Rewrote part 1,2 I am trying to fix the name i miss wrote hope you like it
MY DAUGHTER WENDY
Please note this is a continuation of my little Hitchhiker, but starts off slow - very slow, the first few chapters are setting the scene.
I arrived at work that Monday to uproar. People were rushing around like headless chickens! I got to my cubical and noticed that Bob's door - my door is always open! - Was firmly closed and the blinds drawn. I looked to my co-worker, Adam, and mouthed 'What's going on?'
He looked at me, "Head office! That is what! Somebody's put a bee up their ass and now they are swarming all over the place - The Auditors are going through Bob's books looking at everything.
"Shit! Where's that going to leave us?" I asked. However, Adam just shrugged his shoulders. I spent the rest of the morning shifting through some paperwork, and thinking about Tania and Janet. With any luck, they would be on the plane back to America to carry on with their lives.
In the afternoon Bob finally appeared from his office, along with a couple of police officers and a man in a gray suit. It seems that Bob's dreams of retiring rich may have hit a snag.
Which left us all wondering who was the poor bastard who would be taking over Bob's shoes, But we carried on as per normal, although I did find myself fielding several inquiries from staff - to be honest many of which they could have worked out for themselves, but I didn't want to disappoint them.
By the end of the day I was so tired that I almost missed the announcement that we would have to attend a staff meeting on Tuesday, all I wanted to do was to go home and drop onto my bed.
The phone rang as I entered the house I answered it.
"You don't sound well daddy John!" Tania 's welcomed voice came to my ears.
"I'm sorry Tania, it's just that it's been a hectic day, but never mind that, I thought you were going back to America today." I said glad to hear her voice anyway.
"Oh mummy wanted to do some sightseeing - she took me to the London Dungeon, it was smashing, all the bodies and the chains . . . I enjoyed it so much!" I could almost picture her wanting to try some of the chains herself. "And we ate lunch at the Blood and Guts café - you should have come with us." She added.
I smiled, "I would have liked to Tania, but I don't think my bosses would have let me." I could hear her yawn it must have been a long day for her as well.
"I know daddy John, oops, here's mummy." Then a faint "It's for you . . ." as the phone was handed to Janet. "Hello? Who's that?" Janet asked cautiously.
"Hello Janet, I take it you didn't ask Tania to phone." I said, dropping Tania into trouble immediately.
"Hello John - no I didn't. However, she did miss you today, so I suppose I should not be too angry with her. You sound tired." It was a quick change of subject . . . but then I suppose it did echo in my voice. "Oh just some added fun and games at work, we're going through a hectic time at the moment." I said.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Janet asked sounding all concerned.
"No, it's just boring work stuff, you wouldn't be interested. So Tania liked looking around the dungeon then?" I could change the subject with the best of them.
Janet laughed, "Oh yes, she enjoyed the trial and having to travel through traitors gate, I had to stop her from looking too hard at the exhibits, just in case she started to criticize them!" She paused for a moment, as if debating with herself about something but then she finished by saying, "I'm sorry John there's a lot I've got to do, I'll see you again sometime."
"That's fine Janet, I know you've got to pack and arrange to return to America, I hope Tania doesn't wear you out too soon. Bye." I fixed myself something to eat, the remainder of the care package that Sonja had left. I did consider drowning my sorrows in whiskey again, but contented myself with watching the idiot box for a couple of hours before stopping for the day.
I arrived at work, early for a change. If I were going to get the sack then I would at least go fighting.
I noticed a large car in the visitor's space. The windows were dark so I could not see if anyone was in the vehicle.
I entered the building and took the lift to the third floor, finding my desk and sitting behind it. I tried to concentrate on the work, but no sooner had I picked up my pen I was putting it down and walking with the rest of the herd to the meeting room.
"If I can have your attention pleases . . . Thank you!" That was Clive Mortimer the Chief Executive Officer of our branch of the company. "Now as you know, there's been a small problem in the development area." There was a small amount of catcalling at that, as we knew that Bob had a bit of help from higher up and Clive was the chief suspect. "We are expecting a representative from Head Office to arrive today and start interviewing for Bob's replacement, so please give him all the help you can. We'll be starting at 11 O'clock."
We ambled back to our pens feeling like sheep about to shorn of their fleece. I pitied the poor sod that inherited us. At eleven O'clock the phones started to ring, calling the sacrificial lambs to their slaughter.
Adam returned after his calling, he looked slightly shell-shocked, "My god!" He said, "She's a right one, looks so nice but then . . . pure ice-queen, she'd put the white witch to shame." Adam always had a thing about Narnia (you know The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe?).
"Who's that?" I asked him - any information about the enemy is useful.
"That person from head office, it's not a he it's a she, asks a lot of questions and she knows her stuff, but BOY! Her attitude, it stinks!" Adam said, and he was being polite!
Just then, my phone rang, I picked it up - "Mr. err . . . Archer, will you come to the meeting room." The person hung up, rather abruptly I thought but I got up and made my way to the meeting room. I knocked on the door . . . "Come!" 'Great!' I thought 'not even come in, just COME!' but I entered the room.
The person was sitting in a swivel chair; its back was towards me. I approached the table and stood there, I was willing to wait. "So Mr. Archer, why do you think you should be in charge here." The woman said, but I was beginning to recognize the voice.
"I don't know if I do want to be in charge, not if I have to report to some self-important American who thinks she can boss everyone about . . . Janet!" I said smiling as I spoke the last.
"There you are mummy! I told you it wouldn't work." Tania 's voice came from behind me; I turned, only to get hit in the stomach by the flying young girl.
Janet, for it was her. As she turned the chair round, she was also smiling. "It's good to see you as well John." She said. "You know I think I've found the right person for this position." She added.
I shook my head, "Who? Me No way The person to control this crowd needs 4 hands, one to hold the chair, the other to hold the machine gun and two to have whips in them, I'm not the one to do it." I told her.
She tapped the file she was holding, "This says differently. It seems that yesterday there was a minor problem with some chips, and you directed the team to the problem without even thinking about it."
"Yes, but it was an obvious fault, they just hadn't tested it through correctly that was all, and anyway they did the work, all I did was point them in the direction." I said,
"That's what we need, a coordinator who knows what he's doing. I have been going through our files, your name keeps coming up in our systems, and when you are involved, the systems have a lower failure rate. But for some reason your predecessor failed to promote you as he should have." Janet said.
"Of course he didn't, because it would have lost him money." I said emphasizing the 'him' part.
"Plus there's the other aspect of you, your ability of keeping your mouth shut, it's the thing we need from a manager." Janet said.
"We need. Do you mean the company needs? Or am I missing something?" I asked Janet who looked at Tania who giggled.
"John? You don't really know who I am, do you?" Janet asked and Tania just looked at me without giving clues.
"Not really, I mean I know you are Janet Jones and that you're quite high up in the company . . ." I began but then Tania started to giggle away. “ . . . Very high up?" I queried, and Janet nodded her head.
"Mummy's the owner of the company at home." Tania said.
"Well I'm the majority shareholder of the parent company." Janet said . . . This time I sat down in shock.
"I don't remember seeing your name on the board, and I'm certain that the parent company's address isn't that Funiculaireville place." I said
Janet smiled, "Oh daddy started the company in New York State, it's just when he met my mother while he was in Funiculaireville that he settled down there, I inherited his share of the company when he died, and I'm not mentioned on the board, except as J.A. Williams, my maiden name." I thought about it and yes, J.A. Williams was one of the senior members of the board.
"I see," I said and turned to Tania, "And why didn't you say anything when I was talking about where I worked?" I asked her.
"But daddy John! I don't know all the places that mummy owns, and anyway you were the one who told her, not me!" Tania defended herself from my accusation. However, I picked her up and placed her over my knees anyway.
"Mr. Archer do you think this is the best way to conduct yourself during an interview?" Janet said in an authoritative voice.
"Maybe not, but what a way to get fired!" I said and, flipping Tania 's skirt up to reveal her naked backside, I brought my hand down three times on her flesh. " Tania how dare . . . you come here . . . without your knickers on!" I said to the flushed-faced girl.
"I'm sorry daddy John, but how did you know?" Tania said. As I rubbed my hand over her slit,
"I've learnt about you Tania, you'd go naked to school if you thought you'd get away with it." I stopped fingering the girl and set her onto the ground on unsteady legs. I then turned to Janet, "I suppose I told you everything about Bob, and that explains about the audit check yesterday?"
She gave a sheepish nod, "I'm afraid so John, when I heard on the audio where you worked and what was happening I ordered an immediate check. I also suggested that we try to find a replacement . . . which was you." She reached out a hand to me, "Welcome to upper management John."
I looked up to the ceiling "Why me lord? What did I do wrong?" I said to the air, but I accepted her hand and shook it.
Janet just smiled at me, "Why John didn't you know? No good deed ever goes unpunished!"
Over the next, few weeks’ life, for me, was hectic. I was shown how to running the department for real instead of just being a cog in the wheels. I wished that Janet had chosen someone else for the job, but then after a bit everything just seemed to 'click' into place, and started to run smoothly.
Then I received a letter from Social Services, it appears that on checking their databases I was on the list that showed I was a risk to children by accident, after looking in to it they have cleared me and they apologized for any inconvenience that this had caused me (!)
I was tempted to tell them exactly what it had cost me, my daughter, my life and nearly my sanity. However, how can you write that in a letter . . . without it bursting into flames?
I finally settled on a simple reply stating that I had received their letter and had passed it onto my solicitor who would be ensuring that the local police are informed; I later found out that he also applied to the Social Services for damages caused by their defamation of my name. Therefore, I was going to be fairly comfortable off.
I did hear from Tania and Janet during that time, they had returned to America . . . It was strange to hear from them during my evenings knowing they were just finishing breakfast and getting ready for work or school. One piece was memorable.
"I thought about what you said that day at your place." Tania told me one day giggling.
"What was that?" I asked . . . well we had discussed several things while she was with me.
"About going to school without clothes" Tania said still giggling, "Well we're doing historical people today . . . and I'm going as Lady Go diva!" She burst into laughter completely and then Janet came onto the line.
"Hello John, I've checked with the school and they're okay with her doing this, but she doesn't know she's going to have to stay like that all day." I could hear a gasp and then more laughter from Tania as this sunk in.
"I hope you've got a horse for her to ride?" I asked.
"Oh yes a nice little filly, well trained and suitable." Janet said also with a lilt in her voice
"Good at least one of them will be!" I said dryly which caused Janet to laugh aloud; I heard Tania asking what was so funny, after Janet told her, she gave an indignant 'humph' and must have taken hold of the phone.
"Daddy John! That is not nice! I can be good as well!"
"There's no need to get on your high horse about it, by the way how high is your horse?" I asked her my humor coming out
"It's just the right size . . . like you!" Tania said giggling, "Why don't you come over here to find out?"
" Tania!" I heard Janet saying - although she was laughing away as she said it. "Apologize to John and then hand me the phone!"
"Sorry daddy John." Said Tania, but from the lilt in her voice, I did not think she meant it.
"That's alright Miss Knickers." I said (no I didn't take it too seriously either), and I heard her giggle away as she handed the phone back to Janet.
"I don't know who's worse, you or her?" Janet said
"She is,” I said while hearing 'he is!' over the phone from Tania. That night I went to bed with a smile on my face and dreaming of being Peeping Tom.
After a month more, everything was running smoothly, we had established a routine of synchronization with America of our data as well as instituting off-site saves of our databases, so that if the building burnt down we'd be able to save up to the previous two days.
That was when the bombshell dropped on me. Actually, it dropped on my ex-wife and her husband. I was in their fallout.
The first sign I had was a local new item - 'Police have raided several local houses today, the reasons for this are not yet known, we expect more information soon' I heard that but took no notice of it.
However, the next day I was disturbed at work. "I'm sorry sir, but there's a Mrs. Atchison here who wishes to see you. She doesn't have an appointment" That was my secretary Eileen.
"What company does she represent Eileen?" I asked - I had a desk full of paper and plans, which I was working on,
"Err . . . she says she's from Social Services, and it's important." Came the reply.
I did not swear well not out loud. Therefore, they were disturbing me here now! I suppose they were going to say that they had made a mistake with the letter and I am still a menace to society! I looked at the clock; well at least I will have plenty of time to get my solicitor onto their backs when she was finished. "Alright Eileen, send her in . . . and come in as well, I may need you to take notes." Eileen was quite a fast speed-writer.
Mrs. Atchison entered the room; she was not acting haughtily but seemed almost apologetic. I allowed her to sit down and Eileen sat behind her with pen and notepad in hand.
"Mr. Archer, I'm not sure how to approach this." Mrs. Atchison started; there was an accent in her voice, a slightly familiar accent.
"Well if it to give an apology then I'm afraid that my solicitor is already taking steps against your department, I must admit I didn't expect anyone to appear in order to make me stop . . ." I was saying, but then the look on her face made me stop. "But . . . that's not why you're here, is it?" I finished by saying.
She looked back at Eileen and then shook her head. "I'm afraid I'm new to this area, I understand there is a problem between yourself and our office but I don't know what it is, I think that's why they sent me to ask you this." She said.
I looked at Eileen who was studying me, and a piece of music played itself in my head, "I keep on thinking of her day and night . . ."
"Pardon" Mrs. Atchison said I had not realized that I had spoken aloud.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Atchison, just something that came to me, I don't know why." I said.
She smiled slightly, "It sounded like a piece of ELO." She said.
"It was, anyway Mrs. Atchison what is it you want to tell me." I said without explaining.
"It concerns your daughter, err . . . Wendy." She said and paused.
"She's with her mother who took her to live with her boyfriend; I'm not allowed to see her." I said flatly.
"Yes, well there is a problem at the moment, as her only relative we need to know if you'll accept the responsibility of looking after her." I must admit that my first answer was 'huh?' Mrs. Atchison repeated herself.
"I did hear what you said but I don't understand. Why can't her mother look after her?" I said, not knowing why I was delaying, this was my daughter, the one I had taken from me. I should have been shouting 'YES, YES!' but here I was asking questions.
"Well Wendy's been taken into care after both her mother and step-father were arrested yesterday." Mrs. Atchison explained, "We've tried to find any other relatives on your ex-wife's side, but none of them wanted to accept her."
I shook my head, "No, they didn't like her either, for the first reason she marrying me, and then for leaving me." I explained her family, like her, was strange to the extreme! "But I will take Wendy; I'm surprised that your department bothered to ask me." I said.
"I must admit that the meeting was interesting." Mrs. Atchison admitted, "But the chief said that we had to ask you."
"And you were the one given the short straw." I said making her smile,
"Yes, I must admit that you don't appear to be the person I've read about in the files." She said and then colored up, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that." She looked back pointedly at Eileen who was still writing away furiously.
I took the hint. "I think that's all I need Eileen, you wouldn't mind getting some tea for Mrs. Atchison and myself would you?" I asked her.
She looked up and smiled, "Certainly Mr. Archer, milk and sugar?" She asked Mrs. Atchison.
"Milk and two sweeteners please, Miss . . ."
"Call me Eileen, I'll be some minutes." Eileen said.
"Call me Martha please Eileen." Mrs. Atchison, Martha, said.
Eileen smiled and left the room, Martha turned back to me, "I have to tell you Mr. Archer that I'm an exchange operative, my previous office was in a town in America, you may have heard of it . . . it's called . . ."
" Funiculaireville?" I said smiling - yes, I knew that accent was familiar. "How's Janet?"
"You're quick. I'm sorry to say that I don't personally know Mrs. Jones, but we are aware of your . . . interaction with Tania." She was smiling as she said this and so I understood that she was okay with my actions.
"So what's the story about Wendy?" I asked her.
"There are some signs of abuse, it's mainly mental but there is a degree of physical abuse as well." She said watching me closely.
Anger flowed through me, and showed on my face, "How badly has she been abused?" I asked.
Martha shook her head, "I'm not certain, she doesn't want to talk about it, we've have medical people examine her but she's be beaten, there is evidence of anal penetration but she still has her hymen, for the life of me I don't know why." I knew I was shocked at her frankness but my heart went out to Wendy."
"Where is she at the moment?" I asked Martha.
"She's at the hospital still; we didn't have anywhere to place her for the short time. If you wish to see her I can take you there now." She told me, just then, Eileen entered the room carrying two cups, I was half tempted to drop everything and run to the hospital there and then, but I just could not . . . could I?
"Eileen, I've got to go, can you get Adam and Sam in here please." I asked my secretary she nodded and went to the outer office.
Within minutes both Adam and Samantha Hopkins had arrived, Eileen sent them straight in, "I'm sorry to do this to you both but I've got a personal problem that's just arisen, I need you both to cover for me." I said. They both agreed that they would help me without questioning. I showed them the problem I had been working on, the direction I was thinking about going, and they left discussing it.
I then dialed Clive Mortimer, "Hi Clive, I'm going to need some time off I have a family emergency to deal with."
"No way! We have got too much on our plate at the moment to let you just drop everything. You can't go." Clive said.
"I'm sorry you feel that way Clive, I had hoped that what I've done had helped the company, but now I need to . . ." But Clive interrupted me.
"Look Johnny the answer is NO. Got it N. O now how's that problem we've sent you?" he asked. I hung up the phone.
"Let's go." I said to Martha and picked up my jacket. As we left my office I called to Eileen, "If Clive calls you don't know where I am and you don't know who I'm with . . . I doubt if I'll be back." I said as I walked into the lift.
As we descended Martha spoke, "I take it you've got troubles?" She asked.
"Well it appears that I'm not allowed to have personal problems, the company comes first." I told her.
"And you are with me because . . ." She prompted.
"I'm with you because my daughter comes first. She needs me more than the company does, other people can do my job here, but only I can help my daughter." I told her.
She nodded and smiled, "That's what I was lead to believe, and do you expect any trouble when we get to reception?"
I thought for a moment. If Clive was the complete bastard that I thought he might be then I could expect our burly security people would try to stop me. I pressed the second floor button. "It could be that we'll need to use the fire escape instead of the front door, do you have a car handy." I asked her
"Yes, it's in the back parking lot." She said.
I felt like it was a television show as Martha and I broke the plastic restraining clip on the fire doors, hearing the alarm sound as we ran down the metal fire escape and then to the car park, jumping into her car and screeching off with security guards running behind us. We both laughed as we turned onto the main road.
"This is existing! Nobody told me that Social Services could be so exciting." Martha said as we turned into the Hospital parking area.
I smiled ruefully, "I think I've just resigned from my job." I said.
"Oh I don't think we can allow that, I'll see what I can do." Martha confided to me and escorted me to the pediatric wards.
We arrived at the nurse's desk and Martha introduced me as Wendy's father, the nurse looked up surprised. "I'm sorry who did you say you were?" She asked, when Martha persisted the nurse directed us to a side-room.
We entered the room to find it was empty, and then the Sister in charge of the ward entered. Martha spoke up, "What's wrong, I've identified myself and this gentleman, why haven't we been taken to Wendy?" She asked.
I spoke up, "Is there something wrong with my daughter?" The Sister looked at me as if surprised I could speak.
"Not with your daughter as such, but with her knowledge of you." She stated flatly.
"If it's the rumor that I'm some type of pervert then I have to tell you . . ." I started but the Sister stopped me there and then.
"It's not your personal life I'm on about, well in a way it is. Wendy is under the impression that you're dead!" I looked at her open mouthed.
"I can assure you that I'm perfectly healthy, now why does Wendy think this?" I asked her.
The Sister shook her head, "I don't know, but when we told her that her father was coming to pick her up she started to cry, we tried to tell her it wasn't the man that her mother was living with and all she would say is 'but daddy is dead!'" The Sister replied.
Martha took control. "I suggest you bring Wendy into this room and we'll see how she reacts." The sister looked slightly dubious about that but went away.
A nurse brought a young girl into the room and sat beside her, Martha smiled at Wendy, "Hello again Wendy, do you remember me?" She asked.
Wendy nodded and looked at me as if trying to decide who I was, she walked to me and then looked at my face, she was biting her lower lip as if trying to make up her mind.
"You look like my daddy did." She said softly.
"I am your daddy Wendy." I said, also quietly but she shook her head.
"You can't be! Mummy told me that daddy was dead a long time ago." She said in a decisive tone.
"But your mummy and I broke up several years ago."
"No, mummy told me that you didn't want to see us again, that was why you threw us out and we moved in with HIM!" There was a tone to that last piece.
"It wasn't like that Wendy, but at the moment I'm sure you wouldn't believe that." I said, not forcibly I did not want to upset her.
She shook her head a sat down on a chair, not looking at anyone. I gave a worried glance at Martha who just shook her head slightly.
"But . . . but why would mummy? But mummy said . . . dad . . . daddy?" Wendy said looking at me confused. I nodded my head.
"Yes Wendy, I am your dad, I've been waiting to see you for so long, I've missed you darling." I said - yes there were tears in my eyes.
"Why did you leave us?" Wendy asked me.
"I didn't, your mother told me that she didn't want to stay with me, she left me taking you with her." I said, "Will you come back to me?" I asked her softly.
"Do you want me to? You won't send me away again will you?" Wendy asked me through tear-laden eyes.
I got up from my seat and approached my daughter, I went down onto my knees so that my head was level with hers and I looked into her eyes. "Wendy I promise you that while I live you will not have to leave me, unless you wish to." I said to her, while crossing my heart with a finger - something I had jokingly done when she had been with me.
She watched my hand rather than my face and then she smiled, "DADDY!" she said and threw her arms around my neck. Martha, who had been watching both of us, nodded her head.
"I'm satisfied that Wendy has accepted her father and will release her into his care." She said formally, if you wouldn't mind bringing Wendy's clothes and I'll have a word with the Sister in charge." Martha said taking the nurse out of the room leaving me with my daughter.