Chapter tune: Edguy – Save me
“It’s really you! All this time, I thought you didn’t exist! But you’re here!”
Rose looked at this strange man. He had a kind looking face and it was apparent that his white coloured hair and melancholic eyes aged him up quite a bit. However, at that particular moment, his expression was more excited than sad.
Suddenly a harsh voice interrupted the man’s talking.
“Mr Lafontaine! You know this is a forbidden area to patients! Come with me, your sister would be so upset if I lost you!”
“Wait…” Rose said to the man “why do you think you know me?” At the same time, she made a mental note of his last name.
The nurse spoke again “He’s a patient in the psychiatric ward, so… you can understand that he’s not making any sense.”
“I’m not crazy!” the man reacted, but before he could say anything more, the nurse grabbed him and took off.
Rose couldn’t shake the feeling that not only the man, but the nurse too, seemed awfully familiar. However, she couldn’t contemplate about them for too long, since a well known dizziness disrupted her train of thought.
When she was on her way to Jared’s room, she saw him outside talking with an elder woman.
“Babe!” he exclaimed “I want you to meet miss Riddle! She’s the one who called for help when those sons of bitches -”
“Oooh, language my boy!” miss Riddle interrupted him. “You’re Rose, ain’t ya? Jared here told me all about ya and -” she remained silent for a second as she got a closer look at Rose “Oh my stars. Well I’ll be!”
“Ain’t ya a sight for sore eyes! But ya look exactly like this girl that once lived here. What was her name… ah yes, Lily! Ain’t it funny that y’all named after such beautiful flowers? Anyway -”
Rose felt her heart beat faster. Her and Jared exchanged a quick glance and Rose tried to interrupt her, without sounding too rude.
“Wait, can you please tell me about that girl? When exactly did you meet her?”
“Well it was years ago! Two decades to say the least. She was a tad younger than me and very poor. All alone she was in the world… she slept on park benches and ate what she found at the community garden. I reckon she died in an accident. Yes, yes, I remember now. Poor thing, she drowned. The car crashed and fell by the river. Ooh, that poor thing. She had a baby girl ya know. Out of wedlock, not that I judge.”
“Do you know what happened to that baby?”
“Why, let me think a little. Yes, I reckon she didn’t make it either.”
“Are you sure about that?” Jared asked.
“Well. Now that I look at your pretty girlfriend I’m not so sure…” She turned to Rose. “Ya look exactly the same with that baby’s mama, only she was a blonde. Oh my heavens.”
Miss Riddle started looking really confused.
“Can I ask you one last question?” Rose said “The baby’s father… was he in the accident too? If you remember, of course”
“Ooh, don’t I remember. A very bright fellow, studying science. He was in the crash, yes, but he survived it. But what good did it do to him…” she lowered her voice “…he got mad. Nuttier than a fruitcake! The whole town talked about it. Poor thing, he was seeing that girl everywhere. After that, no universities, no studyin’, no nothin’.”
Rose felt like she would faint. “…Was…is his last name Lafontaine?”
“Why yes! Yes it is! He lives all alone now, hardly anyone ever sees him. But” miss Riddle lowered her voice again “I hear he got mad again, poor thing!”
Miss Riddle knew her gossip around town well, though she would never quite admit it.
After a little bit more talking, there was no doubt about it. The man Rose had seen earlier was indeed her father: Philip Lafontaine who had a sister named Margaret Beaufort (née Lafontaine). As for Rose, everyone who lived in this town at the time of the accident thought she had died. Clearly Margaret had something to do with it.
“Babe…how are you feeling? I know it’s probably a stupid question, but still. Are you ok?”
Instead of an answer, Rose started crying. It was very confusing for Jared to understand what that meant, because first, Rose cried very easily and second, it was true that she had gotten both extremely good and bad news; and, most of all, completely unexpected. It was only natural to get all emotional.
“Let’s go” he said gently “He’s still in the hospital, right? Let’s go find him and we’ll leave this goddamned place together. Margaret wants to keep your dad in the madhouse, though it was clear from the conversation I heard between her and that nurse that he’s not crazy at all, at least not for a place like that.”
“You know what… you’re right” Rose replied “Margaret has kept us apart for far too long. But not anymore. This ends here.”
Jared smiled. He took her hands into his and said “That’s my girl. Let’s go get your family. This time, the right one”
PS: Phew…all these hospital shots are tiring and not very fun to make after some time..! So I’ll try to release those remaining chapters as soon as I can, to finally move on from there and return to Sunset Valley at last! About miss Riddle. I imagined she would have a southern kind of accent, so I did a little research on southern expressions etc. If I made any mistake or you think I took it too far, please let me know! Thank you so much for reading! 😀 ❤