Vanessa would wait until the night nurses came on. Things were quieter then and she would more likely be able to carry out her plan. “I can do this,” she thought. “I can do it for my mother, and for Alice.”
It was hard to be patient, but Vanessa forced herself to remain in her bed and pretend she was sleeping each time someone checked on her. Since she was being discharged the next day, she doubted the night shift would pay close attention to her.
Annette left the Roadside Cafe and drove to the motel where she had been staying since returning from Brewster. “I’ll go to the hospital, later and take care of things,” She decided. “I have been beaten down by my mother for the last time. It’s over. She won’t be able to do this to me or anyone else ever again.”
Later, Kat was sitting in the waiting room when she saw Annette walking down the corridor. She assumed she was going to see Mrs. Morris and finalize plans for her release the next day. Annette was carrying a large cargo bag which probably had some clothes in it for her mother to wear home.
But Annette didn’t go into the room. She stopped just outside and listened to a conversation between her mother and someone who seemed extremely upset.
“I remember everything. I remember what you said to my mom after Annette left to get the marshmallows. I remember that you grabbed me and walked backwards toward the fire. Mom was afraid to try and get me away from you because you were holding the red can. The one that made the fire burn high. I remember what you said.”
Vanessa told her grandmother what she remembered hearing her say to her mom. “You should know how it feels to lose your oldest daughter to your own sister. Do you know what it did to me when you begged to go and live with her? You said you hated me and never wanted to see me again.”
And then you said, “Vanessa…would you like to come and live with Grandma Morris? You’re the oldest, just like your mother. Give Vanessa to me, Jennifer. She looks just like you did when you were her age.”
Annette recognized the voice that was recounting what happened that day. It was Vanessa. She couldn’t move. She was finally hearing the truth.
Vanessa continued. “My mom said you were out of your mind and she was going to take Annette. She said you had forced her to stay with you long after she should have been out on her own living her own life. We were all going to leave. That’s when mom ran to grab me, but you picked up the red can and threw the gas on her. And then you pushed her. I remember the look of horror on my mother’s face when she fell into the fire.”
Vanessa walked closer to the bed. Mrs. Morris had her eyes closed. “Did you hear me?” She asked.
Annette had heard enough and entered the room.
“It should have been you who died in that fire,” she said to her sleeping mother.
“She’s not awake,” Vanessa said. “Look…her pillow is on the floor. Help me lift her head and put her pillow under it. I want her to see us when she wakes up.”
Several minutes later, Kat saw Annette and Vanessa come out of Mrs. Morris’ room. Vanessa went to her room and Annette left the hospital. She was still carrying the bag.