Unfinished.. work in progress.
|It was only out of the ordinary because she was so young. Eleven to be exact and in the fifth grade. Falling asleep in class is something that usually doesn't occur until at least the eighth grade. Perhaps occasionally, chronically however not so much. Lena loved school and had straight A's, she also loved sleep. Who doesn't? At least she managed to keep her grades up, and her homework done. |
Her days used to be filled with roller skating and swimming, now it's filled with worry, exhaustion, and prayers that she will be taken away soon. Taken away from home was not a normal occurrence either for an eleven year old. Unless you count when they scream at their parents how they "can't wait to move out!" because they weren't aloud to stay up past their nine o' clock bedtime. That is considered a tantrum not a crisis.
Lena loved her mother and was not all that excited about hurting her in any way.
Last week was her first time sneaking out. She went to her best friend Jenny's house. She was only planning on staying until six o' clock in the morning, but the alarm was accidentally set for pm instead of am. She slept better than she had in months. When she woke up the sun was already up, it was 9 am. She hadn't slept an entire night in so long she wouldn't have heard the alarm if it was set correctly. Her heart was beating so fast she knew she was in big trouble.
Jenny jumped up, straightened her hair, and asked Lena if she was there? Lena looked like she was about to be struck by a fast moving car and reluctantly shook her head yes. She knew it had to be her dad, worried to death. She poked her head around the corner while Jenny went to answer the door. She knew her father would be more than worried. He would be extremely pissed off as well as disappointed and possibly ready to beat her ass. By all means she could take the spanking, she had become accustom to it. Not by her dad but by her mom's new husband- Walt or as he liked to be called- Lucky. Kurt was not one to usually resort to violence. It may have been because he was a military man and had seen enough of it to last a lifetime or it may have just not been in his nature, either way Lena knew if he felt the need to spank her she must truly deserve it.
Time seemed to have slowed down drastically. She could hear Jenny's voice but she could not make out what was being said. Then footsteps started in her direction and her anxiety jumped from 4 to 10 just like that. "Lena?" Kurt said in a very calm voice. She wanted to hide in the closet or under the bed but if he came in to talk to her then she knew Jenny had told him she was there. Jenny was very close to Lena's family and she just could not lie to him knowing how upset and worried he was. Her character was just one of many reasons that Jenny was adored by everyone. Lena exhaled the breath she had been holding for what seemed like five minutes and answered her fathers call "yes, daddy?"
As he entered the room she could see the relief in his eyes. He hugged her like he had not seen her in a long time and then began with the first of many questions. Why, when, and what were you thinking just to name a few. Lena didn't have the heart to tell him the truth of why she made the decision to sneak out in the middle of the night in the first place. How could she tell her father whom would without a doubt die for her that his friend had been sneaking into her room at night for many years and violating her. Kurt would have a broken heart for starters and that would probably land him in prison. She didn't want to hurt him like that or see him go to prison for life. she had made the decision to protect him just like he would her. She hated to lie right to his face but also knew it was her only choice to keep him safe. "I just fell asleep on accident, dad." She was unable to look him in the eyes as she said it. He told Jenny thanks for keeping her safe and for telling the truth and escorted Lena home.
Not a word was said on the way home witch was unusual for the two of them. Even thought it was less than one eighth of a mile they always managed to talk about something. Not on this day and as they pulled up in front of the mobile home they lived in the silence was broken. Kurt said to Lena "Your mother does not know that you have been gone all night, She hadn't even noticed you gone. I wanted to make sure you were okay before I said anything so, let's just keep it that way. There is no need to get her started today. We will talk about this more later, go straight to your room and start cleaning on it. I don't want to see you until lunch time." Luckily, June was in her own bedroom and Lena would not even have to see her mother for the moment. June was quite the character. She was so into her new husband that nothing in life mattered much as long as everyone left her alone- all was well. She was a bit childlike in many ways. She would argue about things that most adults never gave a second thought. One year on Thanksgiving she had slightly overcooked the dinner rolls. Instead of just making more or even buying some from the market, she had began ranting and raving about how if everyone else had not had her running around like a chicken with her head cut off then she would have been able to keep a better eye on the oven. The family had to apologize to her for distracting her or it would have completely ruined the holiday. June was unable to ever be accountable for actions. She had to be acknowledged for even the smallest of things, such as finding things that were lost, dusting, or doing the dishes. No matter the task she completed she would be pissed if it went unnoticed and she didn't receive an atta' girl. The family had grown accustom to this behavior and tried to make sure she was always overly appreciated. It was the only way that life for them was not miserable. None of them were exactly normal in any way. Each of them had their own form of crazy, or that's how Lena always looked at it.
Lena had spent her entire life with the exact same family motto: What happens in this house, stays in this house- period. Lucky and June had begun dating when Lena was only three years old. June was Kurt's second wife, they married when she was eighteen. His first wife was Korean, he met her while serving in the military during the Vietnam War era. He fell in love instantly saying she was the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on. Her name was Chun Lee but upon moving to America she became Diane. They had two boys together and substantial bank account, upwards in the $80,000 range. He was so in love that he couldn't see her wondering eye or refused to at least. His two brothers had been approached by her in inappropriate ways. They both tried to tell him but he refused to listen and instead got mad at them. No one knows if they ever took her up on her offers except for them, her, and GOD. If he had only considered e fact that she was not faithful to him it could have saved him a lot of heartache, embarrassment, and money. Just three weeks before their Seventh anniversary he came home from a hard sixteen hour day to find her gone. She took her clothes, his brand new 1967 Chevy, all of the family pictures, the boys, and of course the entire bank account. He was devastated beyond belief. He tried to be the best husband and father he could be and yet it just wasn't enough. She wanted more. She met a man named Todd who was not in the military but owned his own car lot. She had no remorse in taking all of the money he had worked so hard for over a ten year span. He saved the money with plans of being set for life when he retired from the military. He was never truly able to recover mentally or financially from her. Yes, he remarried but he never trusted another woman fully and with good reason. As far as financially he was not able to either. When he met June he was still in the military and had a small amount in the bank but at that point money was something he swore to never have an attachment to again so if he were to ever lose again it would not feel like he had been decapitated. June was the one the instantly fell in love this time. Kurt soon followed suit and proposed just five months after their first date. She was instantly attracted to him in his uniform. She approached him and introduced her self. He was caught off guard as this was not a common occurrence in the sixties. It was more common for the interested woman to bashfully smile then look away. June was never one for being bashful and always seemed to be ahead of her time. She made it very clear she was interested in him and asked him to dance. The night was long and when he dropped her off at her parents house at just after eleven she made the first move in for a kiss. Kurt was intrigued by her confidence and beauty. He asked if he would ever see her again and she surprised him yet again with a very quick "tomorrow afternoon at four." and was the beginning of a seventeen year marriage.
Lena knew the story as it was told to her but she often wondered how Diane could have just took everything from the man that brought her to the states and gave her a beautiful life, respect, and more love than any woman could imagine. How could she have no feeling of remorse that he was left with a broken heart and nothing else. She didn't deserve that money, she never worked a day in her new life. Lena was raised in poverty while her two oldest brother's were raised in private schools, name brand clothes, in a very large home in the suburbs. Kurt was injured on a Naval Ship a few years after Diane left. He slipped while on the stairs and fell down breaking his back. He was medically discharged and had to undergo several back and neck operations during his lifetime. He was never able to work again with out pain in his every movement everyday. Some mornings he would have to holler for help just to get out of bed because he was unable to move. Several times a month disks would slip out of place and he would be unable to move without help, the pain was excruciating. Lena always wished that Diane could see how hard they struggled in life just to keep food on the table and how much pain Kurt was always in. If she had only took half of the money it may have been a better life for them. Kurt rarely talked about Diane in any way. He told Lena that there was no reason to let what Diane took away from them effect them emotionally because then she was still taking and winning. He did not want her to have that power over him and his family.
Kurt was a great man and would give a stranger the shirt off his back if someone needed it more than he did. He had given his last dollar ways many times and never expected it back. He got great pleasure from helping others in need. He was a lifetime member of the Red Cross and never let anyone go hungry in front of him. He practiced forgiveness and believed in the Golden Rule. Lena had learned a lot from her father. She truly appreciated him for all he was. She had full confidence in the fact that he would do anything for his family and friends even if it meant he would do with out. She was very protective of him and refused to burden him with her problems. If she had told him what was going on then he would just end up raging mad and hurt so, that was not an option in her mind. She would suffer in silence rather than hurt her father.
Bill was a long time friend of the family. He was a convicted felon for statutory rape and had served four years before being released on six years probation. Lena was there with her parents when he was released from prison. Lena was in kindergarten when he was released and he used to always make off color jokes in front of and to her. She learned most of the inappropriate things she knew from him. During the car ride from the prison to her house bill said to Lena " do you know why I went to prison?" Lena hadn't a clue and just looked at him nervously. "Statutory rape, I raped a statue!" Lena was not sure what rape even meant but did feel like it was not something she wanted to find out. She knew what a statue was and thought of the Tulsa Driller which was not far from her house. The Golden Driller Man was several hundred feet tall and she often imagined him as a friendly giant made of pure gold. She loved to pass it by, she would always wave at him and tell her dad that he winked at her. Now she was stuck with the thought that Bill had done something horrible to it that he went to prison and now they were going to be driving by it with him in the car. She did not want the Driller to see her in the same car with Bill so when they got close to the friendly giant she slid down in her seat and covered her head with her jacket hoping the he would not see them together and stop winking at her when she waved.
Lena had a wonderfully vivid imagination and that was the only thing that would help her keep her sanity throughout the years. Bill knew her from birth but just before she turned one he went to prison. She had no recollection of him at all. The relationship he had with her parents was like he was a part of the family.and when he got out of prison he moved in with them just like family. He became "Uncle Bill" and eventually the person Lena would hate forever but never forget. At a very early age Lena had learned to much about things no child should know. What her mother was thinking when she met Lucky Lena would never figure out. Kurt had gotten a job as a cook at a local diner. Lena and June would mostly spend their days at the diner while he worked. They would sit at the bar area when it was not busy and talk to Kurt through the window. When the lunch rush would come in they would move to the back to a large round booth where Lena would take a nap. Lucky was a regular customer and always sat at the bar area drinking coffee and eating pie while reading the paper and conversing with other customers and flirting with all the waitresses. He was a sharp dressed man with thick hair, black patent leather boots, and a black stetson cowboy hat. He was sly, he has a way with words and women. Over a period of a few months he had managed to steal away the cook's wife right under his nose. All the while acting as if he were his best friend in the world, even referring to him as his brother. It wasn't long before Lucky moved into Junes bedroom and Kurt was moved into Lena's. Two twin beds in the very small Rainbow Bright decorated bedroom.
One night after hours of screaming and yelling between Kurt and June Lena watched in horror as her father, her hero packed a bag with tears in his eyes, kissed his daughter's forehead, and left in his 1971 Chevy truck. Lena watched out their bedroom window screaming and begging him not to go, not to leave her behind. Lucky was now her enemy. He had hurt her dad and mad him run away she wanted him to leave too so that maybe her dad would return. The night air was cold but Lena was not coming out of that window. She hoped that her dad may just drive around town and then remember her and know somehow that she was waiting in the same window that she watched him leave through. If he knew she was waiting there surely he would return, in the least to take her with him- right? She was after all daddy's little girl. He had always made her feel like she was a princess. Her eyes were still fixed on the parking lot below. With each blink the two puddles in the window sill grew in size. By the time her mother finally came in to check on her, they had become one. Which was now overflowing and dripping down the bedroom wall. Her eyes were stinging and heavy. She was so exhausted she wanted to collapse but was to afraid to miss him if he came back for her. June grabbed her daughter by the shoulders trying to turn her around. Lena just gripped the window sill tighter and let out a low growl. At this point the little girl was hyperventilating and on the verge of vomiting. She could have cared less about any of this. "Lena honey, it is going to be okay. I promise." June trying to reassure her only daughter in her moment of what appeared to be mental torture. Comfort was what Lena needed, June was going to have a hell of a time giving it to her.With the enemy's help June was finally (after only 15 more screaming minutes) able to get Lena to release her death grip from the window. It was however, 3 more hours before Lena cried her self to sleep.