A New Family

by oldgrump

Copyright© 2019 by oldgrump

Drama Story: She came to us scarred emotionally and hurt physically, she healed us and together we healed her.

Tags: Fiction   Crime   Tear Jerker   Torture   Violent  

Edited with my profuse thanks by Barney R. Spelling and grammar checks on my modifications by Grammarly
Any and all mistakes and omissions are on me

She came to us scarred emotionally and hurt physically, she healed us and together we healed her.

We, Sandy (Sans) and I were going through a very rough period in our marriage. Some of the blame belonged to each of us, but a lot of it was, as are most couple’s problems, about money, and the lack of it. I am a highly placed executive with a large but poorly run corporation. I had been forced to take a drastic pay cut or lose my job altogether. Sandy had lost her job several months before.

We started fighting over everything. I was at my wit’s end; Sandy and I were screaming at each other again. This time it was because Sandy had spent way too much on her clothes. I had enough, “I want to end this farce. Let’s just get a divorce” I screamed, “I can’t take this anymore.”

Sandy just sank down into a kitchen chair and started sobbing, “Johnny, I love you, I don’t want a divorce. I’ll take the clothes back in the morning. I just like looking pretty.”

I took a deep breath and sighed. “OK, Sans, I know that you like new clothes, but you have to stop spending so much. I need to cut back also. I will give up the country club, the car club, and my golf. Maybe we can get back on track in a few months.”

Then I added, in one of my better cognitive moments; “Sans, you would be pretty dressed in a burlap potato sack. I know you don’t think so, but all of the guys at work are envious and all the women are jealous that I have you. Never ... Never ... Never doubt my love for you, but I can’t stand the fights. Maybe we should look for some professional help.”

“Do you think so?” She asked, “I’m willing, I don’t like the fights either. I am just so frustrated that we haven’t gotten pregnant, that I take my frustration out in these destructive ways.”

I am Johnny Campbell, 38, and married for 8 years to Sandy Campbell nee Madison, 32. I am 6’ 2” 195 to 200 lbs. with blue to steel-gray eyes. I have a serious receding hairline and a few battle scars that came from trying to do things that I should leave to professionals. My left leg and ankle are mostly metal because I wanted to clean my gutters when the ground was wet. Ladders sink and tip when that is the condition of the ground.

Sandy is a beautiful, petite 5’ 3” lady with jet black hair and brown eyes. She has a figure that a lot of women want and most men take second and third looks at. She normally has a bubbly personality, but for the past year and a half we have been trying to have a baby, and the failure to get pregnant is wearing on Sandy. I asked her to just relax and let it happen or go back on birth control.

I have had an additional upset because my family has undergone a serious disaster. About a year ago my older brother Jack was killed in an industrial accident. He left a second wife and a daughter from his first marriage. The stepmother let it be known shortly after the funeral that Margaret, (Peggy to me) would finish the school year, and then be shipped to a boarding school.

I informed her that I would do everything in my power to prevent her from sending Peggy away. I got a temporary restraining order preventing Connie from removing Peggy from her home. The order was to remain in effect until the estate is probated.

The will had not been probated at that time because the court could not find Peggy’s mother. She left without warning, three years ago, and Jack divorced her and remarried last year. He had been a troubleshooter for a major oil company and was killed when a pipeline problem he was investigating caused a pipeline to burst and catch fire. He and five others died.

Peggy went from a happy 14-year-old to a devastated, sullen little girl; and her stepmother seemed happy and relieved.

Connie was shocked and angry when she was told that she would not have access to Jack’s assets until the will was probated.

Finally, a year after the accident, the court decided to allow the reading of the will. The new and old Mrs. Jack Campbell were each specifically given one dollar. The bank accounts and the rest of the insurance and lawsuit settlements went into a trust for Peggy. The dollar was so that neither wife could claim that they were left out. In the Will, it was also declared that Connie (the current Mrs. Jack) was required to leave the house in 15 days as Jack had paid it off long before he married Connie.

He then specified that it was his desire that Sandy and I agree to become guardians for Margaret, (Peggy) and that we live in his house so that she will have a stable environment and remain in her same school district. He stipulated in the will that if we did that, the house would be ours when Margaret turned 21.

Sandy loved Peggy like she was ours, and so did I. It was not a hard decision. We agreed. Peggy, in tears, leaped from her chair and gave Sans a big hug and sat in my lap resting her head on my chest for the rest of the required paperwork.

Connie was very angry and said a very foolish thing. “Go ahead, if you want the house, go ahead, I will never set foot in it again. Just so you know, I will be contesting this piece of crap called a will and when I win, you will all be out on your asses. Then I will sell that place.” She got up and left.

The lawyer laughed, “She didn’t get to hear the worst part. The house is now owned by the trust and can only be transferred to his brother Johnny and his wife. No one else except Margaret can do anything about getting rid of the house.”

The move to Jack’s house was both happy and sad. We both loved the place but missed Jack. Sans really took over and removed all of Jack’s and Connie’s clothes. She donated Jack’s to the Salvation Army, and Connie’s, because she didn’t come to pick them up, went to Goodwill.

Peggy was somewhat subdued and did not talk to us much for the first couple of days in the house. She also dressed in long (to the floor) skirts and long sleeve blouses even though it was over 80º outside.

On the first Friday evening in the house, Sans talked to me after Peggy was in her room for the night. “Peggy is troubled about something, honey. I think something bad was going on here before we got her. I am worried.”

“I’m worried too, she seemed so happy when the will was read and we were granted custody. Do you think you could talk to her and ask what is bothering her? I think she might tell you woman to woman. If not, maybe we can get her some professional help.”

“I’ll try, how about her and I have a girls-only shopping trip tomorrow? I can try to get her to open up.” Sandy said. “If she won’t talk to me, I will ask if she will talk to you; she seems to relate well to you.”

“Ok, let’s go with that. Call me if you need me to meet you at the mall” I agreed. Then I said; “I love you, dear, I think you are going to be a great mother to Peggy.”

The girls left for the shopping mall and I went down into the basement to clean it out. While there, I found a locked room. I know I did not lock it, and I didn’t think Sandy had gone down here yet. I left it for now. I cleaned up the disarray and got rid of a couple of garbage bags of stuff.

I was still wondering about the locked room when the phone rang. I rushed upstairs to answer it. A crying Sandy said; “Johnny, you need to come to the mall, I am in the manager’s office and we have a police officer with me.”

Then in the background, I heard Peggy; “She didn’t do this, and the proof is in the basement of my home in a locked room.”

Sandy then said; “We will need to go to the hospital when you get here, and the police will go with us. If you have cleaned the basement I hope you did not open the locked door that Peggy says has proof that Connie was a terrible person. The police want to be there when we do open the room. Connie will be looking at major jail time if I’m right.”

I grabbed my truck keys and drove to the mall. In the manager’s office, a tearful Sandy and a very scared looking Peggy were sitting in chairs off to the side. Peggy was dressed in a pair of shorts and what looked like a hospital gown.

“Where are your clothes, Peggy?”

Before she could say anything, Sandy held up a very bloody long white dress and said; “I saw blood on the back of her dress when we walked from the car. I took her immediately to the first aid station.” She motioned to Peggy to stand up and turn around.

“Do I have to?” Peggy sobbed; “I’m afraid I will get in trouble.”

“Please Sweety, you are not in trouble,” I urged; “I need to know what is going on. I promise that unless you have turned into a pumpkin, we can work almost anything out. Am I correct in assuming this is why you have been quiet around the house?”

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