After the deputies took off into the corn field I apologized profusely to Abby, wrapping my arms around her and rocking her, telling her I was so sorry I was mean to her but I couldn't think of any other way to get her to calm the fuck down and help me help her, or at least stop making it so difficult. I thanked Jenny for her help and then I rounded on Abby again and said “you are WAY too smart to act like that. You were scared but that's no reason to lose your mind. You've had just about the worst thing that can ever happen to a women happen to you tonight so there is no excuse to ever lose it like that again, NEVER do that. I can’t fight if I have to drag your sorry ass with me. You survived you are strong, use your brain, fight your ASS off, and don't ever put yourself in a situation like that again because I won't be there to save you, You only have yourself to rely on. Got that? You. That's it. Beer isn't worth it. Attention isn’t worth it. You want someone to like you get a fucking dog not an old ass Mexican.”
She started crying about how she was stupid and her parents would never love her again, I told her they won't ever stop loving you. Trusting you yes, but loving you no. A state trooper pulled up behind the deputies cruisers and she finally started getting hold of herself and I said “I took care of you because I care about you girls and I wasn't going to let those ugly ass bastards hurt you anymore. Respect that and don't ever give up like you did.” Jenny said she was a gibbering mess from the start, just laying there and letting them beat her and do what they wanted, if it hadn’t been for her Abby’d still be there or running through the field naked. I told her if she wasn’t worth fighting for then I wouldn’t have wasted my time and she had best get that straight in her head.
I don’t know how and I don’t know why but for that little bit of time that night those girls were MINE and I did care about them. I still do and I often wonder how she is to this day. That night no one was going to hurt them while I had anything to say about it. (here my brain insists that I insert except me. Because I did hurt her.) My firearms instructor agreed with me, saying people often have feelings like that for someone they’re defending, even when they’re strangers. I don’t know anything about that but I do know that I defended them with as much deadly intent as I would defend my children now.
The trooper came to the door and the girls wouldn't open it. They wouldn't open the window either and they both grabbed me and held on this time, they were both afraid the motherfuckers were hiding out there, waiting for them to come out. I was safer to them than the cops were. I finally got them to let go so I could slip out and they locked themselves in my truck while I talked to him.
I gave him my name and started to tell him what had happened and he stopped me and asked if they'd threatened me before I ran them over. I said well, they were hanging on the side of my truck and pounding on the windows and he interrupted and said “had they done anything to you?” I said well, no, but… and he whistled and waved his hands and said “stop, don't say another thing. Not one more.” I said “but don't you need to know...” and he said “I told you to be quiet, didn’t you hear me?” I was confused and shaky and in truth I think I was in a bit of shock so I didn't really understand the undercurrent he was trying to convey, but I shut up.
I helped him get the girls into the car, and took the opportunity to yell at Abby again that she was strong, giving up was not an option any more for her, don't be stupid, and if she didn't fight back next time I'd track her down and kick her fucking ass. That raised the troopers eyebrows. Abby kept asking me to go with them to the hospital and stay with her so her parents wouldn't yell at her, but the trooper said I couldn't. After the girls were in the car I leaned in and gave her a kiss and a hug and said her parents would love her very much no matter what and she should trust them and tell them the whole truth and never lie to them like that again. I then turned to Jenny and said you're really strong, but you do stupid things too. She told me to fuck off. I figured she’d be okay.
The trooper turned my truck around for me, I was shaking badly and there were so many cars packed in there that I didn’t trust myself to do it at that point. I asked him what about the deputies? He said they're down at the house where these guys all live, there's a whole bunch more deputies there and more on their way here. He pointed to the other side of the corn field, about a football field away and I noticed all the lights for the first time. Apparently this was a known problem house. I said but they knew I was here, and he said I'll take care of it. Okay. He asked me where I lived, I told him the city and he said don't go down past them to go home, go down through (another town) and go home the back roads. Yessir. He tore a paper out of his notebook and handed it to me, literally shoved me into my truck, and I left. I looked at it later and it was the paper he wrote my name and other information on. I couldn't understand why he didn't want to hear what happened. That was the last I saw or heard of the girls until I met Abby again at the restaurant
In the email to Agirl I glossed over a lot of what happened in the days after the incident. I didn’t want to go into detail because she was my mom. She was a very cautious, nervous, easily panicked person who avoided confrontation like the plague, but she loved me and I her, she worked long hard hours to take care of me and to do her best to provide, and she did a damned good job of it too. I think she just couldn’t bear the thought of losing me, and did what every parent would do, protected her child in the best way she knew how. I don’t like sharing ugly things about her, but I’ve come this far and I think it’s more of an important part of the story than I originally thought. I knew that there were things that I did that were in reaction to what was going on, but I didn’t quite see all the connecting threads, mostly because I didn’t really want to. I was just so angry all the time.
All my life my mom told me don’t fight back. If someone wants to rob you, rape you, don’t fight back. Just give them what they want and you’ll survive. The only time I was supposed to fight back was if they tried to take me away. I thought that was a bunch of bullpucky. I tried not fighting back once, at school, and I hated how I felt about myself. I always fought back after that, at least when I lost I didn’t beat myself up because I let someone make me their victim.
The whole ride home is pretty much a blur. I know that I was driving on autopilot because I suddenly snapped aware and realized not only had I missed my turn but I was already through the town he told me to head for and just reaching the outskirts of the larger city in our area. I turned around and went home, numb again. It reminded me of the one time I took No-Doze. I was awake and moving but my brain was shut down. The weird thing was the closer I got to home the antsier I got, my legs started bouncing and my hands started shaking again. I finally walked in the door a little before 4 in the morning. It was just my mom and I, and the dogs. My siblings were all grown up and moved out, the nearest one was a state away. My parents had divorced 6 years earlier, and my father had passed away three years ago. I went straight to the shower, tripping over Sandy, my big doberman, as she followed me, trying to figure out what was wrong. My glasses were bent and the ear piece was missing, I had scratches on my face, down my neck and shoulder, across my chest and even a small one on my breast. The worst was my lower lip, it was big and purple with a huge gash inside of it. I was covered with my own hair that Abby had ripped out. I got in the shower and I must have woken my mom up because I heard her a few minutes later, trying to get Sandy to move so she could get to the bathroom.
“You’re up early, going to the stable?” she croaked at me. I watched my hair slip down the drain.
“I don’t think so. Remind me to run some of that septic tank stuff down later.” I said.
“Run some of that septic stuff down later. Heh. Well, I’m up for the day, do you want something to eat?” Mom worked for the state and got up at 5am for work every day. Already in her late 50’s she had a difficult time falling asleep if woken up.
“No, I’m okay.” I wasn’t, but I wasn’t hungry.
She left and I got out of the shower. I got dressed and went into the kitchen, grabbed a soda and curled up in a chair, Sandy following me and whining the whole time. She knew something was wrong but she didn’t know what. Mom was at the coffee pot fixing her cup and said “ I swear I don’t know what’s wrong with that dog today.”
“Mom?” “yes?” Tears were leaking down my face and Sandy shoved herself under my arm. I wrapped my arms around her and buried my face in her neck, sniffled, then sobbed out “Mommy?” She was across the kitchen and had her arms around me within a second, lifted my face up and said “Oh my God, what happened? Who hurt you?” She pushed the dog away and pulled me to her, and I tried to tell her what had happened but all I could do was stammer between sobs. She told me to calm down first. After a few minutes the sobs subsided and she got herself another cup of coffee and sat down to listen. I told her that I was over at the wayside by *redacted* reading and some girls came up and needed help and I called the police and we were in the truck and the Mexicans came up and started beating my truck and I tried to run them over and… She grabbed my shoulders and said “YOU WHAT???” and shook me a little. “Why did you do that? Why did you even get involved?” Well…but…they needed help…”Let someone else help them. The phone was right there, they could have called the police, why on earth did you get involved? You should have just left! You’re always getting involved in things that are none of your business!” but…aren’t we supposed to help people…”just be quiet, I need to think. What did the police say?” The deputies chased after them and the trooper didn’t want to talk to me, he sent me home. “Did you give him your name? Of course you did. That was stupid.” Well, he gave it back to me…”let me see it.” I stumbled to my room and dug it out of my jeans. Why was she so angry with me? I went back into the kitchen and said “what did I do wrong, mom?” “Besides getting yourself involved in something that was none of your business and is going to get you put in jail?”
“Jail? Why would I go to jail?” “Did you kill any of them?” “I don’t think so…No, there weren’t any bodies at the wayside when they left” I dropped into the chair and started crying again, panicked. What did I do wrong? Mom looked at me and sighed, and gave me a brief hug. “maybe it’s not so bad, he gave you back all your information. Maybe he won’t say anything. What did you tell him?” I told her, and she got agitated again pacing the kitchen and running her hands through her hair. “Why did you let them in the truck again?” I didn’t, the door was unlocked…”That was stupidity number one, don’t do that again! Why didn’t you leave?” Because the dispatch lady said to wait for the cops…”Why didn’t you leave the girls there and get out?!” “Because they needed me, Mom, they needed help…”Lord love you you’d give the shirt off your back to anyone but you should have stayed out of it!”
Eventually we got through the whole story, although like any child who is terrified and in trouble and not quite sure why I didn’t give her as many details as I could. I didn’t tell her what I’d done to Abby at all. She focused mostly on the first series of events.
“So they didn’t say anything to you?” “No..well, they were yelling things but it was in Spanish and I didn’t know what they were saying.”
“The only thing they did to you before you decided to run them down was bang on your truck and try to open a locked door, and that one you went after hadn’t done anything at all?” “well…no…” “Good God, don’t you realize that’s at least assault with a deadly weapon!” “I…what? I didn’t have a weapon…” “The truck is a weapon. We don’t have Castle Law here, sweetheart. For God’s sake, why didn’t you just leave!”
I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me to leave. I think because the police dispatch had told me to stay there. I started to feel nauseous.
“What’s castle law?” I’d never heard of it. Mom explained it to me. My stomach churned. Then she said “Lawyers would say everything that they did to you was done in self defense because they didn’t hurt you and you could have left! Don’t tell ANYONE what you did. I mean it. Never. Don’t say a God Damned word or you’ll go to jail.”
She called her work and took the rest of the week off. She took me to the dr, told them that damned doberman scratched her while they were playing, and I got three stitches inside my lip and a dr’s excuse for work, whom she told I had been in an accident. Whatever. We cleaned up the truck, it was covered with drops and smears of blood, my hair, and the tape deck was ruined. I yanked it out and threw it in the trash, I’d rather see the bare wires. It had been a birthday present so she bought me a new one, told the installer that I’d spilled soda on the last one. Whatever. She had the tires changed, the rear ones were pretty much shredded, told the tire guy I’d been racing. Whatever. Called the insurance company about the rear window, told them a rock broke it, and some guy came out and replaced it. Whatever. The side mirror was smashed and the triangle window was hanging, the paint was trashed, there were dents all over the roof, and a big one between the rear tire and the bumper, I think I hit the light pole at some point. My uncle fixed the mirror and the window for me, took a plunger and did what he could with the dents, shaking his head and saying “damn fool thing to do, girl, you know better than to do that to a good truck like this.” Mom told him I’d taken it out mudding and busted it up. Whatever. I’d always been taught that it was wrong to lie, and tried very hard to be responsible for my own actions. If I did wrong, when I was caught I admitted it and accepted my punishment. Whatever.
I spent a lot of time huddled on the couch, and when I started crying she’d sometimes hug me for a minute and then tell me that was enough now, I was Fine. Or she’d just leave the room if I didn’t seem able to suck it up. She bought all the local papers for weeks, scanning them again and again for any mention of what happened. Any time I tried to talk to her about what happened, or even looked like I wanted to say something to her about it, she’d say “Shut. Up. Do you want to go to jail? I can’t afford a lawyer, and if they decide to prosecute you I can’t help you. Don’t say a word. Not one. To anyone. Shut. Up.”
“Shut up, You’re Fine, nothing happened” became her new mantra. The stitches came out and I went back to work. Numb. Shaken up. Traumatized. Mom and I didn’t talk much any more. I would be at home, puttering around, I’d hear her car pull into the driveway and I could feel the anger rise, hot and harsh. I worked my schedule around so I didn’t see her unless I had to. Things kept bubbling to the surface, and when I didn’t think I could keep it in any more, I filled my mouth to keep it quiet. Mostly with alcohol. Cause it made me feel Fine.
The truck started having problems. I had to replace the right front spindle the first month, it was nearly cut through, and then the rear end a few weeks later, and that emptied my savings. I started sneaking beer at work. The boss knew but didn’t say much, even when whole cases started disappearing. My checks got smaller to compensate. I didn’t care. The transmission went in early October, and I didn’t have enough money to pay the shop to fix it. I found a guy who would drop in a tranny from the junk yard, a “slop” tranny in local vernacular. He liked me. I drank hard, I played hard, and I was getting a reputation. He did the job for $75 dollars, and when I went to pick up the truck he was in his kitchen, naked under his bathrobe. He tried to work out a different arrangement, I told him no. I put the money on the table, holding my hand out for the keys. He pushed me against the refrigerator and started rubbing himself on me, his robe open, trying to kiss me. I shoved him back and he fell, knocking the table over. I screamed a stream of foul words at him, he threw the keys at me and I left. He came after me saying you’d better not tell anyone! The transmission worked great, I hit the gas, cranked the wheel so the ass end slewed over and sprayed him with gravel, wonderful gravel, and left, flipping him the bird the whole way. I came storming into my house, screaming at mom about what happened as I grabbed the phone. She said what are you doing? I said I’m calling the cops, what do you think? She yanked the phone out of the wall and said you can’t call the police, they’ll find out what you did!!! No, mom, they won’t, now give me the damn phone! She slapped me. I spun around and left, because if I didn’t I was going to beat her.