A Will to Kill: Chapter Three
Another Saturday night wasted, thought Glen as he drove into his driveway; the car’s dashboard read 11:08 PM. I can’t recall the last time Veronica and I had a date night. Maybe next Friday, I can see if the Scarborough Theatre has a play going on. Dinner at the Stone Manor and a play, Veronica would like that.
Glen stopped in the kitchen to get himself a Diet Pepsi before heading into the living room where he could hear Veronica was watching a movie which she muted as Glen entered the room. Seeing Marilyn Monroe talking to Jack Lemmon in silence was somewhat surreal.
“Some Like It Hot?”
“Yes” answered Veronica. “I’ve been meaning to watch this movie and tonight it’s playing on AMC.”
“Remember when we use to go out on Saturday nights?” asked Glen as he sat down next to Veronica on the couch.
“Hemingway’s was our spot, when was the last time we ate there?
“At least three years ago.”
“More like five. So how did it go?”
“I told the parents I was contemplating going to children services. Obviously, that didn’t go down well… their story doesn’t feel right. After speaking with them, I stopped by the farmhouse, she’s still there squatting. I definitely need to take this up with children services.”
“Not the girl, the Gymski’s!”
Glen took a long sip of his drink as he watched Monroe and Lemmon talk in silence.
“Seems they have some type of stomach flu or they ate something that didn’t agree with them. I advised them to go to the hospital to get themselves checked out.”
“Good suggestion. That explains not barbequing.”
“I noticed Wanda’s car isn’t in their driveway. Looks like they took my advice.”
“So, you were right something was wrong.”
“Observe, analyze and surmise, it’s what I do for a living,” said Glen with a smile as he took another sip of his Pepsi.
“No argument that you’re not good at your job, sometimes I think you’re too good at it.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment, backhanded as it is. Speaking of my job, Wanda and Steve received a gift basket from Teresa and Josh, it was to…”
“A gift basket?”
“Yeah, a basket of fruits to apologize for their behavior at the Gymski’s barbeque back in May.”
“That was like over four months ago! A long time to wait to apologize don’t you think?”
“You’re starting to think like me, that’s exactly what I thought… why now? When you and Athena were there did you hear much about what the disagreement was about?”
Veronica picked up the remote and turned off the television.
“Looks like I’ll have to watch this another time.”
“Sorry, but I’m curious. Like you just pointed out four months is a long time to wait to apologize.”
“Athena and I had arrived around 6:30 PM and I heard everything Teresa said. It was obvious she had a few drinks.”
“Wine coolers Wanda told me.”
“Yeah, wine coolers,” said Veronica in a deadpan tone. “Anyways, as I was starting to say, it was obvious Teresa had been drinking. We were exchanging a few pleasantries when she noticed behind me Wanda coming out with a tray of food. Basically, she stopped talking with me and walked right by me to start talking with Wanda.”
“She didn’t excuse herself?”
“Nope. Acted like she had a bone to pick with Wanda.”
“Now who’s surmising?”
Veronica made a mocking gesture she was going to throw one of the couch pillows at Glen and then gave him a smile, the one he couldn’t resist.
“I’ll give you that, however there was no doubt she was angry.”
“Where was Josh? Did you hear what Teresa said to Wanda?”
“Josh was sitting, with a few other guys, under the Gymski’s weeping willow. I have no idea what they were talking about, probably the usual guy topics.”
“Probably” agreed Glen.
“Teresa just came out and said, So you’re leaving your house to Tyler! She said it loud enough for everyone to hear. A few guests stop talking and looked in her direction.”
“Teresa started with a statement? She knew that Wanda and Steve were leaving their house to Tyler?”
“It would seem so.”
“Do you know if Teresa had spoken to Wanda earlier that day?”
“How would I know that?” said Veronica annoyed by Glen’s question. “I would surmise she hadn’t. When Wanda saw Teresa walking towards her she was able to squeeze in, I’m glad you could make it, before Teresa launched into her tirade.”
Veronica ignored Glen’s attempt at humor and continued.
“Wanda, as to be expected, was taken aback by Teresa’s verbal attack and said, Excuse me? Then all hell broke loose. Teresa went on a tirade about having known Wanda longer than she has known Ann and how much Adrian has helped them and that she and Steve were Adrian’s godparents and he always thought of them like second parents. She just went on and on and was getting louder and louder. It was when Teresa started making comments about why she thought Wanda and Steve never had children that Josh finally walked over and said they should leave. Wanda just stood there the entire time, which was a couple of minutes, and just let Teresa yell at her. She didn’t even try to defend herself she was so in shock.”
“You think Josh could hear Teresa’s tirade the whole time?” asked Glen.
“I think so. Once Teresa started in on Wanda it got uncomfortably quiet. There were probably thirty people and all the conversations had stopped.”
“So, Josh let Teresa have a go a Wanda for quite some time before he finally stepped in, right?”
“It seemed that way.”
“I take it Wanda was upset.”
“Where was Steve during all this?”
“I presume inside in the kitchen. Gary went inside, and I guess told Steve what was going on. He came running out wiping his hand on a dishtowel, but by then Teresa and Josh has already left. I found it surprising Steve didn’t hear all the commotion Teresa was causing.”
“From the way you described what happened that does appear to be unusual,” agreed Glen. “After Teresa and Josh left what happened?”
“Wanda went inside visibly upset, and Steve went around apologizing to everyone and told us to help ourselves to the food and drinks and he would be starting to barbeque soon. Then he went inside. About ten minutes later Wanda came out. I never felt so awkward, nobody knew what do. What do you do in such a situation? The conversations just started back up again and people acted like nothing had happened.”
Glen finished his Pepsi, stood up and walked over to the living room’s bay window. The Gymski’s were still not back. Glancing at his watch Glen saw it was past midnight.
“Well I hope Wanda and Steve are alright. She told me the gift basket was the first communication she had since the barbeque.”
“It’s not as if Wanda and I are friends, but back in August she did tell me she hadn’t heard from Teresa since the barbeque and asked me what she thought she should do.”
“What did you tell her?”
“To leave it alone for the time being. It was obvious Teresa’s behaviour was fueled by alcohol, but she should be the one to make the first move, not her.”
“And so, almost five months later Teresa makes the first move.”
Veronica was about to make a comment that maybe Teresa didn’t value her friendship with Wanda as much as Wanda valued her friendship with Teresa, which might explain why it had taken so long for Teresa to apologize, when Glen iPhone pinged.
“A text from Athena?” asked Veronica.
“She’s not home?”
“She went over to a friend’s house.”
“A friend house,” said Glen as he read the text message. “Didn’t we give her a curfew? It’s well past midnight! I just got a text from my client’s daughter who’s squatting in that farmhouse near Goodwood.”
“What does she want?”
“Hitting me up for money” answered Glen.
“At this time?”
“I told her if she needed anything to reach out to me 24/7.”
“You have a big heart, which is one of the many reasons I love you. However…”
“And put up with me,” said Glen with a grin as he started composing a text. “I’m letting her know I’ll be stopping by tomorrow afternoon with some groceries. I’m not comfortable just giving her money.”
“If you had let me finish what I was going to say is you’re not a social worker, nor can you help everyone who needs help.”
“I know, but she needs a break… a few breaks actually.”
“Going to children services, as you’re thinking of doing, is the right thing to do.”
Glen nodded in agreement. Separating his work from his generosity was a work in progress. He had more than his share of breaks throughout his life and paying it forward, principle he tried to live by, was now his religion.
“Not to change the subject,” said Glen as he started to type a text to Athena asking her where she was and when she was planning on coming home, “I wonder why the Gymski’s chose Tyler over Adrian to leave their house to?”