The End (Final draft)

Keri felt the air being siphoned from her lungs, swallowing she tried to breathe. Her head pounded as her efforts to filter out the background noise failed. The pain was the stinging kind  you feel when something smacks you in the face. It even made her nose tingle. It was a surprise, so unexpected. The day had started out so great.  She closed her eyes and willed it all to just stop, but the voice booming somewhere in the background was relentless. He was on one of his tirades about the way she’d looked when he’d said something or her tone of voice when she answered. She couldn’t remember. She didn’t even know if she knew. She usually didn’t. She would just apologize and even more recently, just leave. But she couldn’t today. They were in the car, and like so many other times, she just had to take it. And it would probably blow over, and she’d forgive him, and they’d pretend it never happened.  She used to believe with all of her heart it wouldn’t, but now she had no doubt that it would. She pressed her forehead against the cold glass and stared out at all the other cars and wondered why everyone looked so happy.

sad rain on window

At first, she’d yelled back but realized that she couldn’t make him hear her.  There were no blows. Nothing physical about it, except for maybe when he yanked her arm. But that was not the pain she was feeling now. It was the humiliation and the shame. It happened more often, and lasted longer lately, and it exhausted her.

 couple fighting in car

They’d been driving. It was a beautiful rainy morning. The drops tapped lightly above them as they’d lay on the floor reading the Sunday paper and ended up making love right there, on top of the funnies. Jack suggested that they go to Polly’s for breakfast. So they jumped in the car and headed to the beach. They’d just been laughing minutes before. And then like a ball in her face, things turned. Jack’s anger came out of no where.  She’d learned lately that it didn’t have to take much. She used to blame herself because she didn’t know how to help him. She wanted to love him out of his pain. She even tried to make him believe that she loved him more than anyone in her life. She believed it. But, slowly she realized that it was not true. She did love someone more. Though he’d tried with all of his might to make her believe otherwise, she finally knew that she loved herself more. Enough to get out.

women writing at desk

Keri clicked the period. And stared at the screen of the last page of her book.  It was complete. She looked out the window massaging her neck absent mindly staring into space, still back decades, remembering. She’d thought that finishing her novel would feel different but it was anticlimactic. She forced her eyes to focus back on the screen and scrolled to the last chapter and reread it. She sighed. She was satisfied, after a few false endings, it was definitely a wrap.

This book had been a surprise in her life and much harder to write than she’d ever imagined. But she knew that she needed to tell her story.  Not just for all the young girls out there that needed to be educated about abuse, but for her own closure. So much had happened in-between sitting down to write the first page and today. But she had no doubt about what she had to do next..

She found her editor’s address, attached her book, clicked on the file, and pushed SEND.

type the end

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#60

Dear Journal,

When Jack and I broke up, I thought I was going to stop needing you. But I think I need you more than ever now. I want to remember everything so I don’t slip  and go back to my old ways and give in one more time. Just because I still really want to believe in all of his promises. He has not stopped trying to talk to me. I am so tired of finding him at my work or outside of my neighborhood.

So much has happened. I did go back. But not the way that you might think. I went back to get my things when I knew Jack would not be home. I told him that I was going to come and pick up my stuff when he would be at work and would leave my key. He told me to keep it and I told him I that I had no reason to keep it and really didn’t want it. I got there and tried to get everything fast. I knew he was at work and he promised not to show up. But I never know with him. All of my stuff was neatly piled in the living room waiting for me. I could still  picture it all over the lawn and it helped me to stay strong and not feel sad. Though…  It was a strange hollow feeling knowing that it would be the last time that I would ever be using “my key” to walk through that door again.

screen door

When I was walking back from the last trip, Jess called out from his screen door and he and Louise came out on their porch and called me over,  I went through their gate and they hugged me really tight. I sat on their porch with them and they told me that they knew everything. I wondered if Jack told them and then I realized that they’d heard and I was embarrassed. So embarrassed. I told them about Switzer and they looked sorry for me and then told me that they would be glad to adopt him. I looked up and asked “Really?” Oh, I was so happy, I started crying and began telling them the whole story. I’d never told anyone everything. Even recently,  just bits and pieces. But I sat there and shared about the time on the sailboat and the time we went soaring and well, I guess they witnessed the New Year’s scene firsthand. They were so great. They told me that they were proud of me and how strong I was. They told me that they were “my” friends and anything that they could do, they would. I gave them  my parent’s  phone number since they only had the one from next door. Louise told me that I could still house sit  since Jack was leaving. I guess looked pretty surprised when they told me that he was moving out.

I guess that I looked a little taken aback finding out that he was moving out. I am not sure why I cared. But I did. They were very apologetic, though obviously thought that I knew. “That was not a great way for you to find out.” Louise said. But I said it was okay and asked what they knew.  They told me that the little house was already rented out or that actually our Landlord’s daughter was moving in.  Jess said that the other day Jack told him that he was moving to Cerritos for a new job offer. I thought that was weird since Buena Park,  is right next to Cerritos and was hoping that he wasn’t moving to be near my work.  But I didn’t mention anything. I guess I still wanted to believe that he wouldn’t do anything that crazy. I told them that I’d  be over to bring Switzer by later that afternoon before Jack got home from work and they said Mopsy would be happy to have the company.

As I stood at the front door I looked back and surveyed the little house that once held so many dreams and now just  held so many memories for me.  I slipped my ring out of my pocket and left it on the table in the entry way along with the key and noticed a small box sitting by the door where all my stuff had been. It was a little set aside so I almost missed it.  It held all of Annie’s letters, I thought Jack threw them away in a fit of rage. But he hadn’t. They were all neatly placed in the box with the ribbon carefully re-tied around them. I picked them up and walked out the door.

 

 

Journal #54 Just As I Am

church white

Dear Journal,

I am not sure if I ever wrote about this to you, but Jack and I started going to a little church behind his dad’s apartment building while he was living there. For a while, we were going pretty regularly. Jack even got baptized there. I’d been baptized a year or so before I met him and so we talked about it after a particularly moving sermon, he told me that he’d been really thinking a lot about it. So one Sunday a few weeks later, he went forward as we were singing “Just As I am”  It was such a sweet moment. I think that I will always remember it.

baptized

 

We’ve made friends with this couple there. Matt and Barbara. They are married! We’ve been  over to their house a few times and I have to admit that I want what they have. Sometimes Barb invites us to her parent’s house who also go to that  church,  actually her whole family goes there. She told us that  she’s grown up there. Matt on the other hand, never went to  church before he met her but is very involved now. They have a real neat story.
supper

I love going over to her mom’s house with Jack for those Sunday Suppers. Jack always seemed to crave anything family and loves going too. Probably even more than I do, even though he makes me beg him everytime to pleeeease go after we get in the car. He always acts like he doesn’t want to but always gives in and ends up having a good time every single time. One day he picked up a guitar that they had lying around and began strumming it and Barb’s dad told him how good he was. Jack acted nonchalant when he thanked him, but I knew he was beaming on the inside. Anytime my dad compliments him, it means a lot.

guitar

 

Not too long after that he started bringing the guitar that his dad gave him a few years ago to youth group and he actually has a really good voice. It seems when we are going to church more often, Jack is kinder and less angry. Though, since we moved into our little house in Lomita we don’t go as much and I guess that even though we are not officially living together I am kind of embarrassed that we are engaged without a date so I haven’t pushed going. But I have to admit that everytime I do go, it kind of  feels like coming home and being welcomed just as I am or just as we are. Though in a way, I always feel as if I am faking it.

baby shower1

 

The other day, I saw Barb because I was invited to a baby shower and she called and said that she would pick me up because it was over in Lomita.  When  we were getting in her car to drive home, she asked if I had a good time just as I was reaching in her backseat to get my sweater,  I just blurted out…. “Sometimes when I go to these things, I feel like I am just faking it and everyone knows it.” And without missing a beat she laughed and said to me… “Keri, everyone there is faking it!” She cracks me up. And we had a good laugh. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. It felt good.

 

car laughing

 

I thought about it all the way home. I guess she is right. I guess that maybe I am not the only one who feels kind of out of place and it’s pretty cool to realize that God loves me anyway, just as I am, right where I am. And no one can take that away from me.

 

 

 

An Explanation of this Blog… Before Entry #22

writing a blog

Before you guys read…  If you are just finding this blog… It is probably best to read my ABOUT page so you understand what this is all about…

writing tablests

A synopsis would be… that all of this actually happened and is all true. It is a peek into a young girl’s diary which began as an assignment in her High School English class but became a bittersweet keepsake for her decades later. A journal filled with an adolescent account of the journey of an innocent girl caught up in falling in love with a good guy, caught up in his own demons from his past, leading into a world of abuse and love and loss and second chances.

If you are really interested, it will make more sense if you go back to entry #1 and work your way up to catch up and follow.  The writer is Keri and the other names were changed also to protect the innocent or perhaps not so innocent.

In my book, I am going to place all of these journal entries right after this chapter… (BELOW*)  and then I will end the book in the same third person format… please let me know what you think about this….

Please Click on THIS LINK*

http://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/update-like-a-postcard-or-something-like-that/

If you actually are following me and are reading this in order… I kneel before you in and bow in appreciation! Thank you for your support!!!!

xoxo

k