This is the rework of a self-published auto-biographical story (2008), rewritten for this blog. Names of characters have been changed.
Content warning: mental and physical abuse, misogyny.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
Annie’s decision (2)
Continued from… Annie’s decision (1)
Annie was back in her office. Already half an hour had passed since she had sent the fax. Why had her mother not called her yet? Her fax said that it was urgent. Was it not clear enough? Maybe her mother didn’t believe she really meant it this time. Of course, this was a possibility. Twice before, she had told her mom she would come abroad and both times, she had cancelled her plans, because she didn’t dare to leave her country of birth. Maybe her mother didn’t want to be disappointed again.
Ten minutes before Annie was to leave the office to go to the hospital, the phone in her office rang.
“This is Sergeant Annie Bancroft,” she said after grabbing the receiver at a lightning speed.
“This is Yolanda,” a female Dutch voice spoke on the other side, “I had some difficulty understanding your letter,” the woman explained.
“Your mother wasn’t in today, because she’s sick,” Yolanda continued, “but I will go to her flat after work and bring her your fax. I just thought that since it’s Friday afternoon, I could better call and tell you this. I don’t think your mom will be able to call you before Monday.”
Annie was disappointed, but thankful towards the unknown woman, who made the effort to call her. She thanked her for her concern.
Annie quickly walked out of her office to her car and drove off to the hospital.
Thankful that the tape recorder wasn’t connected, Annie put the phone down.
“Who was it?” Fred asked. He had answered the telephone and he knew there was a woman on the other side.
“What did she want?” he asked suspicious.
“I have to call my mother.”
“Then call her,” he said while he stood up to connect the tape recorder.
“No,” Annie said furious, “I’m not going to call her. If she can call my aunt, she can call me too.”
Annie’s anger wasn’t really directed at her mother. She was angry with Fred, and she wanted nothing more than to call her mom, but she couldn’t let Fred know what her plans were. She knew how that would end.
“Maybe there’s something important she needs from you,” Fred urged, “call her.”
“No, Fred. I’m not calling her. If it’s important, she would’ve called me.”
The rest of the day, Fred continuously tried to convince Annie to call her mother. Annie stuck to her guns. Pretending to be angry her mother didn’t directly call her, she absolutely refused to make the phone call. Under no circumstances would Annie make the call from the house on the smallholding. Under no circumstances.
“There’s something going on here — that’s why you don’t want to call your mom,” Fred established. After many attempts, he silently acknowledged defeat.
Annie was at her work earlier than usual. Fred was at home, since Fran would be discharged from hospital in the morning. He had called into the office to take the day off, waiting at the phone for Fran to call him to pick her up. Annie was glad about this, as it gave her the freedom to carry on with her plans.
An hour later, Annie stood next to the fax machine from where she had sent her mother a fax on Friday afternoon. Terry had given her permission to call her mother.
“Hello,” Annie heard the sleepy voice of her mom.
“Hi mom, did I wake you?”
“Yes, it’s only 7 in the morning over here, because of the time difference,” her mother explained.
“ I’m sorry. I’m also sorry I couldn’t call you yesterday. Fred wanted to tape the conversation. I don’t want him to know about my plans before I have discussed them with you.”
“Are you now really coming over here?”
“Yes mom, but I do have one problem. I have to get my hands on the money for the tickets. I still have to figure that out, but…”
“Don’t worry about the money for the tickets,” her mother interrupted her, “just arrange everything on that side. Have you told that bloke that you are leaving?”
“No, as I said I wanted to talk to you first.”
“Tell him tonight. Arrange a place for your stuff to be stored. Maybe you can store it at your aunt’s place. When do you want to come over here?”
“As soon as possible.”
“I’ll call you again as soon as I’ve booked your trip,” her mother promised.
To be continued… Telling Fred and Fran
© Rebel’s Notes