Tag Archives: Mary

Rainbow Connection; chapter nine, part two

“That Stevenson girl sounds like a real piece of works,” my mother says, returning to the former subject with little preamble.  “I think she stuck her nose where it didn’t belong.  If your group is involved, you have to find out more about the other members.”

“Maybe I could run the names by you,” I suggest cautiously.  Even though my mother is a fount of information, I don’t know what kind of confidentiality issues I’m running up against here.  Then again, I’m not a therapist, and I’m certainly not talking about the group on television.

“Only if you want to.”  My mother shifted on the couch to make herself comfortable.

I want to.  I trust that my mother is not going to run around blabbing about the information, so I run the names by her.  I only know the first names which makes it more difficult, but some of the names are quite unusual which should help.  I give names, races, and a brief description of each woman.  My mother doesn’t know Sharise, Jennifer, Maria or Leticia.  I include Rosie’s sister since she has bearing on the case.  She knows Tudd by sight and name, mostly because Stella knows her .  It surprises me as Tudd is decidedly not Marin material.  Turns out that Stella’s kids took judo from her.  Tudd went to Stella’s home twice a week because Stella had a home gym and preferred to have the lessons there.  It also surprises me to learn that Tudd taught judo, though I can’t say why.  She doesn’t teach any more, not since the rape.

My mother tells me the gory details because I only know the basics.  Tudd was walking home from work around eight o’clock—she’s a teacher in Marin County and stayed late for some reason—when two men dragged her into the bushes and raped her.  One of them left a cufflink that was quite expensive.  Stella’s impression was that Tudd knew at least one of her attackers, though no one was ever caught.  That leads me to wonder if perhaps Mr. Stevenson had been one of the attackers and something Ashley said in group triggered recognition in Tudd.  I grimace at my reasoning.  Even if it were true, there would be no reason to kill Ashley rather than Mr. Stevenson.  I say out loud that it was too bad the judo didn’t help, but my mother points out that it was two against one.  Also, there was a knife involved, so Tudd really didn’t stand much of a chance.

I move to the last member of the group—Astarte.  The minute I say her name, my mother’s face changes.  Up until now, my mother’s looked as if she’s solving an intriguing problem.  Now, there’s something else in her eyes, but I’m not quite sure what.  I’m not surprised that my mother knows Astarte, but I am perplexed at her reaction.  She leans back in the couch, sipping her tea.  There is a set to her jaw that hadn’t been there a minute before.  I open my mouth to say something, but shut it just as quickly.  I’m not sure I want to know what my mother has to say about Astarte, but I know that I can’t stop the momentum.  I nervously clear my throat and say her name again as my mother doesn’t seem inclined to talk.  Still, she doesn’t say anything for several minutes. Finally, I break the silence by asking in a small voice if she knows Astarte even though I already know the answer.

Continue Reading

Rainbow Connection; chapter eight, part three

Lyle is captivated by the same idea that fascinates me—whether Rosie’s comments in group contributed to her demise.  If so, then someone in the group killed Ashley.  That is not something I want to think about, but it’s not something I can ignore, either.  If someone is a murderer in the group, then I need to know who it is.  I do not want to be part of a dangerous situation again.  I close my eyes, not wanting to deal for a moment.  Just as I am getting over the last murders, it’s starting again.  I am just beginning to sleep through the night—this could be a set-back for my progress.  I curse under my breath, but Lyle and Paris catch me.  They flash looks at each other before turning their focus on me.  Their sympathy is more than I can bear.

“Stop it, you guys,” I say crossly.  “Don’t start treating me like a child again.”  We finish our dinner, and I do the dishes while the guys go into the living room and turn on the news.  I can hear it through the door, and they boys are still watching when I join them.

“Sheldon, it’s been established that Rosalita Chavez was the housecleaner of Ashley Stevenson when she died.  She had been for more than a year.  The police are not saying whether that connection is the principle one, or if the fact that they both belong to the group was the principle connection.  Most of the people involved in the murders are willing to say off the record that the latter is more likely the case than the former.”  Dee-Dee Reynolds, another thin, blond anchor woman blinks vapidly at the camera.  It is clear that she is reading from cue cards and not very well.  She has to move her lips slightly before she actually says what she’s supposed to.  She lowers her voice before adding, “The board of A Ray of Hope is   seriously considering closing down the group because of the murders.  Carol Sayers, the group leader has this to say about it.”  Cut to Carol.  I can’t believe she’s talking about it again.

“Dee-Dee, I stood up to the board today.  I told them that this group is the last hope for some of these women who cannot afford to individual therapy.  I have nothing but admiration for the women who have gone through difficult times but are making it to the other side.  If there is one thing I want to get across to the public, it’s that these women are not victims but survivors.  I know that sounds trite, but it’s true.”  Carol is facing the camera with her serious face on.  She is dressed professionally in a skirt, heels, blouse and jacket.  “Many people wonder how I can work with posttraumatic women for so long without getting burnt-out, but they are my inspiration.  I challenge the public to imagine living through what some of these women have gone through and not crumbling under the pressure.”  I click off the television before the guys can protest.

Continue Reading