Privilege Chapter Seven: If I Were You and You Me

Addy and Frances didn't speak to one another for months after their fight. This did not stop Emmet or his efforts to land Frances a luxurious job. He put all over his influence into giving Frances the life Addy would have died for in beautiful Brazil. The two sisters would have probably lived out the rest of their lives avoiding each other had it not been for a death that Emmet could not publicly ignore to unite them begrudgingly. Poor Mother Taylor, she died like she had lived; forgotten, and without much effect on her son.


At her funeral, Emmet invited Frances to stay with Addy until her position at the new firm began as he had sold the condo he was subletting to her earlier than expected. Addy became enraged after finding out about this agreement. The death of his mother was the last thing concerning Emmet because he found Addy to be less controllable than she had been in the past. It was something he hoped would never happen.


When they were finally in private without holding back Addy firmly called out Emmet on how letting Frances stay with her would be excusing her poor behavior. Emmet pulled the only card he had left with Addy and threatened to cut her off if she didn't fall in line. This was before he scolded Addy saying that he was sick of her being unable to do the single task that he needed her for, which was to shut up and look pretty. "I hate being around you with your constant pity party attitude. You make a fool of yourself with how pathetic you are" Emmet said in a hushed tone when they were away from the other funeral guests. "Just show up, and stop whining. That's the reason you are my wife, but you can't even do that." He went on as he demeaned Addy who felt like he was using the same manner of speech that her mother used when she dealt with Frances. This made Addy come to terms with the possibility that Emmet thought of her just like her family thought of Frances, which was as the outsider who is a complete embarrassment.

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Addy felt a ping of sympathy for Frances who could not change her ways but was also angry at Emmet for speaking to her as he was. "I just wish you respected me half as much as you did your ex-wife." Addy threw back at Emmet hoping to get under his skin. Emmet angrily grabbed her by the shoulders so hard that his nails were digging into her like knives, "It took years, an entire team of lawyers and thousands upon thousands of dollars to remove that woman's name from all of public record, and yet every time you talk you bring her up with me as if we have something to do with each other. Do you know why I never told you about her? Because you are such a liability for my public image I knew you would go around telling every person you met about my convicted ex-wife who served eight years in a federal penitentiary for embezzling money from a nonprofit. There are you happy?! Is the never made anything of herself has-been sorority girl pleased now?" He said as he tried to recover from losing his cool where someone could have seen them. Letting go of Addy's shoulders, he stepped back. His face was bright red "I don't know or care where she is. I hear that disgusting warthog is with her new husband in Ohio." Emmet then finished but still looked unsettled as he walked out of the room, waving his hands as if he were trying to psychically push off his emotion.


Days after their big blow-up, Frances flew out to the cabin to stay by herself. For once Addy would not be there to greet her hated sister because she had back stayed with Emmet in the city. Addy felt guilty about her long-awaited argument with Emmet falling on the day of his mother's funeral. After his lawsuit had finally been wrapped-up, the franchise cosmetic medical facility that he considered his finest legacy was opened in his home state. Once again Addy had to play the role of the silent yet smiling wife as if she had never left. For nostalgia's sake or possibly because being a neglected wife came with loads of time to crunch, Addy decided to waste an afternoon at the county club. In a way, Addy hoped to connect with Emmet now that he had finally shown his human side to Addy in their fight or so she reasoned to explain to herself why she put up with it all.


Upon arriving she was not sure if she could so easily go back to looking like a regular as she ordered with her now put to bed insecurities to keep her company. That was until less than a few minutes of being there that old Mary rushed over eagerly to inform her that Emmet had been "hobnobbing" with a younger "sorority girl" in her absence. As Mary told it the girl was one who looked "almost" like her, but not. Addy was not particularly upset hearing this as it at least brought the question of if Emmet were impotent or not, something Addy couldn't all too well answer even after the above information was revealed to her.


Still, the uncomfortable nature of being the discarded woman in the renowned Dr. Taylor's life was too much for Addy who worried that Emmet would have her committed if she openly defied him. Addy also was aware that if she tried to divorce Emmet he would say she was mentally unstable as a means to control her and repress any negative information coming out during a contentious divorce, something he warned her of often. After all who would believe a depressed housewife over a doctor in court? As much as she didn't want to deal with Frances, she also couldn't stand for all of the snickers and jeers that were pointed toward her back in her old life. The last straw was when she overheard a waitress at the country club joke, "I thought she finally killed herself," as she passed by when Addy was making a reservation for dinner with the maitre d'.


Not bothering to tell Emmet that she had no plans to stay for all of the wining and dining leading up to the ego-manifestation that was his new clinic opening, she left without so much as a note or word to the staff at the house. The one thing she did do was grab the box of things that she had in the garage from her sorority days. She only took it because she was worried that Emmet would find this single embodiment of her life that he did not own and destroy it out of spite. When Addy's charter flight landed no one was there to greet her as she had done for all of the visitors she ever had, no matter how unwelcome. Addy had to walk to the market which was miles away and ask the delivery driver to take her to the house, otherwise, she would have been stranded on the tarmac. Addy wondered if Frances would be her usual intolerable self when she saw her at the house. Immediately Frances made it clear that she had no plans to de-escalate their confrontation from before and it was obvious that the tension between Addy and Frances was going to remain unbearable. In the next few days to put space between herself and her obnoxious sister, Addy took long walks, while Frances stuck to her routine of passing herself around the bar every night and still expecting Addy to pick her up when the locals were done with her for being too drunk.


By Thanksgiving Emmet flew out to see them. This was strange because he only ever visited when he had a very pointed reason. On his first day there he put all of his energy into cuddling Frances, rather than Addy about their irreparable sisterhood. Hours later Addy found a weighty Magnum Research BFR placed on her vanity with a pamphlet about euthanasia underneath it. The gun itself was so unrealistically huge that it almost didn't look real. Whose was it? Addy thought only Emmet would buy something so ridiculous in size as he was always focused on the look of something, whether or not he could use it. Seeing it made Addy equally enraged and horrified, but she also didn't know who put it there. Emmet, Frances, both? They were very chummy after all. Was that the reason Emmet was there? To try to push her over the edge? Addy took the pistol and locked it in the liquor cabinet as it was one of the few places in the house that had its own key, which Addy could hide from the others.


The same thing happened the next day though. As Addy expected the liquor cabinet had been broken into meaning that someone in the house had known where to look for it. After that Addy spent her whole day with no incident. She just wanted the gun to be forgotten as a bad prank, however, when she went to brush her hair later that evening the pistol was back on her vanity once more. She had fired a gun once in her life when she was a child at her father's former boss's house. The only thing she had learned from it was that she had to be sure the recoil didn't cause her to knock herself in the forehead when she shot. Emmet and Frances were downstairs chuckling about something smugly. Addy wanted to confront them but also felt like she was in danger. Instead, she lay in bed unable to sleep with so many thoughts whirring in her mind about everything.


It was much later upon hearing Emmet stirring in the early morning hours, that Addy got up to see what he was doing. Emmet was packing his bag and putting on his thick coat. Addy didn't get a chance to say anything to him because the sheriff was downstairs talking to him. Apparently, there was an accident a few hours away that required multiple people to need surgery. Emmet was the only other doctor within a hundred miles other than Dr. Anderson who was known as the local quack who had moved from the States up North because of his tendency to accidentally kill his own patients, even the healthy ones. The sheriff had whisked Emmet off too quickly for Addy to get any details about the reappearing pistol.


All through the day, Frances and Addy circled each other like caged animals. It was too cold for Addy to go on a walk outside and by nightfall, she had run out of things to pretend to do. Taking the only car there, Addy went to the bar in town knowing that Frances could not easily follow behind her on the snowmobile that Addy knew was almost out of gas. The bar was the only place open past 6 pm in that tiny town. As soon as Addy walked in she was greeted by the nomenclature "the hot sister." Which would have been a compliment until she heard the men chatting amongst themselves that the "hot one was an icy bitch." She laughed a little though after she heard that followed up by "but the ugly one is way too easy." Addy waited there until it was near closing time, every man flirted with her, but she had no intention to engage with them.


Addy was aware that Frances had a crush on the one decent-looking man in that town who would lead her on by telling her "if he wasn't married" that he'd "be with her." Addy had him in the corner of her eye as she waited for the crowd to filter themselves out. He approached her at closing time and Addy used every retired trick to advance on him before they cemented their flirtation with action in Emmet's SUV. Addy didn't care who saw them together, but hoped she had a few witnesses. When they were done Addy drove back to the house. This would hurt Frances, which was the only reason she did it.


At the house, the gun was back on her vanity, which solved the mystery of who was putting it there. Addy had planned to go to sleep, but when she saw this, she decided it was time to once and for all put Frances in her place. She took the gun to confront Frances who was pretending to be asleep. Addy seeing her there realized just how much they did look the same, in low lighting at least. Then something came over her. It was raw anger at Frances for stealing something as sacred as her likeness without so much as asking for her blessing. Addy kicked the bed to wake Frances up. Frances opened her eyes as Addy held the gun up. "I see you left me this as a present again," Addy announced, to Frances who nonchalantly replied, "duh, shoot yourself already. No one wants you around." Addy's initial intention was to brag about her sexual conquest until Frances flashed Addy with a self-superior smirk before she flipped over to ignore her. This combined with Frances already sleeping in the master bedroom a room that should rightfully be hers, caused Addy to lose her sanity completely.


Without hesitation or thought Addy went to shake the gun at Frances to convey her advantage but being sweaty and tense with uncontrolled spewing fury, she instead squeezed the gun too hard fearing she would drop it. A slip from holding the barrel to the trigger caused it to fire right through the back of France's chest, who was curled up with her hands over her ears trying to tune Addy's arguing out. As quickly as the shot was fired in chaos the action was followed by dead silence between the two as the only sound in the room was the blood draining out of her sister's pleural space as she twitched. Addy in disbelief leaned over to survey the damage without touching the girl she loathed. The bullet went directly through Frances's body. There were both entry and exit wounds. One being Frances's back through her chest and the others being through her chin out of the front of her face. It happened so quickly Addy hadn't noticed that she had dropped the gun on the bed beside Frances. The horror of the act swept over Addy as she ran out of the room into her shower to wash the blood off of herself that had splattered onto her body. With her hands trembling she threw her clothing into the fireplace before she doused it with lighter fluid. She did this until nothing was left over and over again knowing that Frances was too far gone to help and no one was coming.


It was less than two hours later that Emmet came in the door. Addy met him there, ready to confess everything she had done. However, Emmet went to his room in the other wing of the house, grabbed his things, and in a hurry told Addy that he was going back into the city. He was almost out of breath when he explained that he was not needed any further because the patient's injuries were not severe. As Emmet put it as he marched toward the door, even the "bungler Anderson couldn't kill those lightly bruised men." Addy still trying to stop Emmet to show him France's lifeless body in the bedroom only incurred Emmet's frustration. "I'm busy. I don't care how many times Frances left a stupid gun on your dresser. Get over it. Grow a thicker skin." He huffed as Addy pulled his arm and insisted he go upstairs. Finally, he jerked his arm away from Addy before saying "I have a plane to catch before the weather takes a bad turn, my time is money, Addy." Still not sure what to do Addy relented by asking "Can I go with you? Frances is asleep and I just don't want to argue with her anymore when she wakes up." Emmet annoyed flatly said, "Five minutes, I'll be in the car." With that Addy ran into Frances' room grabbed her suitcase and left all of her own things there.