Cassandra Freiborg
P. 3

Eternally Difficult

Michelle walked down the busy street of her damp city, her brown hair floating gracefully, her blue eyes looking at everyone and everything. Looking through the windows of small shops, she saw many trinkits, and various other things. She was walking home from her job at the local movie theater, heading towards the daycare which housed her 8 year old daughter Rachel. Michelle smiled to herself, it had been a while since she had, had a peaceful day. She walked past more shops and dark alleyways, seeing nothing but the ordinary.

Several minutes later, she arrived at the daycare.The sign outside showed big red, yellow, and blue letters stated the name of the daycare, Sea Pines. Michelle looked around, her blue eyes scanning the area. "There are no pines here." she said to herself jokingly. She walked inside and was greeted by a hyper Rachel. Michelle glanced at the clock, 4:46 it said. "Good," smiled Michelle, "Well, be home in time for the 5:00 o'clock news!" Rachel smiled happily

Walking home with Rachel took longer than expected. She wanted to look at all the items in the shop windows. Michelle had already had to pull her away from a particularily fancy porcelain doll. It took them another five minutes to get home. Still wearing her uniform, Michelle grabbed a coke from the fridge, and some milk for Rachel, and fell onto the couch. She picked up the remote and turned on the TV while Rachel played with crayons and a coloring book.
Michelle sighed as the meterologist announced that there would be more rain later in the week, and a big storm that night. Another news caster come on, "In other news tonight, the war on Iraq is still raging in the Middle East..."
"A big storm tonight? Hmm, maybe I should shut down the computer." Michelle pondered. Getting up, she started walking towards the computer room, the announcer continued in the backround. " In bigger news tonight, there was a jailbreak today and three convicts have fled. Two were apprehended only hours ago. One man is still at large."

Michelle stopped dead in her tracks. Eyes growing wide with fear, she turned around to look at the broadcasters face. He looked very tired. "There was a guard killed in the process, and one civilian who got in their way." Michelle stood in shock, staring at the TV screen. Dont let it be him. Michelle pleaded fearfully. Dont let it be Richard...
The announcer continued, "We just recieved the name of the man still at large..." he paused, "Richard Deamy." he said. Michelle fell to her knees, silent tears streaming down her face.

Rachel looked up from her coloring book. "Mommy? Are you ok? Do you want me to draw you a picture to make you feel better?" Michelle contorted at the pure innocence of her daughter. She grimaced as a violent flashback pierced her thoughts.
She was lying on the floor of her old appartment, sobbing. She looked around. There he was, that evil man, Richard. He was sitting on their bed, head in his leathery hands. Michelle looked around her old room, and she saw it, the knife lying at Richard feet. Lifting her hand ever so slightly, she felt her face. For the first time she remembered the pain coursing through her cheek. Felt the still warm blood falling from the gash onto their floor. "I remember..." She thought.

Her mind was thrown back to reality. She gasped as she realized that someone had a tight grasp around her neck. She looked around frantically only to find that it had been Rachel all along. Michelle drew in a deep breath as Rachel pulled out of her hug. She put her hand against her cheek. She felt no blood and was quite relieved.
She got up, and looked out the window. It had become quit dark out and the trees were blowing angrily in the wind. "I have to go do something Rachel, I'll be right back." she said. Rachel smiled in response. Michelle walked down the hallway passing the kitchen and Rachel's blue room, which looked very menacing in the darkness of the storm. She burst through the bathroom door heading for the cabinet. She searched frantically past vitamins and medications . She found what she was looking for and gripped it in her hand. She looked down at the bottle of antidepressants. Sighing heavily, she popped two into her mouth, and slid the container back into place.

Michelle looked at herself in the mirror. She looked worn, and very worried. Her hair was no longer a silky brown like it used to be, and she had bags under her eyes. She sat down on the floor remembering all the events that had happened five years ago. She remembered Richard, and his malicious behavior. Recalling his black hair and how it flowed around his golden eyes. His dead eyes. She was overcome by more flashbacks...

Hiding in the closet of her cramped apartment, Michelle clung tight to her trembeling daughter. Siting in the closet, her ears listening keenly for the sound of footsteps. She looked down at her daughter, her raven black hair wich was no longer neatly brushed, fell around her innocent face. "Mommy, why are we hiding from daddy?" Michelle looked into the green eyes of her three year old daughter and wispered with difficulty; "Because sweety, daddy is dangerous..."

Michelle listened carefully. Hearing the door open, she was thrown into a trance of fear. How can this be happening? We were so happy, what went wrong? She blinked as Richard's voice came booming throughout the small apartment. " Michelle! Michelle I know your here! Come out right now! We need to talk!" It was the same words he had said on the phone with her earlier. Michelle, looked at Rachel, and then stood up.

"Stay here and dont move." Rachel looked at her mother with a confused expression. Michelle opened the closet door, and walked down the hallway into the living room. "Hello darling," she greeted him, a fake smile imprinted on her face. " Richard smiled evily. "I've been hearing some things," he said "and I dont like what I'm hearing."
Michelle looked at him quizically. "What do you mean sweety?" His eyes filled with rage. Taking a step forward he brandished a fist at her. "I heard you have been sleeping around with that co-worker of yours Jason!" She was shocked. Jason? Does he mean my oldest friend Jason? Nah, couldnt be... " Well? What do you have to say for yourself woman?"

"How could you ever say such a thing!" Michelle yelled back at Richard. He laughed and advanced still further toward her. Stepping closer, he dealt her a wicked blow to stomach. Falling to the floor, she coughed and tasted blood in her mouth. Tears formed in the corner of her eyes, stinging them. No, I can't let him see me weak like this. Clutching her stomach, she tried to sit up. Richard was to fast, and he was already standing next to her. He bent his knee and kicked her hard in the side. "You evil, worthless woman! How could you do such a thing!"

Michelle coughed up more blood. "I never did anything like that! I love you Richard! I love you!" She screamed at him desperately. "How am I supposed to believe tha-" Richard cut off and looked down the hall, his gold eyes flashing. There stood a three year old Rachel, clutching a blanket and staring at her mother and father. "Daddy? What are you doing...." Michelle turned quickly to see her daughter standing there. "Ra- Rachel, go to your room, please, go." Michelle gasped for air.

Richard left her side and walked towards Rachel. He looked down upon her with a blank expression on his face. Michelle looked on helplessly as Richard scooped his daughter up, and walked into the other room. He returned a few seconds later to Michelle's side, and looked down on her in disgust. Walking away from her, he picked up his car keys, and went out the door. Three days passed and Richard did not return home. Michelle had recovered from the ordeal, but now had a baseball sized bruise on her side. She feared so much for her own safety as well as Rachel's she didnt know what to do. On the fourth day, Richard returned a drunken mess, he fell through the door.

He looked around, mildy suprised at where he had ended up. His oily hair sat untidily on his head, and the smell of hard liquor filled Michelle's nostrals as she found him standing in the doorway. They said nothing to each other, and fear circled with ferocity crystalize in her heart. There mingled a sense of danger as Richard knelt down and pulled up his pants leg, revealing a four inch switchblade. Michelle wimpered as she backed up towards the phone. Richard advanced for another brutal strife, missing her by centimeters. Michelle ran to the master bedroom, which she had once happily shared with her husband.

Grabbing the phone, she picked it up, and listened for the dial tone. There was none. Abandoning her first attempt, she reached into her purse for the cellphone. Hearing Richard's footsteps falling down the hallway, she dialed 911. The operator picked up on the second ring, "911, how may I help you?" she sounded as if this were an everyday thing. "Help, help me! " Michelle, sobbed into the phone, "My husband! He has a knife, he's trying to kill me!" There was a pause that seemed to last an eternity, and then she answered "I need your address ma'am." Michelle quickly blurted out the address as Richard kicked through the door.

Seeing the cellphone in her hand, Richard snatched it away and threw it to the floor. Opening his switchblade, he pierced through the plastic of the cellphone, and it was destroyed. "Thought you could get rid of me?" he sneered angrily, his gold eyes flashing. He stood Michelle right side up, so that she was standing directly facing him. His muscular arm raised, and he sliced through her cheek with his knife, leaving a deep gash which leaked crimson blood down her throat. "You're too late." laughed Michelle through the intence pain, "The police will be here any minute to take you away whether I'm dead or not." There were sirens in the distance, and Richard grabbed his knife, and fled through the apartment door. Later that evening, she got a call from the police, stating that Richard had been captured. They had found no knife on him, but the blood on his hands was proof enough for them. Michelle's thoughts trailed off...

Her body jerked as she awoke from her nightmarish sleep, still sitting on the bathroom floor. Michelle looked around suprised that she was still here. That had been five years ago. The funniest part, thought Michelle, was that we never moved away from this town. We stayed, even though danger still lurked near to home. Michelle had moved out of the apartment into a home, a couple miles down the road. She was keen on restarting her life, and now, Richard was once again free to walk the roads. Standing up, Michelle walked through the bathroom door, down another hallway back into the living room. Rachel sat on the couch in her pajamas. Michelle smiled and looked beside her to the man next to her. There sat Richard in his own twisted glory. He looked up from the TV and smiled right back at her. "Hey baby," he said innocently, as if he had every right to be there.

Standing in utter shock in disbelief, she looked around and saw that same loathsome switchblade, sitting on the coffee table.It was badly rusted, and looked as if it had been sitting in a bush for some years. "Thought you could get rid of me didnt you?" he laughed mockingly. He stood up, and clutched the dagger in his grasp. Richard took a step closer, and raised the knife over his head. "I loved you baby." He said softly, and through his hair, Michelle saw the smallest tear fall down his face, as he plunged the dagger into his chest and fell to the floor. Michelle gasped and looked into the still remorsful face of her ex-husband. He was dead. Rachel jumped off the couch running toward her two parents. Looking into each others eyes, Rachel said she did not understand. "Mommy? Why is daddy so still? And what is this red stuff?" Rachel bent down and stuck her finger in the pool surrounding Richard.

Michelle bent down and picked Rachel up, and walked slowly to the phone, calling the police for the last time. "Daddy is gone." she said. Years passed and soon Michelle died herself. Rachel lived on and was now in her early 30's. She visits her father's and mother's grave still, and everytime she reads the engraving upon the tombstones. "Evil is always possible, but goodness is eternally difficult."