AN. this is my first story on fiction press, hope you like it.
Bran, bran, bran, I like bread and butter; I like toast and jam… at this point I had no choice but to hit the snooze button, I'd always hated that guys voice. Its five o'clock in the morning and baby Ren even refuses to wake up at this time. I only get up this early so that I can go through my devotions and get the day started before Mother wakes up.
I drug myself out of bed and almost fell to the floor; this was just going to be a "Fink-Lee" day. I had these days so often that naming them after myself just seemed fit. They somehow seem to fit perfectly in my existence, they leave the opportunity for good days to become awesome days, and the little things mean all the more. Whenever I had a bad day I could always remember that I still had one good thing in my life, little Ren. So, to try and change my state of mind, I put my favourite dress on. It was my only one that was good enough for church, and it always made me feel like I was worth something. I took my hair out of my braids and put my apron on. I did this daily because it made me feel like Cinderella.
I made my way down stairs to do the cooking portion of my chores. I made our lunches and fried the bacon, this was one of those few rebellious days that I had where I stole a piece of Mothers' bacon. I hated the taste of the horrid stuff, but I guess that I did it to prove a point. Though I don't know what point I was trying to prove. The smell of bacon was what woke Ren up each morning, and this is the only time that I ever hear him cry. I rush down the hall to get Ren so that he won't cry and wake up Mother, but I've never been successful at my task.
"Shut that stupid thing up," growls a very hung over Mother, "or I will."
Mothers' idea of shutting something up was to give it one swift smack upside the head, and she wasn't against shutting a baby up. Needless to say that I ran, I did this every morning, just because I hadn't found out how to prevent this from happening.
Mother stayed in bed that morning, causing the day to go by rather quickly, this was a big blessing in my day. Ren and I headed down to the bus stop so that we could go to church. Church was, and still is, my favourite part of the week. I liked it so much because I was around people that love me for no reason. These people had loved me and Ren from the second that we stepped in, and it felt good to know that you had more than one person that cared about you. It was nice to know that Ren would have something more to look forward to than I did when I was growing up.
"Here comes our little mother," teased Jodie, her and the other elderly ladies liked to call me that, because that's what I was. At first it had bugged me, but I eventually learned that it was a sign of endearment.
"Oh, hi Jodie, they stick you with greater again," I teased back because I knew that she loved this job, she got to be the first person to say happy Sabbath to everyone that came.
I walked in, she gave me a hug, and a blanket, "Its cold in here, we don't want you and your little one getting sick," Jodie explained.
The service was lovely and on the pastors' favourite topic, Gods love. I cried twice during it, people don't know what being loved means to someone like me. Ren had seen the tears on my face and crawled into my lap, he knew that this act was a comfort. My little boy was a smart tyke; he was my pride and joy for this and many other reasons. The pastor's son had seen me crying as well, this was embarrassing. I liked him; I mean I liked him a lot. He wasn't the best looking, but he was sweet and he didn't mind that I was messed up on the inside. The fact that he didn't care didn't change the fact that I don't, and never will, like people seeing me weak.
When the service ended Donavon, the pastors son, was the first one to come and see me. Ren liked Donavon so when he came up Ren started gibbering happily. Ren got off of my lap and ran the short distance between me and Donny. I was glad that I had Ren as a distraction; I didn't quite trust my voice yet.
"You ok?" Donny asked when he had reached me with Ren in his hands, "because you look like you've been crying."
Oh great, not only did I feel like an emotional wreck, I looked like one too; so I lied my, well a half lie, "No, just tired and a little hungry, I stayed up late and missed breakfast." It was the truth, I was tired and hungry and I hadn't had time to eat myself, but that wasn't the reason that I looked like this.
"Dad, or Pastor James, wants me to remind you of our invitation for lunch," he laughed at the fact that he was to call his dad by his first name in public, I laughed too. It felt really good to laugh, though it was weird that Donny seemed to know this about me, everyone always thought that I was really serious.
"You sure that you want me to come?" I asked this every time, though it had become more of a joke now.
Donny laughed as usual, though this one was more natural, "Yes Lee, we want you to come over for lunch."
I sat and acted like I was thinking about it, normally I would say no, but I was hungry and didn't much feel like going home, Mother had been worse than usual with her drinking and I didn't want Ren, let alone myself, to be around that.
"Fine," I said with a stern voice, getting a look of shock from Donny, "but on one condition."
"Really, you'll come, but what's your condition." He asked with the surprise still on his face and in his voice.
"The person whom you speak for has to ask me," I replied, pastor James had asked me to come and eat with them on my first day but I was to nervous to even consider.
I was sitting there laughing at Donny who sat there stunned and the next thing that I knew was that Pastor James was standing in front of me asking me to come and eat with his family.
The meal was fabulous and so was there home. I was in shock when I first walked in but had soon adjusted to the fact that a house this beautiful was open for me. When the meal was over Pastor and Donny drove me home and told me that I was always welcome at their house. They have no idea how much that meant to me, I wasn't welcome anywhere.
I went inside, trying to be as quiet as possible, Mother would be angry that I wasn't home an hour ago. I went up to mine and Ren's room and got changed for the rest of the day. I went back down stairs to start and make supper to find a note from Mother that said that some friends had stopped by and had taken her out. This was the only responsible thing that Mother ever did; she made sure that we knew where she was. I was glad that she wasn't going to be home until the next day, but, that meant that I would be paying for groceries out of my own pocket; again.
I went through my daily routine and went to bed; I slept better knowing that Mother wasn't here. I woke up at six o'clock the next morning, it was a Sunday and Mother wasn't there to care for. Well, I had thought that she wasn't there. I got out of my room leading Ren to the TV, so that he would be distracted while I made breakfast. I went into the kitchen to find Mother passed out on the floor. I screamed because she had never passed out further that a foot away from her bed before and it was horrible to see, even when I knew she had tried to make it to her bed. I checked her pulse and was relieved to find one.
The neighbour had helped me get her to bed and told me for the millionth time how to take care of her before and after she woke up. I thanked the neighbour for his help and promised him a batch of cookies for his trouble. Any normal person would have said not to worry about it, but he simply told me that he expected them first thing tomorrow and stalked out of the house. Mother didn't wake up that day; she woke up around noon the next day and called me home from school to take care of her. I went home with the small shard of dignity that I had left and went to be Mothers personal hand maid.
That night went horribly, Ren learned how to say mom, but he hadn't said it to Mother. Ren had called me mom, right in front of Mother and she wasn't happy about it. Mother looked at me and slapped me across the face, she called me every vulgar name that she could think of, and that was a lot. Mother took one look at me and went into an explanation, which involved unnecessary foul language, on how she had carried Ren for the nine and a half months and that I was never to touch him again. I nodded in all respects, then left the room to go cry. Mother had taken everything that was precious to me and I had thought that Ren would be the one thing that she would never take away. I was wrong and that small hope had made the pain even worse.
That night I couldn't sleep, I hadn't slept without Ren in over a year and the pain of him not being there was almost unbearable. I had to act like I was fine and keep on working as hard as ever, that was my only hope to ever get Ren back. I woke up the next morning and went downstairs to find Ren curled up in a ball under the table. He had been crying. I picked him up and he started to cry again, he was scared of me. My little treasure was scared of me, all because I had left him alone with Mother. I looked closer at his little, delicate face and he had a bruise that took up the whole right side of his face. I held him as tightly as I could and cried. Mother was a monster and she had to be stopped.
I made Mother, her bacon and poured her Bloody Marries and packed two small suitcases. I got Ren dressed for school and headed out for the bus. We weren't headed for school today; we would be heading for Pastor James house. I needed somewhere that I could be safe, I needed somewhere that I knew that people would care about me. So I got on the 57 and headed down to the pastors house.
When I got there I wasn't sure what to do, I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn't know how to go about it. I decided to do the easiest thing on my list; I knocked on the door. Pastor James answered, and the look on his face told me that he knew about my predicament and that he was going to do all that he could to help me. He opened the door wider so that I could come in and called for Donny. Donny, I forgot that he would be here, I didn't want him to see me like this, and I was a wreck. When he came into the foyer he stopped in his tracks, stared at me then slowly started to walk towards Ren and me. Ren looked at Donny then ran to him with tear streaked eyes. Donny crouched to the ground and opened his arms to Ren, who went right into them and clung to Donny like life. Now I knew how Mother felt, she wanted to be loved by this little angel and he loved someone else, though I understood his reasoning.
"What happened, who did this to you guys?" asked Donny, anger and compassion seeping through his every syllable. He stepped closer and ran his hand gently down the side of my face, for the first time I realized that it hurt, but not as much as Ren was hurting. I couldn't answer his question; I didn't have the words to explain.
"Donavon, could you bring Darren to your mom, let her take a look at his face. Then I need you to come back and bring their stuff up to the guest room, Lee and I need to talk," ordered Pastor James, though his voice wasn't stern.
As soon as Donny was out of the room I dropped to the ground and wept, I wept like I hadn't in years. Pastor sat down beside me and spoke soothing words into my ear, he let me calm down before he asked me any questions. He asked me what I wanted to do and if this happened regularly. He asked me why I thought that it was time to leave, and he prayed for Ren, me, and most importantly Mother. Then he let me do what I wanted to do, I called the cops, Mother had been abusing my sister and I for years and her doing this to Ren was my breaking point. I called the cops and they came to interview me and Pastor. Mother lost custody of all three of us kids and I went to live, temporarily, with pastor. My grades improved and I escaped my tormentor. Pastor gave me the chance to be home schooled, and I took it, I had been humiliated and tormented at school, I was all too happy to get out. Without that overly friendly church and the invitation to lunch, I would still be home tending to an abusive mother's needs.