I had just gotten off of the phone with my friend Deanna when there was the sound of breaking glass and my blinds came off of the window. I stared into the face of my boyfriend and realized with a moment's hesitation that he had successfully found a way into my house. He grinned at me so maliciously that I turned and ran towards the living room while dialing 911. But to my dismay I could not get the front door open. My mom had locked me in a house by myself with no way out except through the back bedroom door and my way was blocked by a man who wanted nothing more than for me to have his baby. I grabbed the bottle of wine that my mother had put on the television stand and swung it around just right to where it caught him off guard and broke against his thick skull. It gave me deep satisfaction to know that I had caused that bloody wound on his head and that he probably wouldn’t mess with me now. But I was wrong. He grabbed me by my wrist and sent me sprawling to the ground. Then he proceeded to climb on top of me and do what he came to do. By the time he was done I was unconscious and had a deep cut going from my left temple to the bottom of my jaw. At least I had the satisfaction of knowing that I screamed help before I passed out. Just as I came around a key was inserted in the lock and I heard my brother’s voice say my name.
“Michael,” I whimpered as he bent over to help me up.
Just as he took my hand the front door slammed open and in swarmed the police. They pulled him away from me and called for an ambulance. I heard my brother protesting as he was led into another room away from the scene and my mother came in to find the police surrounding me. I don’t care what happened after that all I felt was pain all over my body and found that I could barely move my legs and that I was bleeding pretty badly. I heard the sirens blaring and turned my head to face my mom. She looked down at me with absolutely no pity in her eyes and I knew this would be the last time I returned to her house or stayed here alone with the damage that was done to her back bedroom window. In that moment I knew that all I could do was hope that I became pregnant and had a baby so I could get on welfare. Hell I would even welcome twins if it got me out of this house faster. Then the military police swarmed in followed by my grandparents. I laughed a weak laugh and then I heard more sirens blaring as an ambulance pulled up outside of the house. The paramedics rushed in and loaded me onto the stretcher and then placed me into the back of the ambulance. My grandparents made to climb in with me when my mom stopped them and climbed in herself.
“They can come too,” I said and gestured for them to climb in.
They got in the ambulance and my grandmother sat on the stretcher next to my feet and held my hand while my grandfather sat in the only other seat with a seatbelt. My grandfather took my other hand and rubbed soothing circles into the back of my hand as I started to cry. We got to the hospital and the Emergency Room staff immediately got me checked over and cleaned up. I refused to take the morning after pill and they settled me in for the night. When the police came in to check on me they pulled my mother out of the room and asked her a few questions. After that I heard her yelling and protesting as they gave my grandparents custody of me due to the knowledge my mother had that I was in danger and she did nothing to prevent it. I smiled at the fact that I had finally won and gotten what I always wanted and that was to be with my family.
"Mimi can I ask you something," I said and she turned to face me.
"What is it sweetie? You can ask me anything," she said even though the look in her eyes said that she already knew what I was going to ask her.
"Why did you send me away," I whispered and she started to cry.
“Sweetheart we didn’t want to but when your father gave up his rights to you social services said we had no choice but to give you up,” my grandfather said to me.
“That is what I always told people but no one wanted to believe me. They all said that no one ever wanted me not even my mother,” I whispered and finally I let the tears fall down my face.
As the night turned into day I got a hold of a phone and called my school to tell them I would not be in today. When I hung up I noticed that my grandfather was at the doorway watching a scene unfold as none other than my now ex-boyfriend was wheeled into the emergency room on a stretcher. He was clearly unconscious and in the same clothes he had on the night before so my best guess was that he did not make it to his front door. I grabbed the phone and called his dad and immediately heard the same ringtone that his son had. He picked up and the ringtone stopped and I said what I had to say then hung back up.
“Papa come sit down. That is nothing you need to be worrying about,” I said and he came and sat back down.
Just then Junior’s dad appeared in the doorway and looked at me with a contrite look on his face. I gestured for him to come inside and he came in and sat down on the opposite side of me from my grandparents. He reached for my hand and brushed my erratic hair out of my eyes. I smiled and let out a laugh that woke up my grandmother.
“Melissa, who is this,” she asked me not liking the way our hands were entwined.
“Sadly enough he is the father of my so called polite and well raised ex-boyfriend. He is the only one who probably won’t press charges against me for smashing that wine bottle against Junior’s thick skull,” I said.
“No I won’t because I know that his blood was found on the remains of the wine bottle in your house and that alcohol was found in his bloodstream. And that your blood was found on a knife that was lying beside him on my front porch,” Senior said as he got a good look at the side of my face.
“Wait a minute! You raised that monster,” my grandmother exclaimed.
“Actually his mother did. Senior here was always travelling for his job. Therefore he wasn’t there to help raise his son. I fully vouch for him when I say that he would never raise his children to be disrespectful towards women,” I said.
“Actually I want to transfer his trust fund to you so you have some money to help take care of yourself. I don’t want you to go through the pain of having a child you are not going to want to be around. Therefore I am willing to pay any medical expenses you have and will have in the near future,” Senior said and I looked at him like he was crazy.
"I have no intention of having an abortion. I am not a killer and I won't start now," I said.
“I was just trying to say you could give the baby up for adoption if you wanted to,” he said and I immediately shook my head.
“Okay, I wasn’t sure what you wanted to do but now I am,” he said with a smile.
Just then a nurse came into the room and asked to speak with my grandparents and me in private. My grandparents agreed and Senior left the room to go check on his son. That was the last time I saw him for the rest of the day.
Just as I was getting ready to leave with my grandparents I was immediately surrounded by news reporters and cameras just because the word had gotten out that I had been attacked by a star football player’s son. I pushed through them and met Senior at the door of his son’s room. As I hugged him goodbye I heard cameras go off and Senior wrote down the account number for me to access my new bank account and I left to face the rest of the world. At the end of the day I had been changed and at the end of the week when Junior came around he would be served with a restraining order. I walked down the hall and out to my grandparent’s car which had a recreational vehicle attached to it. My grandmother and I got into the RV and my grandfather pulled out of the parking lot. My grandmother showed me to the upstairs floor of the RV and I found that all of my stuff had already been picked up.
“Mimi, does my dad still want to be a part of my life,” I asked and she nodded.
“He loves you very much and he wants to see you again,” she replied and I nodded.
I let a smile come forth and I sat down on the comfortable bed with my grandmother for the rest of the ride until she had to switch with my grandfather. I sat on the bed and looked out the window as we travelled farther and farther away from the last home I had ever known. As we got closer to Texas I let my eyes drift closed and I went to sleep curled up on top of the comfortable blankets. I don’t know how long I was asleep but when I woke up we were in Arizona already. I got up and walked down the staircase to find that my grandmother was making breakfast for me but the smells of the bacon threw my stomach into disarray.
“Mimi, I don’t feel so good,” I murmured and she came over and felt my forehead.
“Well you don’t have a fever so it must be motion sickness from the swaying of the RV,” she said and I sat down at the kitchen table.
The moment I sat down the stomach ache went away and I was able to eat the wonderful fat filled breakfast that my grandmother made for me. Just then the RV turned and pulled to a stop in front of the house I would be living in until I got my own apartment. A man with short brown hair walked out of the house and walked around the back of the RV until he came to the door. He climbed the steps and stopped when he saw me staring out the window just opposite the kitchen table.
“Mom can I speak with you for a second,” he asked and my grandmother nodded.
They walked upstairs and then it sounded like the man exploded.
“THE BASTARD DID WHAT AND SHE’S KEEPING HIS WHAT,” he screamed and I shook my head happy to know that I had just given my dad a mini heartattack.
He stormed back down the stairs and stopped behind me but I just continued to stare out the kitchen window at the house I hadn’t seen since I was six years old. I smiled at the memory of a mixed breed dog and got up and walked around my dad like he wasn’t even there. I walked back up the stairs and put the ointment the hospital had given me on the cut and sat on the bed to look out the window. My dad had followed me up to the second floor and was now staring at me expecting me to look at him.
“You are staring at me for what reason,” I asked without looking away from the window.
“I want you to look at me so I can give you a piece of my mind at what I think you are going to do if you get pregnant before three months are up,” he said and I let out a sigh.
“I am not a killer and I won’t start now. I am going to love this child with all of my heart, mind, and soul. He will have whatever he needs and wants because I will be there for him, unlike the people I used to know that I once called family,” the last part was whispered and he came over to me and wrapped his arms around me.
I turned around in his arms and wrapped my arms around him and let the tears stream down my face as I silently cried. He sat down next to me and held me a little closer to calm me down and ran his hands through my hair. I cried myself to sleep and when I woke up it was dark outside. I sat up and looked around before I realized I wasn’t alone in the room. I scrambled out of the bed and to the door before I got knocked to the ground. I lashed out and managed to connect with the man’s equipment and I sent him to his knees. I got up and turned on the light to find Junior and his brother Raleigh in the RV with me.
“I hope you know I can have you both arrested for breaking and entering and attempted assault and battery, right,” I said and Raleigh looked at me wide-eyed.
“Actually no you can’t,” Junior rasped out while clutching at his equipment.
“Where did you hear that Junior,” I asked just as my dad arrived with a frying pan.
He took in the fact that the man in front of me was on his knees clutching his equipment and looked at me wide-eyed. I nodded and he tossed the frying pan on the bed and moved to sit down on the bed when Raleigh spoke.
“Our father is in the bathroom downstairs. We are protected because we had permission to come in here from someone who was half asleep downstairs on that nice and soft sofa. If we had not gotten that person’s permission we would have left. Junior is just being a dick and wants to land himself in a nice, cozy jail cell,” Raleigh said and I raised an eyebrow.
“Okay why isn’t your dad not up here with you because I know my daughter has a restraining order against one of you boys,” my dad said and I nodded in agreement.
“I do have a restraining order against the one on his knees so he really shouldn’t be here,” I said and my dad looked at me and Junior.
My dad noticed the cut on his head and swore as he noticed it was the same cut I had just on the opposite side of his face from mine. I heard footsteps on the stairs and moved out of the way so Senior could come into the room and take stock of the damage done to his son. I sat down on the bed next to my dad and laid my head on his shoulder. Then I noticed the package on the bedside table. I picked it up and shook it and when nothing bad happened I tore off the paper and stared at the intricate and antique jewel encrusted box. I opened it and found a beautiful diamond ring that also had to be antique. The ring was set with diamond’s and turquoise stones and when I put it on it fit my finger perfectly.
“The ring was my great-great-grandmother’s and since you are eighteen in three minutes I thought now would be as good a time as any to give you the ring,” Senior said and I smiled.
“So let me guess it’s also an engagement ring isn’t it,” I asked and he nodded sheepishly.
“Whoa, wait a minute! My daughter is too young to be getting married. She hasn’t even gone to college yet,” my dad said sending me into a fit of giggles.
“According to laws in her home state she is old enough to make decisions for herself and if she wants to take me up on the offer she can. I am more than willing to pay for her to go to college and take care of the child that she has with my idiot of a son. I will also pay for her expenses such as bills and food. She will not have to ask for anything because she will have the best of everything,” Senior said and I stared at him wide-eyed.
“I wouldn’t have to ask for anything,” I asked in disbelief.
“Not a single thing,” he said and I smiled.
“I wouldn’t mind marriage,” I said and Raleigh smiled.
“Oh I should warn you that my youngest three are the resident pranksters. If you’re missing anything like makeup the girls are most likely using it on the boys,” Senior said, and I laughed.
I got up and placed the jewel encrusted box in a small box that I kept locked and I turned to Senior with a small smile playing at my lips. I looked towards Junior and an even bigger smile came to life on my face. Senior looked at the smile on my face and his eyes went wide.
“No you cannot treat him like a slave. You can do that only when he comes home and says that he is on the Patriots or even worse the Cowboys. Only when I disown him can you treat him like that,” Senior said and I sighed.
“That’s not why I was smiling,” I said and he looked at me confused.
“I was smiling because I found a problem in the family dynamic,” I said and cracked up.
“Uh-oh,” my dad said and busted out laughing as well.
“What is the problem in the family dynamic,” Junior asked.
“Stepmom/ Junior’s baby momma,” I said and Junior looked at his dad in horror before looking at me and he busted out laughing.
“You’re going to be my new mom,” Junior asked between laughs.
“It seems like it and I am a year younger than you so it is a lot easier for me to get along with teenagers,” I said.
“Does that mean I could get away with whatever I do wrong,” Raleigh asked me with a hopeful smile on his face.
I shook my head and his lower lip slipped into a pout as his father turned to stare at him with an incredulous look on his face. I turned to my father and gestured at my things clearly at a loss for how I was going to transport them with me back to Senior’s house. He shrugged and got up and left the room and I sighed and sat down on the bed in frustration.
“What’s wrong,” Senior asked me and I shook my head.
“I have so much crap that I would have to take the RV back to your house and unload it and bring it back here without a scratch on it,” I said and my dad came back inside the room.
“My parent’s said the RV is hers and if she wants to leave she can leave. She is eighteen now after all,” my dad said.
I hugged my dad and left the RV for a few minutes to say goodbye to my grandparents as well as a quick thank you for them coming in with the military. I hugged them both and patted the dog’s head and turned to leave the house when there was a soft yapping sound coming from the kitchen area. I walked over to the kitchen and my heart broke at the sight of the little white puppy that was standing behind the doggy gate. I picked him up and rubbed behind his ears and he quieted down.
“You can have him if you want. He was the runt of the litter and no one wanted him because he has yet to gain his spots like the rest of the litter,” my grandmother said and I smiled.
“Thanks Mimi. I will take good care of him,” I said and she nodded.
I turned around and my grandfather followed me out with some soft dog food and a bag of hard dog food and a bowl. I held the RV door open for him and he set the supplies down on the table and my new fiancé came down the stairs to see what was going on. I held out the puppy for him to see and he smiled at me with an encouraging smile. After my grandfather left the RV I went upstairs and laid down on my bed with the puppy in my arms. My dad came upstairs one last time and gave me an address book. I opened it and found the phone number for my family and the address so I would never have to do an internet search to get the address. I hugged my dad one last time and I watched from the window as my dad went inside the house. After that Senior pulled away from the curb and I went downstairs to see if the boys were following in a car. But they were sitting on the sofa looking depressed until they saw the puppy in my arms and they started to smile. I couldn’t wait until we got to Senior’s house in Florida and I became the new Mrs. Johnson.
At a quarter to midnight I went back upstairs and went to sleep as we crossed the New Mexico border into Texas. I had just fallen asleep when the RV made a sharp turn and I fell off of the bed with a thud. I laid there for a few seconds assessing the damage and the RV came to a stop and the motor was turned off. I heard footsteps on the stairs and Raleigh poked his head into the room. He took in the fact that I wasn’t moving and hollered for his dad who came running up the stairs in a rush.
“I think you killed her, dad,” Raleigh said and he shook his head.
“You fell off of the bed when Junior made that turn didn’t you,” he asked me and I nodded.
Senior came over to me and helped me up and hollered for Junior to get the RV moving again. The motor roared to life and we pulled away from where we were parked and then I realized we were in a stadium parking lot. I shook my head and stifled a yawn but Senior caught it and ushered me back to bed. I pulled the covers up over my head and curled up into a ball. Just as I was about to go to sleep I realized I was missing something. I got up and went to the box labeled bedding and opened it and found what I was looking for on the top of the pile. I picked up the Ravens throw blanket and walked back over to the bed to see Senior in the doorway looking at me in confusion.
“I don’t know how I was able to sleep without this blanket because I am significantly attached to it and if anything happened to it I would be devastated,” I explained holding up the blanket for him to see.
He nodded with a smile and came over to me. He wrapped me in his arms and sat down on the bed. He pulled me down on to his lap and held me in a tight embrace as I realized I was engaged to him and that there was a possibility that I would have his son’s child. I thought it through and figured that if Junior didn’t want the child then I would give him or her up for adoption. I silently promised that it would be an open adoption and that I would spend as much time with my child as possible.
“What if Junior doesn’t want the child, Mel? What are you going to do then,” Senior asked me.
“I am going to give him up for adoption and still be a part of his life. I will visit him. I will go to his birthday parties and I will make sure he plays football and knows who his dad’s family is. I will always be there for him,” I whispered and sighed silently.
“I think that that is a wonderful idea, sweetheart,” Senior said and I smiled.
“You really think it’s a good idea,” I asked looking up at him.
He smiled and nodded and I pressed a kiss to his lips as he leaned his head down towards mine. I pulled back and he laughed. Just then we hit another sharp turn and we were both thrown to the floor. I cracked my head against the floor and muttered something unintelligible that wasn’t very nice and I got up off of the floor. I stormed down the stairs and into the cab and smacked Junior upside his head.
“What was that for,” he asked not looking at me.
“For throwing me off of the bed for the second time tonight. It is pissing me off and if you don’t stop hitting these turns at the last second you are not going to like me,” I ranted.
He muttered something that sounded strangely like, “I don’t like you now,” and he jerked on the steering wheel just in time to reach the exit.
“What was that? Because it sounded like you just said you don’t like me right now,” I said sitting myself down in the passenger seat.
He pulled the RV over and looked at me with tears in his eyes. When he spoke his voice and words radiated the pain and anger he was feeling.
“You were supposed to marry me but no my dad gives you a nice antique ring and you say yes to his proposal. But when I asked you six weeks ago you weren’t ready to get married. You said you wanted to go to college and get a degree in journalism before you got married. But the moment my dad asks you to marry him you say yes like a little girl when she’s asked if she wants chocolate on Valentine’s Day and it hurts because it makes me feel like you started going out with me to get close to my dad,” he said and I shook my head.
“I started going out with you because you were the only one who was kind to me when I started going to public school. All my life I have been picked on and abused. For once I had finally found a friend but then I found out you weren’t who you said you were. You lied about who your dad was and what sport you played. It seemed like all of the walls I had around my heart that were slowly crumbling were being built right back up to protect myself. I went on high alert because your dad could have said I was harassing his family and filed a restraining order against me. I still wanted to be friends with you but I was hesitant and the answer I said to your marriage proposal was given because your dad had already asked me and I told him I had to think about it,” I said and he shook with suppressed sobs.
“I don’t know how I didn’t see it before. The way you spoke about my dad before you even met him was with love and adoration. All you wanted to do was meet my dad. I guess I never really wanted to believe that you loved someone you barely knew more than you loved me,” he said and got up and moved in to the open space of the RV.
I got up and walked up behind him quietly turning him to face me. He looked at my face and shook his head and walked away from me. I turned around and went back to the front and locked down the RV’s doors. No one could get in or out while this lock was on. I stayed by the trigger and sat down in the driver’s seat so Junior couldn’t get to it and I waited for him to come back over to the cab so we could get moving again. Just then I heard a snore come from the direction of the couch and I looked over to find Junior fast asleep on the couch. I sighed and buckled up quietly putting the RV in drive. I gently pressed down on the gas pedal and turned the steering wheel ever so slightly to get back into moving traffic. A few minutes into the drive Senior came downstairs and entered the cab to find me driving the RV.
“Do you even have a license to drive anything but a bike,” he asked and I shook my head.
“No I don’t and that is the reason we are moving so slowly. Now just tell me which exit to take to get to your house,” I said and he pointed to the next one that was marked exit 129b Baltimore.
I pulled over to the exit and got off before I pulled into a gas station parking lot to switch places with Senior. Once we had switched places I went upstairs to go to sleep and I promptly fell into my bed and went to sleep. As the day progressed I drifted in and out of my dream world where I was comfortable and at peace with myself. At half past noon there was a knock on my bedroom door and the gentle sound of my name being called. I opened my eyes and groaned before closing them again and going back to sleep. I slept until I could sleep no more. Then at six o'clock the next morning there came the sound of my name being called and I sat bolt upright because that was not Senior's voice calling out to me and the person was inside the room with me. I looked around and caught a shadow of a person moving in the corner of the room just opposite from my bed. I jumped out of my bed and scrambled to the door way but before I got there I was knocked to the ground.
"I bet you thought I would willingly call you mom didn't you," Junior sneered looking down at me with nothing but venom in his expression.
I grabbed his wrist as he bent over to yank me up and sent him sprawling to the ground behind me. i quickly got to the other side of the room and called for Senior through the intercom that was in my room. Junior came up behind me and pulled me to him while holding a knife to my throat.
"One word, one sound and you die do you understand me," he hissed venomously into my ear and I nodded.
Just then Senior came running into the room and slapping Junior’s hand away from my neck he knocked the knife out of Junior’s hand. I grabbed onto Senior and held onto him tighter than anything just like my life depended on it. Senior grabbed Junior and dragged him down the stairs before taking off his belt and beating Junior with it. I ran down the stairs and tackled Senior with all of my might ultimately pushing him farther away from Junior than I had planned. Senior rounded on me and pushed me to the ground with enough force that it took my breath away. I climbed to my feet and took off for the stairs and bolted my bedroom door shut behind me. I heard footsteps on the stairs and then a light tapping sound on the door. As I came closer to the bed I heard crying downstairs and a light continuous tapping on my bedroom door.
“Mel let me in. I promise I won’t hurt you baby girl. Please let me in,” Senior’s voice called through the door.
I walked slowly towards the door and turned the lock before I took three steps back and ran towards my bed. I climbed underneath the covers and went back to sleep just as Senior came back inside the bedroom. He climbed into the bed and pulled me into his loving embrace and held me even tighter as I struggled to break free from his grasp. I kicked and squirmed and burst into tears as he continued to hold me to him.
Publication Date: 03-08-2014
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