Chapter Three: The End For Mary
What happened just prior to this chapter is told in Samantha Parker’s Story Chapter Six. Also reference Scott Parker’s Story for additional details of Mary’s background.
When Mary awoke, she had a blinding headache and it felt as if her nose was broken. She was fully clothed and lying on the couch. She opened her eyes just a bit and the light from the room sent another terrible stab of pain through her head. She closed her eyes again and lay perfectly still. She tried to remember what happened last night. She met Tom Gray at the bar and had way too much to drink. That was obvious. But what in the hell happened after that?
Mary attempted to call for Samantha, but her throat was so dry, all that came out was a strangled little croak. She swallowed a couple of times and tried again, “Samantha! Samantha!”
There was no answer. The house was completely silent. Mary slowly opened her eyes again and noticed the state of the room. She saw the bookcase lying in the middle of the floor with its contents strewn all around. Then a wave of nausea struck her. It was all beginning to come back now. Jesus Christ! She had caught that sick bastard Tom Gray sodomizing Samantha right here on this very couch! The she thought, oh God my poor baby! Where is she? I have to call the cops!
Mary tried to get up, but the pain in her head and nose hit her like an electric shock and she fell back onto the couch. Think! She had to think! What else happened? Suddenly her struggle with Tom and the resultant scene she had with Samantha began to play out and Mary cried aloud, “Oh God no! I was crazy drunk! What did I say to Samantha? God what did I do to her?” Now Mary screamed, “Samantha!!” but there was no answer.
In spite of the pain it caused her, Mary struggled up off the couch and made her way to Samantha’s room. The bed hadn’t been slept in. The closet door was open and a lot of Samantha’s clothes were gone. With a terrible sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, Mary turned from Samantha’s room and went into the little bathroom. After she got up from the toilet, Mary looked into the mirror over the sink. She looked like hell! Mary thought she must have aged ten years in one night. Her nose was swollen to twice its normal size and her face and clothes were covered in dried blood. She got a washcloth and soaked it with warm water. Then she gingerly washed her face.
Mary thought, coffee…God I need some coffee. She went into the kitchen and made a pot of very strong coffee. She gulped down one steaming cup and then poured a refill. Now that her mind was becoming clearer, Mary began to grasp the full impact of what she had done last night. God no! I couldn’t have been that cruel to my child. How could I have said all those terrible things to her? Oh God Samantha, can you ever forgive me?
Mary went back into the living room and noticed a photo album that had fallen from the bookcase lying on the floor. She sat on the couch and opened the album. There was a picture of her, Scott and Samantha standing in front of the house. Samantha must have been about eight. She had a wan little smile on her face, but Mary and Scott looked almost grim. Mary thought God what lousy parents we were. We were always so concerned with our own problems; we never had time for you Samantha. What a terrible life you must have led my poor sweet baby. Mary glanced down to the coffee table and she saw a folded piece of paper lying there. She picked it up and opened it. It was a note from Samantha.
I’m so terribly sorry for all the bad things I’ve done. You were right about me. All the things you said about me were true. I’ve been trying to deny them for a long time, but I’ve just been fooling myself. I know that now and I accept it. Please believe; I didn’t set out to hurt you or make dad run away. I always tried to be good. I guess it’s just not in me. I know you’ll be much better off without me. I’ve ruined everything in our lives. But mom please believe this; I never meant to. I love you very much and I always will.
Mary’s eyes began to fill with tears as she read the note and soon great heaving sobs were racking her body. She thought, nothing was your fault my sweet daughter. I let you down. You should have been able to turn to me, but I was always too busy with my own problems. I never spared a single thought for you. No wonder you had to look for love elsewhere. I drove you to that. It was my fault. You gave so much of yourself, but got nothing in return. Your dad and I should have been your guardians and protectors, but we destroyed you; each in our own way.
Mary went back into the kitchen. She had never felt so alone and heartsick in her entire life. How could things have turned out this way? There was nothing left to live for. She had driven away the one good thing in her life. She got a knife from the rack by the sink and sat at the table and continued to sob uncontrollably.
In time, her gaze drifted over to a pile of junk mail stacked on the table. Among it was the latest catalogue from Large and Lovely. Mary pulled the catalogue over and stared at the smiling plus-sized model on the cover. She thought, this was so important to me and what does it mean now? I sacrificed my pride and my own sweet daughter for a shallow dream and some fleeting sexual fulfillment.
Suddenly a cry of utter despair and misery filled the little kitchen. Within seconds, drops of bright red blood began to splatter down onto the glossy cover of the Large and Lovely catalogue. Within minutes the blood began to pool up, covering the model’s smiling face. A short time later the blood began to drip onto the floor.
When Mary Parker didn’t show up for work Monday or Tuesday and couldn’t be contacted, Karen Roberts called the Bentlyville police. They found Mary’s lifeless body slumped over the table in the cluttered little kitchen. Upon further investigation, they listed Samantha as a runaway and sent her picture to police departments throughout the country. “Well she’ll make one a hell of a nice looking milk carton kid,” one jaded cop commented.
For days after the news of Mary Parker’s suicide and Samantha’s disappearance became public knowledge, Tracy Weston struggled with an overwhelming sense of guilt. Could what she and Ted did to Samantha and their threats to talk to her mom have somehow led to the terrible chain of events? She guessed she would never know.
Nearly every night Tracy had bad dreams and she would awaken crying. Very late one night when she couldn’t sleep, Tracy got out of bed and went into the family room. It was dimly illuminated by a little nightlight from the kitchen and Tracy saw her dad sitting in the recliner, softly crying. Tracy went over to him and climbed onto his lap. He said, “I just can’t believe Mary’s gone. Tracy I have to tell you something. I have to tell this to someone or I’ll go crazy. I’m afraid it might have been my fault. It has to do with me and Samantha.”
Tracy reached down and placed a finger across her dad’s lips, she said, “Shush, I know all about it dad. It wasn’t your fault. Samantha and her mom led you on. Don’t worry dad, you still have me. Forget about them.” Tracy reached up and slipped the top of her nightgown down to her waist and put her arms around her dad’s neck. Very soon he was sucking on her hard little nipples. Tracy thought thank God things are back to normal.