Summer 1997

It’s Friday night. Luke and I have been together for ten years now. We have been married for three and we have three sons. Beau is now nine, Wyatt is two and Drew is a couple months old.

Luke is still on drugs. I was laid off two years ago so I’m living off unemployment. I’ve gotten to know my neighbors so I’m not totally alone. We’ve been here two years. I’m good friends with my neighbors now.

My neighbors across the street, Samantha and Paul, have three girls. Paul has a decent job and Samantha is a stay at home mom. Paul cheats on Sam all the time and I’m pretty sure he does it with prostitutes.

Right next door is Liz and Leo. Leo is a cheuvanist and an asshole but he is Liz’ husband so I put up with him. Liz was 6 foot and Leo is 5’6″. Liz is a big boned stong woman and Leo abuses her. I don’t understood that. She could easily defend herself but she just makes excuses for him. She told Sam and I that her brother has been raping her since she was a teenager. He physically abuses her also. Liz is in her 30’s.
Sam and Liz knew Luke is a drug addict. I don’t like telling anyone that but he has borrowed money from everyone apparently and never pays anyone back. They figured it out.

Friday night; it’s 10:00 and the boys are all sleeping. It’s a commercial and 20/20 is about to start. I grab my magazine and go sit on my porch to smoke a cigarette.

I’m deep in my magazine when I hear mens voices. I look up and don’t see anyone so I go back to my magazine.

I’m startled when I hear a man’s voice right next to me. I didn’t hear him walk up. He asks me for a light but as he is asking he isn’t looking at me, he is looking all around. I have a big picture window and he’s trying to see inside. I shove my lighter in my pocket and tell him that I’ll go in my house and him get a lighter. I jump up and grab the screen to open it. He grabs me. I now have my back against the screen. He is trying to pull the door open and I’m struggling to not let him. I cannot let him in my house. He leans his body fully against mine, grabs me by my hair and tells me that I’m a fine ass bitch.

I am terrified. I know if he gets me in the house he will rape me. He made no effort to hide his face so I’m afraid he is going to kill me. I don’t scream because I’m afaid Beau will wake up and he will get hurt. I don’t want my kids witnessing this happening to me or finding me dead in the morning.

I am sobbing. I keep telling him that my husband is inside and he will be out any minute. He keeps telling me I’m lying.
I lean my back against the screen door as hard as I can and I start to pray. I don’t know if I’m praying out loud or silently but I beg God to not let this happen to me. I keep thinking that if this happens to me, even if I survive, I will never be the same again.

His hot breath is blowing on my ear and he is saying vulgar things to me. He is yanking on the door with his body smashed against mine, pulling me towards him. I cry with my eyes squeezed shut, begging beg God to save me. He yanks hard against the door one last time and then suddenly he is gone.

I open my eyes and see him disappear down my long, dark driveway. I hear something and look towards my front yard. A woman I’ve never seen is walking towards my porch thru the grass. She looks up and says “I’m so sorry, I have the wrong address”. She smiles at me and turns and walks away. I think God sent her.

I open my door and run inside. I lock the door and go window to window and shut and locked every one. I check on my boys to make sure they are all ok.

I go to the living room phone and contemplate calling the police. I should but I don’t. I know if I call them my neighbors will come over and my boys will wake up. I am a mess and I don’t want any one seeing me like this.

I have no idea where Luke is or how to find him.

I call my in-laws and Luke’s step mom answers. She has no idea where Luke is. She asks me if everything is OK and I tell her everything is fine.

I call my brother in law Matt, and his girlfriend answers. She has never liked me. I start to cry and I tell her something bad has happened. She tells me that she doesn’t know where Luke is. I ask her if I could please talk to Matt. She tells me he is the shower and she will tell him I called. She never tells him.

I don’t sleep at all that night or for the next few nights. I don’t open my windows or my doors and is so hot. It’s been over 100 degrees everyday and all I have is swamp cooler that doesn’t work very well.

I don’t tell anyone for years what happened. I don’t think I ever told Luke.

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