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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's mission to land Frances a cushy job. He put all of 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 existence contently avoiding each other had it not been for a death that Emmet could not publicly ignore that reunited them begrudgingly.


The ancient Mother Taylor, died as she had lived; forgotten, and without much affection from her son. When the news reached him that his mother had passed away in the hospice facility's care, Emmet's only reaction was annoyance because the staff had called him directly and not forwarded it to his office as he had instructed. Of course, he had visited his mother a few weeks before her timely death. She had just been transferred to an intensive care center from her senior residential condo due to her declining condition. It was then that Emmet went in person to see the woman who had supported him his entire life. He wanted to be by his mother's bedside when he convinced her to "stop fighting" and to just "let go." Or at least those were the very believable rumors that swirled in the aftermath.


Addy was sent for via a Red Cross message. It was an unexpected interruption to her days at the cabin ignoring Emmet altogether in the hopes that he would go off and ruin someone else's life. Overall it was the nagging curiosity of seeing Emmet possibly act human that compelled her to go more than anything else. Still, Addy knew she had better go and play nice despite the likelihood that Emmet realized he would never again get the chance to find another wife to abusively exert his authority over thus keeping the next one in submission as he had done with her if she were ever to leave him.


Addy arranged all of her travel itinerary for herself before Emmet's secretary could. She was sure to arrive early in the morning hours before she needed to show her face to limit the time she had to interact with Emmet or the wretched staff he employed. Addy let herself into her own house through the delivery entrance in the back, it was always open. The locks were changed too often for her to try to remember a code or key as a result of the temperamental Emmet's notoriously high turnover. Immediately a young maid wearing Emmet's preferred dark red lipstick in an overlined fashion tried to push her outside. "This is the doctor's house! How dare you?!" She said as Addy nonchalantly moved forward assuming the maid was trying to kiss up to Emmet with the goal of an eventual affair by the way she presented herself. Addy smiled a little reflecting on the fact that Emmet was too much of an elitist to sleep with a staff member. The idea alone would repulse him. They were lowly livestock in his eyes, nothing more.


Another staffer came out upon hearing the exchange. Addy took off her oversized peacoat and pushed her hair back. However, he also did not recognize Addy, so she announced herself, "I'm Doctor Taylor's wife, Adeline." The words were so unused to Addy that the muscles in her throat found difficulty in forcing it out as if it were sour to speak. The employee who seemed a bit more seasoned studied Addy's looks which were no longer immaculately salon-maintained, before he apologized and let Addy continue inside. Thus stunning the young maid who profusely apologized.


Addy went upstairs to the frigid master suite. She stepped over the place on the marble floor where she had years previously hit her head while crying and looked at the mirror across from that spot. Her frame was fuller than it once was, and her skin was clearer being free from caked-on makeup. She had some age to her skin, just a little around her eyes. No wonder why Emmet rarely asked her to come to the city anymore. She looked like a flesh and blood woman and no longer a blow-up doll formed from plastic. Addy felt a drop of hope, maybe she would finally get the divorce she desperately desired from Emmet. Although beautiful by all measures, Addy wasn't the most perfect by Emmet's standards. The only thing Emmet truly cared about was having the unobtainable to make others feel lower than him. Emmet hadn't the ability to feel superior, something he survived on, without making others feel inferior. As a narcissist to his core, being a thief of joy was Emmet's only means of validation.


Addy put on whatever she could find in the closet that was an appropriate outfit for the occasion. Emmet had already gone ahead without Addy, even though she had left him a message to wait for her earlier. Addy thought about taking one of the cars in the garage, but not wanting to anger an already volatile Emmet, she opted to have a service take her to the funeral venue. She arrived an hour before the ceremony. Despite not seeing Addy for some time, Emmet did not greet his wife when she went to his side. All through the service that his secretary put together, Emmet did not acknowledge Addy once, as if she were a ghost to him.


In the hours that followed the funeral, Emmet informed Addy that he had invited Frances to stay with her until her position at the Brazilian firm began. Over dinner, Emmet explained drily to Addy as if he were reading a long past event's outcome that he was in the process of selling the condo that he had been subletting to Frances sooner than expected and was obligated to complete some renovations before the escrow process was could move forward. Emmet went on to admit that he had already bought Frances another condo in Rio overlooking the ocean that he was going to give to her as a gift. Addy instantly was furious upon hearing Emmet's further investments into Frances, something Emmet would never have done for her despite her years of begging for even basic assistance in her efforts toward starting a business for herself or completing her educational goals. Addy sat there once again dumbfounded by Emmet's callous nature regarding their marriage and her as a human being. Emmet held all the cards in their relationship. He was ruthless enough to exploit his highly regarded medical career's networking and have Addy committed instead of allowing her the freedom of a divorce.


Knowing how inappropriate the timing of her insubordination was, Addy firmly called out Emmet criticizing how his letting Frances stay with her would be excusing her prior poor behavior. Emmet flexed his strongest power move that he held over Addy and threatened to cut her off and force-medicate her 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 tone that oozed hatred when they were away from the household staff. "Just show up, and stop pouting. 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 was a complete embarrassment in their estimate.

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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 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, "Every time you talk you bring her name up with mine as if we have something to do with each other. She was a fat wart hog, just like you are turning out to be. 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 flushed, "I don't know or care where she is. I hear that hag lives somewhere in Ohio. Maybe I should send you there too." Emmet finished but continued to look unsettled. He walked out of the room, waving his hands as if he were trying to push away his emotions. He had lost his cool. Emmet was finally starting to crumble, Addy thought to herself as she smiled.


Days after the couple's big blow-up, Frances flew out to the cabin to stay by herself. Addy would not be there to collect her loathed sister because she had stayed back with Emmet in the city. Addy felt a morbid glee about her long-awaited argument with Emmet, and an iota of regret that it was so close to his mother's funeral. There was another reason for Emmet not to have sent Addy back to the cabin: Emmet's long-litigated legal case had finally been wrapped up, and the franchise cosmetic medical facility that he considered his finest legacy was being 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 her during 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 a cocktail 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 looked "almost" like her, but not. Addy was not particularly upset hearing this since it at least begged the question of if Emmet were impotent or not to others, 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 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," when she passed by Addy who 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 a bag of things that she had in the garage from years ago in case she ever did try to escape. When Addy's charter flight landed no one was there to greet her like 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 would remain unbearable. Addy took long walks in the next few days to put space between herself and her obnoxious sister, 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.


By the time the holidays rolled around Emmet flew out to see them. This was strange because he only ever visited when he had a very direct reason. On his first day there he put all of his energy into cuddling Frances, rather than Addy. Hours later Addy found a weighty Magnum Research BFR with a shortened barrel 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 since he was always focused on the look of something, whether or not he could use it. Seeing it made Addy equally enraged as she was 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 knowing it was one of the few places in the house that had a sole key that Addy could keep on her person.



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 only once in her life when she was a child at her father's former boss's house. The single 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 fired. 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 Canada Goose coat. Addy didn't get a chance to say anything to him because the sheriff was downstairs talking to him. She could decipher that there was an accident a few hours away that required multiple people to undergo surgery. Emmet was the only other doctor within a hundred miles other than Dr. Anderson a.k.a. Dr. Ricky, who was known as the local quack that had moved from the States up North due to his tendency to accidentally kill his 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 town's bar 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 as she was known as, "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 after she heard that followed up by "But the ugly one is way too easy." Addy waited until it was nearly closing time. Every man flirted with her, much like anywhere else, 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 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 thought Addy went to shake the gun at Frances to convey her justified anger but being sweaty and tense with uncontrolled rage caused her to squeeze the gun hard fearing she would drop it. In doing so, a finger slipped from holding the barrel too tightly onto the trigger causing it to fire hitting Frances, who was curled up with her hands over her ears trying to tune Addy out. As quickly as the shot was fired, it 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, entering from the back of her ribs, ripping through her core upward, bursting open her neck and chin, and finally exiting out of her face leaving a massive exit wound where her mouth and nose once were. Her chest, chin, and skull were blown apart. 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 that had splattered onto her body. With her hands trembling she threw her blood-soaked 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 at the mass causality site because the patient's injuries were not severe. As Emmet put it while he marched toward the door, even the "bungler Dr. Ricky 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 changed her tune to play into what Emmet expected her to say and asked "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, "two minutes, I'll be in the car." With that Addy ran into Frances' room grabbed her suitcase and left all of her things there.







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