Table of Contents [Report This]
A different approach to what Mr. Parker's agenda could have been. Any comment is welcome. Especially good ones!
DSA DATE: April, 28th 1970
For Centre Use Only
Looking away from the documents he was reading pertaining the Centre's latest project, Mr. Parker turned to his daughter and plastered his most sincere smile. “What is it, Angel?”
“Can I go see Jarod, please?”
He put both hands on her shoulders and stared at her. “Now. You know how important Jarod is to us, don't you? You can not interrupt your schedule every time you want.”
“Don't you have any friends you can play with?”
“Jarod is my best friend.”
“No, he is not,” he stated quite vehemently. “He's a Centre asset and I want you nowhere near him!”
“Enough!” he said, walking back to his desk, fuming. “This is all your mother's fault! She was the one who allowed you to...” Before he could continue, Mr. Parker noticed how hard her daughter was trying, and failing, to hold back her tears.
He sighed, got up from his chair and walked over to her. She wrapped her small arms around him and sobbed. “There, there,” he said unemotionally, patting her on the back. “I didn't mean it like that.”
“I miss her so much, daddy!”
“So do I, Angel.”
“Why did she do it? Why did she leave us?”
“We've been over this,” he reminded her, as if that would suffice it. “Your mother wasn't feeling well.”
She pulled off from the hug and stared at him with an icy glare. “Why didn't YOU help her?”
“Because no one knew your mother was considering doing something like this.”
“But you were her husband! You were supposed to know everything about her! And she you!”
“I wish that could be true, but everyone has secrets. Even couples.” He wiped a tear from her face and offered a tiny smile. “Anyway, none of that can change what happened. Your mother killed herself because she was weak. The only thing we can do now is learn from that mistake.” He put one hand on her shoulder and used the other one to lift her chin up. “We need to be strong in order to survive. I won't always be here to take care of you, understand?”
She nodded, not sure of what she was agreeing to.
“Good.” Once again, he walked back to his desk and sat down, this time with no intention of getting up again. “Now, if you don't mind, I have some urgent paperwork to finish.”
Young Miss Parker knew that that was her cue to leave. Her father was not know for being a patient man and pushing him any further would accomplish nothing. But who should she talk to about how she felt? If not with him, then who?
She lowered her head and said, “Yes, daddy.”
Mr. Parker nodded, not diverting his attention from the folder he was holding. He tried to focus on the words and numbers printed on the sheet, but his conscience kept trying to pull his attention someplace else.
Finally giving up, he put the papers down and opened the second drawer of his elegant desk. There, hidden under some folders, loose papers and other documents, was a framed picture of Catherine Parker from the day of their marriage. He would never say it to anyone, because that kind of display of emotions could be too dangerous, but that had been the happiest day of his life.
“I miss you, Catherine,” he said to the picture. “I wish things had turned out different, but I can't change the past, anymore than you could change the future.”
Memories of a bloodied elevator shaft invaded his mind. He pushed those images away and focused on the picture of his late wife.
“You were trying to do the right thing as always, but The Centre was too strong, still is, for us to take down on our own. I told you we had to play by their rules and wait for an opportunity.” He sighed and caressed her smile. “I should have known you wouldn't listen. You were never the kind of person who'd stand by and watch others suffer. You had a passion to help people that made me love you every day.” He laughed. “It also made us argue a lot.”
Mr. Parker put the picture back on the desk and took a deep breath before proceeding with his monologue.
“I know there will be a time when I'll pay for looking the other way and not doing anything. I regret having to approve every sick and twisted experiment Raines chooses to conduct, but I know my refusal on the grounds of morality and decency will not hold ground if he decides to take the matter into the hand of The Triumvirate. For that matter, I know I'm not supposed to be the hero in this picture. If anything, I must be the villain.
“Our Angel is growing up to be one hell of a woman. She misses you terribly and I treat her like that is mistake. I don't know what else to do to protect her but push her away, Catherine. I want her gone. I need her gone. Away from The Centre. Safe. I can't do anything to stop them as long as she's around to be used as leverage against me. Especially if she finds out who her real father is. No, that can not happen. I'm thinking of sending her to Boarding School. Perhaps the outside world will attract her enough for her to want out.
“I know you wouldn't approve of this, but I believe it's for the best. You were strong enough to face the enemy head-on. I'm not. I spent years trying to convince myself that I was simply waiting for the best opportunity, but the truth is I'm weak. And part of that weakness comes from still having too much to loose. Unlike you, I don't have the courage to make sacrifices. Not when they involve my daughter. I would never forgive myself if anything happened to-”
Miss Parker ejected the tiny disk from the DSA reader and put it on her desk. Now she knew the truth about her father. The truth he'd spent years hiding from her. The truth that could have set her free. If only they had been strong enough to trust each other. Instead, the truth had only got him killed and left her alone.