Heart Eaters – Part Seven – Susan

Heart Eaters


Part Seven


“I guess you’re right.” Lucy grudgingly admitted. “It did work out perfectly. If I’m going to be suspended from work for the week it’s good that it’s the week you’re here.” Despite her sour tone, Lucy smiled at her older sister Susan. “This wine is amazing,” she said as she lifted her glass again. Lucy studied her sister over the rim of her crystal, fluted glass. They looked nothing alike. Lucy was petite, slim, whereas Susan was extremely tall and sturdy, like an Amazon princess Lucy always thought. Susan’s emerald eyes sparkled with joy to be with her sister, and her lovely high cheek bones blushed from the wine. Many men had been intimidated by Susan’s size as they were growing up and had shied away despite her exquisite face and long, full golden hair. Lucy had never shied away.  Susan was beautiful, and Lucy loved her so dearly she almost cried when she thought of it.

“I agree,” Susan said, a smile helping the words to dance a little. “It’s so wonderful to see you. Davy and May really miss their cousins as well.”

“I know they’re not going to want to go to sleep.” Lucy said, looking toward the joyful shrieks and shouts coming from Violets and Sandra’s room.

“Yes, but they need to so we can talk.”

“Oh no, is this my sister talking or Dr. Mason talking?” Lucy said frowning.

Susan narrowed her eyes but still smiled. “I know you say you don’t need any of my therapy mumbo-jumbo, but in all seriousness sis, how are you doing?”

Lucy sighed loudly. “Ok, lets get the little ones to bed. Then, I will let you hypnotized me or whatever it is you do.”

“I’ll ignore the mocking because I’m so pleased you’re ready to talk.” Susan said smiling and set her glass down. “By the way, if you’re so happy to have the week off since I’m here why are you so pissed at your boss? What was his name, Doug?”

“I don’t know. He just, he sometimes, well, I just thought he would let it go. You know, give me a pass or something.” Lucy said trying to avoid the questioning look on Susan’s face.

“Why would he, doesn’t he have to. I mean isn’t he required by law?”

“Yes he is required by law to punish employees that assault patients, I guess. He did find a way to wave the fine though.” Lucy said as they helped Bobby and May into their pajamas.

“He got you out of the fine, and you still bitched him out? Good grief Lucy!” Susan scolded.

Lucy smiled, thankful for the honesty of a sister and sucked in a deep breath. “It’s just easier to be angry.”

A look of understanding softened Susan’s features, “easier to just be angry in general or angry at Doug?”

Lucy swallowed hard. “Both.”

“Oh, I see.”

After a massive amount of fussing, crying and begging Susan and Lucy finally got their five children to bed. Gathering their wine, chocolate and green olives, they moved out to the porch. A cool breeze rustled the brightly colored, fall leaves, and the moon shone brightly on the leaves that had already fallen.

“So,” Susan began, “tell me about this Doug.”

“There really isn’t anything to tell. Nothing has happened, and nothing will happen.” Lucy said avoiding eye contact.

“Come on Lucy. You know I know you better than that. Do you have feelings for him?”

“And what if I did? I can’t, I just can’t. It’s wrong.” Lucy looked at Susan, her eyes begging.

“Lucy, its been a year hasn’t it?” The question was soft.

“Eleven months, and fourteen days since the army gave me the news. Two years, three months and five days since, I saw him.” Lucy fought the tears.

“Sis, I know it’s hard. After, I lost David in forty-two I thought I would die.”

“I remember.” Lucy said turning to Susan.

“But, I found a way to live; I had to, for my kids, for myself.”

“I just don’t know. I just don’t think I’m ready for the relationship that Doug wants. He’s a good man, and he doesn’t deserve to be hurt.”

“Is he hot?” Susan asked with a smirk.


“What? Well?”

“Well, I guess he is pretty attractive.” Lucy couldn’t help the smile that came with the words or the warmth. “Anyway, I thought I was going to get a session with my favorite shrink?”

“You try and distract me with your flattery dear sister. Fine, you can tell me more about this pretty attractive guy later. So, talk.”

“Just talk, no questions from the Doctor, no ‘you are getting sleepy’.”

“You know you mock me a great deal for being in the medical field as well.” Susan said poking Lucy in the arm.

“Yeah, well I’m in a practical field.”

“Oh shut it,” Susan laughed. “Just tell me about these dreams you said you were having.”

“Well it used to be that I only ever dreamed of Robert, but in the last month I have been having nightmares about some of my patients from the hospital.”

“Yeah, I think I remember talking about your dreams of Robert last time I came down from Lincoln. You always dreamed of how he might have died. I mean how, if he had died.” Susan corrected.

Lucy swallowed hard.

“I’m sorry.” Susan pleaded.

“You don’t have to apologize.” Lucy said managing to lift one corner of her mouth. “I know he’s gone.”

Susan wanted to encourage her to have hope, but she believed Robert was gone, just like her David. At least I knew for sure. It’s time for her to move on, Susan thought.

“Anyway, my patients, Benedict Galloway, Helen Christenson and Heath Deerborn, I’ve dreamed of them all. It was like living, experiencing the things they did.”

“What did they do?”

“It’s not pleasant.” Lucy warned.

“I can handle it.”

Lucy told Susan everything about the three that had plagued her heart, mind and subconscious. Images of a red-hot poker in the forehead of Benedict’s wife, Ruby May, Helen’s parents burning for their sins, Camilla, violated and broken beneath Heaths furious need. Susan blanched a few times, but for the most part hid her revulsion. Lucy finished, and they sat in silence, Susan thinking and Lucy knowing she was.

“Well do you want to know what I think?”

“I guess.” Lucy replied.

“Well, I think it’s a warning, from your subconscious.”

Lucy huffed.

“I’m serious. Just hear me out…ok.” Lucy tilted her head. “Please,” Susan begged.

“Ok, enlighten me.” Lucy smiled and shook her head.

“Alright, so, first Benedict, what finally caused him to snap?”

“His wife I guess.”

“And what his wife wouldn’t give him.”

“Sex?” Lucy asked with a chuckle.

“No, love, he loved her, and she didn’t love him. Love drove him insane.”

“Ok, I can see that.” Lucy agreed.

“Then there’s Helen. Her sense of morality, of what’s right and what’s wrong, her moral compass-”

“Yeah, I see. Her sense of what’s right caused her to kill her parents, lose her mind.”

“Right,” Susan confirmed. “And Heath, it was his misuse of passion and desire. He allowed it to consume him.”

“Ok, so what does that have to do with me?”

“Can I be honest sis? Are you ready for that? I don’t want to hurt-”

“I’ll be fine,” Lucy interrupted.

“I think you’re allowing the same emotions to destroy you, to depress you, to rob you of your sanity. I did the same thing for a long time. Your letting your love for Robert kill you.” Lucy flinched, it was like a knife in Susan’s heart to see her sister in pain, but she pressed on. “You’re letting your idea’s of what’s right and wrong cause you to painfully mourn him still. I know you think, you feel like it is wrong to move on with your life, but if you don’t move you wither away.” Susan took a deep breath hoping Lucy would forgive her for what she was about to say. “If you suppress your desire for Doug it will fester and swell, like a splinter only worsening your pain. You have to learn to let go.”

Tears slid silently from Lucy’s deep chocolate eyes. Susan moved her chair closer and gathered her little sister into her arms; wishing she could take the pain into herself, but all she could do was comfort.

“I’m sorry. I said too much.”

“No, no,” Lucy countered. “I need to hear it. It’s true. You’re right, I feel like I am only inches from being in a padded room myself, but I don’t know how. How, Susan, how do I move on?”

“One step at a time little sister, one step. But you have to be willing to take each little step as it comes.”

They both turned in surprise as a dark blue ford pulled into Lucy’s drive.

“Who is that?” Susan asked staring at Lucy’s shocked expression. “Is that Doug?” She asked when Lucy said nothing. “Dang!” Susan crowed as he stepped from the car with flowers in his hand. “That is way hotter than ‘pretty attractive’!”

“Shh! What is he doing here?” Lucy asked as she stood.

“Hey Lucy,” Doug called as he approached giving them a large grin.

“Mm,” Susan grunted and got an elbow in the ribs.

“Hey Doug, what can I do for you?” Lucy asked and Susan frowned at her detached tone.

“One step at a time little sister.” Susan said in her ear. Lucy heaved a sigh.

“Would you like to join us?” Lucy asked gesturing toward the table. “We have a lovely Merlot, uh, Italian I think.”

“I would love to.”

“This is my sister Susan,” Lucy said after he sat at the wicker table.

“Its wonderful to meet you,” Doug said as he took her hand in his and laid a soft kiss on her knuckles. Susan turned red, and Lucy smiled knowing the power of his charm.

“So very nice to meet you.” Susan purred.

Doug released Susan’s hand and turned toward Lucy.“Um, Lucy, I came by because I wanted to, needed to explain something. If you’ll let me.”

Lucy was about to answer when Susan spoke up. “I’m tired. I think I’m going to head to bed.”

“No,” Lucy blurted. “You don’t have to go. I’ll just tell Doug goodnight.”

“No, no, don’t worry about me. I can find my own way to bed, just one step at a time…right.” Susan said as she rose to leave, despite Lucy’s pleading eyes. “Goodnight Doug, it was lovely to have met you.”

“Same here,” Doug called as she walked into the house. “Anyway, I brought you these.” He said handing Lucy the flowers.

One step at a time, Lucy thought as she took the flowers.

“I’m so sorry about-”

“No,” Lucy cut him off. “I’m sorry. I know you had no choice except to do what you did. I Know I shouldn’t have hit Heath, but he deserved it, and I knew there would be consequences. Please forgive me for the way I treated you Doug. I shouldn’t have taken my issues out on you. It was wrong.”

“God you’re beautiful when you apologize,” Doug said gazing into her eyes and smiling. He reached up and cupped her cheek, and his heart danced when she didn’t jerk away but pushed closer. With a sigh of pure bliss, Doug let her fall into his arms.

With no more tears to cry, Lucy simply sank into his strong embrace.

One Response to “Heart Eaters – Part Seven – Susan”


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