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I Still Look For You - PART 2
and so it continues ...
“Come with me”, he held out his hand to her. She would have followed him to the end of time at that moment. “There are trails over there, by the bluff – let’s go!”He laughed, pulling her up the slope. “Slow down, youngster, I can’t keep up”, she kidded, although the truth was she was almost eight years his senior.
“Here, I’ll help you,” he laughed pulling her along under a kaleidoscope of the fall trees. Pausing at a pile, he scooped up an armful and showered her. She gasped, then grabbed her own arm load and started chasing him. He let her catch him by running backward but in trying to throw them up high enough to reach his head she tripped and fell toward him. He caught her and the two of them fell into a pile of the golden treasure, laughing and covering each other with not only leaves but twigs, dirt and dried grass. Two ladies, also enjoying the day strolled past, one turning to the other saying, “Young kids in love … they’ll do anything. Do you remember …” Her voice faded as they continued on their way. The kids helped each other up, brushing themselves off as they walked, his arm around her waist, bodies close.
Single file, as the trial required, he led her over ground beaten solid from footsteps of the curious at heart of those who had dared this path before them. A self-fashioned stairway led dangerously to a plateau where they stopped. She sat cross legged facing the river that flowed along faithfully in the near distance. “This view is breathtaking,” she said softly, breaking the silence for the first time.
“You are breath taking,” he sat behind her and pulled her against his chest wrapping his arms around her.
She knew she should pull away, instead she looked back at him and said”, I’m as old as that river …” he stopped her, his lips on hers and pulled her around gently and onto his lap. He held her and traced her lips with his finger and each time she tried to speak his mouth closed over hers and silenced her weak protest. He scooted them both back where he could lean against a rock and they sat, her between his legs, wrapped in his arms, each lost in this impossible pleasure that filled them both with bittersweet longing.
Finally, he turned her to him and held her face in his hands, “Leave him.”
“You’re not being sensible, she said quietly.
‘Sensible? Is it sensible to get the shit kicked out of you whenever he decides it’s time? Is it sensible to let your beauty and love be smothered by fear and emptiness? You are so smart and strong. You’re such a good mother, an incredibly beautiful woman. I can’t sleep at night thinking about what might be happening to you.” She watched him while he talked and knew she hadn’t stood a chance from the first day she looked into those eyes, months before. Barely able to find her voice she told him she didn’t know if she could leave. She had left before and he always found her and eventually she always went back. Things would be ok for a while. He’d stop drinking and they would do things as a family, the kids seemed so happy during these times. She had stopped loving him years ago and, until today, had felt her ability to love had been crushed beyond redemption.
He drove back to town, his arm around her, and her head resting on his shoulder. Two blocks from the skating rink they switched places, her behind the wheel, but held hands until the kids came running out and piled into the back seat proclaiming complete starvation which only a trip to the nearest Pizza Hut would extinguish.
“Sorry kids”, she told them with words that couldn’t express
how much she regretted the chance to spend another hour in absolute
pleasure. “We have to get home.”
“AW! Talk to her Bobby,” pleaded his youngest brother, “You can talk her into anything."
His reply, “I wish I could,” wasn’t heard by the kids. “No, she’s right. It’s time to go back,” he said louder and was answered with loud groans of protest, none as heartbreaking as the silent ones that resonated in the hearts of the adults.
They continued to have coffee and share the bond that best friends know. She had been careful not to let circumstances lead to a day like the one they had spent in Never Land, that place of excruciating pleasure. A new development put knots in her stomach, took her breath and she had thought she would vomit when she’d heard about it. His youngest brother had brought up the subject so easily it was clear this had been going on for at least a little while. The cousin of an old girlfriend of Bobby’s had run into him and given his address to her. She had been coming up every other Saturday to see him and Kurt was teasing him about disappearing into his bedroom with her, “so they could talk in private.”
“Just SHUT UP!” Bobby yelled and looked at her with eyes that said … what? What did they say? I’m only human, it could easily be you? You chose to stay in your life and I go on with mine. I’m sorry if this hurts you but …
Since they had neither a car or phone service she had happily offered to take them to the store a couple of times a month. She had to do her own shopping anyway and spending time with Bobby was something she always cherished. She felt alive around him and as if life held unlimited possibilities. Her mood always improved in his company whether they were chaperoning the kids at the bowling alley and shooting a game of pool or sitting quietly with cups of the steaming hot coffee to which they were both heavily addicted. Today they were grocery shopping.
Bobby shook his head no to his brother’s request for a six pack of soda and tersely told him to get back in line, they needed to hurry. She drove him to his apartment, her face burning with embarrassment, her blood pulsating with jealousy of this girlfriend who would soon be where she longed to be. Whether it made sense or not, whether she had any right at all to feel deceived, cheated upon, she did. He said little on the ride home and thanked her briefly when they arrived, gathering his groceries and his big mouthed brother. His door opened just as he was digging out his key and a young girl waved in her direction. "She has a KEY?????" It’s a wonder Lynn didn’t wreck the car for all of the green she saw driving home. “Huh", the conversation played out in her head,"so I’m explained away as the old landlady who takes pity on the kids and gives them a lift to the store? I’m the nosy apartment manager who butts into his business and watches over them because there is no typical mother or father in the home? Well, she has me at a disadvantage. At least she was aware of me.”
Her life had been miserable B.B. (before Bobby) but now it was most unbearable. Having felt the stirrings of double-dyed passion and the rumblings of what could have easily turned into the giving over of her heart, being trapped in this corpse of a marriage was absolute torture. She had watched as the hopes for a life of sanity and security were smothered, helpless,she’d believed, to change directions. The last time her husband had reached for her in his drunken stupor she had pulled away. When he had grabbed her by her hair and drug her back close to him she’d shoved the palm of her hand as hard as she could into the bottom of his nose and had taken the beating of her life. But he had left her alone. Left the house and didn’t come home until the next afternoon, which suited her fine. Then for a time, as if sensing a change in her, he began remaining sober for the most part. They had spent a lot of time doing family activities and even that left her disinterested and empty.
It wasn’t that she had really fooled herself into believing that the attraction and friendship she and Bobby shared could ever grow into anything more. It was that for the first time in her life someone saw her as brave and capable and she had become used to being treated with respect, even with gentleness. Her self pride and dignity was filling an empty place in her.
After a short time of avoiding him after she’d learned of Renee, who now had a name and visited every single Saturday, she had seen him checking his mail one day and yelled out her office door asking a favor. She hid her cigarettes and digging in her purse had asked if he could possibly spare a couple of minutes to take her car and go for a pack. She produced some money, the car keys and looked at him with what she hoped were innocent eyes. They’d spent a couple of hours talking that afternoon and even dared to bring up the subject of Renee v-e-r-y briefly. That was all it took to get them back on a schedule of spending whatever time they could in each others company.
The night she left there had been no fight, no beating. She and the kids had gone out for supper and seen a movie. On the drive home she had passed one of the bars her husband frequented and saw his car in the parking lot. As easily as drawing her next breath the decision was made. “Kids, when we get home I want you to see who can pack a suitcase the fastest with at least three outfits, p.j.’s and a couple of your favorite toys,” her voice was calm and even.
“Where are we going? Her young son was not buying this game.
“It’s a surprise”, she told him and flinched when he slammed the car door. He took his time packing once inside. Her daughter knew it was no game too, but she cooperated and went along with the pretense. There had been nights when they’d end up in a motel when her step-father didn’t come home and they’d be awakened by a near hysterical Mother packing their suitcases and urging them out of bed and into the car. She rather enjoyed those times. Everyone slept great, they usually ate out for breakfast and lunch, Mom tripped all over herself trying to make them happy and do fun things and by the time they did go home, he was sober. So she packed quickly and deliberately and carried out her suitcase and the case with everyone’s toiletries to the car.
“Are we going to another motel?’ She jumped at his voice having not heard him come up behind her.
“No, son, we’re going to Bobby’s for tonight and after that I will find us a place to live.”
“Will I get to see my Dad”, he was decidedly not happy that his crazy mother was dragging them off again.
“Yes, just as soon as I get us settled I’ll let your Dad know where we are and of course you’ll see him but right now I need you to go and get your things”, her resolve was weakening.
They had to pass the bar on the way into town. Her pulse quickened as they got closer. His car was not in the parking lot. Had he passed them on the road? It was dark. Was he pulling into their driveway now? Would he catch her before she got to Bobby’s? She was shaking now, teeth chattering and the car seemed to have a serious miss as her leg shook her foot on the accelerator.
She parked her car near the office at the apartment complex knowing that even if he saw her car, with 75 units, he’d never find the one they were in. She was still shaking and having trouble getting the suitcases out of the trunk. Her nine year old son lightened her burden by lifting the suitcase and saying, ”It’s ok if you don’t tell Dad where we are until you feel better, Mom.” Her daughter gave her a hug and took her own suitcase, heading for Bobby’s apartment.
The look on his face when he opened the door dissolved any doubts she’d had about coming to him for help. After getting her settled into a comfy chair with a hot cup of coffee and passing out hot cocoa to the kids, he got them involved in a game of Clue.
I STILL LOOK FOR YOU - PART 3
- I STILL LOOK FOR YOU - PART 3
I Still Look For You continues 2 Exhausted, she had fallen asleep on Bobbys couch. She awoke to the touch of his fingers, running through her hair gently pushing it away from her face, her mouth....