Hell to Pay
I feel the air leave my lungs as Barbara's huge body slams into me and knocks my face into the dirt along the side of the road.
The safety of the cornfield urging me to come back into the lush rows of freedom. Run! Get Away!
WHY had I not stayed in the dark cocoon of safety in the tall green corn?
More than feeling deflated by the weight of Barbara's body over me, I knew I would pay for my 2 plus hours of freedom.
Hell to pay.
Barbara pokes her thumb into my mouth, her other four fingers dug into the flesh of my jaw. By the skin, she pulls me by my face into the car and shoves me to the floor of the back seat. I taste blood. Her fingernails having left deep claw marks in my cheek.
I don't remember her words on the miles long trip back to my prison, I was too worried about what my punishment would be....
We pull into the driveway and she extracts me from the car by my leg, dragging me.. my head bouncing along anything in her path as she pulls me along behind her like a rag doll. Who knew she could move so fast? Her large body sweating and grunting as she drags me, my head banging with each step.
Back to my lofty prison upstairs.
The door locks slam into place.
My face is bleeding. I am dizzy with hunger and thirst and disgust in my stupidity.
I hear voices below me and know that Bob has gotten home from work. Barbara filling him in on my crimes.
Hell to Pay.
The locks on the door slide open. I hear them. I fear them.
I am called downstairs.
Bob and Barbara are there. The rest of the house is quiet.
My legs are shaking in fear.
"Where were you planning on going, Lana?" Bob asks me, his voice steely cold.
Do I lie? Do I tell them the truth?
"I was going to go to the courthouse," I say quietly knowing how stupid that sentence sounds and too naive to understand how much worse I just made it for myself.
"To the courthouse? For what"?
"To talk to someone," I whisper.
I realize in that moment my mistake.
"Talk to someone? You were going to run away and open your mouth to talk to someone about US"? Barbara screams. Her face distorted in rage.
Bob stands up. He begins to undo his belt.
"Take your clothes off. All of them. Strip!"
No! Not that!
I had been told every day how much they hate me. How ugly I am. How stupid and dirty and disgusting I am.
Told I was not Bob's daughter. Told that I took food from their mouths and the mouths of their babies, daily. Just by being alive.
Told a man named Marvin Dixon was my father and Bob's mortal enemy.
Told. Every. Damn. Day.
Being told by Bob to take my clothes off made me chill to my soul.
No one had ever spoken to me about sex or anatomy.
No one needed to.
Bob telling me to strip naked and the bulge forming in his pants sent a message even to my young ignorant mind.
I was not his daughter. My stomach churned on the bile and disgust.
Barbara leaves the chair she was sitting in to come push me to the ground and kick me hard in my face. The toe of her shoe landing square on the side of my face. Blood spurts all over the carpet in front of me.
"Get Up, you pig and do what he says."
Hell to pay...
Sobbing, I get up. I undress.
He walks towards me with a look of sheer evil and something else I had never seen before...
I was 13 years old.
He may have beat me but I am not going easily. No way.
Bob's thick leather belt leaving welts with each strike. Welts so deep and bloody. My back. My face. My chest. Anywhere he could land it. I didn't make it easier on myself.
I put up such a fight that Bob's glasses went flying across the room. Kicking and fighting and flailing. Naked. Arms and legs thrashing out at anything near me.
His dentures flew out of his mouth. His breath in short grunts and gasps. I kicked and clawed. I knew I had to keep this perverted man away from me. Beat me yes....Anything else.
By the end, I was bloody and bruised on every part of me. I could not walk.
I didn't once cry out. Didn't once beg for mercy. I dug deep inside me and fought with all there was inside my soul. Every fiber of me fought. I would have fought until dead.
I got 10 times the beating but I had a new resolve. No longer would I just take it!
No More. I would fight them. The resolve gave me power.
Bob and his twisted sick leering eyes and bulging pants and Barbara with her depraved punishments.
That day, I became a fighter. A wild thing. They could beat me bloody but from that day on, would never touch my soul.
The beatings didn't end but the pain inside me was over. They had no control.
I belonged to ME!