Saving Moriarty

There's a line between being someone's wife and being Jim Moriarty's wife. It's been 14 years and I haven't thought about how much I missed my freedom. I gave up everything to become his. I'm Melanie Moriarty. Here's my story.

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5. Chapter 5

Chapter 5

                I waited outside of the science building, just like Evan told me to. He was supposed to be showing me around the university. I checked my watch again. Now he was twenty minutes late. I adjusted my scarf to protect against the chilly winter air. I didn’t like this. Evan was never late, always punctual. So much so that being this late would cause him to have a heart attack.

                “Melanie!” Evan came from around the side of the building.

                “What happened to you?” I asked, reaching out to lightly touch the bruise around his eyes. Evan swatted away my hand. He’d been in a fight.

                “Forget about it. Now,” Evan put his arm around my shoulder, “I’m going to show my baby sister around her new school.”

                Evan was all smiles the rest of the day, even with his ever darkening black eye. He ignored my worried glances. The ride back to our house was filled with his horrible singing while he drummed away on the steering wheel.  His air of security dissipated when we went into the house.

                Dad was sitting in the recliner in front of the fire, a beer in his hand. He took a long swig. Mom sat quietly on the couch with her hands folded in her lap. Evan pushed me toward the stairs.

                “We had some visitors today.” Dad set the beer on the coffee table, slamming it hard, causing both mom and I to jump.

                “Go upstairs.” Evan whispered. I was frozen as dad stood up and turned toward us. I let out a small gasp. He had more bruises than Evan did. His nose had been bleeding. What is going on? “Melanie, go.”

                I got my legs to work and I quietly jogged up the stairs. I waited outside of my door for a moment but it remained silent downstairs. I shut my door and crossed my room, scooting my desk away from the wall. The previously muffled voices floated into my room through the vent.

                “…told me that you’d quit.” Dad said.

                “No, I said that I would quit. I have to pay off my debt first.” Evan argued. Gambling. Evan gambled a lot through high school and he was very good at it. That is, until his freshman year at university. He fell into a string of losses. He and dad got into a huge fight and Evan even left for a few weeks… but it had been resolved.

                “Pay off? You’re 75 million pounds in debt.” Dad shouted, causing a shiver to run down my spine.

                “Marcus, please.” Mom’s voice was timid.

                “I’ve had enough of this. They came to MY house and I’m not putting up with it.” Dad snapped, probably at mom.

                “I’m dealing with it.” Evan replied. A moment of silence. The sound of a beer bottle crashing against the wall echoed loudly.

                “No, I’M dealing with it. You’re just lucky I’m not throwing your ass out on the streets.” A knock at the door stopped Evan’s angry response. “Please come in,”

                I heard light footsteps coming up the stairs. I quickly got up and slid my desk back. I pulled a book off the shelf and sat on my bed, flipping it open and pretending to read. A light knock was made on my door.

                “Come in,” I called, not looking up from the book. The door creaked as it opened, then back closed. Mom sat on the edge of the bed next to me.

                “Are you okay, sweetie? I know you hate seeing them fight. I do too.” Mom said, brushing my hair behind my ear. Something was very wrong.

                “I’m alright, mom. What’s going on?” I asked, closing the book. Mom stared at me for a moment, studying my features. “Mom.”

                “Carol!” Dad yelled. Mom stood up.

                “We love you so much. And your brother. You have to promise me that you’ll remember that.” Mom said, kissing my head.

                “Of course I know that.” She was scarring me. I didn’t know what was about to happen.

                “Carol!” Dad shouted a second time.

                “Come on, sweetheart. We have someone for you to meet.” I followed mom back down. I stopped at the entrance to the living room. Jim was sitting on the couch, sipping on a cup of tea. Evan stood by the fire with his back to me. Dad walked over to mom, handing her a contract. I kept my eyes locked on Jim. He set down the cup before looking over at me. He smiled.

                “My dear Melanie, how are you?” Jim asked, rising to his feet and straightening his suit.

                “I don’t understand.” I tore my eyes away from him to look at my mom. She scribbled her signature on the paper.

                “Why don’t you and I talk, Melanie? I’ll explain everything.” Jim said. It wasn’t a request. Dad grabbed mom’s arm and went up to their bedroom. Evan came over to me, giving me a pained look before going after them. “Sit.”

                I slowly sunk down onto the couch where Jim had motioned to. I didn’t like this. Why is he here? I haven’t seen Jim since…almost two years ago. And I wasn’t happy to see him after what happened. Jim sat down on the coffee table in front of me.

                “Your dear brother is in a lot of trouble. Did you know that? Of course you did. I know the two of you are very close.” Jim said.

                “Why are you here?” I asked timidly. Jim raised his eyebrows, a small smile on his face.

                “Tisk, tisk, little Melanie. That’s not how you should be talking to me.” He watched me and reached out, placing his hand on my knee. “I can solve your brother’s problem. You should have known your parents would call me. Can you fix it, Jim? Can you make Evan’s debt disappear?”

                I swallowed hard and nodded a little. “S-so you’re going to help Evan?”

                “Yes, I am. But you should know that I never work for free.”

                “They don’t have anything you want.” I said quickly. Jim ran his hand up my thigh and took my hand.

                “Oh but they do. I told you once before, Melanie. I get what I want. And I’ve wanted you for a very long time.” Jim pulled out a small black box, opening it to reveal a diamond ring.

                “I told you that… I couldn’t… not with…” Not with his job. He’s a criminal. Jim chuckled.

                “My dear, your parents have already agreed. They signed the papers. Make this easy on everyone. Don’t fight me.” Jim warned. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I didn’t have a choice.

                “I don’t love you.” My voice shook. Again he chuckled.

                “Yes, you do. You don’t love what I do. There’s a very distinct difference.”

                “You don’t love me.” I countered quickly.

                “Take the ring, Melanie. We can discuss this later. For now, put the ring on and come with me. Your family will be safe, not only from this gambling incident. After we’re married, your family will be receiving a surmisable about of money.”

                “Why? Why am I so special?” Why am I the one you’ve set your sights on? I’m just unlucky I guess. An unlucky girl who had the misfortune of meeting him before he turned into this.

                “Because I want you.” Jim answered. I closed my eyes for a moment, swallowing the tears. I took the ring, sliding it onto my finger. “Good. You’ll always be protected with me. No one will ever harm you.”

                Except you. I smiled a little. “Now what?”

                “Now you go upstairs and pack a small bag of anything personal that you wish to bring tonight and we go. I’ll send for the rest of your things later.” Jim rose, still holding my hand and helping me up as well. “You’ve made the right choice. Your family will be forever grateful.”

                “I won’t be long.” I said, slipping away from him and returning to my bedroom. Evan was waiting. I ignored him, grabbing a suitcase and putting my music sheets, some of my books, and other small things that held sentimental value.

                “I didn’t have a choice. Dad made me sign it.” Evan spoke. They sold me for money. That’s what it boils down to. My own family gave me away to one of the most infamous criminals in the world.

                “Don’t, Evan. Please don’t. You know I love you but this… this is..” I had no words. I zipped up the suitcase and carefully set it on the floor. I rolled it out into the hallway. Mom and dad were talking to Jim.

                “My driver will get that, dear. Don’t strain yourself.” Jim commented. Dad jogged up the stairs, starting to take it from me.

                “I’ve got it.” I said, taking it down.

                “Melanie,” Jim repeated. The driver reached out to take it. I allowed him to.

                “I’m sorry, Jim.” I apologized. Mom took a step towards me. “I’ll be in the car, if you don’t need me.”

                I waited for Jim to give me a nod and I went out the door, down the stairs, and toward the town car. Mom called after me but I ignored her. They don’t deserve a goodbye. They don’t deserve anything from me.

                The driver opened the door, letting me in. I sat there playing with my necklace. I jerked it off, breaking the clasp and I tossed it to the floor. I didn’t wait long. Jim slid into the seat next to me. My parents were standing on the porch. Mom was crying.

                “Would you like me to roll down the window?” The driver asked.

                “No, thank you.” I replied. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Jim with a slight smile on his face. My disowning of my family pleased him. I knew that’s what the rest of my life would be. Pleasing Jim Moriarty. The day I sign the wedding the papers, will be the day I lose my identity. Melanie Moriarty, wife of Jim Moriarty. I’d never be free again.

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