So as soon as the cops were around the corner I hopped on my bike, giving my BMX rashed out backside a yelp of surprise and headed for just about the only place I could think of...boyfriends house!!
Only problem with that is that I had only ever been to his house twice, once with Moms permission (long before she came to loath him as many moms do) and once without Moms permission (his mom knew though...does that count?) Which meant that I had a general idea where his house was...when sitting in a car driving from school...on a bike at night coming from unfamiliar surroundings meant I was "driving blind" and taking my best guess.
It would take a whole other post to give you some idea of what I went through over the next two hours while I searched for his house, kept a look out for the police and desperately needing to go to the bathroom but figuring with my luck I would get caught with my pants down..literally. I rode on.
Through a rather hit and miss affair it finally dawned on me that I had found his neighborhood quite by chance as I recognized a few landmarks...I got excited and apprehensive at the same time knowing that the moment I seen him I would feel both instantly safe and absolutely terrified. Once I knocked on his door his mother would have no choice but to let my parents know where I was...its what parents do (or should...right?).
It was around 2 a.m. when I finally came upon his house...right on the freakin corner with street lights all lit up...I realized I had been back and forth twice already...somehow missing it while lost in my fear and nervousness. Now that I had arrived I was feeling uncertain and sure that it was absolutely the wrong thing to do to drag him into this...but I needed someone on MY side and at the moment I felt completely alone...on a deserted street at night with father back home lost in his crazy...mom looking for me I know but scared herself...and the cops possibly well aware now of who they dropped off and would no doubt have gone back to check on me. I needed to get off the street.
And did I mention I had to pee?!!! That was pretty much the deciding factor when it all came down to it.
Rather than go knock on his door bold as brass however, I went around to the side to his bedroom window and did my reenactment of Romeo and Juliet...except in this case Juliet was on the outside wanting in. I tossed some small stones against his window and couldnt believe the whole neighborhood didnt wake up from the crashing sound stones on glass made. I quickly ducked back down in the bushes expecting doors and windows to fly open at any moment...but all was silent.
His window was out of my reach so I couldnt just tap on it...and I seriously thought I would end up breaking it as my nervous hands didnt give me much control over the rocks I was throwing. I stood there on that moonlighted night wondering what I should do next.
I wandered back up to the front of the house contemplating knocking on the door and all that would occur after that....then I heard some noises that had me diving under some contents stowed on the porch. As I wiggled my tired butt under some chairs and gathered some things around me in an effort to hide me the noises grew louder...
Even though I was wanting my Mother at that moment more than anything...the sound of her voice along with my older sisters coming slowly down the street in her car with the windows down in lively discussion as to where HIS house was ....inexplicably had me diving for cover. To this day I dont know why I hid...but hide I did and had a foots eye view of what transpired next.
Up til then I had no idea that my sister even knew where his house was and so was surprised to see them there even though I had just spent the last few hours seriously wanting my mother. Now that she was just down on the street...I felt the need to hide...but still wondered how sis knew where his house was...and for some reason...rather upset that she did. It was somehow a relief to me that I had thought to hide my bike in the bushes so at least they wouldnt be able to see it and know I was there...somewhere...if not in the house.
As they pulled up to the curb and the engine died I could hear them plainly arguing as the whether this was house since obviously I wasnt here because all the lights were off. I squeezed myself further back in my hidey hole and held my breath as best I could. For once in my life I was rather relieved that I was only 5'3"...made hiding so much easier...sigh.
They sat in the car for 15 minutes debating whether to knock on the door or not. Waiting for signs that I was in fact in there...or maybe thinking I hadnt found my way here or hadnt even thought to come here. Meanwhile I was battling with mosquitoes that had found me and wondering if my need of a bathroom was ever going to be obtained. And still I wondered why I continued to hide.
Eventually they drove away talking about searching the surrounding neighborhoods more thoroughly. I scooted out and immediately banged on the door...before I did anything else...I needed the bathroom NOW!! If that meant waking them up then I was waking them up.
His father came to the door. Great!! He was a huge man that said very little and liked to drink in his past life. Apparently he had been up watching tv in the dark...and did not act in the least surprised or upset to see me standing on his porch at 2:30 in the morning. He opened the door wider and invited me in...the house was dark and silent (gulp) and only the tv flickering gave any idea that someone was home.
The father called out to my boyfriend that he had a "female guest", I wanted to giggle at that considering my true position in boyfriends life...and wondered how often guests, female or otherwise, showed up unannounced in the middle of the night? I might point out that arriving unannounced in the middle of the night affords you some information about someone you might ordinarily not know...such as...boyfriend apparently slept in the nude...since nude is how he stumbled out of his room all bleary eyed and completely sure his father was confused about something.
One wide eyed look at me left a flurry of emotions scurrying across his face. Happiness at seeing me....fear over what brought me there (knowing full well what my mother thought of him) and sudden realization that he was VERY cold...for obvious reasons. He dived back into his room and came back out within seconds with some pj bottoms on. My red face was still burning though and would continue to do so for quite sometime..."it" was the first one I had ever seen...not related to me or on tv...if you know what I mean.
He rushed over and hugged me and I felt safe at once...even though I knew full well he couldnt really do anything...for that moment I felt like all my troubles meant nothing...I realized I had been somewhat holding my breath up til that point as I now felt it rush out in deep felt relief.
His mother came out of the bedroom tying on her robe and wondering what all the noise was. One look at me and she knew "shit" had been going on at my house that night...if only she knew. I had approximately 5 minutes to give a rushed rundown of what my evening had consisted of before we heard a knock on the door...my that was fast.
At the door stood two city cops and my mom and sis. The cops had hands on guns (again) but at least they were still holstered. Suddenly the night became very tense indeed and everyone seemed on edge and completely careful about movement and speech tones. I hated the fact that I had drawn this family into my drama...but desperate times call for irrational actions...sometimes...sigh.
Discussions ensued in which my "rights" were hashed over...in that since I was only 17 I had NO right to decide for myself where I chose to be at that time...my mother had the right to take me home...end of discussion. I remained quiet up till then but eventually felt compelled to step out on the porch and face my mother with the fact of my fathers insanity...and how me going home was the LAST thing I wanted to do.
I could see by the look on her face she didnt want me to say anything but I couldnt hold back. I was scared to death to go home...especially after my midnight ride and getting the cops involved. I knew on top of everything else that had happened...my father would hold that against me.
"Mom, dont you understand...Dad believes I tried to poison him for Gods sake. How can I go home when he thinks that?"
She tried to make light of it and explained to me (but really for the cops benefit) that he had calmed down and didnt mean it...and had promised not to mention this night again.
Yeah...like I believe that!!!
The cops explained that I could either go home...or go to a childrens shelter over night until something could be decided about me. I didnt like the sound of that either...as much as I didnt want to go home...I wanted my Mom. I decided to go home....with the absolute resolution that if I could ride my bike into town once...I could damn well do it again if I needed too. Apparently Mom realized this too as she told my sis to keep the bike at her house when we left her there later....sigh!!!
After it was all hashed out we left with a warning from the cops that they would "check on me" to make sure all was well. My boyfriend had barely said a word up til then...sort of gave me an idea that he wasnt the sort to speak up (something I would learn very well later on)...his mother was against letting me go but what could she do? Off we went.
The car ride home was very quiet. Mom didnt know what to say to make me feel safe. She knew what we were going back too...knew the potential for violence that awaited us..even with the threat of cops showing up at anytime. As I have posted about previously...my father didnt care much for cops and didnt mind letting them know it.
We arrived home with heavy hearts and heavier feet. Entering that house that night was hands down one of the bravest things I had ever done in my life up to that point. I was on pins and needles and ready to fly into the night at the least provocation..,.with or without the bike.
My father spoke to my mom...asked her what happened...but didnt speak to me...or even look at me. From that night until I left for the Air Force about 5 weeks later he did not utter so much as one word to me...and avoided me as much as possible. On the one hand I was relieved to be off his radar so to speak...on the other hand I KNEW my father and didnt expect it to last as long as it did...consequently I was constantly on high alert around him. I couldnt relax or let my guard down even for a moment...it was an exhausting 5 weeks.
By the time my instructor arrived at my house June 21, 1986 to take me to Salt Lake City for my departure for San Antonia Texas for boot camp...I was literally an emotional mess. Anticipating violence is almost as bad as actually being a victim of it...you dont believe me...ask anyone who has been there. If I didnt know better, KNOWING my father and the way he was...I would say that was EXACTLY how he wanted me to feel. Payback for the night of drama. Wouldnt have put it past him for a moment.
Before I left my mother and younger sis hugged me and wished me well. The look in my mothers eyes was one I have never forgotten to this day. A mix of emotions that ranged from happiness that I was finally "escaping" and sadness that her child was leaving...and knowing my feelings for that house...most likely would not be back...at least not for good. My father told her to stop crying and just let me leave. Always the tyrant.
I left my mother and sis that day...watching their reflections recede in the side view mirror...feeling like I was abandoning them to the Monster...leaving them without protection or hope. I was running away...but they had to stay.
If I were to explain my feelings that day it would be along the lines of...prisoners held against their will for years...suffering and abused in ways unimaginable...then one day ONE of the prisoners has a chance to escape...but is torn between running towards freedom...and staying back to offer support. Misery loves company as they say. Most of the time the other prisoners will encourage you to RUN...run and dont look back...dont worry about us...we will be fine...save YOURSELF and come back for us.
I was running...I was saving myself...but would I come back and save the others? On that day I truly had no idea if I would be able to rescue those "left behind"...I wasnt sure if I was capable of rescuing myself...even though I was leaving home...I knew I wasnt emotionally fit for the "outside world." Something that has held true for most of my life....as many of my posts here would attest too.
Leaving my mother and sis that day was and is still one of the worst memories I have of my youth. Its something my mother and I discuss alot. She admits she felt abandoned by me that day but also felt relieved I was getting away. She was proud that I had found my escape...but wanted to snatch me back and keep me with her.
Funny enough...little did I know that I was leaving one Monster behind...but another one waited for me up ahead....and I didnt stand a chance against that one either.