Northwesthunters: Finding Happiness
”Junie you have another letter from Monica.” Bob dropped the envelope on the table.
I am sorry if I frightened you. I don’t know if I could ever really kill myself, but to be honest I was having those thoughts and they were frightening me. For some reason you were the only person I felt like I could say those words to. I was not brave enough to say them to someone who I really cared about. I felt so bad for even thinking those thoughts after what everyone has done to help me.
I guess I was asking someone to do something, anything. And now my mother has taken away my pills and gives me them one at a time with a horrible betrayed look on her face.
At least now I am at the hospital and my surgery is behind me. They kept me sedated a lot longer and I did not have any of those recurring memories. The pain medicine is pretty strong so I am sleeping most of the time. The only hard part now is when they check me for healing and infection.
It is a lot like getting a pelvic once a day, but it hurts. I have a lot of trouble staying still; I get these waves of panic. One time they tried restraining me to the table and I got totally hysterical, I could not stop screaming. They had to give me a shot.
Well, they will be discharging me soon and then I will be back at home at Mom’s. After that, it is hard to think about, but the gynecologist says I have to use this thing, he calls it a ‘dilator’ but it looks just like a… well I will let you use your imagination. It’s to keep the scar tissue from shrinking up and growing together. He says if I don’t, I might have to have surgery again.
They say I will be able to conceive without any trouble and carry a baby to term, but I will have to have a cesarean delivery; there is no way that the scar tissue will stretch enough for a normal delivery.
So they put me in charge of my own torture. Every time I think about putting anything up there all I can see in my mind is that knife, the same one that you found in your car. Yes, Agent Durant told me that’s where you found it.
I talk with Agent Durant nearly every day now. He is the only person my mom will let me call without cross examining me to see who it was. She knows I am writing to you, but I keep your letters with me so she won’t sneak and read them. She, all the time, is trying to find out more about you. I just tell her that you were another victim and writing you makes me feel better. Agent Durant, he told me to call him David, told her that you were a good person and that she should just back off. He told her that if she refused to give me the letters that it is a federal crime to tamper with the mail. He told me later that he was exaggerating that because it is addressed to her home, but anyway she believed him and is giving me the letters so far.
Like I said, I call David and I do have your number too. I will to call you or David if I get to feeling too frightened or sad. I promised David that I would do this.
Probably by the time you get this letter I will be back home. I guess I need to start thinking about getting a job, something temporary. Once the trial starts, I don’t think I will have the time or the heart to work. My mom has a friend who has a new baby and they need a babysitter. I could do that. I babysat a lot when I was in high school.
Maybe being around a baby will make me feel better, maybe help me remember that happiness you mentioned.
Thank you for being my friend,
Junie smiled, Agent Durant’s name was David. Somehow she was really starting to get a soft spot on her heart for that man, despite his ways or perhaps because of them. Underneath that stony exterior there pumped a human heart after all.
As Junie laid down the letter on the table, she commented, “Well it’s not quite as heartbreaking as the last one, not quite. There seems to be a tiny sliver of hope in this one.” Junie’s mouth curled up, “Agent Durant’s first name is David. He tells her to call him David.” She looked at Donna, “Ma’am, if it is all right with you, I want to see if Monica wants to exchange emails with me. Her mom has been questioning her about the letters she is getting from me. And that way I can send her some pictures of the puppies too. I would show you all of them.”
Donna picked up the letter and shrugged, “Emails are okay. Just forward a copy to me and I will get around to reading them.”
My Master and Mistress have four beautiful golden retrievers and they have a litter of puppies nearly every summer. I love dogs and I am totally crazy about puppies.
The most exciting thing happened a few days ago. One of our momma dogs had puppies, ten beautiful babies, five males and five females, a perfect family. Though my Mistress Donna says it is more like nine and a half because the last puppy is so much smaller than the others. Other people would call her a runt, but I could never use such an ugly word for such a precious little miracle. She was last to be born and when she came out she did not start breathing on her own. I had to help her by giving her artificial respiration. I was totally terrified she might die, but it turned out okay.
I feel especially close to that littlest one. We call her Happy. I make sure that her bigger brothers and sisters don’t push her around too much. My Master says that I should be careful to not fall too much in love, that they will all be going to their new homes in just a few weeks.
Things have been really busy here. I am all the time hanging out with the puppies too long and then I have to rush to get my chores done. I haven’t been working on any of my sewing projects at all.
When Sam Card broke into my apartment he tore all my clothes to shreds, along with destroying nearly everything else, thank god he didn’t find my sewing machine. I am pretty short, only 5’1” and I have big breasts and hips so it is impossible to find clothes that fit off the rack. I have to sew myself a whole new wardrobe. I have most of it done, but now my Mistress wants me to make a corset. And when I am done with mine she wants me to make one for her. I have chosen yellow brocade for mine and I found the prettiest emerald green for hers. She has green flecks in her eyes and when she wears green they seem to glow.
I am glad your surgeries are finally all over. I am glad that they thought to keep you asleep a lot longer so you wouldn’t be so disoriented when you woke up. That dilator thing sounds so clinical and creepy. If it hurts, you should ask for some anesthetic cream or something. You should never have to feel pain down there again.
Maybe I am being way too familiar and if my saying these things makes you feel uncomfortable tell me and I won’t do it any more… but I personally would feel a lot more comfortable using something like that dilator if I stopped thinking about it like a medical thing and started thinking of it as a dildo. It would only be torture if you decide to make it feel that way. Try to think about it positively.
Try to relax. Take a bubble bath and light some candles. Listen to some music that you like. Focus your mind on things that make you feel safe and happy. Make this a thing you look forward to, a reward, something good that you deserve, not something you dread.
I guess my point is that you don’t need to hate touching yourself. Don’t let him take that away from you. Our bodies are a gift to us, and I worry you are starting to fear yours.
Dearest Monica, you are getting better. It’s not always easy to see when you have hard days, but I can see in your letters that there are things you still love and enjoy. Seek those out and hold onto them. Remember I am your friend and that I care about you. And David cares a lot about you too. I am sure your mother cares in her own way. I can’t help but believe you have survived for a reason.
Hold onto those thoughts and remember that you deserve happiness.
P.S. Do you have a computer? It would be fun to start emailing each other.
Junie printed out some pictures of the puppies and added her email address to the letter and gave it to Donna to approve.
Junie looked up from her computer. It was her routine to reward herself with checking her emails every day after she had gotten her cleaning chores done. Tammi was writing her back nearly every day and she had heard back from both her sons. Secretly, she was hoping that someday she would find a message from Monica, but so far she had not heard back from her new friend. To her relief Greg had not tried to contact her again.
Donna was at her usual place working on another article for an online news magazine. Junie cleared her throat, “Ma’am, do you have a minute to talk?”
Donna looked up, “Might as well, I seem to be writing in circles right now.”
“Ma’am, Tammi’s birthday is in a week or so and I was wondering if it would be okay to invite her out for a weekend soon. She is going to be nineteen.”
“Go talk to our Master, Junie. See what he says and I will abide by his decision.”
Bob was busily changing the wood chips in the puppy’s box, contending with the mob of little squirming babies as they crawled around his feet. He looked up as Junie came into the garage. “Good, you can help me with this. Get these rascals out of my way. I completely underestimated how quickly they can work their way back under my feet.”
Junie giggled and quickly moved the puppies into a corner out of the way and then sat down with them letting them crawl all over her. A smile of delight made her face glow as she tried to keep them from escaping back to tumble around under Bob’s feet. “Sir, I came out to talk to you about scheduling a time for my daughter Tammi to come out and visit. It would just be one night, most likely a Saturday. I would go get her and she would stay one night and then I would take her back home. Donna said I should talk with you about this.”
“Yes, I remember we had talked about this before the puppies were born. Go ahead and set it up, but make sure we have time to take down the stuff in the basement.”
“Oh, thank you, Sir. I will do all the work. All I need is some help with some of the heavier pieces.”
“I am sure I will manage to extract some fair exchange for the inconvenience.” His blue eyes sparkled. “Speaking of the stuff in the basement, have you had a chance to work on the canvas sling for that swing I made?”
June ducked and grinned, “Well, I did buy the canvas and I have drawn up a pattern, but I have not started working on it. I got kind of distracted from sewing by the puppies.”
“Go ahead and make it. I have some things I would like to try out.”
Junie felt a shiver of excitement shake her. “Yes, Sir.”
“You have mail again, Junie. You are getting pretty popular.” Bob dropped one letter that was addressed from the auto consignment dealership in front of her. “That should be your money from the sale of your car.” He paused and looked at a second envelope, a perplexed look on his face, “Junie, this is addressed to you, but I don’t recognize the name on the return address, R. P. Sanders. Have you given your address to anyone?”
Junie looked up from her computer. “Um, I don’t recognize that name. The only person I have given my address is Monica, but the police and the FBI know it,” then she paused, “and maybe the car dealership, too.”
Bob opened the envelope and as he read it his face darkened, “Junie, you remember there were some letters from an author wanting to talk with you about Sam Card? This is that same author. I didn’t recognize the name at first. He wants the same thing as before. He wants to interview you. He is writing a book based on Card. He says he will compensate you for your time.”
Junie made a disgusted face, “I don’t want to talk with him. I wonder how he got my address.”
Donna looked up from her laptop, “He is a she, Rachel Penelope Sanders. She has written several flamboyant novels loosely based on actual crimes.” Donna made a distasteful face, “Pretty lurid stuff according to the reviews. She seems to have a certain talent for writing gory details.”
Junie shuddered, “I wonder if she is bothering Monica too?”
Donna’s voice was flat, “Well, you are not speaking with that woman. In fact, she is going to get a letter from your lawyer stating that if she tries to contact you again, she could find herself facing a harassment lawsuit.”
Bob handed the letter to Donna, “Go ahead and try that, but I expect that this R. P. Sanders probably has plenty of lawyers of her own. She has been persistent enough to get Junie’s address. I can’t help but suspect that once she decides to go after something she will be hard to get rid of.”
Junie made a distressed sound. Donna looked up and spoke sharply, “Don’t worry yourself, girl. This is for your Master and me to deal with.”
Junie’s heart jumped when she saw a message from Monica in her inbox.
I can email you, but only when I am babysitting. My mother has a password on her computer and won’t let me use it. She blames the whole internet for what has happened to me, the internet and my stupidity. She totally does not trust me.
I babysit Monday through Thursday and sometimes in the evenings. I like it. The baby is really good and it gets me out of the house.
I don’t have time to write much right now. The baby is awake and is hungry. I will try to write more when she goes to sleep.”
P.S. I did get your last letter and I wrote you back. You should be getting that letter pretty soon.
Junie wrote back a quick note:
I am glad you have found something to get you out of the house and help keep you busy. Babies are so sweet, especially if they are good. Speaking of babies, I will attach some of the latest pictures of the puppies. They are growing up so fast. Their eyes are open now and they are just starting to crawl around.
I hope you are feeling better from your surgery.
I am looking forward to your letter and next email.
I am so glad we can email. It is so much faster.
It was only a couple of hours later when Monica was able to write back.
The puppies are too cute. I love dogs too. I have a dog, a Cocker Spaniel named Spanky; he is almost 15 years old and sleeps almost all the time now. He is almost completely blind with cataracts and he smells terrible. We probably will have to put him to sleep pretty soon, but Mom won’t even consider the idea. In a lot of ways he is more her dog than mine now. I could not take him with me to college.
I do take him for walks everyday now that I am back home, anything to get myself out of here. It is hard to go outside, but lately staying inside is harder. I will miss my walks with Spanky when he is gone.
I am not in pain anymore. Even using the dilator does not really hurt anymore. I have tried what you said, to think about it differently. It helped a little, it is not as scary, but in some ways it makes me sadder. It’s hard to explain, but the idea of sex and being sexual is hard to think about. Part of me wants to be held and feel safe, but part of me feels so ugly. I have a lot of scars, he did cut my face, neck and breasts as well as the cutting he did on my vagina. Junie, I am sorry if this freaks you out, it kind of freaks me out too when I let myself think about it. But it is hard to imagine that anyone would want me. I don’t even like to go out in public because I feel like people are staring at me.
David says that the scars are not that noticeable and that I should stop worrying about it so much. He says I am alive and that is the important thing. I guess I am luckier than those other women they think he killed.
David has been so sweet to me. He was one of the first people I spoke to after they took me to the hospital. I always feel so safe when he is around.
I have to go. The baby’s mother will be getting home soon and I need to pick up around here a little.
Yes I am glad we can email too.
Junie read the email and a tiny seed of an idea planted itself in her imagination. Impulsively she interrupted Donna as she worked at her computer, “Ma’am, how much do people pay for one of the puppies?”
Donna looked up from her writing, “We charge $500 for a male and $750 for a female.”
“Ma’am, could I buy Happy?”
Donna’s voice was irritated, “Junie, four dogs are plenty for us. You cannot keep a puppy from every litter and that is something you better learn now.”
“Oh no Ma’am, not for me, for Monica.”
“You can’t give a puppy as a gift. Owning a dog is a huge commitment. And I don’t let our puppies go just anywhere. I need to make sure that the people will be good owners.”
“Well, I was just thinking about it. I do know she has an older dog that is not going to live a lot longer.”
As Junie went downstairs to work on her sewing, the idea kept revolving around in her head. The more she thought about it the more perfect it seemed. In her heart she knew that Monica and Happy were meant to be together. She just had to figure out how to make it happen.
Donna was right, she couldn’t just give Happy to Monica as a surprise, but she was convinced that if Monica just saw the puppy she could not resist. She wondered how she could make it happen. Could she drive to Oregon by herself? Would Bob and Donna let her go?