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Updated on December 30, 2010


Lynn saw the doctor later that day and discovered her ribs were bruised but not fractured. The cut above her eye should have had stitches but it was too late. The scar would remain for the rest of her life, the doctor informed her. She almost laughed at him. A scar will remain, a visible scar. “Well wasn’t that just fitting?, she thought to herself as she headed to her office.

A rage was growing inside of her, one simmering for years, hot coals that burned in her stomach and mind, that until now she could extinguish with denial. With Bill behind bars, it kindled a new fire. Cleansing flames of indignation ignited a determination to do whatever it took to live life her way now. She would start with this investigation HUD insisted she cooperate with. If it cost her job, she would find another. Better to do what was right than find her self brought up on charges along with her boss and his wife. She carried four sets of books to her car heading home to do what had to be done.

The next day Lynn was at Bobby’s door early. Both the door and casing had been replaced and painted, not quite matching the weather worn doors of adjoining apartments. Hair still tousled from sleep, Bobby answered the door and she handed him the Christmas presents she had bought for them telling him she and the kids would be busy Christmas Eve. She would talk to him later. She wasn’t going to wait for him to beg off her invitation to spend Christmas Eve together, knowing what she did now about his plans to give Renee the engagement ring on that night. She didn’t wait for a reply but turned and walked back to her apartment and back to the books she had been working on most of the night.

There was no denying the Spears had been dipping into company funds. Why, she tried to push out of her mind. Why wasn’t important. They had been and they had her neatly set up to be the first one questioned if anything went wrong. Her promotion came after the first signs of co-mingled funds. Her signature was on one check after another that paid invoices for items she knew never arrived at either of the apartment complexes. She would have to get photocopies of these pages and checks and keep a running total which meant bringing things home after the Spears returned from their winter vacation to Colorado. She couldn’t chance being discovered with their personal accounts. Those were doled out when they wanted her signature.

She did her best to keep hot tears from falling on her pillow and her imagination from taking her to the scene where Bobby was presenting Renee with the engagement ring on Christmas Eve. She let the kids unwrap one present, as had been the custom, and they each zeroed in on the best of the lot. Well, it kept them occupied and relatively happy for the evening at least. She chased loneliness away easily by replacing it with memories of Christmas Eve’s of the past. with Bill drunk or waiting for him to come home drunk. The peace of the evening almost took the gnawing from her stomach and this new kind of pain from her heart. She’d searched her battered bag of coping skills but once denial had been let go, there was nothing but pure, raw pain. So tears did flow and sobs were muffled by her pillow and she felt she would burst into a million tiny pieces each as unique as the snowflakes that played outside of her window.

Christmas had passed and so had Winter Break for the kids. That frigid morning found Bobby waiting downstairs after taking the kids to school. His favorite artist, Olivia Newton John was playing in the background and the coffee was waiting, a scene replayed so many times before. They had not discussed the engagement ring until then that Kurt had told her about because she hadn’t wanted to break his confidence and she expected Bobby would tell her as soon as Renee accepted his proposal.

“I guess Kurt told you I got Renee a ring?,” this said with his face almost inside his coffee cup. Lynn just looked at him. She had no plans to make this easier for him.

“A ring? Well I bet she liked that.” She tried to sound noncommittal.

“Yeah, her Mom helped me get it – well she co-signed so I could make the payments and Renee already has a job waiting for her up here when she graduates this Spring.” He would not look at her.

“So you have it all figured out – your life with Renee?” Lynn’s tone was a bit sharper than she had tried for. “All picture perfect and they lived happily ever after!” Lynn couldn’t help it. She felt betrayed that he hadn’t given her so much as a hint this was coming. Best friends tell each other about everything, especially something this huge. “Where will you live?

‘Well, here I guess, at first.” His tone beginning to match hers.

“You know your rent will go up with her income? Where will she work?” Full time or part time? Will Kurt be living with you or will it be just the two of you?” Her temples throbbed and tears were threatening to fill her eyes.

“I don’t know yet, about Kurt. You know I’m trying to keep custody of him and “….Lynn didn’t give him a chance to finish.

“I need to get going. I’m going to be late for work. I’ll pick the kids up from school today”, she stood, putting on her coat and headed for the door.

“Don’t, Lynn”, his arms went around her, “don’t be mad at me for doing what I need to do for myself and for Kurt. Do you honestly believe I haven’t thought of what this means – that I don’t wish things could be different?”

“No”, Lynn twisted out of his arms,” no I don’t think you do - because if you did, if you did …”

This time he cut her off, “If I did then what? You would marry me? We could be a family? You’ve made it clear you think I am too young and not responsible enough for you. Every time I’ve tried to get closer you bring up our age difference and I’ve told you a hundred times it doesn’t matter a damn to me. You’re the one with the hang-up about age!”

Hot tears of truth were streaming now, making ugly streaks down a face, already marred with jealousy and shame. What had she expected of this? Her own job was in jeopardy, her life in pieces she was trying to weave into something whole. What outsider could look at them and see that they could be – had been - a family? Bobby was only twelve years older than her daughter, she was only ten years younger than his Mother. Eight years, had it been reversed with him being the older - the question would be dismissed with a wave of the hand, but a woman, this much older than the man? No, this was not right at all. She would have to learn to go back to the place of friendship alone and stay in that place.

“You do not long for that which you refuse to desire”, her own eleven year voice whispered in her ear. " Stick with me and I’ll get you through this. You just forgot how to be tough." Lynn took the little’s girl’s outstretched hand, relieved not to be alone and they started down a long dark hallway.


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  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    Thank-you MT, God bless you and your family too!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

    Pooh, your writing is so amazing and powerful. You are so courageous to share your personal story with us. You are helping so many people by publishing this true account of domestic abuse. You are a inspiration to me. God Bless:)

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    Good to see you -thanks for reading and your kind comments!

  • QudsiaP1 profile image

    QudsiaP1 6 years ago

    As always, beautifully written.

  • Donna Janelle profile image

    Donna Janelle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

    I read them over the course of the day :) When I am reading a good book (or a good series of hubs) it's so hard for me to stop in the middle of reading!

    I like your husband's saying also...and I think you will inspire other women who are in similar situations to be strong and make the right decisions in their own lives, maybe before the situation escalates to the extremes yours did.

    And thank you for posting your story...I'm sure it wasn't very easy.

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    My goodness Donna, I hope not all in one sitting! That would be an enormous undertaking for me to do and I wrote I can't tell you how much I appreciate your kind words and the wonderful comments every writer loves to hear.

    As far as being an inspiration, I don't know about all that. My husband has a saying that I'll steal. He says everyone has a purpose, even if it's to set a bad example. I hope anyone who finds themselves in situations similar to the ones I was in, can take a small part of this to use as a caution if they trying to gauge whether or not to get out. Of course the abuse told here was full blown and I will write more of the insidious way abuse of all sorts can manifest in your life. Thank-you so much for reading my story.

  • Donna Janelle profile image

    Donna Janelle 6 years ago from Oklahoma

    I just finished reading through all 16 parts of your story that you have published so far...and I can't wait to read the rest. Thank you for posting it up here for others to read. I'm sure you are an inspiration to many. You are an amazing writer and have truly kept me captivated from the moment I started reading it!

  • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

    SomewayOuttaHere 6 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

    ...excellent writing....when does it all stop....wrong time i guess....and sometimes we don't seem to communicate well....and turn around and realize we weren't really understanding each other....and then it's too late....Bobby thinking one another....and you both really wanted the same thing....

    ...too bad about the scar...a visible reminder....and too bad sometimes we have to turn our heart off and 'be tough' to survive.....

  • Scarlett My Dear profile image

    Scarlett My Dear 6 years ago from Missouri


    I can feel the frustration and the anger, on the brink of despair ~ all along thinking, 'What next?'

    ~You just forgot how to be tough.~ Ouch.

  • LaurieDawn profile image

    LaurieDawn 6 years ago

    With each chapter published, I feel the pain, the anxiety, and the deepness of your story Pooh. I love the way you use expression and words. It is as if I am there with you. I am so thankful that you have shared this with us.

    I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

    Blessings and hugs,


  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 6 years ago from On the edge

    There is a link posted at the bottom of the page that will take you back and introduce you, or re-introduce you, as the case may be, to the little girl who came to Lynn at this time to lead her in and out of hallways and basements and tunnels of time.