Me, mom, and Ben went back to normal life following their first fight. It took a little while for all of her bruises to heal, but I was told not to mention it and to act normally. Slowly I started to feel safe and secure again and back to normal, but of course that wouldn’t last…
The next time Ben became jealous, the arguing began…this shortly turned into punching…
I remember Mom grabbing me and us running through the trailer that we all lived in. He was chasing us, but we made it into the front bedroom and Mom quickly pushed a refrigerator in front of the door and leaned against it for more weight. I was seven-years-old, frightened and crying, and thinking “please not again”.
Ben pushed the door open with her and the refrigerator against it as if it were a feather.
He grabbed Mom and started hitting her. She struggled away from him, grabbed me and told me to run to the car. Ben was barely a step behind, but we jumped into the car, and Mom hit the lock button and rammed the car into reverse.
You see Ben owned a body shop, and he has gotten her this really “bad ass” Trans Am, but since he owned a body shop, they didn’t feel the need to be very careful with their cars, because he could fix them.
So as we started to rush out of the driveway, Ben jumped into his car and came after us. He slammed into the rear end before we even got out of the driveway, someone’s side mirror was ripped off in the getaway, but it was not enough to stop Mom from driving on.
We raced down those curvy West Virginia roads with Ben right on our tail. Mom thought that she had gotten far enough ahead of Ben in the latest curve to “lose him”, so she turned up a side road to hide.
Unfortunately, he was not fooled. Ben came roaring up the road behind us. This road was a narrow little side road which went up the side of a mountain. Mom took a right but unfortunately it was a dead end road…
Ben drove his Jeep right up behind our car, hit the back bumper then jumped out and raced up to Mom’s window. His nostrils flaring, rage levels through the roof, he started pounding on the window trying to bust it so he could get in. I looked over at my mother and read the fear all over her face, which terrified this second grader even more. I kept thinking what will happen when he bust through the window? Glass will go everywhere, will we get cut? Will he drag Mom through the window and cut her up even more on all of the glass? I beg him to please stop as I’m crying hysterically, please just leave us alone.
Ben looks at me and seems to hear me, he walks back to his Jeep and drives away. Mom listens for his engine to start and to drive away. She thinks we’re safe now. The Trans Am is buried in the dirt, where we turned into an area that wasn’t even really a road. She tells me to calm down and that we will walk the five miles to my Aunts and stay there for the night. We gather what meager belongings that we have in the car, and decide to head out. It is a long way and it is late at night. Mom says that she will call my Aunt if we see payphone (yes they still have those in back then, no cell phones), and try to get a ride. My sleepy seven-year-old body accepts this, and we start the journey. My mother tries to comfort me.
As we walk down this curvy, cold, gravely road towards the main road, me carrying my precious pink Ms. Piggy purse that my paternal Aunt and granny bought me.
I keep glancing at the woods, I feel like we’re being watched. Paranoia right?
In the next few steps…
Ben jumps out of the bushes, where he had been waiting all along, and tackles us both. I end up in a mud puddle. My dress and Ms. Piggy purse are covered in mud, and for some reason this was my first priority. Maybe this is because this was from my father’s family, and I didn’t get nice things much, but I carried that Ms. Piggy purse around like it was a real Louis Vuitton purse or something.
Ben herded us down the road to his Jeep that he had parked at the end of the road. We got in and rode home with him. I was put to bed peacefully. I don’t know what went on with them once they were in their room. I didn’t hear anymore fighting…for tonight…
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