March 21st, 2016
It was a few days after Farrow’s visit and almost a week since my parents returned from vacation. I had also taken all of Rose’s clothes and shoved them in a small compartment in the back of my wardrobe, ready for my mission – I still had a long way to go before I got there.
My father had just been out somewhere, and I heard his shuffling as he came back into the house. I closed my laptop quickly and dragged my bag from under my bed, setting up the believable scenario of homework.
“Anne?” My dad called, locking the front door up.
“Yes, Jeff?” I responded. I hardly ever called him by his first name, but whenever I felt like a wind-up I would.
“Don’t address me in that way. I’ve told you before!” He hung his jacket on the rack in the hallway before walking into the kitchen to boil up a coffee and smoke a cigarette. It’s the normal afternoon routine for my dad. It always happens this way.
“I’m so sorry, Jeff. But I guess I’ll only address you how you wanna be addressed if you start calling me what I wanna be called.” I yelled down to him.
“And what is that?”
“What? What the hell are you talking about?” he huffed.
“Call me Two. That’s how you can distinguish me from Jennifer-Rose, right? Jennifer One? Well I’m Jennifer Two, it makes perfect sense-”
“Anne… have you… have you been inside the attic?” he asked, and I could hear the dread painting his voice. I could hear him closer now, at the bottom of the stairs. I prepped myself for another blaring argument. Now that I knew the truth, I felt like picking a fight; letting them know that I had found out, and using it against them. I like to pick fights with people who deserve them. It’s something that Rose did, too.
“Call me Two! Until then, I’ll keep calling you Jeff. Jeff stinkin’ Middleton! Deal with it.” and I could feel myself getting angrier and more upset, the more I talk to him.
“Did you go into the Attic, Anne?”
I didn’t respond. I didn’t have to. My parents knew they had screwed up, and they knew my wrath would hang upon them from thereon.
July 20th, 1999
“We can try for another one.” Jeff tells Roseanna, helplessly. He feels like it’s his last resort; possibly something she’d agree to. Instead, she laughs manically – hysterically. “You think this was some sort of miscarriage? Some stillborn child? She is sixteen, Jeff!” She’s yelling already.
“I’m just suggesting-”
“Don’t ‘suggest’ anything unless you need to!”
“Roseanna, don’t you talk to me in that way!” He rises from the sofa, giving her a cold glare. “I am your husband. That is our child, not yours. Don’t act like you’re suffering alone. Don’t take it out on me.”
“I’m sorry,” she sniffs. “I’m going crazy.” She begins crying, but it’s a wailing noise. She’s on the floor, crying into her hands. Jeff stands over her, contemplating to pick her up and take her upstairs, help her shower and put her to bed. But he’s tired of nursing her wounds, whilst his are still fresh, wide open.
He leaves her lying there, on the living room floor, and goes outside to light a cigarette on the front porch.