La Grande Illusion // Part One

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Monday morning came faster than I would've liked

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Monday morning came faster than I would've liked. Currently, I was sitting at the table with my eyes closed. Mom and Ronnie loved tea before the day but I was completely a coffee person. So instead of a fancy teacup, I had a mug of caffeine.

"The lawyers are coming this week to take our statements for your dad's hearing," Mom explained, "We're going to have to testify on your father's behalf."

Ronnie looked at her drink, "What if they ask about what he did? Embezzling all that money?"

"Are we going to have to lie?" I lifted my head up.

"Well," Mom sighed, "We might have to shade the truth a bit, girls." Mom looked absolutely stressed as the rubbed her head.

"Mom?" Ronnie looked at her.

Our mom just shook her head, "Baby, I've just made a mess of things. Your father found out about Fred and me. Someone went to him before I got a chance to say anything...."

My eyes widened. It was my father's fault. My dad is the reason Moose got beaten up, the reason Archie almost got himself killed in a Serpent bar, the reason Jughead almost lost another friendship.

"Oh, my God. Dad knows?" I felt my breathing pick up.

Mom sighed again and closed her eyes, "Yes, and on top of that, the Blossoms are still after the drive-in land, and Fred still doesn't know that we own it."

"Maybe it's time you tell Mr. Andrews the truth," Ronnie suggested.

Mom shook her head, "And risk having him walk off the project? We've bet everything we have on the SoDale construction."

"Mom, this is a small gossipy town. You need to tell Fred about the land before someone else does. And based off what you've told us, I don't think he'd give up on a project like this." I took a sip from my coffee mug.

"Alright, I'll tell him." Mom stood up from her seat, "You girls get to school. And be careful, it's snowy out."

With that, Ronnie and I stood up and grabbed our stuff. Something tells me this wasn't going to go how we planned.

--

In class, Ethel was reading a poem she wrote. I knew about what Chuck did to her from Ronnie's explanation but that was it. I had never spoken to her but this poetry might be the reason I do.

"They put me in a wooden box as I desperately opposed. But all my screaming was for naught. My mouth had been sewn closed. Curled up in bed was just a girl. Needing Daddy's arms to hold her."

The poem hit closer to home than I would've liked. I looked at Ethel from my spot across from Archie. She had something going on, something she didn't want to share. I wanted to help, wanted to fix it for her. That poem wasn't just anything, it was a cry for help.

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