Authoress Note: Welcome to Chapter 46 of Messed Up World. Thank you to those who had left reviews for this story. It really does mean a lot to me that you guys are enjoying this story. I hope that you guys enjoy this next chapter. This is the final chapter of Episode 9. Without further ado Chapter 46. ENJOY!
Hannibal, Will, Margarita, Freddie, and Abigail sat in their seats and Mischa sat in her high chair next to her mother.
Hannibal looked over at Freddie who was eating a salad. "I feel terrible, Miss Lounds. Never entered my head you might be a vegetarian. A lapse on my behalf."
Freddie sat next to Abigail at the table. Hannibal sat at the head of the table, his wife on the other end of the table, Will was opposite Freddie and Mischa was in her chair next to Will.
Abigail ate her food with her head down.
Hannibal watched Will with a careful look on his face.
"Or a subtle way to set the power dynamic for this little soiree. Research always delivers benefits." Freddie explained to Hannibal.
"And if it contradicts a good story, hell, just publish it anyway?" Will questioned looking up at Freddie.
"Are you still angry because I called you insane? The libel laws are clear, Mr. Graham."
"Insinuation is such a grey area."
"Insane isn't really black and white, is it? We're all pathological in our own ways."
"You decide on the version of the truth that suits you and then pursue it pathologically."
"Everybody decides their own versions of the truth. I'm here because I want to tell Abigail's
version of the truth."
Will considered it for a moment. "See that you do."
Abigail carefully looked up shyly. "I don't have anything to hide."
"Everybody has something to hide, but I'm not going to write about anything you don't want me to."
Will looked at Freddie and bit his tongue to keep from speaking.
"You must understand our concerns. We care about Abigail. Our only thought is to protect her." Hannibal said, looking over at Freddie.
Will looked over at Hannibal and then looked at Abigail before looking down, struggling with his new knowledge.
"She's already exposed. Her silence until now has been taken as guilt. This book is about her innocence. I want Abigail to have a future." Freddie explained to them.
"That's what we all want."
"Then we aren't so different after all, Mr. Graham."
"We all want what's best for Abigail." Hannibal said with a smile.
Will looked down.
Freddie leaned back in her seat. "This is possibly the finest salad I've ever eaten in my life. Shame to ruin it with all that meat."
Hannibal, Margarita, and Abigail washed the dishes in silence.
Abigail dried the dishes letting out a sigh. She took a deep breath. "Will knows, doesn't he?"
"He knows you killed Nicholas Boyle." Hannibal said, looking at Abigail out of the corner of his eyes.
"What am I going to do?"
"He will keep our secret."
"You don't know that."
"He will keep it because otherwise the one good thing in his life is tainted. He will lie to Jack Crawford about you just as he has lied to himself."
Abigail shuddered as silent tears began to fall. The adrenalin and tension was finally leaving her body.
"You're safe, Abigail. No-one will know what you did. And no-one will know the truth you're trying to avoid. The one you cannot admit even to yourself." Hannibal waited.
Abigail took another plate drying it. She put it down and then just leaned against the sink, her head down. "I helped him." She whispered softly.
"I can't hear you."
A sudden sob came from Abigail. "I helped him." Then she started to cry, a storm of tears a long time coming. A wave of self-loathing and pent up fear. "I knew what my father was. I knew what he did. I knew." She went even quieter. "I was the one who met the girls, talked to them. Laughed and joked. Found out where they lived, where they were going, when they'd be alone. Girls who looked like me. They could have been my friends." She looked up at Hannibal and Margarita. "I couldn't tell him no." She totally broke down, the horror of what she was made to do was hitting her hard. "I knew... I knew it was them or me." She looked at Hannibal pleading, raw, and broken.
Hannibal came over to her and held her to him, stroking her hair. "I wondered when you'd tell me."
Abigail was stunned at what he had said. "How long have you -"
"I always suspected."
"I'm a monster."
"No. I know what monsters are... you're a victim and Will Graham and I, we're going to protect you…"
"I am going to protect you as well as long as I can." Margarita pointed out to the teenager. She knew that Abigail was having problems with what she had done. She looked at her husband. "Hannibal… we should take her back to the hospital."
Hannibal slowly pulled back looking at his wife. He then nodded his head. "Think you can take her?"
Margarita nodded her head. "If Abigail doesn't mind that."
Abigail looked up at Margarita with tear filled eyes. "No, I don't mind."
"I will finish cleaning up."
Margarita nodded her head. "Alright." She told her husband softly. "Come on Abigail."
Abigail slowly followed Margarita out of the kitchen. "I'm sorry." She said softly.
"Abigail, Hannibal and I kind of both knew what happened… you were a victim. Your father would've hurt you… I don't know why you didn't report this…"
"I was scared he would kill me."
"I know." She said softly as she grabbed her keys.
"You're not going to tell Jack are you?"
Margarita shook her head lightly. "No." She said as she grabbed her keys and walked towards the door and opened the door. She slowly walked down the stairs and allowed Abigail to come towards her car. "I promise I'll never tell Jack."
"He sounds like he has been pushing everyone." She said softly as she wrapped her coat close to her as she walked.
"Yes, perhaps a bit too much."
This is the end of Chapter 46. I hope that you guys enjoyed this chapter. I tried my best with trying to write this chapter out as I could. Please leave a review and let me know what you think. Reviews actually help me keep going. I'll try to update next week on Friday. Until next time.