“I don’t think it’s necessary for you to go to the hospital now, Jack,” Kat said. “Vanessa was sleeping when I left her. She was so exhausted, I’m sure she’s out for the night.”
“That poor girl.” Jack was trying hard to absorb what Kat had just told him. “I made a terrible mistake when I didn’t get help for the girls after I realized they had blocked out any memory they had of that day. I was so caught up in my own grief, I didn’t think about what was best for them. They were so young.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, Jack. You’re daughters adore you. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that Edith Morris is my mother’s sister. She must have deeply resented mother for taking Jennifer away.”
“It sounds like Edith Morris was a very disturbed woman long before her Alzheimers diagnosis. I can’t believe my little girls watched her throw gasoline at their mother and push her into a fire.
I’ve got to go to the hospital, Kat. I have to be there when Vanessa wakes up.”
“I understand, Jack. I’m going to check on Annette. Regardless of the part she played in kidnapping the girls, I feel sorry for what she has had to endure. In a way, I believe her mother brainwashed her.”
Kat went to her room and thought about calling Annette. It was after 11:00 so she decided it was too late. Around 1:00 a.m. Kat’s phone rang. It was Jack.
“Kat,” he said. “Edith Morris is dead.”
“What happened? Was it something related to her injuries?”
“I don’t know, but the police are here. Can you come to the hospital right away?”
Kat quickly dressed and headed for her car. As she was about to back out, she saw Annette’s car pull in. Kat was able to catch her attention and Annette parked next to her.
“Have you talked to anyone at the hospital?” Kat asked. Since she knew very little, she didn’t know how much to say to Annette.
“No…I’ve been at the Roadside Cafe. Why do you ask?”
“I’m not quite sure what’s going on, but Jack just called and said there was an emergency. We need to get over there. Come with me.”
Annette hesitated a moment and Kat tried without success to read her expression. She was wondering if Annette already knew her mother was dead.
On the drive to the hospital, Annette looked at her phone. There were two messages…both were from her mother.
“It looks like Mother has been trying to reach me. I was at the cafe talking with Sandy. I waited until after she closed up and we had a long talk. I needed someone to listen to me.”
“You know, don’t you, Annette? You know that Vanessa remembers everything that happened the day her mother died.”
“You mean the day she was murdered, don’t you?”
“Yes…I was about to go into Mother’s room today and I overheard Vanessa telling her the the whole story. I wanted so badly to see Mother’s reaction, but she was sleeping…or pretending to be. I couldn’t believe what Vanessa was saying. I have been living a lie all these years, but that’s over now.”
“Was your mother awake before you and Vanessa left?”
“No…a nurse came in just as we were about to get her to wake up, so we left.”