(image source: google.com/images)
After she answered all the the officer’s questions, Susan felt like she was going to be sick. Her nerves were shot. She was trembling so hard you’d have thought that she was standing outside naked in sub-zero weather
And that is exactly how she felt, naked! Susan had never gone this far before. She knew that it was her first step to total and final freedom. There was no going back now.
She told the officer that she needed to use the restroom before they left. Once the door was closed, Susan crumpled to the floor and hot tears were streaming from her eyes as she gulped in huge sobs so that her mother wouldn’t hear her loosing it. She didn’t want to stress her out any more than she already was.
Susan knew that Mary would be thinking all sorts of worrisome thoughts right about now. Such as; “Are the kids safe with him? Why didn’t she do this in a way she could have left with them? Will he come after her? Where is she going to go when she gets out of the shelter and how long are they going to let her stay there anyway?”
She could be sure that’s what she was thinking because she was doing the exact same thing herself. They thought alike in a lot of ways even if they were so very different in many more.
So she prayed, “Lord, give me the strength I need to make it through the next couple of days! Please help me calm myself, give me Your peace, let me know that everything will be okay, send Your angels to protect me right now ’cause you know I’m gonna need it! Please don’t let him kill me. Please protect the children, Lord, I beg You!! Please, please, Lord, …”
All at once, the uncontrollable shaking stopped and she was calmer. Susan could deal with the slight tremble she now had, that was just her body physically reacting to the enormous stress she was under, that made perfect sense. At least her spirit was calm. She got what she had asked for.
As Susan gathered herself together and stood up, there came a knock at the door and Mary’s voice quietly asking, “Are you okay in there? Do you need anything?” She must have seen how whiter her face was when she had gotten up from the table.
“Yeah, mom, tell the officer to just give me one more second, will ya’ please?” Susan told her mother.
“Sure, but are you gonna be alright?” She said that she would and heard Mary’s footsteps walking away. At that moment her mind flashed to the conversation that she had with her boss just a month prior when she had walked into the office with a huge, nasty black eye.
Susan had told her co-workers that her youngest daughter had been jumping up and down as she was bending over to pick her up and the top of her head had struck Susan squarely on the cheekbone causing the black eye to immediately form. They all thought nothing to the contrary. She had never spoke at work about Jason’s fits of rage or abuse. As far as they all knew, he was a great guy.
But her boss was another thing. Being a man who drove a motorcycle with affiliation tags to some of the local clubs, he looked like someone who had probably been in a few bar brawls in his day. Once Jim took one look at her, he called her out in the hall. As soon as she closed the door behind her he asked, “Who the hell gave you that black eye and you’d better not tell me it was your husband!!” At which point Susan burst into tears.
“Why don’t you leave him?!! I never thought of you as the type of woman who would let a man hit her, ever!!! I’m going to call the police right now.” And then he turned to walk back into the office.
“Please, no,” she begged him, “don’t, wait..”
“Give me one good reason not to!”
“You don’t understand. He is an avid hunter. He has guns. I envision him sitting on a rooftop somewhere just waiting his chance to shoot me from a hiding place and getting away with it! He’s been threatening to do it for months now…”
Teresa Marie 1/24/12 ©