Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chapter 18

Alone With Bob

A change in geography doesn't change Bob or Barbara in the least. It is warmer here and much prettier than the farm fields of Indiana but not much else has changed in our secret home.

Barbara has simply learned new techniques on how to punch and hurt and avoid bruises and scars showing up on young pale skin.
She has learned to put an orange in a sock and swing.
It hurts!
Over and over her new pal, her "sock puppet" swings whenever she feels the urge to inflict pain because her life is so intolerable or her sick mind so insane.

We are now living in a trailer in an over-grown mobile home park on the edge of town. Not a great place but Heaven to me.

We left Indiana in the early Spring of my Freshman year of high school.
I loved school. It was my escape. My only connection to normal.
I was good at school. I made good grades.
I was popular despite my tattered torn appearance.

Bob and Barb for whatever reason decides to NOT enroll me in school for this last fraction of a semester.
My heart is so heavy for that. Begging and pleading to go to school will do nothing more than lead me down a Primrose path to NEVER get enrolled back in school. I knew if I even mentioned wanting to go to school it would be denied to me no matter what the truancy laws were in the state of Florida.
What kid wants to go to school?

Sure, I was rotten at Algebra but excelled in English, Biology, Literature etc.
I needed school.
I needed the escape and knew that education would and could set me free.
No one can EVER take or beat your education out of you. It feeds your mind.
I hungered for it. School.
An education could help me escape this nightmare.
Oh, how I wanted to be enrolled in school!

Somehow, in my very young mind I was constantly looking for an escape.
Not going to try to run into a field of corn this time but I was always working something in my mind to run.
Run where?
This state was so foreign to me. I didn't know where the county courthouse was, Welfare Department or any law enforcement agency.
I instinctively knew I would need to keep my eyes and ears wide open for that glimmer of an opportunity.
I dreamed of it.
Tasted it.

My fear and loathing of Bob was like a physical ache. Trying to avoid a huge man in a small trailer was practically impossible.
His sweaty grunting over-sized tattooed body was always near.
He would open the shower stall while I was showering.
He would sneak by my dirty blanket which was my bed on the floor of the trailer. Lean down and try to touch me without waking me or the household.
One of us would win this war. I prayed every night it was me.
My window of hope was quickly closing....

I was home all day remember? No school.
Barbara and my sister both found work at a nursing home. Their kids enrolled in an elementary school.

Alone with Bob....
To this day, That thought can still make me shudder in complete and absolute fear....

Chapter 17

We arrive in the state of Florida late at night. One week later. Hour after hour on the road in a cramped crowded camper and Bob. My avoidance of him number one on my agenda every day and every hour.

I can smell the sweet smells of this foreign state even though it's dark and the middle of  the night.
We are all exhausted. 
Our new home is in Plant City, Florida.

I didn't know it at the time but the realtor had sent Bob a key to our new place. He bought it sight unseen.
 We arrive and all huddle around the front door. Exhausted, dark and very late.
All of us wait in anticipation as Bob slides the key into the lock of the front door. All I want to do is find a place to lay down and sleep. 
The camper, three kids,  hunger and fear of Bob have all taken it's toll. 

Open the door and let's go inside and sleep in the new house. Fear of Bob and his sexual advances far more abhorrent than Barbara's face-marring punches,  pinches, kicks and hair-pulling.

The key finally slides into place and we gather to see our new home.

I am so happy. 

A new start.
A new life.
I enter last and everyone else has frozen as if touched by some mythological being.  I push my way into the doorway unafraid.

Why is everyone so  shocked?

I nudge my way forward....
I see hear it before I see it....

The clicking waving sounds invade my ears. 
Musty and dank. Unused and stale.
My eyes see it but I still don't understand.
The walls of the front room of the house seem to be shimmering and waving. 
Swaying. Slithering. Clicking.
Blue gray in the beam of the flashlight, shimmering and dark. Menacing yet hypnotizing.

Bob's flashlight shines a light on the sight and that sound... I still can not make it out.
What is that sound?
What is the clicking waving movement?

Barbara runs off into the night screaming. I am happy. Whatever has made her flee can not be all bad, right? Her running away makes me giggle inside.  Her shrieks of fear fading as she distances herself from us and this house.

I peer into the darkened front room.
I am not afraid.

I don't get it... yet.
I am from Indiana. Nothing like this has ever been seen by my eyes but I learn later is normal to Florida.
The walls seem to be alive and moving.
The walls are alive!

The movement, clicking and shimmery waves are from COCKROACHES!!! 
The house is alive with them.
Crawling and slithering up and down the walls, the ceiling, the floor! Beautiful waves and walls of roaches.
Marching angry cockroaches. Rolling walls of Cockroaches!
Clicking and disturbed by the light and the sound of humans. 
They move constantly as if in protest. Up and down the walls. Across the floor. Marching like Army ants.  Clicking as they marched.
Silvery waves of giant bugs. Ugly bugs.
The walls not visible thru the hundreds of roaches moving up and down. Scurrying but not really afraid.

Bob bought a house sight unseen and it is infested with millions and millions of giant cockroaches!

He slams the door shut in fear and frustration. Slides the lock securely as if to lock them inside. 
We all pile back in to the crammed camper to sleep. The house forgotten.
The next day we all emerge from the cramped camper and move into a trailer park. We are now field workers.
Strawberries and Oranges.
Plant City, Florida
I feel like we are in a foreign country.
I feel that life is about to change....