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    Delayed Exposure – Chapter 8

    Manhattan, New York

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Late Afternoon

    Tina shifted nervously on the couch in her and Bette’s home. Her mind was swirling. Eric and Lexi had just told her that Bree found out about her birth father. ‘This is all my fault.’  Tina kicked herself for being so careless—she left the original birth certificate where Bree could find it. Now her daughter was missing and was likely on her way to find Paul.

    Tina looked Lexi in the eyes and could sense her pain. “I should have never asked you not to tell Bree.”

    Tina flashed back to the night she and Eric told Lexi the truth about her sister.

    #

    Yale Campus, New Haven, Connecticut

    February 2008

    The call Tina received from Carol, Lexi’s roommate, late into the night was strangely vague. “She’s not hurt or anything, but she’s really upset, and I can’t get her to stop crying. She only wants to talk to you. Can you come up right now?”

    The drive up to New Haven was tense with Eric and Tina barely saying a word to each other. Each rode in the car, immersed in their fears. ‘What happened to my baby girl?’  

    Once inside Morse Hall, Eric and Tina quickened their pace, cursing that Lexi’s room was at the furthest end of the hallway. Finally, they reached her room and knocked. Carol opened the door and said, “She’s calmed down a bit, but she still won’t tell me what happened.” She grabbed her backpack. “I’ll leave you guys alone.” She left and closed the door behind her.

    Lexi was curled up in a ball on the far end of her bed, clutching a pillow. She sniffled. Her eyes were red and swollen. She had a blank distant look on her face. To Tina, that look was unmistakable. She had that same look almost 17 years ago, and she knew the pain associated with it.

    Eric stood at the door and watched as Tina sat on the bed next to Lexi. She gently caressed her daughter’s cheek, then lifted her chin to look her in the eyes. She softly said, “I know, baby. I know. What did he do to you?”

    Tears began to roll down Eric’s face when he realized the unthinkable connection Tina and Lexi now shared.

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    Comments

    1. Great update, enjoyed reading it. Really hope they can get to Bree before she sees that piece of scum. Her world is about to come apart in ways that she could never ever imagine. Truly hope she can understand when her parents talk to her and tamp down that anger she is feeling towards them. You’re doing a wonderful job CN. Thanks for posting.

      • Dainty, Teenage girls can be a handful. I know, I’ve raised two myself. As parents, all we can do is teach our children to trust that family will always have their backs and that the mistakes we parents make are usually out of love. Some lessons, though, come harder than others. I deeply appreciate you following along each week.

    2. Interesting subject matter on two fronts in this chapter that is so topically timely after the week we’ve had discovering the black hole that is Harvey Weinstein. This shit’s been normalized for far too long. Your storytelling is so on point, my friend. Seriously jealous of your talent.

      So anxious about the upcoming confrontation between Paul and Bree. And curious what Cam has up his sleeve as well. Keep on kickin’ ass CN and we all can’t wait for your next chapter!

      MeLL

      • meloveslu, You’re making me blush, girl. I’ve enjoyed several of your pieces and I gotta say you have pretty good writing chops yourself. Funny thing about my storyline with Georgia and you know who; I wrote that earlier this summer, well before the HW scandal came to light. And you’re right, predatory behavior has been normalized for far too long. I bumped up against it a time or two in my career. See you next week.

        P.S. Would love to read something new from you. Please post soon.

      • strelets3, Reaction to sexual assault varies from person to person, but yes, it is not uncommon for a heterosexual or even bisexual woman who was assaulted by a man to turn to same-sex relationships. Intimacy requires trust and once that is broken, sometimes it’s unrecoverable.

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