Aftermath (by Rhae Janova)
Introduction I drove furiously down the road, while my reddish-brown hair blew wildly in the wind, I screamed to the songs on the radio trying to drown out the thoughts storming inside my head, as tears threatened to fall down my face. I had no idea where we were going, or what to do from here. All I knew now was I could not go back, never again… "Mom…" A small voice rose from the back seat, "I'm hungry." I adjusted the mirror to see two children with sad worried blue eyes looking at me, then I turned down the radio. "It's going to be okay guys." I said trying to convince myself more than them." I'll stop and get us something soon." I stopped at the next fast-food restaurant and ordered two kids’ meals with large drinks, then I proceeded to drive until dark. We spent the night at a rest stop. I slept lightly keeping watch over the children, waking completely to every noise, finally I dreamed...
I awoke fighting for air. He had come into my dreams and choked me. It felt so real as I rubbed the bruises on my neck which was still sore from when he hurt me last time... Then memories flooded my mind. I had loved him so much my heart still longed for him despite the pain he caused me again and again...
I worked at a small restaurant in a small town as a shift lead. I was stocking cups for the front counter, "Rhae," a high-pitched voice made me look up from my work, "This is Vince, and you are going to train him." A tall muscular man with blue eyes and short blondish brown hair towered over the short stocky manager that had short black hair and dark black eyes. I stepped back a few feet intimidated by his size. I have always been a bit skittish around men. I gathered myself, balled my fist then nodded, "Okay the first thing we should try to learn is the front register, and at the front register your job is to keep the front areas stocked, clean, take orders from customers and fill drinks." The shift went by quickly and smoothly. At the end of my shift, I slid into my green Geo Storm and drove to the trailer park where I lived with my boyfriend of three years, Steve, and my young daughter Kyra Septh, she has my brown hair and eyes.
I started dating him in high school, where I also worked as a janitor. I liked him because he was short and scrawny so I felt like he would not be a threat if he tried to hurt me. I pulled up to the small two-bedroom one bath trailer house I was buying. Inside Steve stared at the tv, his unkempt greasy hair made him look homeless. Once again, he didn't help with the chores even though he didn't work. I sighed, then proceeded to clean the house and cook dinner. After I had finished the chores and put Kyra in bed, I relaxed a little in my room. I was alone again, this has become normal for me, I liked Steve... but I longed for something more.
Life went on normally, but I was starting to think Vince was cute and funny. He often made me laugh, and gave me something to look forward to, but I felt guilty because I had a boyfriend (who of course he was more like a roommate at this point). One night I desperately craved the touch of a man, specifically, Steve. I wanted him to hold me, kiss me, love me.
I finished my chores, bathed well, and shaved, then got dressed in nothing but a long tee shirt that barely covered my butt. I walked up behind him, pressed my breast firmly on his back, then started passionately and longingly kissing his neck and ears. I whispered in his ear, "Let's go to the room." My voice and body pleaded for his touch, so I couldn't avoid sounding pitiful and desperate. "But my shows!" He whined and pulled away as if he was disgusted by me. I sighed and walked to hide in my room, where I - collapsed on the bed crying. I was mad because I pretty much took care of him for years, because he never wanted to work and when he did it was only for a few days. It was clear he used me, on top of that he hardly helped with the chores... I was also sad because this meant he didn't like me or even care for me, and I knew now it was over.