Broken Wings (Broken Wings 1) - Page 164

“So,” he said, “we don’t want to see you go to women’s prison, either. Young girls your age don’t come out of there any better. Most come out worse.”

“I’m not going to any prison,” I said.

“Keeping you out of places like that means hiring expensive lawyers, Phoebe. That’s not something we can do. Mae Louise is right. It’s just a matter of when, not if, you’ll be put in with hardened criminals and become more like them. We both feel we’d be letting your poor daddy down something terrible if we let it happen.”

“Daddy’s dead,” I said sharply.

“When someone dies, you don’t lose or forget your obligations to him or her. If anything, what you promised becomes more important because it’s really all up to you. That’s a lesson I guess you were never taught, but then there are many lessons you were never taught and should have been. That’s why we’re sitting here like this right now.”

I squinted at him.

“Why are we sitting here, Uncle Buster?”

I didn’t think he was going to answer because it took him so long. Finally, he looked up at me.

“When we came home from church and realized you had run off, I had to call the police, Phoebe. Your aunt Mae Louise was hysterical about it, too. The police sent that policewoman over to speak with us. She was concerned, and she told us about a school that might be able to help you.”

“What school?”

“A school for girls who get themselves into too much trouble, much more trouble than most parents or guardians can handle themselves. We know you’ve got a history with the devil. This time you almost killed someone. Next time, you might do that or something almost as serious. Then what, Phoebe? We would be to blame, too.”

“I don’t see how another school makes any difference, especially any school around here. The girls and the boys here are just too stuck-up and fancy.”

“This school’s not around here, Phoebe. You won’t be living with us anymore.”

I raised my eyebrows. That should have sounded good to me, but something in his voice made me hold back my glee.

“Where is it then?” I asked.

“That boy you hurt, his father has a lot of influence in the community, Phoebe,” he replied instead of answering my question. “This situation isn’t going to disappear, especially now that they know you broke the agreement and ran off. They’ll expect you to do it again. I can’t chain you to the bed in your room, can I? And your aunt doesn’t want to stand guard outside your door, and I can’t be called away from my work to go looking for you or to solve some new crisis.”

“I get the point, Uncle Buster. I never wanted to live with you and Aunt Mae Louise. You know that.”

“Right. Right,” he said. He sounded too relieved.

“But I don’t understand about this school.”

“It’s a school that’s run by people who know how to help you, to save you from yourself.”

“What is it, some Bible-thumping, hymn-singing camp? Because if it is…”

“Now you listen to me,” he said, pointing his thick right forefinger at me. “This is precisely your last chance. After this, no one’s going to take your side or be bothered with you, Phoebe. You’d be left out there with the sharks and you wouldn’t last long, no, ma’am.”

He nodded after his own thoughts.

“You be grateful you have this opportunity, and you don’t fail at it, understand?”

“Whatever you say, Uncle Buster,” I told him.

He lowered his hand.

“Your aunt’s right about you, girl. You do need this.”

“Yeah, everybody has always been right about me, except me.” I pushed the coffee cup away, spilling some coffee on the table.

He took out his wallet and put down some money.

“We’re going now, Phoebe,” he said. “You want to use the bathroom? You have a trip ahead of you.”

Tags: V.C. Andrews Broken Wings Horror
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