Chapter 52 - Blood in the House

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∞ 52 ∞

BLOOD IN THE HOUSE!


Valentina had spent the previous few weeks trying to get over the effects of her stomach bug and trying to sell things around the house with some success. She also put an ad up for the old busted-up digger in the car port, hoping she could get a few thousand francs for it, but had had no response. Soon after her meeting with Sidney, she visited Docteur Blanchard to ask for help on Sidney's behalf (naturally he thought she was asking on her own behalf, when she spoke of 'her friend'). She had phoned Sidney and given the information for a free clinic and told her she would go with her, but hadn't heard back from her and as the weeks passed, thought she probably wouldn't see her again.

In the meanwhile, Docteur Blanchard had contacted Valentina to say that he had been receiving a bombardment of threatening texts and phone messages from Jerremee, accusing him of meddling where he shouldn't and dishonourably trying to woo Valentina for himself. Jerremee had threatened everything from suing him and getting his medical licence taken away on the grounds of indecency, to physical harm – which was just plain silly, because apart from being twice Jerremee's size, Blanchard had been in the military. (Although, on reflection, Jerremee was unusually strong for his size and he did CLAIM to be a black belt in karate as well as having been in a dangerous, special forces unit during his own stint in the military.)

Jerremee had called Blanchard several times and not knowing what it was about, Blanchard had taken a call when he was free. Regretting his minor amount of basic, professional sympathy toward Valentina and not wanting to get further involved, he had initially been diplomatic, but after Jerremee wouldn't cease his contacts, Blanchard became very firm that he would go to the police... And because Jerremee was so good at pushing people to act out in frustration where they normally would not, before he hung up (and because he was off duty) Blanchard pointed out that Valentina's lack of feeling towards Jerremee had obviously been of his own making and that as far as the girl he got pregnant was concerned, he 'should have acted like a man and stood by the poor girl'. It was clear then to Jerremee that Blanchard knew everything. This set something loose in Jerremee's brain: he knew he was a creep, but he could not stand others knowing this secret. In addition, he was freakishly envious of other men. He lived for the attention of people thinking very well of him and once they did not, he usually turned the one who had discovered him into a great adversary in his mind and set about deceptively demonising the other person by smearing them with his own failings in an endeavour to ruin them. Now, with an especially handsome and accomplished younger man knowing all of his dirty little behaviours (KNOWING he was a creep!) Jerremee became entwined in fantasies of getting back at the doctor, who truly had no real interest or involvement in the matter past his professional remit.

Valentina was in Jerremee's field untangling a goat from the fence when she heard the geese screeching an alarm. Someone, or something, was on the property! She grabbed the shovel and ran up to the house assuring herself in her thoughts that it was just the postman Jacques; even when she saw the door to the house open, her first reaction was annoyance with herself for leaving it open... Then she saw the drops of blood on the door sill. Someone was in her house!

It was Sidney. She was laying with her knees drawn up close to her chest on the sofa bench. More blood was on the kitchen floor and down Sidney's legs. She looked very weak but happy to see Valentina. She had hitched rides all the way from the train station. She had gone ahead and had a backyard abortion without anyone's help. It took Valentina a little while to calm down from the shock that someone was in the house (and that there was blood!). She was relieved it wasn't something sinister, but it was nonetheless alarming to see the state the girl was in. Even in her weakened state, when she saw Valentina –perhaps out of relief or perhaps out of shame– Sidney started bawling so frenetically that Valentina herself started to panic and had to go into the passageway to try and collect her thoughts.

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