“To some degree yes, does she know I was a killer for the Agency? No. I haven’t gotten around to telling her I wasn’t just an analyst. Eventually, she’ll figure it out herself and when she does, I’ll try to have some answers for her.”
“Just like eventually, I will have to tell Nadine that I stole chemical weapons formulas and turned them over the US government to gain passage for me and any of my relatives that wanted to come with me.”
“Exactly.” Myrna answered. “We all have secrets, especially those of us who have done what needed to be done. If she ever finds out and asks you about it, remember you did what you had to do to keep your family alive. I have come to realize that you wouldn’t have done it, if the Soviet government hadn’t been about ready to jail your father for being an underground orthodox priest. The gulags were a death sentence for a lot of men and probably would have been for your father.”
“But will she understand?” My mom asked, and I wiped at a tear that had sprung up at the corner of my eye. I had always known my mother had been a traitor against the Soviet Union, but I hadn’t known the extent of her treachery or even fully understood why she had done it or why so many of her siblings had come with her. Now, I understood, and I realized it made me think better of my mother.
“That’s the great thing about daughters, they usually do. I know Aislinn wasn’t happy with the answers I gave her about Apex, but I also know that she won’t hold it against me that I kept it a secret. Just like I know if she ever finds out I was a killer, she will just be Aislinn. She might shrug, but other than that, it will get no real response, because as my daughter, she will understand that I did what I had to do and that when I had the opportunity to stop doing it, I did. Sometimes, I miss being in the thick of it, but not very often and usually when I do start to miss it, something happens in the lives of my children or grandchildren that reminds me why I walked away from it all.”
“The thing I worry about most is Nadine realizing why I stayed with her father as long as I did.”
“Why?” Myrna asked.
“I’m not sure she will understand that as a former KGB scientist turned traitor, the government gave me a job to do once I was here and that job was watching her father for the possibility that he was a terrorist.”
“Yes, but her father turned out to be a dirty cop, which is almost as bad.” Myrna said.
“That is true.”
“And you had five wonderful children together who have overcome his alcoholic binges and bizarre behavior. It also gave Nadine, Kenzie. I think she would overlook a great many sins because of her affection for her cousin.”
“I’m not so sure.” Melina sighed after the statement. “Your husband might have been a psychopath, but he didn’t beat you up.”
“True, but not all psychopaths are abusive, just like not all abusive men are psychopaths. Some people are just bad people.”
“I suppose.” My mom sounded sad. “I just know that part of Nadine’s dating problem before Zeke was due to her father.”
“Nadine has grown up to be a wonderful woman regardless of her paternal parentage. Besides, you can’t be completely sure that Nadine’s bad taste in men was entirely based on your willingness to stay with your abusive husband. She might just be one of those women that has bad taste in men. Like your sister.”
“And she never dated anyone that was physically abusive, they were just all assholes,” my mother said.
“That is why I am somewhat grateful that Aislinn doesn’t date. I’m kind of sad she doesn’t like Caleb like he likes her, that could be a good relationship, but she is who she is even if Caleb is to my liking but not hers. However, aside from Caleb, I can’t imagine the stream of yahoos she would have brought home.”
“Like Malachi,” my mom said.
“Exactly, she could have a bunch of little Aislinn/Malachi hybrid children that would drive us all to drink more copiously.” Myrna gave a quick giggle. “Good lord, I can’t even imagine that. Nadine did good with Zeke.”
“Yes, she did, I almost feel bad that I had to shanghai her into it though.”
“Well, between you and me, it was a good thing you did. They are perfect together.” Myrna gave a short giggle again. “Without Zeke there could have been more Malachi’s in Nadine’s future.”
“For all his bad qualities, I got another sestra out of Nadine dating Malachi, a kindred soul so to speak.”
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Any names, places, characters, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination and are purely fictitious. Any resemblances to any persons, living or dead, are completely coincidental.
Copyright © Hadena James 2016
All Rights Reserved