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Erin Grace

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Mailbox

When "K" had his sister call me, he asked a lot of questions about how "S" was, he wanted information about her because he "worried" about her too. He wanted to be sure she was "okay". Where was she going this day or that? What plans did we all have? Many times I ended up telling him. I cringe as I type that sentence but again, considering the state of mind that I was in at that time, it was as if I was on auto-pilot. I refuse to fall to the shame that I carried around, for so many years. If "S" isn't blaming me, I have to stop blaming myself.

"S" would go out somewhere and there "K" would be, watching her from afar or acting as if he just happened to be there too. We were living in a different county and when we did anything away from my mother's town, we traveled in the opposite direction of where we used to live. It was plain to see that there was more than coincidence going on.

This all went on for a couple of months. Calls, letters and lots of bike riding. He even wrote to me but had someone else address it, type it or even write it...just in case. He wouldn't sign it with his name. When "K" would meet me, he'd bring beers and offer them to me. I gladly drank them. If the place he wanted to take me was too far for me to drive, I would hide my bicycle on the side of the road or in a ditch and get in his car. No one seemed to suspect anything. All of that bike riding wasn't unusual for me, I rode for years before that, when I needed to get away from "K" and "S's" apartment. There were days when "K" would say maybe we should just take off right then and there. Start driving and never look back.

One afternoon I was in my bedroom and my mother and "S" came in. "S" looked scared. She was holding a letter and said, "What IS this?" She held up an opened envelope, with my handwriting on it. She had a funny feeling that day and decided to check the mailbox. My heart dropped. My blood went ice cold and I felt as if it was draining from my face. It was, by far, the most terrified and ashamed I have ever felt. Never before and never since, have I had such a reaction to anything. I began to sob and then start screaming. My mother was yelling at me to calm down and kept threatening to slap me to snap me out of it. I couldn't stop. I became so hysterical that my mother called the hospital. I could hear her telling them that she didn't know what to do. Could she have me hospitalized? If I didn't eventually calm down, she was told to bring me in. After a couple of hours, I began to calm down. I will never forgive myself and they will distrust me forever, I thought.

I was too ashamed to speak. That letter spoke for itself.

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