Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Stevie Turner would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Daughter-in-law Syndrome

By Stevie Turner All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Drama

Chapter 1

“How long have the two of you been married?”

Arla’s nose was irritated by a pungent aroma emanating from two smoking joss sticks perched in a plant pot at a rakish angle.She sniffed and looked up from the carpet with its many dog hairs towards the friendly smile worn by Antoinette Beecher, and waited for her husband Ric to say something; anything.However, Ric was remaining as silent as the proverbial tomb.

“Twenty eight years, and we’d known each other a year before the wedding.”Arla nodded towards Ric to confirm her statement.

“And has the marriage been generally happy up until now?”Toni Beecher wondered if pulling teeth would be easier than trying to make this couple open up.

“We’ve had our ups and downs, as does anyone, but now I’ve finally decided that we can’t go on like we have been, and that something needs to change.”

“Something?”Toni asked.

“Well….er… someone more like.” Arla replied and looked at Ric, confident in the knowledge that the ‘someone’ was not going to be herself.

***

Toni briefly wondered if the morose man sitting opposite her and trying to shut out the world, was in fact mute.

“What would you both like to get out of these sessions?”

Arla thought carefully before replying.

“Perhaps you can get out of Ric why he’ll never voice an opinion on any subject, and why he’ll never tell his mother anything that she doesn’t want to hear.”

“And you, Mr Deane? What are you looking for here?” Toni smiled as pleasantly as she could, and strived for eye contact.

Concentrating her gaze on the tassels fringing the moth-eaten rug under the coffee table, and with a growing disappointment at her husband’s continuing silence, Arla then looked up and let her eyes stray about the room towards the counsellor’s overflowing bookshelves, trying to catch a glimpse of their obscure titles.When her eyes did focus on a book’s spine, she realised that the wording on it made absolutely no sense to her whatsoever.

***

“So…what problems have brought you both to see me today?”Toni changed the subject and again tried for eye contact from either one, but gave up.

“There aren’t any problems as far as I’m concerned.” Ric cleared his throat and shifted about uneasily on the sofa. “I’m fine; life goes on as always, doesn’t it? It was Arla who suggested we do this; I’m not really sure what the problem is.”

“Only because you can’t see what’s going on right in front of your nose.” Arla looked at her husband and nervously twisted her wedding ring around with the forefinger and thumb of her right hand.

“Mrs Deane, would you care to elaborate a little bit please?” Toni was relieved to have heard Ric Deane’s deep, resonant voice.

Arla was soothed by the seemingly young-looking counsellor’s velveteen voice and unfaltering smile. Strands of dark fringe touched her eyes, and she pushed them away impatiently.

“As I said before, it’s his bloody mother. For years I’ve put up with it, but no more. He doesn’t want to admit there’s a problem. The woman is slowly but surely ruining us.” Arla wiped away a stray tear and sighed.

“Mr Deane, would you like to comment on your wife’s statement?” Toni jotted down some notes whilst waiting for a reply.

Arla heard Ric’s familiar ritual of pre-utterance throat-clearing, and braced herself for the answer.

“She doesn’t understand; I’m piggy-in-the-middle here. She doesn’t fall out with her own mother, and I don’t want to argue with mine. Mum’s getting on a bit now, and it’s my job to look after her. She’s not too well these days, and the last thing I want is to cause her any stress.” Ric ran a hand quickly through his greying dark hair.

***

The sound of a ticking clock was deafening in the silence of the room.Arla swallowed her anger and waited for the next question.

“I always advise couples that a good marriage is all about trust and open communication. I encourage both parties to set aside time to talk to each other about their problems. If you’re finding it difficult to speak about what’s bothering you to me, then I suggest maybe pick half an hour about three times a week where you can talk privately at home and focus on your issues.”

“I’ve tried that, and it doesn’t work.”Arla shook her head. “We need to speak with you about it. That’s why we’ve come here.”

“Okay, well of course I’m here to help.” Toni put down her pen and looked Arla. “For this first session then I’ll ask you, Mrs Deane, to speak first and for your husband to listen. Hopefully you’ll be able to discuss things more when you get home, and when you come back later in the week then your husband will get the chance to talk uninterruptedly.”

Arla nodded in agreement:

“That sounds fair.”

“Would you like to begin then?” Toni Beecher gave what she thought was an encouraging look.

“Where do I start?”Arla shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know.”

“At the beginning.”Said Toni with a smile. “It’s always a good place.”


Continue Reading Next Chapter
Chapters
1. Chapter 1
Further Recommendations

brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...

Melodie Prins: firstly there better be a second book because I definitely would read that it an instant. This book was amazing and had me hooked by the first chapter I can't wait for a second one (fingers crossed). I feel in love with Scott instantly and found myself wanting to read more of his life and wanting...

farziex3: I think this novel is perfect because it had erotic, romance, and towards the end was a twist so I was just on the edge of my seat reading this book. It was honestly really amazing. I haven't found a book I actually liked to read for almost 2-3 years and this was a great book to start off. Makes ...

Shalyse Wright-Bethea: Thank god I found you. Last night I caught up on the other site and saw that people were having trouble finding you.I was so sad at the thought of not finishing the story. I look forward to more. ~ Zephyrrine

Alkira Joan: Great story, I found it hard to read especially the dialogue. You just need to fix up some spelling errors and the gramma .I enjoyed this book. was a little hard to get though.,.,..,.,.,,..,.,.,, , , , ,.,, , , , , , , ,., , ,.,,,,,

jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

Lea Sutherland-Doane: I love this story and it hurts me that it is on a cliff hanger. Please write the next story fast so I can enjoy more of your wonderful writing skills. Your writing skills are amazing and I cannot wait to read the sequel, I promise that this is the best book I have ever read and I love it will al...

Diana123: Wow! This story is very emotional to begin with. And then it is also exciting, interesting and amazing. There are so many moment and situations in this story that really moved me and made me want to cry (to begin with – the story about little Norm not knowing what a hug is, then the death of his ...

Jacklyn Reynolds: As a mother of an Autistic child, I know how hard it can be. I love how beautiful you made everything. That's all I can say. I need to grab a tissue.

More Recommendations

dd1226: I love reading about other countries and I think this story about Cambodia after Polpot creates awareness of the tragedy that happened there and the actions of the U.N. to hold elections. The heroine of the story is easy to relate to, a modern, middleaged woman looking for an adventure, wanting t...

Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
King's Lament

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra - Preview

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."