Chapter 9

Written by: dannyo77

Beads of sweat formed on Jim’s brow as he drove to Francesca’s, deep in thought. He wiped his forehead on his sleeve. News that Francesca had authorized the use of wrong parts for the car reignited his anger. He thumped the steering wheel with clenched fists. How on earth she could have been so stupid was beyond him. Yet as he drove, the anger began to fade.

He sat outside Francesca’s house trying to work out just how he felt. A trickle of sweat slid down his back, disturbing his silent reverie. He cracked the window open and felt refreshed by a cool breeze. His thoughts drifted to Cate, back at the hospital. She was making a good recovery but she had changed too. “Somehow she knew things she shouldn’t,” he mused out loud. “How did she know about that guy Joe? How did she know about the car?”

He wound the window down and rested his arm across the sill. He looked across at the house. The paint was peeling on Francesca’s front door and the overgrown yard full of kid’s toys.

Jim’s thoughts turned to his police interview.  There was no reasonable explanation for what happened that day. He knew his life changed; one minute they were questioning him, the next a premonition flashed through his mind that everything would be okay. But most of all, he couldn’t understand the strong desire at that moment to get his life together and dedicate himself to a life with Cate. However, he knew it was the right thing to do.

A meek grin spread across his face, lifting his spirits. He exhaled deeply and opened the door. Leaving the car, he headed toward the house.

He decided to share his thoughts with Cate later, for now he had a sister-in-law to reconcile with.

 

*******

 

Francesca bit her nails and stepped behind the curtains as Jim walked up the path. She peered out from behind them. He looked calm, even happy. She felt a swirling mixture of anger and fear. Did he know about the car? She thought of ignoring him but decided to face him. There was a loud knock on the door. Her chest heaved with nervous anticipation as she walked from the room.

 

*******

 

Startled, Jim stepped back as the door was flung open. Francesca stood facing him with arms folded across an oversized dirty apron, her face contorted with scorn. As she started to speak he held up a hand.

“Francesca, I forgive you, I know about the car.”

The colour drained from Francesca’s face. “I’m so sorry I blamed you, Jim. I’ve been so afraid of getting into trouble.” She began to sob.

Jim reached out and put his arms around her, thinking maybe she wasn’t so bad after all or maybe he really was changing.

Now he had to find a way to tell Cate the truth without causing the sisters any more distress.

 

Dan Oliver (NZ)

 

 

Comments

I think new writer Dan has captured the change in the way these two characters attitudes change toward each other, especially Jims. It also leaves the story nicely poised for the last writer to tidy things up. Good chapter Dan.
That's drama within a family to contend with as this chapter shows. Good way for the final writer to work out how to end this serial Dan.