221 – Numb

“Mum…” Karen couldn’t believe her eyes. Violette was back with her baby, accompanied by a police officer.

3669

The officer briefly explained that they had found her in Great Bear and she was living with a man, now deceased, whom the police suspected was a criminal.

3670

The man left and Karen was left with her daughter who was helplessly looking left and right, as if someone else would help her. “Is this true?”

3671

Tears rolled out on Violette’s cheeks. “Yes…” she said in a strangled voice.

3672

Leaving Seth on the sofa, she tried to regain countenance, failed and started to cry uncontrollably. “Is Seth that man’s child…?” her mother asked sadly. “Yes… he is…” Violette hiccupped “Please mum…”

3673

“I understand. No more questions. You’re safe here and you can rest as much as you want.”

3674

Karen had prepared a crib in Violette and Faith’s former bedroom. Violette tucked him into bed and had a look around the room, looking for her teenage memories. She was feeling so bad back then. Because she was far from Orian.

3675

She gave Seth one of her stuffed animals, but he was excited by the new place and wouldn’t get to sleep.

3676

“Please, please darling… Mommy needs to sleep…”

3677

She crawled into her brother Martin’s bed, not even changing clothes. She had hung up Orian’s unfinished portrait on the wall, the only thing she had brought back from Great Bear. She stared at him in the dark.

3678

Karen immediately let her other children know that their sister was back, although in a bad mental state. Faith was the first to arrive. Violette was still in bed, she had difficulty to get out of it. “I’m so relieved that she’s back… but who would have thought she had gone through all that? Please don’t ask her any questions, I only get partial information from time to time and I’m trying to gather the missing pieces.” Faith was just happy at the perspective to see her sister and didn’t want to cause her any more distress, so she agreed not to try to know what happened.

3679

When he came, Martin was much more radical. “To think that no one had any idea she was seeing that man… And that she had no idea he was a murderer! We were all so blind…” Karen tried to soothe him: “Don’t be too harsh… Love is blind, you know.”

3680

–          We have the right to know exactly what happened. She got you worried for so long!

–          Martin, let me deal with this. We cannot rush her.

3681

“Faith!” Violette threw herself in her sister’s arms. “I’ve missed you!”

3682

She was truly delighted to learn that Faith was pregnant. “If it’s a boy, I will name him Keith, like dad.”

3683

Martin clenched his fists but didn’t say anything when Violette began to cry again. Until a few days ago, Violette didn’t know about their father’s death.

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