Wrong Side of Town Ch. 02byTail End Pete©
Thanks to all comments on my stories. This one is going to take a while to get through, so please don't be discouraged.
They sat staring at each other for an eternity, but was about a minute in real time. She nervously ran her fingers through her hair and sat up a little straighter on the seat. George could see a couple of old bruises around her jaw line, probably from being slapped around. She didn't look to be in really bad shape, or at least nothing that a change of clothes and a bath couldn't help clear up. A good meal probably wouldn't hurt either.
"Well," George started. "It's nice to see you again, Lynn. I hope you don't mind if I don't ask how you've been. That much is pretty obvious. Can I take you home now to get cleaned up or would you rather I took you back to your friends?"
After a moment Lynn said, "Yes, I'd like to get cleaned up and no, they weren't my friends. I suppose I should thank you for getting me out of there, even if it was your fault for putting me with them in the first place."
"Me?" George exclaimed. "I've never seen those guys before! You're the one who left after that fight we had, what, eight or nine months ago. You could have called me to come and get you any time at all.
"No, I couldn't. I don't want to get into it with you now, George. Just take me home so I can get cleaned up," she said as she turned to look out the door window. "We can talk later."
George started the truck and drove them home. Lynn went into the house, dropped her clothes on the bed, and headed into the bathroom for a shower. George went to the phone and called work saying he wouldn't be back today.
He went into the kitchen and after thinking for a moment, opened some soup cans for a light meal. He didn't know when she had last eaten and he didn't want to give her something heavy that she would throw up. He put some bread into the toaster and dug some sliced cheese out of the refrigerator for some melted cheese sandwiches.
'Good,' he thought. 'That's the bread, dairy, and meat food groups.' As he was putting her meal on the table, she came in with a towel wrapped around her head and wearing her old terry robe. She had the presence of mind to smile and say thank you as she sat down and began to eat. George sat in a chair at the end of the table and watched her eat. He didn't know what to think, his mind was awhirl with questions. Where had she been? Had she been hooking for those guys? Were they her pimps, or maybe just the one beating her? The other guy might have been the muscle. Or maybe he had their roles wrong. She didn't look too bad, he noted. She was eating with gusto, but she hadn't missed too many meals.
Just then she looked up at him and smiled.
Seeing the empty bowl, he jumped up and said, "Here, let me get you some more. I already ate so there is plenty more."
"Thank you again," she said. "I didn't have breakfast so I was a little hungry. May I have another sandwich, too?"
"Sure, hang on," he said as he put some more bread in the toaster. He dished up the rest of the soup and gave it to her. While she ate the soup, he put the pan in the sink to rinse out. Then he handed her the sandwich and put her dishes in the sink with the rest. He didn't run the dishwasher until after dinner anyway, so they could sit and talk.
"Ok," he started. "Are you back now? Or is this rescue just some kind of breather for you until you decide to leave again? I didn't know it was you getting beat up."
Cocking her head at him she asked, "Well, would it have mattered to you if you had known that it was me?"
After thinking for a moment, he decided and said, "No. I still would have stopped the beating. But since it was you, I would have asked what you wanted to do. As it was, I thought I would get whoever away from those guys and take it from there."
He sat back in his chair while they sat and looked at each other.
"I see," she said. "You'd rescue somebody else, but with me you would have a conversation first. Ok, that seems fair. After all, it was me who left after that last fight. I really didn't plan on staying away this long."
She looked around and said, "Let's take this into the living room." She arose and went in and sat on the end of the sofa. Her usual place when she was home.
'Old habits die hard,' he thought as he sat in the easy chair. He usually sat on the other end of the couch, but he felt he wanted to look at her as she talked.
"If it is all right with you I'd like to recap a little bit to refresh our memories," he said pausing to see her short nod. "As I remember it, your hours were cut back at work. We needed the money, but you didn't want to find another part time job. I remember you saying that when your work gave your hours back, you didn't or wouldn't like to go to the other job and quit. Is that right?"
"Yes, you remember it right. Having worked in a personnel office before we were married and moved here, I know the amount of paperwork involved in hiring and releasing employees. I didn't think it was fair to them. I was told that the reduction in hours was a temporary thing and would be called back 'soon' to my regular shift. I told you all of this, but you wouldn't listen to me."
George nodded at that and replied, "That is true. We needed the money to pay off those doctor bills. I wanted to have that money to get the truck so you could have the car."
"Yes, I see you got your truck. Where is the car, by the way?"
"You left. I only need one vehicle to get around, so I traded in the car and got the truck. It is amazing how much stuff I can haul around in it without worrying about getting the back seat dirty."
Looking stricken, she cried, "How could you trade in my car? That wasn't right. I didn't say you could trade it or sell it. What's wrong with you. You know that car was my parent's before they died and that is all I had left to remind me of them. You self-serving bastard! I'll bet you traded it in the day after our fight too, didn't you? Always have to be first and think about what you want and not my needs. You S.O.B.!"
George had moved to the edge of his seat while she was ranting and waited for her to pause and then jumped in saying, "Hey, hey, hey, now just stop it. I didn't trade it until two months ago. I was waiting for you to come back, but you were gone."
Then George hotly retorted, "I called your friends and went looking for you. I even filed a missing person report with the police. Now just back off here a little bit."
He forced himself to sit back into the chair and take a couple of deep breaths. He had always had that hot temper and he knew he needed to keep it under control before she took off on him again.
"You've been gone for over eight months. Not once did you ever call me or any friends to say you were all right. I waited six months on you and no word. I needed, not wanted but needed, a truck for work and you knew it. I haven't been doing things for me, I was doing them for us. Once we got the medical paid off and I got the truck, then I wanted to replace the car also," he stated. That pretty much recapped the arguments they'd been having.
Then he continued talking a little slower, "Yes, I know it was your parents, but it was breaking down and I was putting in dollars and getting back dimes. I traded it in on the truck after which I had money left over and I paid those medical bills. The truck is also paid off. I've gotten more work since I got that truck and I'm working on Saturdays also to get caught up."
She sat and looked at him. It had hurt a lot to see that the car was gone, but while he was talking she had finally seen the big picture. It seemed that life had continued on and they were both pretty much where he had said they would be at this point.
"Ok, I'm sorry," she said quietly. "It looks as though I really screwed up here." He didn't say anything when she paused. "So, what do we do now? What is it you want to do? What about us? Is there even an us here to discuss?"
"Well, I guess we should start with where you have been and what is it you have been doing? Who were those guys and how did you meet them? I think in order for us to go on, we need to really look at where we've been."
"That is going to take a while I think. Don't you have to get back to work though?"
"No, I called in and took off the rest of the day. Why don't you go get dressed? We can start then."
"Oh, I figured you would have thrown out all of my belongings since I've been gone so long."
"No, I didn't. I was really hoping you would be back. I just didn't know that it would take this long."
"I didn't either, so thank you. Before I get dressed, though, I think you need to see me," she said as she stood up and opened her robe. She was naked underneath. He could see various bruises on her body, mostly on her breasts and around her nipples. 'Probably love bites,' he thought. She also had bruises on both thighs, mostly along her inner thighs. He wasn't sure about the bruises and the small cuts he saw on her ankles.
After she thought he had seen enough, she closed her robe and waited to see if he had anything to say.
"I'm sorry I had to see that," he said quietly. "Do you need to see a doctor or anything?"
"Let me get dressed first, then we can talk again," she answered as she turned and left the room. George sat back in the chair to think. 'Did he want her back? Those were obviously bruises from rough sex. Would she prefer that to him now? What about long term effects on her or on their sex life? What about STDs?'
He decided firmly, 'I want her back. I'm sure we can work through our problems. I really wish that it hadn't gotten this far out of hand.'
Lynn went through her belongings in the bedroom. He hadn't touched a thing. Tears coursed down her cheeks as she thought about the things she had done over the months, and he had just sat here waiting for her to come back to him. It was going to be a long evening.