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  1. #41
    Peter & Pamela Allerton

    Pamela was really grateful for Alexis and her boyfriend’s offer of help. She was scared of her husband, lonely, and still holding on to the idea of their early love. Which, all combined, made everything much harder. Still, she was being honest when she said she would think about it. She had to, right? It wasn’t a situation one could simply stay in forever. Especially with the idea of having children living in that situation as well, which would only make things worse.

    For now, though, all Pam wanted was to get through the funeral. Everything else could wait.

    “Thank you. I really appreciate it”, Pam replied to both Travis and Alexis, giving each of them a hug before excusing herself to go upstairs to her husband.

    As she walked up the stairs, Pam stopped a few times to think. She would have to calm Peter down, and keep him well-behaved up until the funeral. After that… she would have to make a decision. But she couldn’t let him know she was thinking of leaving.

    Once entering the room, Pamela was relieved to see Peter sitting in bed, listening to music. It always calmed him down, but she wasn’t about to rely on that alone.

    Sitting by his side, she gestured to indicate she wanted to talk to him, and wait. “I’m sorry, Pete”, she apologized humbly when she had his attention. “I know I was disrespectful. I’m stressed, with grandma passing away and the funeral”, she explained quietly. While she knew she hadn’t been disrespectful, only stood up for herself, Pamela didn’t mind lying to appease Peter. For now, she just wanted for nothing to go wrong up until the funeral was over.

    Lucky for her, giving Peter time to cool off had been a wise decision, and he decided to accept her explanation - for now. Once things had been sorted out, Pam laid down for a quick nap, as all of the tension had made her tired.

    Pam got up when Alexis’s parents got to the house, though, as she was looking forward to seeing them, and felt an obligation to be there to act as the hostess for everyone. So, as soon as they had the time to greet Alexis and Travis, Pam offered each of them a hug. “Thank you for being here”, she murmured kindly. “Can I get you two anything at all, or would you prefer to go to your room and get some rest?”, Pam offered, holding her aunt’s hand gently.

  2. #42
    Alexis Carmichael & Travis Holsinger

    "You're welcome."

    Alexis replied to Pam, wishing there was more she could do. She waited until Pamela was upstairs before she sighed. Travis squeezed her shoulder.

    "I know."

    He said, knowing without her saying it, how upset she was about her cousin's situation.

    "I just wish I could snap my fingers and make her see instantly that staying with Peter is a bad idea."

    "I do too."

    Her boyfriend replied. It was hard to still back and not try to fix it.

    "She's an adult, though. You can't force her to do something she doesn't want to do."

    "I know but....I'm scared for her."

    Alexis replied, she had visited women's shelters. She and Travis did a lot of charity work. Trying to use their celebrity status to do some good in the world. She had seen first hand how far some of those men could go. How Pamela's situation met certain criteria that the shelters used. It was frustrating and scary. Thank God she didn't have any children. That was truly heartbreaking at shelters. To see kids who grew up in houses full of abuse. Travis nodded his head.

    "I am too."

    He admitted. A man like Peter...He had a short fuse and who knew how long he would go before he blew up.

    Alexis and Travis focused their attention on her parents coming to the house. Travis liked her parents and the couples enjoyed spending time together. It was usually in California, though. When her parents would come visit for holidays. She was their only child and as they got older, it was more and more appealing to make a move to the States, to be closer to Alexis. One of the reasons they hadn't was because of Grandma Maude. Johnny, Alexis' father, felt that since his mother was up there in age, that he should stay close to home. Spend time with her, even if she didn't approve of him allowing Alexis to dye her hair, model, and move to California for half of the year. Or live with a guy she wasn't married to. Johnny and Bethany, Alexis' mother, liked Travis, though. He treated their daughter very well and he told them that someday he'd like to marry Alexis. Just when the time felt right in their careers. Grandma Maude hadn't always approve with more 'modern' thinking.

    Johnny and Bethany returned Pam's hugs and Bethany replied.

    "You're welcome, dear."

    Her heart went out for Pam. The poor thing, she had lost her parents at a young age. Maude had taken her in. She could only imagine that her niece was taking it all very hard. Possibly harder then the rest of them.

    "Some tea, if you don't mind."

    Johnny replied and his wife nodded her head.

  3. #43
    Pamela Allerton

    Pamela was still sad, but felt her heart a little lighter for some reason. She also felt better physically after a nap. Her head had been feeling really heavy, as it always did when she was sad. Now, though, after some rest, she could at least think a little bit more clearly, and try to hold things together until the end of the funeral. Once at home, Pam told herself, she would be able to rest and just take some time to collect herself and make her plans for the future. A future without Peter.

    Deciding that it was not the time to think about it, Pamela went to greet her aunt and uncle. Despite the fact that it was for a bad reason, Pam was happy to see them. Uncle Johnny and aunt Bethany had always been very kind to her. She knew uncle Johnny had suffered a lot when her parents passed, as her mother was his sister and her father got along with him very well, like two brothers. And still, he had been supportive. She was sure he would have taken her in if grandpa Joe hadn't jumped at the opportunity right away.

    "Not at all, I'll arrange for that", she replied when her uncle chose to have some tea. "If you excuse me", she murmured, walking in the kitchen and starting preparations. Margareth wasn't too happy with people invading her kitchen and taking over, but 'miss' Pam was different. She had lived in the house for years, after all. So, the woman simply helped out, making sure to prepare the tray to be taken to the living room.

    Luckily, preparing the tea was pretty quick, and it didn't take long for Pam to poke her head out of the kitchen. "Would you like to come in the kitchen, or would you like to have it in the dining room?", Pam asked, feeling comfortable in the hostess role. It helped her not think too much about the funeral.

  4. #44
    Johnny & Bethany Carmichael

    Johnny and Bethany's hearts had always went out to Pam. She had lost her parents at a young age. Johnny missed his sister, Pam's aunt, very much and Pam honestly reminded him a lot of her. Although neither knew what their daughter knew about Pam's marriage right now. If they did....Well, neither would accept that. Pamela deserved better then Peter. Hopefully she'd see that someday.

    The couple was upset that Grandma Maude was gone, of course, but they also knew how she and Johnny's father had taken Pam in after her parents' deaths. They were sure she was taking it all very hard. And if not for his parents, then Johnny would have opened his home to Pam years ago when she needed a new home.

    "Thank you, dear."

    Johnny told his niece. He was sure that Margareth didn't care for everyone coming to the house and invading the kitchen. He had grown up in the house but he was sure she'd be upset with him if he came in. He knew she had a certain way she liked to keep things. And he hadn't lived here in a long time. When Pam returned, Johnny and Bethany exchanged a look.

    "Either way is fine."

    Bethany replied and Johnny added.

    "Unless Margareth really wants people to stay out of the kitchen. In which case, we'll go in the dining room."

  5. #45
    Pamela Allerton

    Pamela was happy to seer her aunt and uncle. She had always gotten along with the family easily, and been very family oriented. It was hard to imagine that a girl like Pam would have fallen in love with a man like Peter, but here she was, married to him and with no way out in sight. At least for now.

    "You're welcome", she replied to uncle Johnny with a sad smile.

    Once the tea was ready, Pam pondered for a moment. "I don't think she'll mind today", she finally decided. "Come on in, I think we'll all feel better here", Pam suggested, setting the tea and a plate with biscuits on the kitchen table, just in case the older couple would want something to eat.

  6. #46
    Johnny & Bethany Carmichael

    It was nice for the couple to see Pamela again. Although they both wished it was under happier circumstances. They thought she had grown into a wonderful person. Johnny had no doubt her parents would have been very proud of the young woman she had become. Except...There was Peter. He was not a good man for her. Johnny was sure his sister would have hated him. Never approved of her daughter's marriage to him. He had put on a good show, before they were married. Acting like he was a good man. A man anyone would be happy to accept into their family. But afterwards....Alexis wasn't the only who had caught on to what type of marriage Pam was in.

    Johnny nodded his head.

    "I agree."

    It seemed odd to be in his childhood home without his mother here. While he had not always gotten along with his mother, she could be difficult at times, he had still loved her. It seemed odd to him that both his parents were gone. Bethany could see her husband's sadness and squeezed his hand.

    "How is Bess doing?"

    She wondered how her sister-in-law was holding up. She had lived with Maude in the house and had helped take care of her.

  7. #47
    Pamela Allerton

    Pamela felt content having uncle Johnny and Aunt Bethany here. She loved them both, as they had always been very nice to her, and wished they could be meeting in better circumstances. Still, they were here and she would enjoy their presence as well as she could. Now that she was bracing herself and gathering courage to leave Peter, Pam felt that she needed all the support she could get.

    Focusing on her hosting duties, Pam waited for her uncle and aunt to sit down and started serving their tea.

    The question about aunt Bess made Pam sigh. "As always. You know how Aunt Bess is. She's a rock, trying to hold it together for everyone. I'm worried about what will happen once the funeral is over and everyone has to go back home, though", she confessed. "I'm considering getting a week or two off and staying here with her until she has had some time to process this".

  8. #48
    Johnny & Bethany Carmichael

    Life got so busy at times, Bethany thought. She did adore Pamela and realized they didn't spend enough time together as they should. Everyone was so busy with life. Thinking they always had more time and yet...Her mother-in-law proved that wrong. Life was short. Neither Bethany, nor her husband, realized that Pamela was gathering up her courage to make a life altering decision when it came to Peter. However, once they did, both would support her. Their daughter was right, Pam deserved better then him.

    Johnny took a sip of tea and nodded his head.

    "That is Bess."

    His sister was always the strongest one. The rock the rest of the family clung on to. Bethany nodded her head at Pam's suggestion.

    "That might be a wise idea. Once everyone returns to their normal lives...She'll be alone."

    And that was a sad thought.

  9. #49
    Pamela Allerton // Peter Allerton

    Pamela smiled sadly when her uncle mentioned that was Aunt Bess. It was just in her personality. She had dealt with so many things. She had never married in order to take care of her parents. She had welcomed Pamela and dealt with having a sad and troubled teenager at home when she was already grown. She had lost her sister and brother-in-law, then her father, and now her mother.

    And yet, Aunt Bess was strong as ever, not letting the family see her cry. Pam had to admit she admired the woman greatly. And they had a lot in common. Pam had tried to hold on as well, despite the fact that she probably shouldn’t have.

    Shaking her head, Pam focused on the matter at hand. Aunt Bess. She sighed at Aunt Bethany’s words and shook her head more firmly. “No, she won’t”, she replied gently. “I’ll take care of her, no matter what. I’ll either invite her to come live in the cottage with me, or…”.

    “...or what?”, a voice added when Pamela’s faded out.

    Pam took a deep breath and, acting out of instinct, got up and stood behind her uncle. She wasn’t even thinking about how bad this could look.

    “Or I’ll move in here with her”, she replied, her voice tense.

    If looks could kill, her husband’s look would have made Pamela drop dead.

    “I see”, the man replied, something strange in his voice. “Why don’t you come to our room with me and we’ll discuss this?”, he asked, his voice calm, but anger flashing in his eyes.

  10. #50
    Johnny & Bethany Carmichael

    Johnny and his wife had never questioned Bess' choices in life. She seemed to be happy and she was a strong person. Now, he wondered, if he should have done more. She took care of their parents. He had visited but his focus was on his wife and daughter. Which was what he had always thought it should be. With both his parents gone, though, he wondered if he should have offered to help more. He'd ask from time to time how things were and Bess would assure him everything was fine. That she could handle it. And he knew his sister could but...Perhaps, he should have just insisted she took his help instead of just letting her tell him what he wanted to hear.

    Hindsight sucked, he thought. Johnny and Bethany smiled at Pam's suggestion.

    "She'd like that. I know she's always been very fond of you."

    Bethany smiled kindly and Johnny nodded his head.

    "Yeah, just-"

    He was going to say don't let her take no for an answer when Peter came back. Peter...He seemed, on paper, a perfect husband. But the truth was far from that. Although, the couple didn't know the extent of his abuse towards their niece, they knew he didn't treat Pamela the way they had told Alexis a man was supposed to treat a woman. Johnny didn't like the look Peter gave his wife. It was a look that if Travis ever gave his own daughter, Johnny would probably end up in jail for assault. But he knew the type of man Travis was and he was nothing like this. Thank God.

    "You know, Peter, now probably isn't the best time. We have arrangements to make for the funeral, after all."

    Johnny told him calmly.

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