DEFEAT. 026 – Family Ties

[DEFEAT. is Rendar Frankenstein’s truest attempt at fiction.   Presented in weekly episodes, the novella tells the tale of Daryl Millar – a hero who dies at the intersection of pop culture, science-fiction, war epic, and fantasy]

December 10th, 1964

It’s been nine years since I wrote you last. I’m sure it comes as no surprise, but I’ve spent a good many number of these in anger. Towards you, that is, as well as your refusal to support my marriage. I understood why you might have been put off with my decision to wed Lukas, but I guess I had hoped you would put aside your disapproval for my sake.

After all, what’s a family if not a collection of people who tolerate disappointment for the sake of solidarity?

Instead, you decided to cast me out of your life. And while we’d never been especially close, I found myself taken aback. You severed the ties completely. And for…for what?

During those tranquil pre-war years, I always suspected that you loved Bill more than you loved me. More than your own daughter. Whenever he and I visited, you ignored my presence. On those occasions in which I came alone, his absence was dutifully noted. At the time, perhaps as a matter of self-preservation, I convinced myself that I should just be pleased to have a mother who favored my fiancé.

I now realize that when William Jonas died, so did your interest in me. Bill was an incredible human being — a generous man through and through. The first love of my life. Someone who changed my life in too many ways to list. But the fact of the matter is that he didn’t come back from the Pacific. He nobly sacrificed himself to save Clark Millar, his best friend and longtime confidant. I’m convinced that if anyone were to know what Bill would’ve wanted, it’s Clark — so your condemnations ring a bit hollow considering the fact that Clark not only attended my wedding, but walked me down the aisle.

Hate Lukas if you must. Hell, hate me if you want. Just don’t invoke the name of a dead man who, truthfully, would probably be glad to know that I’m healthy and happy. Both of which are attributes that, if I had to guess, I’d say you’re a stranger to these days.

Well, there it is — yet again I sit down to write you a short note and end up scrawling some sort of aimless manifesto. But I suppose all manifestos are aimless, otherwise they’d hit their targets and become laws. Anyways, here’s the point of this letter — you are now a grandmother. Five days ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Her name is Evelyn. Although it’s early yet, Evelyn has settled in well at home — she’s been sleeping through the night, eating well, and hardly raising a complaint.

Even more impressive is how well she has been received by Reilly. He’s in a miraculous state of health and isn’t the least bit jealous of our new arrival. He’s so even tempered around the baby, treating her gently and even coming to her side when she cries. Bill would be proud.

I don’t expect you to write back. And I don’t expect you to visit. But I felt that I owed you the courtesy of telling you that you’re now a grandmother. Take the information and do with it whatever you please.

Your daughter,
Betty Lang