The Break of Dawn
Frank had driven all night. He could barely keep his eyes open. She had called for help and he was going to drive as long and hard as he could to get to her and take her to safety. These were dark times, but, finally, there was a break of sunlight in these troubled times. The brightness of the sun through the windshield also woke him up and kept him from falling asleep at the wheel. He needed to rest a minute. He pulled over and got out of the car to stretch his legs a bit.
Frank had tried for months to get her to leave her abusive ex, but she had been treated so badly that she couldn't trust anyone anymore... not even Frank, who had always been... well... Frank with her. In fact, she was starting to like being treated badly. It was familiar and felt like almost a form of safety to her. As long as she was with someone like her abuser, she would never have to think for herself, never have to trust her feelings and emotions, and never have to look deeply inside her heart. She would never have to feel the pain that true love can sometimes bring and would never have to be responsible for her own actions. She could just live her life out as a slave and everything would be fine. Just fine.
When she looked inside her heart, the pain of her past made her cry. She had done some things in her life of which she was ashamed. VERY ashamed. She couldn't accept the fact that she was still a good, loving, kind individual who was worthy of real love. It just didn't make sense. Besides, Frank had made some bad decisions in his life and couldn't support her in the manner which her abuser could. After all, diamonds are a girl's best friend. What did she need with real love? Love was work, after all. Real love meant real feelings and emotions. Who could deal with that? She was already an emotional wreck from the severe abuse. The last thing she needed was to feel her pain and emotions.
Finally, it happened. He beat her so badly that she ended up in the hospital from both the physical and emotional scarring. He was also paying much more attention to his girlfriends than he was to her. She didn't mind him having his affairs, but she expected SOME measure of love in return. She got very little. Where could she turn? What could she do? Who would be willing to help her after all she'd done?
She got the courage to leave the house on her own. She said that she was going for some groceries, so he allowed her to leave unsupervised. She got in the car and drove to the nearest pay phone where she would be unnoticed to give Frank a call. Would he forgive her after breaking off their relationship and cutting all contact? Had someone replaced her in his heart? She thought about it for a moment, wondering if she should even bother at this point. After bracing herself for the let-down, she decided that she at least had to give it a try.
She dug in her purse for the coins. At first she hesitated, seeing a car that she thought was familiar, but it drove on. She took a deep breath and deposited the coins into the phone. She dialed the number and it rang several times before he answered. He did answer, though.
"Hello, Frank," she said.
"Hello... who is this?" asked Frank. "I don't recognize this number," he said tiredly just waking up from his nap.
"You don't even know who this is?" she screamed as she broke down crying.
"Sarah!" his voice beamed. "How wonderful to hear from you again. I thought I'd NEVER hear from you again in my LIFE."
"Well, I have a problem," said Sarah.
"Of course she did. Why else would she call," thought Frank. Frank took a deep breath and regained his composure. "You know I'm always here for you whenever you need me," he said.
"Frank, I need you to come get me," Sarah replied.
"Are you sure this time," he asked.
"Yes, very sure. I have to get out of here NOW. Please don't be mad. Please help me, Frank," she pleaded.
"You know I could never stay mad at you. I'd do anything you asked of me if it were within my power to fulfill it," said Frank in a loving tone. He knew that she didn't much like it when he talked this way, but he didn't care. If she was going to accept his help, she was going to have to accept him as he was.
"How am I going to get out of this? What am I going to bring? How can I sneak anything out of the house with him watching all the time," she bothered.
"Does he let you wear clothing," he asked.
"Yes, you prick! If you're going to be that way..." she exclaimed angrily.
Frank interrupted, "That's all you need. We'll take everything else as it comes. I have everything you'll need right here. I have extra computers, plenty of food, and a bed in the spare room if that's where you'd like to sleep. Just tell me where you want me to pick you up and what time."
She and Frank discussed all the arrangements they needed for her to make her escape. She went back home and tried to think of some way to distract her abuser so she could make her way out the door in case he woke up. Frank would be there the next morning at the break of dawn.
Copyright © 2008 Cal Jennings