I STILL LOOK FOR YOU - PART 5
I STILL LOOK FOR YOU – PART- 5
One of the obstacles of leaving an abusive relationship when you have children with the perpetrator is allowing visitation. At this time there were no agencies that facilitated supervised visits to ensure the children are not used as pawns and pummeled with demands for information. Such life saving amenities would come years later, later even than when Domestic Abuse was brought to the forefront by the deaths of many women and even their children.
Lynn would meet Bill at a café or another public place to let the children go with him that left her feeling secure that he had no knowledge of where she and the kids lived. She would go back to the house during these visits wishing desperately she could have the luxury of Bobby’s company to chase away the lonely, scary hours. Every meeting ended with tears from the kids and pleas from Bill that she come to her senses and return home. His claims of sobriety, love, need and thoughts of suicide did not move her. Her children’s tears ripped her heart in two but even though they were becoming increasingly difficult to parent and openly defied and challenged her at every turn, she stood by her decision to stay free.
The time she and Bobby had together was now limited to when he could stop by her office for coffee or a rare outing with all of their kids. She had not dared to have him and his brothers come to the house on the outside chance Bill would call and hear them in the background. Those moments the two friends could share strengthened her resolve as he reminded her that she was capable of much, a good and decent mother and a bright and beautiful woman. She had started believing him and believing that she and her children deserved so much more out of life than the years of insanity she was coming out of. When you are consumed with trying to survive, it leaves little for contemplating another life, a better way.
During this visit though, she was happily preparing a dinner that would include Bobby and his youngest brother as guests. There had been no incidents with Bill and his pleadings had lessened when she picked up the kids from their visits. Her confidence was building every week and though she would soon have to leave this beautiful house, three apartments had opened in the complex her boss wanted her to live in and he had agreed to let her switch Bobby and his family to a unit there. It was in a much better part of town than the one they were presently in and Kurt would attend the same school as her children where the influences he’d been experiencing would lessen. Bobby’s older brother had been sent to a group home after being caught with pot in his locker at school and for his refusal to attend the Ala-Teen meetings and counseling that they all took part in to help them heal from their Mother’s multiple addictions. So this evening, she met Bill to pick up the children, picked up Bobby and Kurt and ran by the grocery store to get a couple of things she needed to complete their celebration dinner.
Once home, the kids flopped on the couch and floor in various displays of their displeasure. MTV blasted the walls with their contempt with this dinner and the whole of these adult constructed plans for their lives. Her son hated Kurt and the feeling was quite mutual. Her daughter secretly had a crush on Kurt and he treated her as he would his own sister – with complete disgust and contempt.
Not insensitive to the kid’s anger and frustration, Lynn and Bobby were still elated and refused to let the gloomy mood into the kitchen where they were finishing dinner and filling plates. They carried everything to the dining room placing dinner on the elegant dining table Lynn’s boss had insisted she use while at the house. After calling out that “dinner was served” and receiving only silence, Bobby went to fetch the kids. Voices raised – Bobby’s, her son’s and Kurt’s and she went to see what all the noise was about just in time to hear Bobby telling all three of the kids that this was a special night for her and they damned well better sit with smiles on their faces and manners in place and eat the dinner she had worked so hard to fix because if they did not, they would feel his size 13 shoe kicking their respective butts.
Dinner went well.
Dishes done, homework checked and two of the three kids bathed and in their pajamas this family of sorts was in front of the tv. Laughter was the only sound. They sat watching a comedy so hysterical, it pried open mouths which earlier would only form in snarls and sarcasm. Lynn’s son and Kurt high fived each other and then quickly moved further apart. Earlier, Bobby had asked to use the car to meet a friend and Lynn had told him to just keep it over night and come for them in the morning as he would need to get Kurt registered at his new school that day anyway. Kurt was spending the night and Bobby reminded him before he left not to give Lynn or anyone else any grief. Lynn walked him to the door and he leaned toward her asking if he could come back.
She had almost fallen asleep when she heard the creak of the stairs and knew he was in the house. She had almost felt someone there, but in the bedroom, as she had changed and got into bed. He silently crept to the bed, eased himself, fully dressed, under the covers and pulled her close to him. He had parked the car a few blocks away and walked so as not to wake anyone with engine noise or the car door shutting. They whispered like kids up past their bedtimes trying not to get caught by their parents. As hard as they tried to stay awake, whispers soon mixed with yawns and finally only the sound of even soft breathing.
She stirred, thinking she had heard something. There! She had heard it again. Bobby? No, he was sleeping right beside her. Which one of the kids were up and why were they heading downstairs in the middle of the night? She grabbed her robe, slipped quietly out of the bedroom and peered down the stairs. No one. She crept quietly down, hoping to surprise whomever was probably raiding the frig. A laugh started to form in her throat when she saw it. The front door – the chain lock was swinging ever so slightly where it had been let loose. Running now, opening the front door and out onto the porch she saw his car turn the corner, blinker flashing like a warning light.
Bill had been in the house.