I Am Rosemary’s Granddaughter Chapter 19: “Most of All”

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“So, they’re still going to perform the play?” Mike’s voice still had a tiredness to it.
“Yes, I think it’s a great tribute for her.”
“You would’ve performed it all yourself if they didn’t.”
“You’re right,” I replied.
I sat at a small, built for two, but three people could possibly sit at it if they used tea saucers as dinner plates as I talked with Micheal over the phone.
Danny was on the other side of the room on his computer.
“I wish you could see it.”
“We could come and break you out of the hospital?”
“I’m sure you could, but, I guess I need to be here. Recovery and all.”
“I could get a horse and run it into the front doors.”
“Go on,” He said with a laugh.
“That’s it, I haven’t really thought it that far through.”
“Were you able to get some of our things?”
“Yeah,” I replied as I looked in the corner of the room at a few large bags. All of our stuff was thrown into black garbage bags and held hostage by Richard. Danny and I had to play “bad cop, bad ass cop” to negotiate for its release.
“You mom called me.”
I felt the blood drain from my face. “What did she say?”
“She wanted to know why you never answer your phone and I told that it’s been a crazy week and that I was away in Nashville.”
“Did you say for a school project or something?”
“Couldn’t lie to your mom.”
“So, I guess they’re not coming tomorrow after all.”
“No, they’re still coming to Knoxville tomorrow. Something about seeing an old college friend of your dad’s.”
“Maybe we can just lock the theatre doors or maybe they’re not going to come see me after my last phone call.”
“I reckon not, but, you know your dad, he’s kind of unpredictable. That runs in your family, doesn’t it?”
“Nope, it just strolls by and gets to know everyone.”
“I miss you, Kristina.”
“Miss you too.”
“Danny taking care of ya?”
“Yes,” I replied. “He’s been very nice.”
“Good to hear.”
“What did you tell him?”
“That you’ll do anything you put your mind to so he needs to keep both eyes on you. Tell him thank you for me.”
“I will.”
“Don’t break a leg now.”
“Aww, but if I do then we can kind of match.”
“I hear ya. Goodnight Kristi. Love you.”
“”I love you too.”

The clicked and beeped that he had ended the call. I looked at the phone for a moment and closed my eyes.
“How is he?” Danny asked.
“He sounded tired. He said thank you.”
“You’re both welcome. Got something for you.”
“Okay.” I got up from the table and walked over to the desk.
“Jacob doesn’t have the laptop, or at least he didn’t send the email from within the college IP system.”
“The what?” I asked.
“A computer has a given name, made up of a set of numbers. The school uses a specific number range and this is not outside of that range.”
I looked at him with a blank expression
“Jacob lives off-campus, so the numbers would not be part of the school’s mix. Jacob doesn’t have your laptop but I can tell who does, or may know where it is.”
“I sent an email back to Mike’s account with a few pictures I culled off the internet. You. Don’t. You wouldn’t want to look at them.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” I replied as I bit my lip.
“Anyway, I sent the pictures as a shockwave file with a payload attached and our guy took the bait. The attachments were designed to scan the hard drive and pull up file names. Nothing destructive, just poking around. I’m not going to get arrested for hacking a moron’s PC. I got my sights on Heather Locklear...One day. She’e still hot.”
“So who has the laptop?”
“The biggest dick we know.”
“I’ve met a few this week. You’re going to need to be more specific.”
“Don’t think too hard.”
“Nun-uh,” I closed my eyes for a moment. “No, no seriously?”
“Looks like he used Mike’s laptop to do a few things; browse to a few sites that—I wouldn’t show this to my blind grandmother.”
I walked over to the couch and moved away from the area with the broken spring.
“Again, how did you fight the urge to not punch him in the face?”
“We did’t want to lower ourselves to his level. So, is there anything you can do?”
“Sorry, not without him using it against us. I say we just go and get the laptop form him.”
“If he hasn’t gotten rid of it already.”
Danny nodded. “Sorry.”
“No, thank you. I’ve always gotten a creepy vibe around him.”
“He likes you.”
“Say what?” I asked as I tried to get THAT thought out of my mind.
“You couldn’t tell?”
“No, why would I-“
Danny clicked a few keys and turned the system off.
“Just noticed that he’s stand-offish with you in person but he took all of the photos off of your camera that were of you, not Mike.”
“That’s just so perverted,” I said with a shudder.
“I seriously want to just go and kick his ass.”
“Ahh, now we’re talking.”

I woke up early in the morning to get ready. Danny’s apartment had maybe, five minutes of lukewarm water that I could see why he didn’t bother to do much with his hair—there wasn’t enough time before one was pelted by shards of ice. It was a better wake-up call than any espresso though.
Then I got dressed for the day but I was not going to go to any of my classes. Sure, I wanted to, but I had to deal with a few things; that and I had forgotten to do any of my classwork.
I drove in with Danny and he dropped me off at the dorm.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to go in with you?”
“I’m good. I’ll just flat out ask him if he’s seen the camera or the laptop.”
“And he’s going to either flat out deny it or he’ll be your heavenly messenger and say that he magically found them on one of the other floors.”

I nodded in agreement but I had to at least ask.
“Thank you, again, Danny.”
“I’ll see you at the production tonight.”
“See you.”
I turned toward the building and walked into the front lobby. Richard was not at his desk, but I saw something that was—a camera strap, connected to a camera. Specifically mine.
I walked into the office, picked it up and confirmed it was mine by a few tell-tale scratches to the body.
“Found what you were looking for?” Richard’s voice asked form the door frame.
“Yes, how long have you had it?”
“A few days,” he replied with a coolness in his voice.
“Didn’t think to give it back to me?”
“I can now.”
“Enjoy yourself?” I asked.
I turned around to see he had closed the door.
“There was an interesting aesthetic to the pictures.”
“Those were private,” I said through gritted teeth.
“Then why were they on the camera?”
“Because that’s mine too. Why did you steal it?”
“I didn’t. I found it in the hallway.”
“Before of after you trashed our room?”
“I don’t really remember,” he said with a shrug. “But I do remember that you kept saying you were a girl and I thought, delusions of grandeur there: he wants something that he’ll never have, but then I saw the pictures and I thought...whoa, you werr telling the truth.”
“No kidding?” I asked.
“You’re still a freak of nature.”
“And you’re still an asshole.”
“I have a fascination for the unnatural. To find out what makes things like that tick.”
“Things like that?”
“Well you’re not either or, right? In the middle.”
“What I have between my legs does not identify me and its none of yours or anyone else’s business how I want to identify. But you are not going to call me an ‘it’, or a ‘thing’. I’m not some social experiment for you to stare at.”
“Oh, but I did.”
I felt sick hearing him. “I’m leaving.”
“I have my camera; I can assume that you’ve hidden or thrown Micheal’s laptop away so-“
I wrapped the camera strap around my arm and moved towards the door but Dick took a step forward and blocked me.
“You would be great in a ménages à trois.”
“And you would be great to shut up and get out of my way.”
“So, you can then, interesting.”
“Step aside, Richard.”
“Do you try multiple positions?”
“Move, Rick!”
“Could you show me?”
“Go. To. Hell, Dick!” I swung my camera and struck him in the face with it. I then moved to jab my elbow into his chest—trying to remember all of the ‘fightin moves’ Micheal tried to me. I threw several punches but they seemingly bounced off of him, like I might as well hadn’t done a thing.
I found myself with one of my arms pinned behind my back and his other hand on my chest.
“Now you’ve just made it difficult.”
“Are you telling me that no one can hear what’s going on?”
“I doubt they’d care.”
He moved his hand higher and pushed his arm against my throat.
“You really disappointed me, Kris, I kept getting these mixed signals from you and now...now I really want you.”
I closed my eyes in an attempt to control my breathing and to try to block out what he was saying.
“So misunderstood by everyone and you latched onto the first person to acknowledge that you even existed.”
“No, I had a girlfriend-“ I choked the words out; by letting him talk I could buy more time.
“Did she know?”
“Were you afraid of what she would think?”
“Wasn’t who I am.”
Richard had loosened his arm on my neck a little but still held my other arm behind my back and the pain was intense.
“Does she know now?”
“Yes, I told her last week.”
“Do your parents know?”
I wanted to scream. I wanted someone to knock on the door or at the very least barge in and see everything in front of them.
“You’re lying. They have no idea that you’re dressing up in skirts and panties, do they?”
“They do. They don’t accept it.”
“Not a lot of people do. I do.”
“Yes, I know. I know.”
“Do you know what you’re going to do for me?”
“Anything I ask, or a few more pictures are going to to out, perhaps to your Dad’s company.”
“Go ahead,” I replied. “Like I care.”
“You’re saying that now.”
“I’d say it now, tomorrow, and years from now. He doesn’t care so I don’t care.”
“Aww, but that would be such a burden to him, with the world knowing that his only son has hermaphroditism.”

I could feel the tension on my neck lighten up allowing me bend my neck in and rotate my body out of his grip. I then slammed my foot into his groin and screamed bloody murder because my arm felt like he fractured it.
Richard charged at me and I fell against the wall.
“No one cares what will happen to you! Not your parents, not your boyfriend, this school, no one!”

I didn’t respond as I tried to get up.
Richard my harm and tried to pull me up but I wouldn’t stand up.
“You’re just a freak of nature! And you should’ve been killed in the womb.”
I couldn’t do anything but cry at that moment, not from the pain in my arm—although it hurt like Hell—but from his words. I knew what we was doing but I felt compelled to believe it…because I had heard it so much from my father.
He squatted down and pulled me hair.
“I saw something I wanted in you. Sad that you’ll never get it.”
I wanted to get up and hit him but my body was shaking too much.
“You’re a worthless thing!”
Richard lifted me up into a keeling position; I was mentally drained.
“I’m not worthless,” I mumbled through chattering teeth. “I’m not a thing.”
“You may be useful for something.”
He grabbed my shoulders and I stopped feeling anything as my head shook back and forth. I know I screamed out something, but I didn’t know what it was.

There were several loud knocks, followed by several booming sounds coming from the door.

Richard’s grasp on loosened as I could see three brightly lit figures appear behind him. Two of the figures grabbed at him while the other yelled my name out, but I had no idea who it was at the time as I fell into them.

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