The girl was gasping for breath. She could tell he was still chasing her. She could sense his presence. She kept running, the cool breeze blowing against her face. And she soon came across a small cabin tucked into the middle of the woods. There was a candle burning bright in the window so she figured someone was home. She ran up onto the porch and pounded on the door, praying someone would answer before he got her.
The door opened and a tall, intimidating man stepped into the light. “Can I help you?” His deep voice thundered in the silence of the woods. “I….I’m being chased. Help me.” She whispered, still panting. Suddenly, she heard a tree branch break and a man grunt. “ Please.” She plead. “ He’s close. I can hear him.” He could see the fear in her eyes. “Of course! Come in!” He moved and she stepped in, immediately enveloped by the comforting warmth of the little house. He closed the door behind her.
“How far behind you was he?” He asked, offering her a blanket. “Not very. I think he’s just outside the door, waiting for me.” She took the blanket graciously. She suddenly felt very cold. The man grabbed his shotgun. “You stay here. There’s hot cocoa in the thermos. You’re welcome to have some.” He said quickly, disappearing out the front door and into the dark.
She could vaguely hear a gunshot in the distance. About five minutes later, the man came walking into the house. “I think you’re safe but I completely understand if you want to stay the night. I’ll go get you some pajamas.” He went around the corner and came back a minute later with a big t shirt. “This is what I have. I honestly don’t think my pants would fit you.” He muttered, looking down. “It’s perfect. Thank you so much, for everything. You saved my life.” She whispered, tears in her eyes. “It’s no problem darlin’. My name is Randy by the way.”
“Randy. Okay. I’m Eleanor.” she said “Eleanor McGrant…”
“Wait. The governor’s daughter?” he said surprised. “Yes, the governor’s daughter.” she rolled her eyes. “Or I was.”
“What do you mean you were?” He asked.
“My family disowned me when I started dating Jonathan Tonies.” She whispered, ashamed.
“The town troublemaker? I see why they’d disown you. The boy’s no good.” He said, sinking down into his old, leather recliner.
“Please. I don’t need a lecture.” she pleaded. “Anyways, he had courted me and soon we were seeing each other almost every night. I’d sneak him into the house after dad went to bed. I fell in love with him quickly and I thought he felt the same. I lost my virginity to him. God, I was stupid. He started getting more violent and I was shocked. I thought a good girl like me could change his ways. I tried to refuse to let him at night but he threatened to dump me and ruin my reputation so I would let him in.”
Randy shook his head.
“I felt so guilty about not waiting until marriage to have sex that I stopped putting out. But he would pin me down and rape me.” She was sobbing heavily, with Randy rubbing and patting her back. “He never took ‘No’ for an answer. He would hit me and call me a s*** and a b****. I have permanent scars on my butt because I wouldn’t have sex with him. He stripped me and hit me with a whip. Hard.”
Randy winced and gasped.
“I was his slave. And not consensually. And, believe it or not, it got worse. He started controlling what I wore, who I talked to, where I went, what I did. No boys were allowed near me. He even started distrusting my brother and dad!” She sighed “I tried numerous times to break up with him. Nothing worked. And he was so insecure. He was always needing comfort and reassurance. The littlest things hurt his feelings and lowered his self esteem.”
She paused to gasp for air, still bawling her eyes out.
“I could never go anywhere without him. At first, we went to different schools, but he was so convinced that I was cheating so he transferred. There were times when he wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom alone. I either had to go with him or not go at all. I learned last week that I’m four months pregnant with his baby.”
Randy shook his head again. “You’re kidding me, right?”
“I wish. That's what made him chase me. I told him. I said, ‘I’m pregnant. It’s yours,’ He got pissed. I’ve never seen him so mad. He grabbed a knife and held it to my stomach, accusing me of cheating. So I ran. He chased after. That’s why I’m here. I don’t even know if the baby survived. I did not cheat! I swear to God! But he’s so insecure...” She was in hysterics at this point.
Randy patted her back. “It’s okay sweetheart. I got him and I called the police. I told them you’re pretty shook up so they’ll be here in the morning to talk to you.”
“No! Not the police! Please no! He’ll kill me!” She screamed.
“It’s too late. It’ll be okay. I don’t think he’ll be getting out anytime soon.” He tried to reassure her but she was sobbing again. “I won’t let him touch you. Don’t worry.”
“But now where am I supposed to live?! I was living with him since my parents kicked me out!” She cried, balling her hands into fists.
“Just stay with me. It’ll be okay. I’m not bad to live with and I’ll help you take care of the baby when it arrives. Just get some sleep for now, please.”
She looked down at the shirt in her hands, gasping for breath. “O...okay I guess. Thank you.”
“No problem sweetie. Good night. If you need anything, I’m just around the corner. The bathroom is the second door on the right.” He went around the corner, leaving her alone in the candlelight.