'The Secret Story'

 

I made my deliberate decision to leave. 

The next few minutes are unclear to me. I know now, in retrospect, that I must have had a concussion. My next clear memory was standing in the kitchen, facing the doorway that separated the kitchen from the front room. I don't remember putting on my legs or where I might have found them. But I was standing in them. I was dressed in his tee shirt and I was putting on a new little leather jacket that I had bought earlier that week. I had gotten my very first credit card and bought the jacket. 

I was a cigarette smoker back then and I do remember reaching over and picking them up from the table. I also remember wanting to smoke one so bad...just to get the taste of blood out of my mouth...just to sit and think and smoke. But I didn't have that kind of time. I also remember getting my change purse from my pocket book and putting it into the jacket pocket. I was going to leave. 

But, in one moment, my entire train of thought changed. As I looked at the kitchen doorway...and into the room, that was now in shambles, I saw all the mess...the hair, the blood, my urine...blood on the window, torn clothes and furniture over-turned. An anger grew inside of me. I did nothing to deserve this. 

And I also remembered the 22 semi-automatic rifle that stood behind the kitchen door. I could kill him. I walked over to the kitchen door, opened it, and there it stood...my salvation.... my guarantee of living through the night. That one item could make the difference in how I lived the rest of my life.

I could have my cigarette, wait for him in the kitchen....and when he walks through the door, I'll blow his %$#@  head off. I'll get him before he gets a chance to get me. I was nothing, up against him....until now. And I am a pretty good shot with a gun....Brute and I went rifle shooting on many occasions....I knew how to shoot a gun. 

I mean, who could blame me? Look at me....I'm beat all to hell....I'm defenseless....he could come back here and kill me. It's me or him. 

Keep in mind that this whole train of thought went very quickly inside my head....I was pressed for time. He could be gone for the night....he could be back in a few minutes.....I could kill him and take my chances in court...or I can try to make a run for it....and if he finds me, and I can't run....he'll kill me. This is my best chance of living, but I don't want to live it in jail. If I go to court, they'll say that it was pre-meditated because we would not be in the throws of a violent struggle during my shooting of him. That would not be considered self-defense. Anyone would have understood my situation, but the law is the law...and I doubt it I would walk away from this.

I'm leaving.

That right there may have been the bravest decision I've ever made....to walk out the door, leave the gun where I last saw it...and try to escape on my own. I was very injured and limping...body still weak, and I couldn't  deal with having to take that rifle with me. I would have to rely on myself. 

I closed the kitchen door, concealing the rifle that stood there since we moved into the little farm house. I closed the door on my guarantee to live. I closed the door on a life-time in jail.

I walked out the front door of that house and into the dark....still wet, still bloody, freezing cold, and I could already see my breath.... my heart started racing and I could feel my own adrenalin explode through my body....the race was on....I was the prey....wild desperation took over and I was so scared inside that I wanted to scream...I wanted to vocalize my fear.

But I needed to think...use that brain of mine.....think, think.....

I walked along that back road. I would take a few steps and then look back. I did this time and again until I was almost at the end of the property line. There were trees and bushes along the property line along the road. Up ahead  of me was a turn in the road. Behind me was the tall hill....where any minute I just knew I'd see the headlights of Brute's truck as it crested the hill. Could he see me from that far? It was in my favor that the road was not lit, except for at the turn, which is where I was headed, and the hill that was way behind me. The night was my cover...my only chance. 

My breath hung in my throat as I saw the glimmer of light that I feared. No one traveled this road late at night....it could only be one person...and without even thinking, I dove into the ditch along the property line...crawled on my belly until I was behind some bushes...and quickly covered myself with wet leaves and branches....and it was beginning to rain. 

But I was in a place where I could see the house really well. I was still on the property...and that was not sitting well with me. I wanted to be further up the road than this...I wanted off the property, even if it was only by a few feet...it would have spelled better freedom for me. 

I moved more leaves and garbage, and anything I could get, over top of me...I had to hide. Out of pure fear I began to well with tears... I couldn't stop crying now...and that made my nose run...and it was blood. I still couldn't breathe through my nose and breathing through my mouth was not good...not now...I could still see my breath. There was just enough light here and there to make me terrified of my own breath being seen. I pulled up the end of the tee shirt and put it into my mouth to keep my breath from being so noticeable. 

As I kept my head down near the ground, on the small rise of the ditch, I could see that indeed, it was him. He pulled into the front yard and I heard his truck door slam shut and echo through the surrounding woods. I remembered liking the solitude when we first moved in. Now I  cursed it. There was no one close enough to the house to have ever heard me scream.

I could see his silhouette through the house as he went past each window....slow... at first, and then picking up his pace. I saw different lights being turned on as he searched for me....and my heart was racing. I felt like a sitting duck...I was losing hope that I could stay hidden. 

He looked as though he was getting more anxious .....angrier. I could hear him shouting, but couldn't understand what the words were. I was trembling and very cold....my nose was dripping blood  and running down onto the back of my hands while I held the tee shirt in place in my mouth. And that wasn't an easy task, as my jaw was throbbing in incredible pain, and my mouth was swollen and everything hurt so bad. 

Then I saw what made my heart fall ...I actually saw the rifle in his hands as he headed back to his truck. He had turned on the outside light and I saw that rifle. God, what did I do wrong? What did I do? I am going to be hunted and killed and I don't even know what I've done wrong. What made him so mad at me? I hadn't even seen him all evening. 

I held my breath as I watched him climb into his truck and pull out of the front yard. He headed back towards the direction from which he came...and he was driving slowly. I saw him stop and then back up...he was using his truck headlights to look around the fringes of the woods and surrounding areas of the house. Oh, my God....I won't have a prayer. He'll find me for sure. 

I watched him do this for a while. Then he turned towards my direction and drove up the road in normal speed....and I watched him pass me. But my sigh of relief was short lived. 

 

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