Thursday, January 12, 2012
Chapter 11...The Road to Freedom!
People often ask me if my husband was the one that saved me from Bob and Barb.
I am no Cinderella.
There is no Fairy Godmother.
There is no Handsome Prince on a White Horse coming to rush in and save the girl. Even in my young mind, I knew there never would be.
Teaching young girls that there will always be someone, a man, there to rescue you is folly.
You have to depend on yourself.
Mother's, if you teach your children, especially your daughters, ONE thing...
Teach them that.
Bob and Barbara may have been worried they would permanently harm us but it didn't stop them. Their hate for us and especially me was a driving force for them. I was their whipping boy for all of the pressures of life.
Locking me upstairs in my room with no food, no water and no plumbing. That was the new method of abuse since the incident in the pool. I think both of them feared that just looking at me might send them over the edge and if I am tucked out of their sight, I could be forgotten.
Locking me upstairs was no real punishment for me.
Not having food or water was.
Bob's mother Maggie had trunks and trunks of wonderful books stored upstairs in the closet of that room that I read and read while locked away in my upstairs prison.
Books by Hans Christian Andersen. Hans Brinker. Laura Ingall's Wilder.
Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind." Nancy Drew. Amelia Earhart.
I could lose myself in a book and pretend in my mind that I was there, gliding on the ice in beautiful ice skates or flying far far away in an airplane to be lost and never be found.
Oh, how I envied Amelia Earhart!
Three days I was locked up there. No one came up. No food. No water. No bathroom.
How did I manage that?
Ha! You do what you have to do. Summer rains and I would crawl out on the roof of the two story house and get drops of water in tiny puddles off the shingles. Use the restroom? I am embarrassed to tell you that I would drop my drawers and hang my butt out the window and let it go!
Horrors at the thought that Barbara would see something drop out the window from the 1st floor! Fear would grip me that she might look out of her window below me on a bright sunny day and see yellow rain raining down from above.
Going without food was nothing any longer.
I was beyond hungry.
I was a mere wisp of a person by now. All bones with skin stretched across them.
I knew that I had to leave this place. I was afraid to leave my sister. They were never as hard on her but I knew she would bear the brunt of their rage if I was gone but I had a plan and it was driving me.
I was going to run away!
I had nothing.
I had one dollar bill that I had found at school and kept a secret. I had an orange one piece swim suit that I would take with me. I would swim the rivers if I had to, but I was going to walk the thirty plus miles on back country roads into the city and go directly to the Courthouse. I couldn't contain my excitement at the thought of being away from here.
Food and Freedom! No more beatings. No more peeing off the roof.
No more of these evil people.
I was leaving!!!!
One huge problem.
How do I get to the first floor without being seen by Barbara?
She would hear me on the stairs if I went down that way in the dark of night. During the day, she was planted in front of her TV watching Soaps. Too close to the door. Also, the creaks of the doors and opening of the locks.
Barbara had the ears of a rat.
My only other route of escape... The window.
Two stories up but a sloping roof.
I crawled out the window.
I sat on the slope of the roof and looked down. Oh, it seemed so far.
A long way down. My footing slipped and I almost fell as I made my way back to the safety of the window sill.
My only way was out the window and to jump from the roof.
It took me minutes but I drew up my courage and before I could change my mind, I moved to the open window once again.
Better to break a leg or an arm than to stay here.
My bright orange swimsuit and my precious one dollar bill in hand, I stood at the very edge of the roof.
On the count of three... Jump.
Hang off the edge then fall?
This time I got as low as I could and squatted.
Jump then roll when you hit the ground.
I went down. It seemed like it went in slow motion and surprisingly, it was easy.
Whoosh. Plop. I landed. Nothing broken.
Now, avoid passing in front of the windows. One glance outside from Barbara or the kids and I am screwed and caught.
Hunch down low and run!
The house is surrounded by a farm fence of wire with sharp barbed wire along the top. Corn fields beyond. No big deal. Climb over it. A few scratches are nothing compared to the wrath of Barbara.
I am Free!
Hidden in the protective green lush of the rows of corn.
In Indiana, the saying goes that corn needs to be "Knee-High by the 4th of July."
This corn was beyond that. Tall and ripe.
I felt so tiny in the acres upon acres of corn. Tiny but FREE!
I felt like I had walked for hours. Little to no breeze and the walls and rows of corn felt like I was going to suffocate in their depths. The leaves of the cornstalks cutting my face and arms as I continue on to freedom.
Keep moving? Or, do I stay hidden in the safety and cover of the walls of corn or find the road?
I keep walking.
I have no idea which direction I am going any longer. I feel as if I have kept my path straight.
This field should be ending soon.
Where am I?
I need to get to the road to see where I am. Getting lost at night in the darkness held all new fears but nothing could cause me as much fear as being caught and going back.
The corn seems to be getting shorter along the edge here. This field is ending!
I will be able to see where I am soon. It is almost dusk.
I keep walking and step onto the hard road.
I don't recognize where I am. I turn to check the other direction and...
A blue 1965 Corvair.
I stepped out of the safety of the thick dense corn field and walked directly into the path of BARBARA!!!!
I turn to run back into the safety of the field of corn but I fall hard onto the ground as I feel a body slamming into mine......