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Swimming and Kisses
I am lying in the middle of this pasture, looking up at the clear blue sky. I feel so small. The tall grass is waving all around in the cool breeze. Life is okay, and I have lived a wonderful 16 years of life. And I know I will marry Tommy one day. He only hits me sometimes, for reasons I can’t really explain. But he holds me tight in his arms and tells me I am safe.
As I am laying here all by myself I hear Tommy calling my name. I run to him. I am happy to see him, he looks mad. I go to hug him but before I can even touch him I am lying on the ground clutching my face. I feel as if my face is on fire. It burns and I apologized. Even though there is no reason to hide this from my parents, I try to cover these bruises with make-up and lies. My parents do know he hits me but still want me to marry him. At least my father anyway. When he sees a new bruise he tells me I shouldn’t of done anything to make Tommy mad.
I was riding into town with Tommy. I am looking out the window, pressed to the door, and out of his reach. That’s when I saw him. I leaned closer to the door of his junky, old Dodge. I hear a pop and feel the rough asphalt scratching against my body. The boy comes to my aid. I hear screeching brakes, Tommy. Tommy assures everyone that I am all right. Against what Tommy had said the storeowner at the grocery store calls an ambulance. Tommy tries to get me up and back in the truck but I am too sore to move. He tries many times until the boy tells him that I need to be still and that I still do need to go to the hospital. When the ambulance arrives Tommy goes to get in but the boy tells him to meet us there with the truck. On the ride there I learned the boy’s name, Lance. I also learned he is here for the summer to stay with his aunt and uncle that live right down the road from us. I tried to sit up but I got dizzy and lost consciousness.
I woke up in a hospital bed. My parents, Lance, and Tommy were all there. Mr. Burke, the storeowner, must have called them. My father shook Lance’s hand and then he spoke to Tommy about getting that door fixed. Tommy drove me home after I checked out at the hospital. I only had a few really good bumps and bruises nothing Tommy hadn’t given me before. Before we reached my house Tommy pulled over to the side of the road.
Tommy: “Why did you do that to me?”
Me: “Do what?”
Tommy: “You know, you made me look stupid in front of everybody.”
Me: But To-
Before I could even finish what I was saying, the burning sensation in my face was there once again. I go to get out of the truck. “You’re not going anywhere.” He grabs my arm and pulls me back closer. He then drives me home.
The next day I was going to the store to get something. I ran into Lance. We talked for a minute. Then I told him I had to go. I knew if Tommy found out about me talking to Lance he would surely hit me, in the face. Before I went inside he grabbed my arm.
Lance: “That bruise on your face wasn’t there yesterday.”
Me: “Yes it was.” I said quickly.
Lance: “He hits you don’t he.”
Me: looking at the ground “No.”
Lance: “Your secret is safe with me, but if need me you know where I am.”
I then went into the store.
That night as I layed in bed Lance’s words slosh around in my head. The next day I went running down my dirt road. I run into Lance, again. He ran with me. We raced all the way to Slough Spring. I told him I really shouldn’t be here, at least with him. I knew Tommy was out of town for the day but what if? Lance pulled off his shirt and used the old rope swing to jump in. He told me to come on in. Lucky for me I was already wearing a bathing suit because I go swimming after I run. I took several steps back and ran and dived into the water. The water felt good against my hot body. Lance made me tell him about myself. I spilled out about Tommy by accident. I could see strong feelings in Lance’s eyes. He must of saw my feelings as well. I felt so safe with him. There was just something about him that I liked. I didn’t just have this feeling all of a sudden, I felt it when I first saw him. I splashed him. He splashed back. I ducked under water and sneaked up behind him. I tapped him on his shoulder. I went to swim away but he grabbed me. He pulled me close. He kissed me. And I kissed back. I then knew I was really safe when I was with him now, something about that kiss was powerful. That’s when I realized I loved you. You told me you loved me and I said it back. We raced back home. We get to my house and I see Tommy’s truck is parked in my driveway.
Me: “Lance you need to go.”
Tommy: “AMY! Where are you?”
Lance: “No Amy, what if h- “
Me: “Lance just go.” I pleaded.
LANCE NOW SPEAKING
I crouched down behind the bushes in Amy’s yard so neither one of them could see me. Tommy grabbed Amy and was shaking her and screaming in her face. I felt so bad for her. I wanted nothing more than to beat Tommy’s. …well you get the picture. I wanted to so bad but I only knew it would make matters worse. She was trying so hard to refuse his abuse, but she was so small to him. He hit her sending her down. I was holding myself to the ground. When he kicks her I spring up like a tiger and he gets what he deserves. Amy’s dad comes out and breaks it up. Amy’s mom leads her inside. While her dad is lecturing us I blurt out that Tommy abuses her. His response, “ that girl needs to be taught a lesson sometimes, and Tommy be more gentle.” I was speechless and outraged. I walked back home.
AMY BACK TALKING
Wow, this is all I could say. I loved my father but he was greedy. The only reason he was MAKING me marry Tommy was for his family’s money. That night Lance sneaked over and we ran all the way to old man Wiley’s barn. We talked for hours. He again told me he loved and kissed me again. I again kissed back.
Me: “I don’t want to marry him.”
Lance: “I know, but what do we do?”
Me: “RUN AWAY!”
Lance: “To where?”
Lance: “Why Georgia?”
Me: It has towns just like this one.”
We went back to my house first and I got everything I need and stole $300 from my father’s “secret” stash. Then we went and got everything he needed. I then crank my truck that I haven’t drove in two months.
It’s been three weeks and nobody has found us. We stayed at a hotel for two weeks. Then one day while we were walking around we found this decent sized house that just looked like it was going to rot there. We went back into town to ask the sheriff who owned it.
Sheriff: “I do, but I don’t live there.”
Lance: “How much do you want for it?”
Sheriff: “It’s old, I don’t use it anymore, and it’s just an old camp house. How about $500 and you come and help me out at the station.”
They shook hands and Lance went to work right then.
It’s five years later and we still live happily together here. We are now married and have one child. I am happy. I haven’t been hit in five years. Life is good.
You know what the best part about all of this. We still go swimming and have kisses just like that one five years ago back home.