Loryanne opened one eye. Her bed seemed far too comfortable to crawl out of this morning. As her second eye opened, she stared at the ceiling fan humming softly as whisps of cool morning air drifted down and over her. It had been a short and dreamless night. She was always happy when she didn’t dream. There hadn’t been good dreams ever since “that” night. Haunted by visions of violence and personal violations and all the pain and anger that embellished her demonic dreams, they rose like a towering wall of tortured souls screaming for salvation. It always ended the same; with her feet stuck to the ground, unable to reach out and push back the wall that closed in and smothered her muffled cries, till she woke up shaking uncontrollably.
Loryanne swung her feet out from below the duvet and sat up abruptly. No, she would not think such thoughts just now. She raised her hands above her head and yawned and stretched. Plodding her way to the bathroom, she stopped to look out the front windows at a new day dawning. The sun was strong and hot, and promised to bring a beautiful late summers day to all. Reaching the bathroom, she pulled the string at the waist of her mens’ pyjama bottoms. They fell down around her ankles and she plopped her self down on the seat.
Sitting there, her thoughts returned to last nights meeting with Phillip and the look on his face as she explained the events of her past. Well, she thought, I guess that’s one man that won’t be calling me up for a date! She started to giggle at her silly thoughts as she reached out to an empty roll of toilette paper. Damn! She reached inside the shower and turned on water till steam started to rise and fog the large mirror over the bathroom vanity. As smells of soaps and shampoos filled the bathroom, Loryanne’s mind was whirring; planning her timetable for all she had to get done today. After a stop at the office to pick up some files for an upcoming case, she had a doctors appointment to keep. She always hated her appointments with Dr. Katz, but he was the best Internal Medicine doctor there was to be found, and he had worked miracles for her after her rape.
After that, it was lunch with her brother Sam. Sam was younger than Loryanne by 2 years and she adored him. He was smart and handsome, with a good education and with an amazing array of loyal friends who were always trying to set him up with the “perfect” girl. After high school, he went on to study Police Sciences and was accepted at the Police Academy. Upon graduation, he accepted the job as a Field Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His career was rock solid and his supervisors showered praise on the young Agent. The only thing that really bothered Loryanne was the annoying pet names that he gave everyone. In her case, it was LA. He always said that Loryanne was too long to say, and so even as a child, he would call her LA. Her constant admonishing and berating him; insisting that LA was in fact Los Angeles would not daunt him. He would only smile at her and say “ ya, well, whatever”. He was hopeless.
Loryanne climbed out of the shower and wrapped herself in a fluffy white bath towel. Wiping her hand across the steam covered mirror, she looked deep into her face and let one finger trace down the ugly scar. Why had God been so cruel? She had worked hard in school and had achieved success at a young age. She was surrounded by friends who loved her and encouraged her when she had proclaimed that she wanted to donate six months after graduation to working for Houses For Habitat. Her suitors were plentiful and she looked forward to finding the right man and raising a family. She sang in the church choir and always gleefully volunteered to help out at the Bazaars. But all that changed in the wink of an eye.
She dropped the towel to the floor and gazed at her nakedness. Who would have her now? She would never be a mother, a lover, a wife. She braced her hands on the vanity, lowered her head, and wept, almost whimpering like scared child. No arms would ever hold her in a loving embrace and kiss away the pain and tears. These cold silent walls would be her only reprieve from a cruel world. And so, Loryanne Banks was alone.
She raised her head in defiance and stared at the mirror; a flash of anger in her dark eyes. Loryanne took a deep breath, pulled the towel back around her naked body and strode out of the bathroom. A new day was here, and she was determined to make it the best day ever; a day with room for no remorse and silly self pity. No, she was stronger than that. Much stronger! Wasn’t she?
Looking for just the right thing to wear, Loryanne kept seeing Phillips startled face in her mind. Somehow, she just could not shake it. It was quite silly really; he hated her, and she him! And still, pangs of guilt at her brutal barrage on him last night haunted her. As she pulled out the gray pinstriped business suit, she held it up high to admire it and said out loud, “ I’m sure that Phillip would love me in this!” Lowering the suit, she let out an audible gasp, “ Phillip? I meant Sam! “
She flopped down on the bed and sighed as she watched the ceiling fan slowing turning in circles.
“ I don’t know what I mean anymore.”
Senator Alex McCulloch was a handsome man. His hair was cropped short, slightly greying at the temples and pulled forward in a rough finger comb. Having spent countless days in shopping mall parking lots and college campus lectures where he extolled the need for America to return to the values that made this nation great, his skin was tanned and firm from the hot Maryland sun. Although 43 years old, he looked more like a young Hollywood star.
His beliefs were strong and his bank account was short. And America loved him! His office was more like a shrine to past sports heroes and memorabilia than it was a Senators office. Dressed casually in navy blue slacks and buttoned down white shirt; less the tie; McCulloch was the epitome of laid back. His brilliance was unquestionable and his Presidential platform flawless. With impeccable credentials and an unblemished past, Alexander McCulloch was poised to usher in a new era for American history.
Unfortunately, the major industrialists were squeamish about taking on Senator Davis Flatt and his Texas cohorts. Lobbyists were hard on the trail declaring that support for McCulloch would be viewed by the future administration as in fact being an attack on the platform of the future President of the United States. That, of course, being Davis Flatt. And while never being stated, the insinuations of sanctions and withdrawal of financial support for those industries that transgressed would be serious considerations.
The American people loved McCulloch, but the American people did not award loans and bailouts. This was at best a crap shoot. The industrialists had the future of their empires to consider, and their shareholders were pushing relentlessly to get into bed with McCulloch. The unions were wavering on their support, and a large number of contract negotiations were upcoming. Time was running out, and they would have to declare their support soon. The McCulloch camp was well aware of Flatt’s influence and money. But they were also banking on the fact that industry would have to declare an allegiance quickly; bringing with it greatly needed funds.
Alex looked out his window and watched as a pigeon alighted on his window sill.
“ Oh to be as free as a bird with nary a thought to bother. You are luckier than me dear friend. A few grains of seed and a warm sill on which to perch are all that you need.”
Alex turned and stared hard at the phone.
“ Call Stan, for Christs sake, call!”