Mommy!”

“Why are you sitting there in the cold, sweetheart?”

“Gramma told me to stay here until she came back.”

“Where did she go?”

“Grampa went to get the car and Gramma went to find him when he didn’t come back.”

This all seemed very strange. I couldn’t imagine Mrs. Norris telling Jessie to sit outside in the cold and then going away and not coming back. “All right, Jessie,” I said. “You stay right there, like Gramma said, and I’ll go find them. I’ll just be a minute.”

A sign on the gate promised dire punishments for trespassers, so I went back around the house and peered through the garage window. It was a nightmare. Mr. Norris was slumped over his steering wheel and Mrs. Norris was lying on the garage floor, next to the open driver’s-side door. It must be carbon monoxide poisoning, I thought. Good grief! Even I knew better than to warm up a car in a closed garage.

I tugged on the garage door, but it wouldn’t budge. I’d have to trespass my way through the house. I ran back to the front entrance, slipped through the gate, and hurried up the stairs. “Wait right here, Jessie,” I said. I went into the house, found a phone, dialed 911, and quickly told the operator where I was and what was happening. Then I opened the door to the garage. I could hear the car’s engine throbbing away. Taking a deep breath, I went into the garage. I spied a hammer on a workbench and used it to shatter the garage window, then rolled Mrs. Norris away from the car. I tried to haul Mr. Norris out of the car, but he was too heavy for me. I took another deep breath through the broken window, closed the driver’s side door, and scurried around to the passenger side. I opened the door and looked for the garage door’s remote control device, but I couldn’t find it.

There was only one thing to do. I closed the passenger-side door, grabbed the gearshift, and put the car in “Drive” while placing my foot on top of Mr. Norris’s and shoving down on the gas pedal. With a squeal of tires, the car lurched forward, knocked the garage door off its mounting, and rolled into the driveway. The heavy garage door, hanging over the front of the car and scraping on the driveway, acted like a brake. I forced the gearshift lever into “Park” and turned off the ignition.

I jumped out of the car, leaving my door open, and then opened Mr. Norris’s door. After taking several deep breaths, I went back into the garage to try to drag Mrs. Norris out. I couldn’t do it. My strength was quickly ebbing away. I realized that I was lying on the garage floor, but there was nothing I could do about it. As my consciousness faded, someone seemed to be tugging at me. I could hear sirens wailing faintly in the distance, but all I wanted to do was sleep.

To be continued


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Category: Fiction

Hebe

About the Author ()

One of TGF's longest running authors, Hebe has been writing for TGF since the 1990s. With a focus on TG fiction she also has covered mythic crossdressing and recently has reported on TG events.

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