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by Tasha Matthew 4 months ago in fiction

Family Business

Photo by David Holifield on Unsplash

I was tired of the abuse. The mental abuse was bad, but now Frank was starting to get violent. First it started with name calling and putting me down. He said that was to inspire me to lose weight. I guess it did help because the depression that it caused melted the weight right off. Then he became paranoid. At first it was that something would happen to me outside of the house and he wouldn’t be there to protect me. I thought that was romantic and would stay in so that I wouldn’t have my knight in shining armor worried. My friends eventually stopped asking me out and when I had work events that I had to go to, whenever I came home he would accuse me of cheating. I had moved across the World from my family when the old nicer Frank job relocated. I was so in love with him at that point I would have followed him anywhere. It’s almost as if he planned this and hid who he was until he could entrap me.

It’s not like I didn’t know about abuse and how these things work. I had studied psychology, if I wanted to be part of the business then knowing how people think was what my Father required me to learn. So I did, but I didn’t want to be in the family business. My father would watch me like a hawk and tell me I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes. He was so hard on me and I know it was out of love, but I was a brat at the time. My Father was never abusive to the family, not ever, but he was to people around him. He would say that in his line of business you can’t be soft. He would drill that into my head and my every other thought was you can’t be soft, you can't be soft. I watched him do some messed up things and treat people like garbage. The rest of my family followed suit when it came to the business.

I didn’t have it in me, so I married Frank against my father’s wishes. When he said we were moving, I broke my father’s heart. I was selfish, I wanted to get away at that point, but now I miss my family so much. My father didn’t turn his back on me even as I turned mine on him. Instead he called up a friend in the location that I moved and got me a great position as a secretary. I knew that I was getting paid far more than most secretaries and that my father probably subsidized my salary. That drove Frank mad, that even as a top businessman, I was making more than him. That was where the hatred started for him. “Oh, why don’t you get Daddy to do it?” He would say when I asked him to do something. His abuse caused me to stop talking with my family. They would know that something was wrong if we spoke. So I stopped speaking with them.

Frank now had me all to himself without any witness to his abuse. “Maybe I fucking will Frank!” I answered one day in response to his ask your father commentary. As soon as the words left my mouth I felt the back of his hand across my face. He looked shocked at first, at that point he had never hit me. His shock only lasted for a minute, “You will respect me!” He yelled. Staring me down with anger in his eyes, even as tears flowed down my face. After a moment he walked away and I could hear the T.V. turn on in the next room. I was frozen in the same spot, but not even 5 minutes later I could hear him laughing at the show he was watching.

That was the first time he had hit me. It was child's play compared to how bad it got. I would clean myself up and go on like nothing happened. My makeup collection had grown and at this speed I would be the best makeup artist with my ability to cover up the bruises. After one bad beating I remember going to work with the perfect makeup and attire that fully covered me up to hide the bruises. It was so hot that day. Nobody really seemed to notice as I handed out the paperwork during the big meeting and made sure everything was perfect for the new clients. After my boss sealed the deal and the clients left, he looked at me and said great job. He patted me on the back as he complimented me, I flinched in pain. His face was full of concern, it reminded me of my father’s for a minute. “Are you okay?” He asked. The worry on his face almost brought me to tears. Oh yeah, I’m fine, the bed at home has been needing to change, it’s been killing my back. He looked at me like he could see through my bullshit, but then nodded. “Okay,” he forced a smile, “take care of that, can’t have my best worker down and out.” He walked out of the room and I breathed a sigh of relief. Covering up for Frank had almost made me feel like I was scared to be caught. Sometimes I would forget I was the victim.

I don’t think a day passed before we got a knock on the door. Frank opened it and there was silence followed by, “Hey…… Dad?” I looked over at the door and Frank moved to the side as my Father, Mother, sister and brother walked in. I wanted to run up and hug them, but Frank shot me a look across the room. My mother was carrying something. It looked like a dessert. Frank's interest peaked as well, he loved dessert. My mother smiled at him, “It’s called a Death by Chocolate cake she said, and it’s all for you. ” she said, handing him the cake. He looked like a kid in a candy store. He walked towards the kitchen, grabbing my arm as he passed me. I followed him to the kitchen and he gave me the look of death. “Did you call them?” He whispered. No, I nodded. He looked like he wanted to slap me across my face, but his focus went to the cake. He grabbed a knife out staring me down the whole time, but then cut a big slice of cake and plated it. He walked into the dining room and sat at the head of the table closest to the back wall. He and my Father started talking about business. My father was telling Frank that he knew his boss personally and that he had done some business for him in the past. Frank just nodded mostly, he was too busy stuffing his face with the cake.

My mother was laying something behind him, almost like a large black piece of plastic. I was shocked that Frank didn’t even look around. I was watching her the whole time and noticed that he and my father had stopped talking. My eyes shifted to Frank who was stuck with a stupid look on his face. I never realized how stupid his face was until that moment. My mother continued to spread the large plastic on the ground behind Frank. I could hear Frank whispering my name under his breath and I focused my attention back onto him, there was chocolate cake falling out of his mouth. He was struggling to talk. My father didn’t move to help him. My sister smiled and held up a bottle with a poison sign on it from across the room and pointed over to the cake. My Father then walked over to me and laid a gun with a silencer in front of me. “ If you’re ready to come back to the family business, I would very much like that,” He said, “But I’m going to tell you right now, you can’t be so…” Before he was able to get the words out I had picked up the gun and shot Frank right between the eyes. “I know Dad,” I said, “you can’t be soft being in the hitman business.” My mother stared at the hole in Frank's head and gave me a thumbs up from across the room. “You still got it!” She marveled at my work. She was the one that taught me how to shoot my target. My Dad hugged me close. My brother pushed Frank’s body onto the clean up bag my mother had set up. This was the day that I fully committed to my family and the business.


Tasha Matthew

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