Doctor Jardine was a psychiatrist and a psychologist. She sat across from all of us on a mint green chair. The wallpaper in her office was an abstract swirl of pastel colours that made me feel woozy. I was sandwiched between Calix and Alex with Felix nervously glancing at me every few seconds from where he sat on Alex’s other side. We occupied the pastel blue couch.
The pastel pink one on our right housed my mother, father and Grandpa Chance. The muted yellow couch on our left was where Ronnie and Romeo sat. Ronnie was sitting cross-legged and was jiggling her top leg nervously. Her Louis Vuitton was in danger of flying off and having its heel enter the wallpaper like a throwing dart.
“So we’re all here to iron out any old grudges and seek a greater level of harmony within this family,” said Jardine.
“Yes,” I responded quickly My father cleared his throat. Ronnie huffed. “Who would like to start?” Asked Dr Jardine. “I would,” said Felix unsurprisingly. I smiled at him and he winked.
“Chasity is my mate, my Luna, the mother of my…our…heirs. But that’s now. Before Chasity turned eighteen, she wasn’t a part of the family.
She shares a birthday with us triplets by the way but my parents chose not to celebrate hers,” Felix said, seemingly angry and ashamed at the same time.
Ronnie fidgeted in her chair. My father growled a little but my mother shushed him.
“She came to us when she was nine. My brothers and I were twelve. She was tearful and distraught most days and my parents.. they made it worse. I make no excuses for myself. I was a bully.
A little j#rk but my parents were adults. Chasity was just a child, no birthday or Christmas presents, only permitted to have donated clothes or hand-me-downs. She couldn’t eat meals with us. She cooked. She cleaned. She was like a little maid. I’m not sure why we even expected her to ever be in a good mood.
We had no right to consider her sullen. What did she have to be happy about? Nothing. And what was the point of my parents treating her so… subpar?” Felix mused more to himself than everyone else.
My father was seething, taking deep breaths, while my mother clutched his hand tightly.
“We didn’t get presents for Chasity. She did get hand-me-downs. Forgive me but she was treated as though unwanted because she was unwanted,” said Romeo. My father rushed to get up but my mother and Grandpa Chance held him back.
“It’s true!” Said Romeo defiantly. You dropped her off!” Snarled Romeo. My father sat back down.
“How could you expect her to be treated like a little princess. You dropped her off, no discussion, and thus you had no inkling of whether or not we wanted to help,” said Romeo.
“We did want to help,” said Ronnie, tears brimming in her eyes, “but no we didn’t want to take in anyone. We wanted to help you Chase out of your mess!”
I sighed. That stung. I knew Ronnie and Romeo had never really wanted me as their adopted daughter or step niece or anything like that but it still hurt to hear it sad plain as day.
My mother spoke, “No one expected you to treat her like a princess! We would have been ok with humane treatment at the very least or a bit of care and friendliness.
You treated her worse than a stranger. You made her feel utterly alone on purpose. You made her into a little servant! A child labourer! If the triplets hadn’t realised Chasity was their mate, would the subpar treatment have ever stopped?!” Asked my Mom. She was shaking.
“You pushed your responsibility on us so yeah we did the bare minimum: food, clothing and healthcare. Nothing less, nothing more,” grumbled Romeo.
Now was probably not a good time to mention there were times I was put out of the house in the cold for “misbehaving”.
I also wasn’t allowed to eat quite as much as I liked, only what was allowed me and I ate different meals to the ones the triplets and the former alpha and luna got. I sighed, leaning my head back on the couch.
Calix was squeezing my hand reassuringly and Felix was rubbing my knee very gently with his thumb
“Ok, I understand the situation was not discussed well,” said Jardine. “But imagine someone had to look after the triplets growing up. That someone didn’t really want to so they used that as a basis for raising the boys.
The boys got no love or affection, no guidance, just food and shelter and healthcare as you say. Would you be angry at that someone or would you understand where he or she is coming from?”
“I would…be mad but I would also never leave my kids in the first place!” Said Ronnie.
“Mom!” Said Alex, his eyes darkening with suppressed rage. “If you weren’t going to give Chasity a loving upbringing then why didn’t you let Chance take her?!” Demanded Alex.
“I would like to know the answer to that myself,” grumbled Chance.
“Her mother was estranged from her father, Chance. She said he wanted to steal her baby!” Ronnie said indignantly.
“I did say stuff like that,” said Mom, looking incredibly guilty. “I was a junkie and I was paranoid. I was so irresponsible back then. I should have given her to you, Dad. I’m so sorry, Dad! I’m so sorry Chasity!” said my mom bursting into sobs that wracked her body.
“It’s ok, Mom,” I whispered. Alex went over to my Mom and rubbed her back. My father cradled her to his chest. “I’m so sorry too, Chasity and Chance,” he said. “We really should have let you two have a relationship.”
“I wish…I would have at least not made Chasity do the housework though I wouldn’t have made any fuss over holidays. Making her do maid work was wrong,” said Ronnie softly. “I know that. L. I’m sorry Chasity,” said Ronnie as though it caused her physical pain to have to apologise to the likes of me.
“She should not have had to do housework. I agree with that,” said Romeo with a sigh. “…am …sorry too, Chasity,” he said slowly as though the words tasted pungent.
My mother pursed her lips and my father glared at the former alpha and luna. Grandpa Chance was dabbing at his eyes and not looking at anyone.
Alex and Calix had been so quiet. Alex came back to my couch. “Alpha Alex, your thoughts on all of this,” prompted Dr Jardine.
“Chasity’s parents weren’t perfect. Had they been more stable they could’ve raised Chasity themselves or seen the truth that she would have been better off with Chance.
They shouldn’t have dropped her off with people who may or may not have held grudges against her but also, holding a grudge against a child is ridiculous and making a child into an unpaid worker is inexcusable.
Two wrongs don’t make a right but my parents went overboard in my opinion. The only person who was blameless in all of this was Chasity herself. She was just an innocent little girl and it’s something that makes me feel sick to think about. We all owe Chasity an apology.
I know I’ve said sorry a lot but there’s no harm in saying it again. I’m sorry for making a bad situation worse Chasity, my Luna, by being such a huge jerk to you all the time. You are so sweet and special, Luna. You deserve much better!” Said Alex, his eyes sparkling with tears. He sighed and pulled me across Felix’s lap and straight into his arms on the far side of the couch.
“Alpha Calix?” Said Dr Jardine, looking expectantly at the youngest alpha. Calix’s wide blue eyes were staring at the Doctor.
“Chasity was someone who should’ve grown up our friend and playmate and then the transition from that to mates would have been easier. Smooth even.
Our parents didn’t set the best example but the older we got, the better we shouldn’t have known. There’s really no excuse. Goddess, I’m so sorry!” Murmured Calix kissing my forehead.
“Chasity,” said Doctor Jardine. Me? Me! I hadn’t even realised at first how little I’d contributed to the session.
“Um,” I said, unsure of where to start. “I was devastated when my parents dropped me off. Going from abandonment straight into a hostile situation for me as a little girl was too much to really process.
It’s all a blur when I actively try to remember but the memories. The memories come to me though when I’m not expecting them and that’s when they’re sharp and vivid.”
“Chasity,” said Dr Jardine hesitantly with look of concern on her face. “Yeah?” I replied.
“Have you ever considered that you may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD?” She asked.
I bit my lip. “It crossed my mind once or twice,” I said softly. “That would explain the foggy memory, the flashbacks…” said the Doctor.
Me? PTSD? But that was permanent wasn’t it? I felt out control all of a sudden. I was nauseated Beads of perspiration formed at my temples. I was breathless and lightheaded. I wanted to scream. There was this sense of impending doom.
“Chasity, breath, relax Focus on the sound of my voice said the doctor. I tried to focus like she had said but I could only whimper as the edges of my vision blurred.
“Chasity!” Yelled Calix, holding me to me. That was the last thing that was said to me before ! blacked d out