“Don’t I have to go back to Broadmoor?” I ask Harry. I am so confused.
Harry shakes his head. “After what happened the place is being shut down. All the patients are being moved to other places. You get to stay out until the court case.”
“And then after?”
“I don’t know Vera.”
It dawns on me now that I am free. Free from the institution free from constant supervision free from being stuck.
“I don’t have anywhere to go,” I whisper.
“As long as I am around you will always have a place to stay”
“Harry we aren’t toget-” I start.
“That doesn’t matter now. Just let me look after you,” he pleads
“Take a left here and keep going for a while. I sit in the passenger’s seat of Harry’s car. After we left the station it was early morning. Harry asked me what I wanted to do with my new freedom. A question he already knew the answer to. Harry hums the same melody from the night in his cell and I feel myself drift off. I have to stay awake I cant let myself sleep. I wind the window down hoping the cool air will help.
“This is it” there is no emotion in my voice. I thought I would be more excited to come home after all this time sad maybe just to feel something but I don’t. The farm hasn’t changed one bit. The gardens have got a bit out of hand but other than that everything is exactly how I remember. Harry walks me up to the backdoor and I get the spare key from the hanging flowerpot.
I walk through the kitchen and into the living room. There are sheets over the furniture. I pull off the one on my mother’s chair. The one she sat at every night, where she would knit and tell me stories of the old days. I take a seat in in and Harry walks in. without a word Harry opens the liquor cabinet and pulls out father’s good whiskey and pours two glasses. Harry hands me a glass.
“You remembered” I smile.
After finishing out drink in silence. I stand and head towards my parents room.
“I remember everything from that night”
Harry puts his hand on my shoulder.
“I thought mum was is the window watching me as I avenged her death. I remember the way his voice trembled as he realised it was an axe above my head”
“We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to”
Part of me wants to keep going. Embellishing what I did to scare him off. In truth I cant remember a thing of that night. It was like I had left for the day and when I came back I was being thrown in a hospital full of crazy people.
I run past Harry and head to my old room. I want to know if it is where is left it all those months ago. I fall to the floor and lift up the floorboard. There glistening in the early morning sun is the pendant I treasured since I was a little girl. Turning over the pendant all my thoughts were confirmed. There engraved on the back. T.D. it was a gift from Theo.
I slowly follow behind Vera. I want her to experience everything in her own time without me hovering. When I reach what I can only assume to be her bedroom due to the posters plastered on the door she is sitting on the floor crying. My heart hurts for her. A smile spreads across her face when she sees me at the door.
“Its just really fucked up” She explains. She just sits there for a little while.
“I wanna show you something” She stands and takes my hand. We leave the house and she breaks into a run. She is still in that fucking bloodied uniform. I shake my head and jog to catch up. Vera leads me through a couple of paddocks and through some bush until we get to a big ass tree.
“It’s a weeping willow” She sits on one of the exposed roots. “My mother bought me here once when my father was uncontrollable. I scattered her ashes in the stream just over there” She points to the bottom of a bank where a stream runs free and clear.
“Are you tired?” I ask. I already know she is. The dark circles under her eyes give it all away. That and she is being very quiet.
“Nope” she shakes her head.
“Come on lets get you back to the house for a bath” I reach out my hand and she takes it.
“I’ll um leave you to it, but ill just be out here” I leave Vera in the bathroom after running a bath. She nods and I sit in the living room. My attention turns to something outside. I pull the curtain back and nothing seems out of the ordinary so I take my seat again.
“Harry” Vera calls softly.
“Yeah” I say against the door.
“Can you like come in or something?” She is so quiet. She seems so sad. I open the door and close my eyes.
“You can sit on the toilet” I hear her pull the shower curtain across to cover her modesty.
“Do I have to stay here?” She asks
“No Vera, I wouldn’t ask you to. You are staying with me”
She nods. Her face is impassive and I wonder why she asked me in here.
“Can you hand me that towel?” I hand her the towel.
She motions for me to turn around and I oblige. I hear a crash near by and Vera jumps. I turn and she looks absolutely stunning in her white spotted dress that tapered in at the waist and bare feet. My eyes widen at the sight.
“Harry” she whispers “I think someone is in the house”