Fai

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Cheers team tiny peppers today I have for you another chapter from my upcoming book. This chapter will follow directly after Char’s chapter.  (TRIGGER WARNING) This chapter deals with domestic violence.  I have chosen not to chronicle the violence itself, but instead what follows and some flash back.  I have also chosen not to describe the abuser Mitch because his character is of no significance and does not deserve description.  I had a hard time choosing that characters name because it felt like I would be maligning someone undeservedly.  I just ended up choosing a name I don’t care for.  Post # 5 for Nano Poblano done! Enjoy.

Fai

Through blood streaked golden blond strands and tears Fai fingers the raised numbers of the card she was given and contemplates making the call that might save her life. She wrestles with the guilt, shame, and hopelessness of the situation.  No one knows. Who would believe her?  She remembers the good times and wonders how it has gotten this bad? He slowly and insidiously turned up the heat, giving her just enough crumbs of good to keep her clinging to the belief that it would get better, or go back to the way it was in the beginning. She’s been gas lit for so long that she believes half the crap he feeds her, and has a difficult time trusting her own judgment. The call could end her life too if they don’t get there in time.  Even if they do he promised to find her and kill her should she ever try to leave. Paralyzed with fear she returns the card to its hiding place, cleans herself up, and commences with the household chores and dinner in preparation for his arrival.  Tonight will be better she tells herself. She’ll make everything just the way he likes it and things will get back to normal.

Fai comes to in the kitchen several hours later. She’s bleeding from her nose and mouth, and her head aches fiercely. She does her best to recollect what happened. How long had she been unconscious? She listens for Mitch’s where-abouts in the house but hears nothing.  He’s either passed out or has left. He was already toasted when he came home which was unusual.  It doesn’t take long for the images to flood her brain of the perfect dinner gone wrong.  She wore his favorite dress, soft blue like her eyes he said. The modest cleavage he had previously adored was suddenly the reason for him calling her a whore, and accusing her of fancying herself up for someone other than him.  It didn’t matter what the truth was, it never did. He just needed an excuse to strike her.  There were broken dishes and pieces of his favorite fried chicken dinner strewn about the floor.  She ponders if she can get to the card in its hiding place, and where she might hide until help arrives. When she attempts to move searing pain in her ankle stops her from standing.  Mitch appears to be gone. She crawls to where the card is hidden and with shaky hands dials the number to the shelter hotline.  She doesn’t remember the conversation, it is all a blur. She waits terrified on the floor by the door for help to arrive. When a non descript white van pulls up in front of the house, she opens the door and a shelter team carry her to the van and they speed away toward safety.  A kind woman on the shelter team assesses her condition and suggests they get medical treatment, but Fai is terrified to go to the hospital because Mitch will find her.  They clean her up and wrap her ankle. They have a doctor who comes to the shelter but he won’t be available till the following day.  Fai is wheeled into the shelter just as the evening staff is arriving.  When Fai looks up and sees her sister Char, she is simultaneously horrified and relieved.

Char

Dani's Kern River Glass water

Cheers team tiny peppers. I have for you today post #2 for Nano Poblano. This is another chapter from the book I am writing introducing you to the character Char. The chapters I’m sharing are in no particular order since I haven’t written enough of them to have an order, and there are 18 main characters to introduce. Each chapter is meant to be a mini story in and of itself and at the end they are linked and you can see the bigger picture and the big reveal. Big family. LOL Without further ado…

Char

Char sits with white knuckles clenching the steering wheel of her faded yellow Volvo, as she watches her daughters exit the front steps of their middle school.  Honey and Chasey seem happy as they chatter excitedly amongst their friends. Tears roll down her cheeks as she peers at them through dirty blond disheveled hair.  With shaky fingers she dials her cell phone and waits for an answer.  Hello, Isabel’s voice answers in a familiar comforting melody.  Mom, they don’t even miss me Char sobs on the other end.  Sweetheart, you know that’s not true, Isabel responds in her best efforts to console her daughter.  They’re children Char, they deserve to be children.  Of course they miss you; they’re just coping the best way they know how.  You and Bastian need to work this out between you and try to involve them as little as possible.  He’s made his wishes clear mom there will be no reconciliation.  He wants a divorce without delay. Surely he cannot believe this is in the best interest of the girls? Isabel exclaims.  He called me a bleeding hear-ted martyr, mom. He says I am so consumed with my causes that I have forsaken my family’s well being, especially the girls.  Char, Isabel says cautiously, is there something you’re not telling me?  Char’s sobbing turns to a muted wail now, I… I took out a loan … against the house, and I … I … forged Bastian’s signature on some bank withdrawals, and he found out.  It would never have happened if he had only been more reasonable in the first place! Char how could you? Isabel demands.  Mom, we can afford it, and there are so many who are in need, how could I not?  Mom he is spoiling them rotten, they have everything and they are so ungrateful!  Char… I don’t think he gives to them in excess.  Char, Isabel says softly, you can only lead by example and hope their hearts will mirror your own at some point, but you cannot force them to feel as you do.  They are good girls Char.  I know mom, it’s all such a mess now.  Bastian won’t even talk to me without the lawyers present.  He’s cut me off from all of our bank accounts and reduced me to a minuscule spending allowance.  Oh Char I had no idea it had come to this, why didn’t you tell me sooner?  I couldn’t let you down mom” Char’s wailing is more audible now.  Now now, of course you are not letting me down, where are you staying?  I have a small studio near town, Bastian pays for it directly.  Char you can always stay with us, you know that.  I know mom, but I don’t want to intrude. I knew you would offer that is partly why I didn’t tell you sooner.  I am fine, just having a difficult day.  Sweetheart where are you? Isabel asks.  I am at the girl’s school.  Don’t worry, they don’t know I am here; I just had to see them.  I’ll be more together when I pick them up for the weekend I promise.  I got to go mom, I am late for the shelter.  Alright sweetheart, but you call me if you need anything, okay?  I will mom, thanks for listening, talk to you soon, I love you.  Char hangs up her cell phone and puts her head down on the steering wheel and continues to sob.  Startled by a tap on the window Char raises her head to see her daughter Honey standing outside the glass.  She wipes her eyes as she quickly rolls the window down. What are you doing here? Honey demands.  I… I just like to watch you girls sometimes… you know… make sure you are alright, I miss you.  Weekends just don’t seem like enough time when you are used to seeing someone every day.  You look a mess mom, it’s embarrassing Honey spats disdainfully.  I don’t think what your friends think is nearly as important as what is happening to our family, Honey. Our family would still be together if you would stop trying to give away all of dad’s hard earned money mom, Honey snaps.  It’s our money, and that really isn’t any of your concern, Char says sharply.  Just then one of Honey’s friends calls to her from the steps of the school.  I got to go mom, see you this weekend, Honey says as she runs off to join her friends. Char yells after her daughter goodbye, love you, but Honey pretends not to hear and jogs a little faster.

Bastian Sinclair a devoted husband, father and shrewd businessman meets with his attorney to discuss the settlement offer he intends to propose to his soon to be ex-wife.  Jacob Weiss dutifully shows his client into his office.  Please have a seat Mr. Sinclair.  I think you will like what I have drawn up for you. A joint custody agreement with the girls residing in your residence during the school year, and with their mother every other weekend and during summer is a pretty common shared custody arrangement.  If she contests this, you do live in close enough proximity to share 50/50, but that scenario is often difficult for the children, what with being shuffled back and forth week to week.    I don’t anticipate her contesting the proposal Mr. Weiss.  Despite her failings, she does want what’s best for the girls.  She just has trouble seeing past her causes.  I did want to caution you that the $5,000.00 per month spousal support is more than generous, and goes far beyond what is required of you Mr. Sinclair.  I have no desire to see her in ruin Mr. Weiss; she is the mother of my children.  She is a good and decent woman however misguided.  Alright then Mr. Sinclair, I’ll make the necessary arrangements.  I have also, per your instructions, set up the trust account for the girl’s college monies that only they can access once they become of age.  Bastian signs the proposal with mixed emotions.  Thank you Mr. Weiss, please let me know when she has been served and you have set up the meeting.  I will Mr. Sinclair, it shouldn’t be long.  I hope not Mr. Weiss; I would like to get this unpleasantness over with.  Bastian stands, offers a firm handshake, smiles cursorily, bids Mr. Weiss good day and walks out the door.    Sitting in his late model cream colored Lexus SUV Bastian ponders the recent years of his failing marriage and wonders why he couldn’t see this coming, and if there was anything he could have possibly done to stop it.  As reality sinks in and settles the confusion in his brain, he puts the key into the ignition, starts the car and drives away.