Runaway | Teen Ink

Runaway

August 8, 2013
By PoisonGirl BRONZE, Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania
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PoisonGirl BRONZE, Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania
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Favorite Quote:
"Dude, you're fugly" Dean Winchester


Author's note: It's something that is full of laughter heartbreak, and will give you an awesome thrill.

The author's comments:
Hope you enjoy

Rebecca . . .


She was bruised, her body ached from so much abuse, and the rapes were terrible. She wanted to die. There was no hope for her, she didn’t understand why she didn’t just kill herself right then and now, but there was something in the depth of whatever was left of her soul someone out there loved her and would take care of her when her husband didn’t.

Every day of her marriage she felt like an idiot. She married young, and didn’t know what love was, but of course at the age of twenty-one she thought she did. Greg Martin told her how beautiful she was, bought her everything she desired, and when he came up with a beautiful diamond engagement ring she thought that was what true love was. She was completely wrong.

Her parents abandoned her when she told them the news, instead of helping her and taking care of her like they promised they’d always do they just stopped.

“Rebecca?” She didn’t want to turn toward the voice for she knew it was her husband, but she had to or else a beating would be involved for not respecting her husband, and her body would not be able to handle another beating.

“Yes, honey.” Rebecca turned around and said with her best smile. Like it would matter she’d probably still end up with a slap across the face for some odd reason.

“Listen, Jake just called, he wants to have a couple of beers and meet back here with you. So, I want you to freshen up and put on your sexiest outfit, you know the one I like with the roses on it, and we’ll be back in an hour.” Greg explained with a pleasing smile like he enjoyed her pain and misery.

How could he smile when he told her that his best friend would be coming to take advantage of her, no matter how much she begged or pleaded he would just continue hurting her.

“Okay, I’ll go shower.” She turned away from him and ran upstairs to the shower with tears in her eyes as she went to the bedroom and started the shower. Once she was inside she let every tear fall from her eyes and every ounce of pain leave her body. This is what she did before every ‘meeting’ with one of Greg’s friends, but every tear and every prayer she said never made anything better.

Rebecca let the hot water burn her body, but she didn’t move. She let it burn and waited to see if she’d melt away in the drain, and never come back. She’d rather live in the sewer with disease and rats than to be with Greg Martin.

When she heard the sound of knocking at the door her breathing quickened, and her body began to tremble. Getting out of the glass shower and out into the cold breeze of her marble bathroom, she found her towel and wrapped it around herself before answering the knock.

It was Greg who gave an up and down glance at Rebecca. Feeling uncomfortable, she tightened the towel around her. “Wow, you look . . . wow.”

“Greg, honey, I just got out of the shower I have no makeup on, and my hairs a wreck. I don’t look that great.” As he stepped in to the bathroom she backed away.

“I disagree you look amazing.” He finally reached her when she bumped into the bathroom counter. There was nowhere to run or hide as he kissed her neck and made her drop the towel from her body.

The cool air once again touched her body, and Greg’s hand that ran down her body didn’t help warm her up at all. It actually made it worse.

“Greg, I don’t think we should,” she cried out as his hand moved lower, “I don’t want to ruin your job for Jake.” His hand stopped and he faced her with confusion. “Honey, if I’m too tired Jake won’t be too happy about it.”

Greg let her body go completely and stepped away. “You’re right. Continue getting ready and we’ll continue this later.” At that moment a car was honking its horn outside the house and from the sound of loud hard rock music playing she knew it was Jake. “He’s here. Remember you’ll have one hour.” He kissed her on the forehead and left her.

Rebecca stood in the middle of her bathroom in complete shock. How could he let her suffer like this over and over again? She wasn’t his wife, or his lover. She was a shiny new toy that he used to show off to his friends. She needed to get out of there before she died as a broken used toy.

As soon as she heard the car pull away from the house she ran for her bedroom where she changed into a pair of jeans and a green t-shirt. Not the nicest thing she ever wore, but in a plan to escape it would have to do. The only thing missing was money and her shoes which were both downstairs.

Moving quickly she took two steps at a time down the steps where she went right to the kitchen. The kitchen was one of her gifts from Greg after the first beating. He realized how much she loved to cook so he redone the kitchen in black tile which was her favorite. Pushing that out of her mind she continued to a black wallet sitting on the counter. She quickly looked inside it and found a ten dollar bill. That was all she could use to survive on and that would be tough, but if could survive this she could live off of ten dollars.

She quickly put the money in her back pocket and began to turn and found to be smashed against the hard wall of Greg’s chest.
“What the hell are you doing? You disrespectful little b****!” Greg landed a punch right to her ribs and she swore that she heard them break. That was before she was thrown on the kitchen counter on her back with her arms held high above her head. “Rebecca, don’t I give you what you need? I give everything money can buy with all the love and pleasure your body can handle.”

Rebecca didn’t listen to anything he said and fought back till Greg let her drop to the floor. “Please, stop! I’m sorry!” She pleaded as she tried to crawl away but that only landed a blow to her side.

“You’re going to be sorry!” Greg whole face turned red as he pushed every single dish and piece of silverware to the floor. “I give you everything and this is how you treat me!”

“No, you let men rape me, so you can get the money you need! Then you beat me if they’re not satisfied! Damn you!” She shouted from the top of her lungs before Greg kicked her in the side, and Rebecca just gave up, and she waited to die.

“Rebecca, Rebecca, what am I going to do with you?” She lifted her head up slightly and saw it. A shiny clean steak knife lying on the ground, and it wasn’t too far away. She just needed a chance to grab it.

“I don’t know Greg you tell me.” She said in a cocky way.

Greg turned his back to her and spread his hands out on the counter. “You know I always loved you. You never argued with me, you were my good little wife.”

Rebecca crawled to the knife and gripped it in her hands, stood up the best she could and stabbed Greg’s outer thigh. He fell to the floor gripping his leg while screaming and cursing.

“No, you never loved me,” she explained while taking her wedding ring off and throwing at him, “and I was never your good little wife, I was your good little slave.”

Rebecca turned away from him and limped her way to the kitchen door when she heard Greg scream in anger. “B****, I’ll find you and hunt you down, you dirty little whore!” She wasn’t scared, she wasn’t hurt by his words, but she was tired and free. That’s what Rebecca Blake thought as she left her old life as Mrs. Martin behind.

Jensen . . .

The fresh air that hit Jensen’s face made him realize how much he missed motorcycles. Two years in prison made him realize all the things he missed from his family, to freedom, to fresh air and motorcycles. His years in prison were all a big mistake though.

Two years ago Jensen Howard moved to New York to start his motorcycle business. Things were going well, money was great, employees were happy, and everything was done on time. It was amazing pretty much what he dreamed of since he was ten, but he made one stupid mistake that he’d never ever regret doing. Although money was great Jensen found home in a tiny apartment where people helped each other and also gave privacy. It was like living back home in Texas again.

He got to know all of his neighbors very well, and especially a sixteen year old named Alice. She was beautiful and well matured for her age. Jensen was very impressed, and one day on a visit to tell her some good news, he found her in the hall by her door crying and bloody.

She begged him to get her out of there, and knowing how great of a girl she was and how she didn’t deserve to be beaten. He believed no girl should be beaten, and felt the need to kick her father’s ass because he remembered what his mother went through with his idiotic father, but she begged him not to. Instead he picked her up and carried her to his car and drove as far away as he could to make sure she was safe. They were headed to her aunt’s house when a police officer pulled them over and they had him arrested for kidnapping.

No matter what he or Alice said to the judge he still ordered prison time for kidnapping a minor if it was her protection or not. He still remembered what the judges last words were, “Son, I don’t care if she was abused or not, it’s your job to call the police and have them take her away to a safe place, not you.” He could have punched that judge right in the jaw if he wasn’t all ready in so much trouble.

So two years in prison, a bunch of dirty looks from people in his apartment and friends, oh and don’t forget the fact that his motorcycle shop was taken away from him because of how much he had to pay for fines and his lawyer, brought him back home to Gatesville, Texas. This was just . . . unbelievable.

But he was force back home to live with his mother and father until he’d figure something out. Which would probably take a while, but that was okay. As long as he’d figure something out.

Coming across a sign that read ‘Welcome to Texas” made Jensen feel like a complete failure. How many guys who are twenty-six were forced to prison for no reason and have to live with his parents? Yeah not too many, but the few that have to . . . Well, he was now one of them. Reading that sign made him believe that it read, “Welcome to failure”.

The author's comments:
Hope you like it

The trip to Gatesville, Texas wasn’t the greatest. Well, for Rebecca at least. She rode a traveling bus, didn’t know where the hell she was going, had to sit next to a smelly guy who hit on her . . . a lot, lost half of her money leaving her with five whole dollars, and did she mention that she wasn’t wearing any shoes? Realizing she should of planned ahead her stomach growled. What the hell would she get to eat with five dollars?

It seemed like her prayers were answered when the bus stopped in front of a restaurant called, ‘Home Styled’, but yet again she only had five dollars. Maybe she could eat something and wash dishes to make up for it or something like that. It was worth a try. Nothing could be hurt in asking.

Walking into the restaurant she realized that her feet were filthy, and felt rude to be walking into a place with dirty feet. Running to the bathroom she felt ridiculous like a child who wet their pants in the middle of class, but she continued. She grabbed a paper towel, wet it, and began to scrub the dirt off of each foot. The whole time wondering what was Greg going to do? Could he track her down? Would he kill her or drag her back to the hell whole he’d call home?

She shook her head at those thoughts. He would probably try to find her, but would never succeed. At least that’s what she hoped. She’d rather put a gun to her own head than to have him find her.

A knock on the door knocked her out of her scary thoughts. “Honey, are you almost done in there. I really have to go.” The woman on the other side of the door didn’t sound mean or rude, but she really had to go.

Throwing the paper towel away Rebecca started walking towards the door when she stop and caught her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was a wreck, and there was dry blood in her hairline. She was wearing no makeup, and bruises showed up around her neck. She couldn’t believe what she saw, the wreck of her appearance made her want to hide, and to think that she was worried about walking in with dirty feet.

Looking away from her dirty reflection, she walked out the bathroom, and caught sight of the lady who was patiently waiting outside. At first her smile was happy and warm, but it fell into a wide mouth shocking look.

Before the lady could say anything to her Rebecca quickly passed her and went to a quiet booth in the corner. Rebecca liked the silence especially since the restaurant was pretty much empty except for a few elderly couple. It was so peaceful and homey. She didn’t want to leave. Of course, where did she have to go?

After a few minutes, a beautiful blonde whose hair was pulled in a bun with blue eyes and a skinny body walked over in her tight red tank top and little daisy duke jean shorts. Rebecca felt ugly and dirty at the sight of her waitress.

“Howdy honey, my name is Hope and I will b . . .” Her voice trailed off as she caught sight of Rebecca. The waitress, whose name appeared to be Hope, lowered her pen and notepad before sitting down across from Rebecca with a frown on her face.

“Are you hungry, honey?” Rebecca nodded. She wanted to yell ‘hell yes!’ but her mother always told her to use her manners, and even though her mother had abandoned her she still abided by her rules. “What’s your name?” Rebecca didn’t know whether to go by an alias name or use her real name so instead she remained silent.

“Okay well I’ll get you something to eat then you, me, and my momma will talk later. Okay?” Rebecca watched as the woman walked away, with a less than a pleased look on her face, as she went to the kitchen.

Why did this woman care so much about her when she didn’t know her name, and who was Momma? Rebecca was confused. No one has ever given a damn about her, but she meets a stranger and suddenly she becomes a celebrity? Not only was she confused, but also entirely pissed off.

After a few minutes passed, Hope came out with a tray full of food, and an older woman followed behind. The older woman had dark hair with few streaks of grey through it. She was dressed in a blue blouse and black jean shorts with a flowered pattern apron on top. After a while she realized that the women were coming for her.

“Okay hon, I got you scrambled eggs, home fries, bacon, sausage, blue berry pancakes, and a tall glass of orange juice to top it all off for you.” As she named all the breakfast foods she placed each plate on the table before sitting down across from Rebecca.

“Thank you, but this is too much.” Rebecca would have gone on if the older woman hadn’t waved her off.

“Nonsense, this is Texas honey, and you know what they say, ‘Everything is bigger in Texas’. By the way I’m Chelsea Howard. My husband, Tony, and I own this restaurant, and this is my daughter Hope. What’s your name, honey?”

Rebecca looked down at her food, and her stomach growled loud enough for the two women to hear. Rebecca felt quite embarrassed at the amusement on the older woman’s face.

“Honey, please eat. This food is not out here so you can stare at it as it becomes cold, so dig in.” Chelsea’s smile was beautiful, and full of life instead of heartbreak which is what Rebecca saw the entire time she was on that bus ride. She was thankful.

“My name is Rebecca, Mrs. Howard.” She replied and began to eat some of her eggs eagerly and hungrily making Hope smile with pride. Clearly she made the eggs, or helped.

“You can call me Chelsea, Rebecca. That’s okay if I call you Rebecca, right?”

Rebecca swallowed before answering with a quiet, “Yes”. Another manner her mother taught her, never speak with food in your mouth. People don’t want to see what is in that dirty mouth of yours.

“Well, Rebecca, where did you come from?” Chelsea’s question had her shaking away her mother’s voice that was in her head.

“I’m from Pennsylvania.” She answered before taking a drink of her juice and eating more of her breakfast.

“Pennsylvania? Honey, that’s fifteen hours, and you drove here?” Hope’s voice sounded shocked, but clearly anybody would be shocked if they heard her story.

“No, I rode a traveling bus here.” It was embarrassing but she had to admit it, and maybe she’d get some help.

“This is the only hot meal you’ve had for hours, rode a bus, you look like you were in a war, and you’re wearing no shoes? Rebecca, what the hell happened?”

“Momma, maybe she don’t want to talk about it,” turning to Rebecca she wore an apologetic smile, “I’m sorry honey, you just continue eating, and we’ll not ask any more personal question while you do.”

“It’s fine. I mean, you don’t have to waste your time on someone like me. I don’t want to be your charity case, and waste your time.”

“Now, don’t talk like that. You are not a charity case, and you aren’t wasting our time. We just want to make sure you are safe.” Hope said with a smile.

“Yes, but you don’t even know me. I just walked in out of the blue, and I can’t even pay for this food. You don’t have to help me.” Rebecca wanted and need help, but she could make it on her own, and even though they want to help her they shouldn’t waste their time.

“Don’t worry about your food, and you’re in Texas now, and even though we don’t know each other we’re family. In Gatesville, Texas we take care of our family.”

Rebecca felt her heart lift. Strangers were going to take care of her more than her parents and her husband. It was true God works in mysterious ways.

“Thank you and I really appreciate it.”

“Of course, you deserve it.” Hope looked like she wanted to hug her, but instead smiled.

“Hope, go take orders while Rebecca and I have a little chat.” Chelsea gave the order softly and Hope waved before leaving to take orders.

“Rebecca, I know right now you’re scared, tired, and weaker than a solider in war, but I want you to know that I’m going to help you through what you’re are going through, and my family and I are going to protect you, and take care of you.” It was strange, in a way it seemed like Chelsea knew a lot about her, but she couldn’t have.

“Thank you, but again why are you helping me?” There was something inside Rebecca that made her think that this whole thing was too good to be true.

“I told you, you’re in Texas now . . . “

“So, do you always pull strangers off the street help them?” She interrupted, and slightly feeling guilty about it.

“Only the ones who need help and don’t know it,” something in Chelsea Howard’s face made it glow with her beauty and wonderful smile, “so, finish eating and tell Hope. I have an apartment for you to be settled into.” She concluded before she walked away with a satisfied smile on her face.

Rebecca couldn’t believe what she just heard. Someone actually cared for her and didn’t know her, or heard what she’s been through. In a way it was strange though, she grew up learning that life wasn’t a piece of cake, you had to learn how to survive. Her mother taught her housework and manners while her father taught her about jobs and colleges. Things weren’t supposed to be that easy.

For now though she would accept the help and hope for the best, and in the future she’ll make up for everything they gave her.




**************************

“Get your damn feet off my table.” Jensen sighed at his brother, Darren, and took his feet off the table as he was told. The man was letting him stay in his house until he could find a way to tell his mother that he was out of prison and back in his home town the least he could do was follow his rules.

Jensen’s head screamed failure. Moving back home, losing a business, and going to jail things couldn’t have been worse. Good thing he wasn’t married or had children because he had a feeling that they would run far away from him.

“Sorry bro, what’s up with the prints?” He pointed to the blue prints that lie on the glass coffee table sitting in the middle between the two brothers.

“You’ve been in New York way too long,” Jensen considered that for a moment before his brother went on, “anyway, a new couple is moving into town and spent a lot of money for me to build their dream home.” Darren was an architect, and was damn good at it too. Actually his whole family was good at what they do. His mother and stepfather owned “Home Styled” with his half-sister, Hope was the waitress, and finally his half-brother Sam, was the town’s family doctor. He was the family’s failure.

“So, are you going to make small talk for the rest of the time you’re here, or are you gonna tell me your plan to tell momma?”

“Actually I was going to make small talk and hope you had a plan.” He watched as his older brother shook his head in amusement.

“No way, you are gonna fix this yourself. I’m just here to make sure you’re sheltered and fed, so momma doesn’t kill me.” Yep, that summed it up. Momma was going to kill him, and not in the quick painless way either, no she would probably make it slow and painful.

“C’mon, she won’t kill me. Yell at me until I’m deaf, but I don’t think she’ll kill me. I’m her special boy.”

Darren laughed loudly as he rolled up his blue prints and stuffed them into his cylinder shaped container. “You really think she still calls you that? Jensen, you left and dropped to the bottom of the sibling barrel. Now it goes Hope, me, Sam, and now you.”

“There’s no sibling barrel, jackass.” Jensen snorted with a smile.

“Yeah, whatever keeps you warm at night.” Darren said with his cocky grin before he stood up to head to the kitchen, but suddenly stopped and turned to Jensen. “By the way, I got some news for you. Momma wants me at the house in couple of minutes, and I think she knows you’re here. So I suggest you get dressed and come along with me.”

Jensen was stunned at his ‘news’ and said, “So momma knows I’m here, and you decide to stay quiet until now?”

“Well, I don’t know if she knows or not, but you know how this town talks someone could have seen your motorcycle and told her.” Darren answered with a shrug.

“Alright, you have a point I’ll go get changed.” Jensen got up off the leather couch and headed to the downstairs guestroom, and grabbed his black duffle bag. He grabbed a black t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans and quickly changed. The whole time he was thinking what his mother would do. Would she welcome him with open arms or kick him out of her home? He couldn’t see his momma kicking him out of the house.


Jensen shrugged his bad thoughts away and walked out to the front porch where his brother stood in pretty much the same clothing as him.

“Let’s head out.” Darren said and walked to his red Toyota truck with Jensen following behind all the while Jensen was sort of scared. What would his mother do to him once he finds out he’s home.

“You know I can see that scared look on your face.” Jensen looked over at his brother and smiled.

“What scared look?” He tried to play it cool, but from the sound of his unsteady voice didn’t help.

“Oh come on. I’m your big brother, I knew that look every time I came around to kick your ass.” Jensen turned away from his brother’s grin, and caught sight of his childhood home and his mother sitting on the porch drinking lemonade with a book.

“We’re here!” Darren announced with amusement as he got out of his truck and walked to Momma.

Jensen just sat there for a while. Okay, his mother knew he was in jail, she accepted that, but when she found out he was in town for over a week and didn’t come to visit her. Well, all hell was about to break loose.

When Darren gave Momma a hug Jensen decided that it was time to get out of the truck and be a man. Of course, he was a man running to his momma, but still a man.

Jensen stood tall as he walked over to his mother, and she gave him a big hug. Sighing in relief he hugged her back.

“Jensen, my special boy, I’ve missed you so much.” She whispered, but as quickly as she said that she let him go. He assumed that she didn’t know a thing about him being back, and with Darren.

With a smile, she took the dishrag that was slung over her shoulder, and quickly whipped it at his arm. Jensen felt the sting of the towel on his arm, and was shocked at the thought of his mother hitting him. Not even as a child was he hit. Darren was always the bad child and got the spanking not Jensen.

“Ouch! Momma! What the hell was that for?” That got him another whip of the towel to his arm.

“Don’t you cuss at me boy! You’re in enough trouble as it is.” Okay clearly she knew that he’s been back for a week.

“I’m sorry, I should have told you sooner, but I was afraid.” She looked like she was going to hit him, but instead sighed and relax.

“I wonder why.” Darren muttered under his breath, but Momma heard him as she pointed her finger in his face.

“You wanna be next boy?” Darren put his hands up to surrender. It was funny seeing a thirty-two year old man scared of his mother.

Momma finally put her finger down and sighed. She looked frustrated with her boys, but she never stayed like that too long.

“Well, get your butts in the house so we don’t frighten the neighbors.” Darren looked at Jensen as they walked into their childhood home. Momma was right behind them so they wouldn’t be able to say anything. It was like being a child in trouble.

“Okay Jensen, start explaining.” She finally said after they sat at the wooden kitchen table. The kitchen was home style Texas with fresh roses as a center piece on the table, a cabinet filled with old dishes and small statues of chickens and roosters. It was home.

“Well, I came back about a week ago, and didn’t tell you because I was afraid you’d have so much shame towards me that you wouldn’t talk to me.” Okay well, that was part of it. The bigger part was people finding out he was back, and talking about him. He couldn’t handle that right away.

“Jensen, to be honest with you, you can be a real idiot sometimes, but you have a heart of gold. That’s why you should know that I would never be ashamed of you because you wouldn’t do something bad without a reason.”

Jensen looked over at Darren with a grin. Darren was waiting for this big argument to happen, but he never got it.

“I hate to break up this love fest, but Chelsea we have to talk about a situation Hope just told me about.” He watched his mother sigh at his stepfather Tony, but smiled at her sons.

“I’ll make some lunch for you boys when I come back.” She said before turning away to walk with Tony. Tony was the best guy for momma. He loved her so much that he could see it in his eyes, and felt it when he talked to her or even about her.

The man was tall and muscular for a man his age. He had blondish hair with gray running through it. He wore only jeans and a gray muscle shirt.

“I wonder what that was about.” Darren said with a questioning look on his face.

“I was hoping you knew something, but it seems a little odd. I have never seen Tony with that look on his face.” Tony’s face was panicked. He seemed like he didn’t know what to do. Tony was always a man who knew every answer to every question.

“Yeah I know. What do you think is going on?”

“I really have no clue.” It was the truth. The family was never private with situations. They were usually discussed at a family meeting. Something was going on.


A few minutes had passed, and Momma and Tony walked into the kitchen not looking happy, but eventually Tony smiled at the sight of Jensen.

“Hey boy, when did you get back?”

“Last week, I’ve been staying with Darren.” He heard his momma sigh as she moved to the refrigerator.

“Are you going to continue staying with Darren?” Tony asked with a smile.

“Yeah, for a couple of days then I’ll move back into my apartment.”


Momma moved to the table and handed out the sandwiches for lunch and tried to escape quickly, but Jensen’s step-father caught her wrist before she could move away.

“Did you hear that Chelsea? Jensen is going to move back into his apartment in a couple of days.” Jensen was confused. Was there something wrong with his apartment?

“You’re pushing it Tony.”

“You have to tell him, honey.” He looked between his mother and Tony as they had their private little conversation in front of him.

“What’s wrong with my apartment?” That apartment was his since he was eighteen. He had many good ‘situations’ there with girls, and it was his first party house. He didn’t want to hear something bad that happened.

“Jensen, I have a . . . friend who’s staying in your apartment until she can get on her own feet. She’s been through a lot, has no money, and no family.” His apartment had his mother’s friend living in it. His dream home and pretty much his life, and his mother’s friend is living in it.

“When were you going to tell me about this ‘friend’?”

“About the same time you were going to tell me that you were home.” Ouch that stung a little bit. He didn’t like the fact that he made his momma upset.

“Can you tell me what her name is?”

“Rebecca.” Lists of names ran through his head but he didn’t know any Rebecca’s.

“How long is she staying?” He could handle a woman living in his party house for a couple of weeks. That wasn’t a problem. Hell she might even clean up the place.

“As long as she likes, but knowing you and how big of a mess you make she might have a hard time getting comfortable. She seems to be a very nice woman who likes her home to be clean.”

“Wait, she seems like a nice woman? You don’t even know her?” That alarmed him. Some random woman who no one knew was living in his apartment!

“I know her . . . kind of . . .” His mother tried to escape into the living room, but Jensen got in front of her before she could get a foot in.

“You let a stranger into my home?”

“She needed help Jensen, I’m helping her.” She stood firm in her place with pride while her hands were placed on her hips.

“Where’s her family?”

“I don’t know, but there not here for her right now. So, I’m going to take care of her.” With that she pushed Jensen out of the way and walked into the other room. He just stared at her in awe as she left and didn’t even notice when Tony stood next to him.

“I don’t understand why she wants to take care of everyone.”

“Because that’s how your momma is. Everyone in need comes before her.” Tony said with a sigh.

Jensen knew he was right, and also understood why she was like that. When she was in her early twenties something bad happened to her and no one was there to take care of her or help her. So she helps everyone who she thinks needs it.

God bless her soul for that.

It was nice of Hope to take Rebecca to the mall if there weren’t about two hundred people who were staring at her. It was awkward and she can tell that this was a small town and a lot of people talked. She could hear it now, ‘Oh my God, did you see that new girl at the mall who walked around with those bruises on her face? She must’ve been beaten a lot, and oh she was walking around town with Hope.’

She hated feeling judged. She hated people in her life all they did was hurt her emotionally and physically.

“So, underwear and socks, or shirts and shorts?” The question threw her off. She had to remember what she was there for. To shop not to worry about what the locals think. Who knew how long she was going to be there for.

“Shirts and shorts we’ll save the underwear for last.” For underwear and socks she didn’t have to try on she just had to find her size. It would be simple.

“Okay, well there’s a store just up ahead where I shop.” Great she would be stuck wearing the shortest shorts ever made and skin tight tank tops. Not that it looked bad on Hope or even her for that fact, but with the scars and bruises that covered her body she didn’t feel very comfortable.

“Okay . . .” She trailed off at that point. She didn’t want to show off her scars and bruises so maybe a nice long sleeve shirt would look nice.

As they walked in the store her hopes kind of finding a long sleeve shirt dropped. She looked around and looked at all the clothes and not one shirt was long enough to cover at least her shoulder.

“Uh . . . Hope, none of these clothes has long sleeves or jeans.”

“Well, what did you expect? You’re in Texas now.” She said with a laugh and made her way to one of the racks dragging Rebecca along.

She held up a short sleeved, blue T-shirt, with a sparkly design, and a pair of daisy duke shorts. “You’re about my size so this will do . . . and this . . . Oh and this.” She went on and on picking out numerous clothes until she couldn’t hold anymore.

“Well honey, I think this is all you’ll probably need for now, so why don’t you try this on.”

“Oh . . . um well . . .” Hope handed her the clothes with a smile, but Rebecca wasn’t too sure she wanted to try these things on.

“Sweetheart, I’m not buying them until I know for sure they fit.” Although it seemed ignorant it wasn’t. The way she said it was sweet with that Texas accent pouring in.

“Okay, but you don’t need to buy these clothes for me anyway. I can wear mine until I can afford to buy myself the clothes.”

“Rebecca, you have one set of clothes and are borrowing my shoes, which is not a problem, I want you to be comfortable.” The truth was Rebecca wasn’t comfortable. She was scared and felt dirty. She needed and wanted the clothes.

“Okay.” She said and went straight into the women’s dressing room with Hope following behind her.

As she stripped the old clothes from her body in the dressing room stall she heard Hope tapping her foot in wonder before she started asking questions.

“So, you’re from Pennsylvania? What made you hop on a bus with no shoes and only five dollars in your pocket?”

“It’s a really long story.” She pulled on a pink blouse that was in the pile of clothes and stepped into a pair of shorts before walking out and showing Hope. When she was given the thumbs up she walked back in the stall.

“Well, you don’t have family, or a husband?” The word husband made Rebecca cringe in fear as she stripped from the newer clothes and into another outfit.

“I had a husband, but he’s . . . dead.” It wasn’t a lie. To her he might as well be dead, and he was dead to her.

“Oh I’m so sorry, did you have any children?” Rebecca was just standing in her bra when she heard the question. She looked down at her belly and wanted to cry. All she ever wanted was a child to call her own. Someone to love and take care of the way she never was, but never got the chance.

“No.” It was a straight answer as she put on her clothes and grabbed the pile. She walked out to Hope. “Everything fits. I think we should check out.”

About half an hour later they had the clothes checked out and in the back of Hope’s car. They were on their way to Rebecca’s new apartment and it had been silent most of the way until Hope started to speak up.

“Rebecca, I’m sorry if I asked the wrong questions, but I was just curious about what happened to you and I want to help you.”

At first she was shocked, but suddenly relaxed when she realized it was for the good of her. “It’s okay. I just have a hard time talking about it.” The truth was she couldn’t think of a story to tell anyone, well one that was any good.

“Can you tell me what happened?” Rebecca didn’t know how to answer, but had to think of a story quick. She pretty much had nothing, not a damn thing at all to tell this woman. She pretty much thought that no one would care for her, and she would be on her own for pretty much the rest of her life. So she pretty much pulled a story out of her ass.

“My husband died, and left me his savings which was thousands. My in-laws didn’t like it very much and we went to court to take it away from me. They won and I lost and all I had was ten dollars. I was walking to the bus when two men came up and mugged me. They saw I didn’t have any money and took my shoes.” That wasn’t even close to the truth, but hopefully it would hold, but it didn’t seem like it was working.

“Oh. That’s it?” She was expecting more and she understood why. She came to the restaurant bruised and bloody, but that’s all that was all that happened. Yeah right if she was Hope she would be dragging out information.

“Well, there’s more, but I don’t feel comfortable telling you right now.” Rebecca concluded as they pulled into her new apartment.

Apparently this apartment was Hope’s step-brother and he hasn’t been around in a while, so in agreement with Hope and Chelsea she received the beautiful apartment. Well after cleaning it that is.

“You know Rebecca, I really hope you tell me the truth and sometime soon too.”

She didn’t know what to say to Hope. She didn’t know if she could tell anyone what happened because of the shame.

“What do you mean, that is the truth?”

“You are so full of yourself and you know it. You know I’m going to figure it out and I can get it from you or just find out on my own.”

Rebecca became alarmed she didn’t want her getting Hope into her life God only knows what she would find and what people would be after her.

“No, please that’s my story.”

“Yeah right, but I’m gonna figure it out.”


*******************************************


Jensen sat in his brother’s empty house. Darren had a business call and had to go out to the house he was paid to work on.

The empty house had him thinking about the woman in his apartment. Was she taking care of the place? Did she change his party home into a feminine home? Was she going to claim it as hers and not let him back in?

He needed answers and the only way to get them was to go over and talk to her himself because sure as hell his mother wasn’t giving her the answers he needed.

Getting off the couch, he headed to the guest room in nothing but his jeans, and went straight to the closet and pulled on an old ‘Harley Davidson’ t-shirt thinking about everything his mother had told him during lunch.

The woman, Rebecca, was a girl who needed a lot of help, but didn’t seem to think she did. This Rebecca had nowhere to go, so his mother said to move into his apartment.

He knew his mother always felt the need to help people who needed it, but he was afraid that one day his mother would get played and would lose trust in people and also a lot of money.

After putting on his shoes, he headed to his motorcycle that was hidden in the garage. He had so much pride in that thing since he pretty much made it himself and the help of a friend.

“Awe baby, I missed you.” He said with a smile while feeling ridiculous that he was talking to his motorcycle, but it’s been a week since he rode it and it was stuck sitting in his brother’s unclean garage, and that was torture in Jensen’s head.

Hopping on the bike he turned on the engine and listened to the sound of it roaring. With a smile he drove out of the garage and headed into town. He watched as the town people stared at him like he just committed a murder, but that was expected. He wasn’t exactly the number one guy to hang around with, but what could he do? Hide out in his brother’s house for the rest of his life? Sorry, but that’s not how he runs his life.

After a ten minute ride he reached his apartment. Getting off his bike he walked from the parking lot to the apartment building. It was the same as it was a couple of years ago and to Jensen that was clean and organized with up to date furniture, and pictures of beautiful fields and sunlight it was all welcoming.

Not even stopping at the front desk, he continued down the hall until he was to room thirteen. Since he assumed that it would be rude to just barge in on the poor woman. What if she was showering or doing something embarrassing. That would be horrible for both him and the old woman. At least he was assuming she was older. His mother didn’t usually associate with the younger crowd unless she knew them well.

“Um . . . who is it?” Her voice didn’t seem to sound old, but scared. Who was she expecting to come knocking on the door? Some stranger to tear up the place and destroy is getaway home. He was panicking, he could always be wrong. He was most of the time anyway.

“Hello uh . . . I’m Jensen, Jensen Howard. I hate to bother you, but well you’re sort of living in my apartment, and I was just wondering if . . .”

“Oh, of course, come in!” She interrupted him, and at first he didn’t listen and just stood there.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, sir, I’m positive.” She called him sir. He thought with a smile before walking in. His smirked turned into shock when he found the woman who lived in his apartment. He found that the woman was not old at all, but instead a beautiful young woman. She sat on his same old leather couch with the TV turned low. She was wearing an old black T-shirt that said Live Strong in bold pink letters. It was over-sized but in a way looked good on her. He couldn’t see her shorts under that t-shirt, but caught sight of those long, slender, tan legs. Her hair was long and dark brown that hung passed her shoulders in perfect curls.

She stood up and walked to him with a beautiful smile on her face, but also a cut on her forehead. It made him wonder what happened.

“Hello Mr. Howard, my name is Rebecca Blake. Thank you so much for letting me stay in your home. You don’t realize how much this means to me.”

“You’re very welcome. I just came to check you out; you know make sure you weren’t a psychotic killer or anything like that.” He stopped talking long enough to look at the room. Everything was in its right place. It was just a bit cleaner and straighter than it was before, and it also had that woman smell to it.

He thought it would be a bad thing, but the truth was he loved it. He looked back at Rebecca with a big smile on his face, and realizing that there was nothing wrong with this woman at all.

“I hope I’m all cleared.” She said with a slight nervous laugh. Maybe she was hiding something, but he couldn’t see a girl like her causing any damage.

“Well, I as long as you didn’t kill anybody I think your fine.” He said while raising an eyebrow.

“Oh, no, no, no, I couldn’t do anything like that, and I didn’t.” He smiled at her as her face became red with embarrassment.

“It was a joke.” Her frazzled face became a smile with a nod of her head and a roll of her eyes.

“Right a joke. Would you like to sit down, and I’ll get you something to drink?” She was one hell of a hostess he never heard his sister offer anything like that to any of her guest.

“If you don’t mind I had a long ride.” She led him to the couch and went to the kitchen. He was comfortable, and relaxed after that ride. He did enjoy the ride, he did but it was a long time since he felt relaxed like this. He felt like he was home.

After a moment she walked out with two bottles of beer in her hands both being Miller Lite which was his favorite kind.

“This is . . . “

“Your favorite kind? Yeah I kinda figured when I saw the bottles on the floor.” She interrupted as she handed him a bottle and sat across from him on the loveseat.

“Yeah, sorry you had to see the mess, and you didn’t have to buy this kind of beer.”

“Well, I don’t usually drink beer, but when I do I just usually drink anything and since this is your home I wanted to get something you enjoyed so I picked this kind out.” He looked at the bottle and back to her and smiled.

“You know, this is your home too you use whatever you like and buy the food you love. Don’t worry about it.”

“You don’t even know me why . . .”



“Because my mother let you into my home, and if she thinks you have a reason then I trust her, but you gotta tell me something about yourself.” He watched her play with her hands as he took a sip of his beer.”

“Well my name is Rebecca and I’m from Pennsylvania.” She said with a shrug and took a sip of her own beer.

“Pennsylvania? That’s a long way from home, what made you come here?”

“Um . . . A new start.” If he knew her better he would cheers to that, and hug her while telling her his whole life story, but he didn’t which made him sit there limp in his chair.

“Yeah, me too.” He said with a half-smile, but she just looked at him in question.

“What does that mean?” She tilted her head to the side with a full smile, and her hair fell to the side showing off the cut on her forehead that started to bleed. Setting down his beer he ran to the kitchen and back before she could move.

“What are you . . .” She trailed off as he used the paper towel he found in the kitchen to put on her bleeding head. She hissed in pain which followed by a curse under her breath.

“What happened?” He didn’t mean to sound harsh but he couldn’t stop it.

“I fell on the bus.” She didn’t sound annoyed but more like she was thinking.

“What bus?” He pulled the paper towel away from her head and saw that the bleeding had stopped, but realized he had no first-aid kit so he could bandage it and clean it.

Instead of answering him she got up and moved to the bathroom after a minute or so she came back with a band aid on the cut.

“Sorry about that it’s always breaking open and bleeding.”

“That’s alright. Where did you get the band aid?” She smiled at him being confused.

“Hope took me shopping.” His sister Hope? She never took him shopping. He was getting jealous that his family paid more attention to a complete stranger that him, but he could see why.

“Right, Hope.” He would have to have a talk with his sister later, but now he needed to go home to bed. Everything was tiring now a days and sleep sounded good right now.

“Yeah, she’s been a great help. I hope everything is okay?” He looked at her again and wondered who in the hell made her be considerate of others but not of herself?

“Everything looks fine, now what bus?”

“Oh I came on a traveling bus here.” A traveling bus, what girl didn’t have a car?

“You came here from Pennsylvania on a traveling bus?”

“You know you look like your mom when you say it like that.” His mom? Well that’s not the best compliment he ever received, but hell he’ll take it.

“Yeah did she looked this shocked to because how long is it from there to here?” She smiled at his question.

“Fifteen long hours.”

“Fifteen hours, you’re joking right?” He said with a yawn.

“Tired? Listen why don’t you go home and we’ll talk some other time.” She asked with that smile that could kill. It was perfect.

“Yeah, you know I better get going.” She stood up when he did, and lead him to the door. She truly was a good host. She even opened the door for him.

“It was great meeting you, and I hope I can see you again sometime.” He said as he walked into the hallway of the apartment.

“Same here, Jensen, have a good night.” With that she closed the door and Jensen left feeling like a lucky man to get to talk to Rebecca.

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Rebecca sat in the ‘Home Styled’ restaurant where of course Hope and Chelsea forced her to sit and watched as thy scrambled around with food and orders from people. They never once looked frazzled but instead always had a smile on their faces. Rebecca couldn’t understand why both because the place was packed, and they needed help.

When the girls were at the tables she watched as the breakfast special sat at the counter waiting to be eaten by a customer. She looked around but everyone seemed to be so busy, so she got up and went to the counter grabbed the plate and took it to table six.

“Here you go sir.” She said with a smile to the elder man who sat at the table. The man looked angry as he looked down at the newspaper. “Is there anything else I can get you?”

“Are these eggs done enough, young lady?” She looked down at his plate and looked at the eggs that lay on the plate. They looked totally fine to her all though she wasn’t used to anything else but homemade meals prepared by herself.

“I believe so sir.” She watched as he put the scrambled egg in his mouth and chew with a smile on his face. “So, how is it?”

“Great, thank you young lady, and your name is?”

“Rebecca!” Hope shrieked as she went over to her and the man. “What are you doing you know that momma is going to have a fit when she sees you working and . . .”

A pound on the table in front of them had Hope shutting her mouth. Both women looked at the man sitting there not so happy.

“Excuse me ladies, I am trying to eat here and have a conversation with Rebecca, and Hope you know better than to interrupt me.”

“But Mr. Hogan Rebecca is . . .”

“Leave us.” He interrupted her yet again, but this time she didn’t say anything, but instead gave a slight nod and walked away.

“Now, please, take a seat.” Rebecca did has she was told, but not because it was ordered like usual but because she wanted to.

“You know you look like my wife, very beautiful, very smart, and very kind-hearted.” As he said it her looked said, but there was a look of pride in his eyes. “She died two years ago, but never lost her spirit not even as she lay on that hospital bed. I was a mess, but she told me everything would be okay, and that you would come here.”

“How would she know?”

“She said an angel would show up right here in this diner and talk to me and show me everything would be okay. She said that her very own angel saw me and told my wife to tell me.” She wanted to cry and go into a dark corner, but for some reason she couldn’t. She took Mr. Hogan by the hand and gave it a little squeeze.

“Your wife is looking over you and smiling because she’s so proud of you, and she loves you so much, and she knows you’re doing a great job with taking care of everything.”

Mr. Hogan began to shake and cry. “Thank you. Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome, please take care.” Rebecca got up and walked away from the table with pride and happiness that Mr. Hogan would be with peace.

That pride and happiness turned into a deep hole in her stomach as she stared out the window and saw a black hybrid SUV. That was the car her husband drives. Had he found her?

She turned and began walking quickly towards the kitchen where there was a back door that she went through this morning. She looked behind her through the window and luckily no one has gotten out yet. Maybe she would get away again.

Suddenly she was on her back on the ground, and was ready to cry because that damn floor was hard.

“Rebecca, are you alright.” She looked up and saw Jensen standing above her with wide eyes and concern, but instead of answering him she jumped to her feet, and tried to run but he caught her arm before she could move a step.

“You have to let me go he’s . . .” She stammered off as she looked out the window. The man that was inside the car slowly climbed out as Rebecca’s heart pounded in such fear as she looked at the man’s face and saw that it wasn’t her husband at all, but some stranger she didn’t know at all.

Her breathing and heart rate slowed as she looked up at Jensen who looked completely confused, and she realized how close she was to him.

“Who and what’s going on?” His grip softens as he looked her over with his dark eyes. She was about to answer him, but Chelsea appeared and she looked mad.

“Rebecca, are you okay? You don’t look so good.” Chelsea put a hand on her forehead to check for a fever, and sighed in relief.

“You don’t have a fever, but honey you look white. Maybe you should go back to the apartment. I’ll get Hope and she can drive you.”

“No,” Jensen said softly to his mother as she turned away, “I’ll take her home, and stay to keep an eye on her.” Rebecca looked into his eyes, and she was confused. This man didn’t even know her but wanted to take care of her?

“Jensen, its fine Hope can take me.”

“Hope’s busy and someone needs to watch you. You aren’t looking too good.” She saw something in his eyes it looked like confusion, but it softened and turned into something else. Almost soft.

“I don’t feel too good but I’m more than happy to take care of myself.” Once again Chelsea stepped in.

“No way, Jensen take that girl home to get some rest. I’ll be there when your father comes.”

“Yes momma.” He took Rebecca by the hand and dragged her out of the restaurant. Surprisingly she went kicking and screaming usually she was the quiet girl, but I guess that’s what happens when you pretty much take the girl unwillingly out of a restaurant.

“What the hell did you do that for?”

“Because I was told to, and when did you break out of your shell?”

“Since a guy a barely even know drags me out of a restaurant like a damn misbehaved child.” She yelled and dropped her head as though she were ashamed. Jensen looked down and caught sight of her hands shaking horribly until she brought them to her face and slowly dragged them down.

Why did she assume she did something wrong when all she did was put him in his place? Why was there so much fear in those beautiful brown eyes?

“I’m sorry; I’ll just go with you.” He opened the door to his truck and helped her in. On his way around to the driver’s side he couldn’t help, but think what had this girl gone through, and how could he help her?

“Ready?” He asked her when she got in the car, but she just nodded with a cold pale look on her face.

The ride was quiet and seemed to take forever, but there was something inside the car that had a sense of fear in it, and it was Rebecca.

“Are you going to talk to me, again?” He asked as he pulled into the parking lot of the apartment. She looked at her hands as she did the whole ride home.

“Am I allowed?” She whispered with a c rack in her voice.

“Why wouldn’t you be?” He asked, and she was already out of the truck and walking inside the building. After taking a deep breath he followed her inside, by the time he was upstairs she was inside with the bedroom door closed.

Walking to the living room he removed his jacket and laid it on the sofa before moving to the medicine cabinet in the bathroom grabbed two aspirins, and filled up a glass of water.
Moving to Rebecca’s room which was the guest room he caught sight of her laying in her bed.

She looked so peaceful that he didn’t want to disturb her so he quietly placed the pills and water on the nightstand. As he turned around to leave he caught sight of those beautiful dark eyes staring up at him.

“You seemed like you had a headache in the truck so I brought you some aspirins.”

“I’m sorry for the way I reacted back at the restaurant. I shouldn’t have yelled at you I mean I am kind of living in your apartment, and it was wrong of me.”

Jensen was stunned; he lived with his mother and sister for so many years that he was just use to getting yelled at for being an idiot, but now he had a woman apologizing to him because he was an idiot? It just didn’t make sense.

“Don’t apologize, seriously you did nothing wrong.”

“But it was wrong.”
“Nothing about yelling at me was wrong. Now you just rest for a bit, I’m going into the living room to watch TV. Holler if you need something.” He left the room before she could say any other excuse or apologize.

Sitting on the couch in the living room her turned on the TV and watched a special on creating motorcycles, but he couldn’t keep his mind off Rebecca. It wasn’t just about how attractive she was, but why she was so afraid of everyone.

Who could of scared her that bad that she was terrified of all people and didn’t trust anyone who came near her or tried to help her? Why was she always apologizing for something that she didn’t do?

The thoughts led him off in a deep sleep full of dreams of Rebecca and he had to say, not all of them were bad.



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