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On a Wednesday night in early April, I was unwinding in bed when there was a light knock on my door.
My sister Michelle opened the door. “Chris, can I talk for a while?”
Michelle closed the door and didn’t turn the lights on. I could barely make her out as she made her way over to my bed. She lay down next to me on her stomach with her head close to the headboard.
When our parents redecorated their bedroom, I got their old king-sized bed. I had eight small pillows on my bed. As usual when I had first got under the covers, I had formed a triangle with the pillows behind my back so that I was supported in a sitting up position. Eventually, I’d get sleepy and then roll over on my side and go to sleep. Where Michelle was lying, she was within easy reach of my right hand.
I knew Michelle was upset by the way she had addressed me. Normally, she used my full first name Christopher and said it in a way that mocked the pretentiousness of using such a long first name. It was a little joke between us. When I had been old enough to understand what pretentiousness was, I had switched to using Chris. Only family called me Christopher.
Michelle played with my blanket for a while and then said, “I broke up with Jared today.”
Jared had been Michelle’s boyfriend for the last year and a half. He was twenty-two, which was two years older than me and four years older than her. He was a big guy and worked as a bouncer at a bar. Nice, very protective of Michelle.
“I’m sorry to hear it. What brought on the break up?”
“I don’t want to discuss it.”
Michelle didn’t leave and she didn’t say anything else. I felt like she wanted to be comforted. I reached out my right hand and stroked her back. Michelle was very slim, so she had a small back. I kept stroking it, running my hand across her shoulder blades and then slowly working down to the small of her back before returning to her shoulder blades.
Michelle didn’t say anything for a while. Finally, she said, “That feels nice.”
I didn’t say anything. I felt she wanted to say more so I waited patiently, continuing to stroke her back.
Eventually, Michelle asked, “Chris, would you please do me a favor?”
“Would you pick me up at school tomorrow?” Michelle was still a senior in high school. “Could you take me to work tomorrow?”
I took morning classes at the local community college and worked from three to close as an assistant manager at a chain pharmacy store. I worked Tuesday through Saturday. I usually spent the time between the end of my last class and the start of work at my girlfriend Gina’s apartment. She was also a student at the community college. We’d study for a while and fuck for a while. Michelle worked at a fast food place five to nine Monday through Friday. She didn’t have a car. Jared had picked up her from school, taken her to his place and then had taken her to work.
From the way Michelle had asked, she had sounded in pain. Taking her to work would be a hassle, but I felt I couldn’t tell her no.
“I’ll pick you up, no problem. I’ll work it out with my manager to take you to work. I may have to take you a little early.”
I was still stroking Michelle’s back. I felt her relax. She said, “That’d be okay. I’m going to need a car. Would you help me buy one this weekend?”
Michelle continued lying on her stomach on my bed. I continued stroking her back. I didn’t know if she had more to ask or say, so I waited patiently.
After a while, Michelle said, “The back strokes feel so good. Can I borrow a pillow?”
I gave Michelle one of my pillows. She put it under her head and scooched closer to me. I continued stroking her back. For probably twenty minutes, I stroked her back as Michelle lay close to me. I started getting sleepy. I’d normally roll over into the spot Michelle was lying in and go to sleep, but I obviously couldn’t do that.
At last, Michelle said sleepily, “I need to get to my own bed before I fall asleep here. Thanks, Chris.”
Michelle got up and left the room. I put the pillow she had used back into the triangle and lay there for a few more minutes before rolling over and going to sleep.
* * * *
In between classes, I called my manager and told her I’d needed to start work a little late today and tomorrow because of family issues. She was fine with that. I left Gina’s early and picked up Michelle from school. Michelle had asked me to pick her up at the backside of the school. We talked about our classes on the way home. Something seemed wrong, but Michelle apparently didn’t want to discuss it. Michelle was studying when I left for work.
At four, I left work and went home. I picked up Michelle and drove her to her work. We talked some more. Michelle seemed to be putting up a brave front while struggling to keep it together. I felt like I had made the right decision to pick her up and casino şirketleri take her to work. Dad would pick her up as usual.
That night, Michelle came into my room again after I had gone to bed. She lay down next to me on her stomach and asked, “Can I have a pillow please?” I gave her one.
I stroked her back again and waited. After about ten minutes, Michelle said, “Do you want to know why I broke up with Jared?”
“He slapped me.”
“Holy shit, Michelle. He slapped you? What an asshole! Do you want me to teach him a lesson?”
“Calm down. All I want you to do is listen.”
“You could press charges…”
“Stop. I don’t want you to make suggestions. I don’t want you to get revenge for me. I don’t even want you to call Jared an asshole. All I want you to do is listen. Okay?”
“Okay.” I was pissed off. I wanted to get out of bed and go find Jared. But I would stay here and listen to Michelle as she wanted. Then I’d go find Jared.
Michelle didn’t say anything for a while. I continued stroking her back. She was tense again, like she had been last night before asking me if I could pick her up and take her to work. I waited for her to say what more she had to say.
Michelle broke the silence by saying, “We were having dinner.” During the week, Michelle and Jared had ate dinner early together before going off to their respective work places. “Jared was complaining I had cooked the pasta too long and it was soft and mushy. I reached for his plate to offer to throw away the pasta and make him something else. As I reached, I knocked over my glass of milk. Jared said, ‘You stupid bitch’ and slapped me.”
I was even more shocked. I even more wanted to track him down.
“He was all apologetic afterward. He hadn’t meant it. He had gotten carried away. He would never do it again. He was really nice to me the rest of the day. That was Tuesday.”
The light was off in my room. A little light came in through the window, enough that I could see Michelle was crying. I kept stroking her back. I didn’t know what else to say or do and it seemed to be what she wanted.
Michelle continued, “Tuesday night after work, I looked on the Internet about abusive relationships. The articles described my relationship with Jared to a T. Jared is very controlling and constantly criticizing me. He’s forced me to give up all of my friends. He expects me to do all the cleaning and cooking at his apartment. From what I read, the physical abuse would continue, occurring more often and worse.”
Michelle was quiet as I made a circuit across her back. Then she said, “I loved Jared. He made me feel so special. He put me up on a pedestal. He spent a lot of money on me; taking me out to nice dinners and buying me nice clothes. He made me feel so safe and protected. No guy would mess with his woman. I just never realized he’d be the threat one day.”
“You’re safe at home now.”
Michelle sighed. “Wednesday when Jared dropped me off at work, I did the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I told him we were through and that I never wanted to see him again. He tried to convince me to not break up with him. I ran inside work. That night, he was waiting when I got off of work. He tried talking to me, but I didn’t say anything to him. You know Dad has never liked him. It got pretty ugly between Jared and Dad before Dad and I got in the car. Jared then left me tons of voice mails and texts. He’s sent me lots of tweets and messages in Facebook. I blocked his phone number and defriended him on Facebook.”
This sounded pretty scary. I was glad she was blocking him.
“Today, Jared got a new phone number and left me more messages and texts. These were a lot scarier, telling me that I’d regret breaking up with him. He was waiting again when I got off of work and repeatedly yelled that I’d regret breaking up with him while I walked to the car with Dad.”
I was getting even more pissed. I asked, “Did Dad confront Jared?”
“Dad yelled at him, ‘Take a hike, loser.'”
I asked, “What did Dad say to you in the car?”
“That he’d always thought Jared was a jerk. That I was getting what I deserved for going out with him. And that this should be a lesson in the importance of going out with right kind of guy, someone with a future.”
“Shit.” There was no problem Dad couldn’t make worse with some blaming. “Did you tell him Jared slapped you?”
“No. You’re the only one I’ve told.”
I started getting out of bed.
Michelle asked, “What are you doing?”
“I’m going to find Jared and have a talk with him.”
“No! That’s not what I want you to do. Jared is my problem and I will deal with him.”
“He needs to learn a lesson.”
“He’s a bouncer. He’s a lot bigger and stronger than you. He knows how to deal with irate people. If you confront him, you’ll wind up getting hurt.”
“Well, I’ll hurt Jared too.”
“I don’t want either of you getting hurt, okay? I didn’t tell you that Jared slapped me so that you’d go charging off to get hurt. I told you because casino firmaları I wanted you to understand what was going on and support me. Confronting Jared is not supporting me.”
I was furious at Jared and I was getting frustrated with Michelle. She wanted me to do nothing? “What do you want me to do?”
“I want you to do what you did last night. Stroke my back. Be sympathetic. Listen. Help me get to sleep.”
“Okay.” I took a deep breath to calm myself down, then I arranged my pillow triangle and laid back against it. Michelle lay on her stomach facing away from me, within easy reach of my right hand. I resumed stroking her back.
After a couple of minutes, Michelle turned to me and said, “Christopher, promise me that you’ll not go see Jared. That you won’t communicate with him.”
“Michelle, something needs to be done.”
“Let me handle it. Jared is my problem. Support me in dealing with him in the way I think is best.”
I thought the way she was dealing with him was very unsatisfactory, but it was her life. “Okay.”
Michelle faced away from me and I continued stroking her back. After a few minutes, she said, “Would you mind if I slept here tonight? Tonight was so bad. Your back strokes have me relaxed enough to go to sleep and I’m worried that if I get up and go to my bedroom, I’ll think about Jared all night.”
“No problem,” I said. “There’s plenty of room. Let’s move a little more to the left.”
Michelle got under the covers while shifting a foot towards the middle of the bed. She continued lying on her stomach, facing away from me. I moved my triangle of pillows over a foot. I couldn’t reach Michelle’s back since she was under the covers, so I switched to running my fingers through her hair. Michelle had shoulder-length black hair. I started above her left ear and ran my fingers from the front of her head to the back. Then I moved my hand a little up her head and made another pass from front to back. I slowly worked my hand across her head until I reached where her head touched the pillow. I started over again above her left ear. I kept going even after I heard her sleeping.
Eventually, I knocked my triangle off the left side of the bed except for a couple of pillows. I put one under my head and gripped the other in my arms as I always did. I faced Michelle’s sleeping form and fell asleep.
* * * *
When my alarm went off the next morning, I was a little startled to see Michelle sleeping next to me. Michelle sat up and stretched. I asked, “Sleep well?”
Michelle said with a smile, “Yes. Much better than last night. Thanks for letting me sleep here.”
Michelle said sternly, “Remember – no seeing Jared and no communicating with him. Promise?”
Michelle got of my bed and went to her room.
I thought about breaking my promise. But what exactly would I do if I confronted Jared? Call him an asshole? Take a swing at him? I’m 5’10” with a slight build. Jared is at least three inches taller than me and much broader. He had been a wrestler in high school and continued to hit the weights. He shaved his head. He made an ominous figure. Michelle was 5′ 6″ and very thin, so he had always seemed like a mountain next to her. If I took a swing at Jared, he’d stop the punch and then beat the crap out of me. Michelle would then be pissed at me for breaking my promise and for getting hurt.
I swung out of bed. Our house is a two-story house. The second floor had my bedroom, Michelle’s bedroom, the guest bedroom and a bathroom. The bathroom had doors into my bedroom, Michelle’s and the hallway. Michelle and I did our own laundry and cleaned the upstairs. Mom and Dad rarely came upstairs. So I didn’t have any concerns Mom or Dad would notice that Michelle slept in my room.
I came downstairs for breakfast. Mom and Dad insisted we have breakfast as a family, so I had to get up when everyone else did even though it would be a while before I left for school. We rarely talked at breakfast. When we did, it was Mom or Dad telling me or Michelle to do something.
Another typical day at school and then at Gina’s. I again picked Michelle up at school. When I got close to our house, I saw Jared in his car in front of our house. I told Michelle, “Get down.” I drove past the house and continued on.
“What do you need from the house?” I asked Michelle.
“My clothes for work.”
“Okay. I’ll take you to the library. You can study there. I’ll go back home, get your work clothes and bring them to the library. I’ll pick you up there to take you to work.”
“You’ll be late for work.”
“Can’t be helped.”
When we got to the library, Michelle said, “Don’t do anything stupid. Don’t get in a fight with him. Don’t even call him a name.”
“Michelle, I’ll handle it.”
“No. You’ll promise to do it my way or I won’t get out of the car.”
I didn’t want to do it Michelle’s way. But I didn’t have time to argue. “Okay, I’ll do it your way.”
I dropped Michelle off and drove back to the house. güvenilir casino As I pulled into the driveway, Jared got out of his car.
Jared approached me and said, “Where’s Michelle?”
I was getting close to the front door. I said, “Doesn’t matter. She doesn’t want to see you anymore. Move on. She has.”
“Is she here?”
“Doesn’t matter. Move on. Take off.”
“I want to talk to her.”
“She doesn’t want to talk to you.”
“She can’t dump me like this. She has to talk to me, give me a chance to convince her that she’s making a big mistake.”
“No she doesn’t. She doesn’t have to do squat.”
I opened the door and stepped inside. Before I could close the door in Jared’s face, he forced his way in.
Jared asked, “Is she home?”
I badly wanted to take a swing at the asshole, but I had promised Michelle. “It doesn’t matter. No one wants you here. Go away. Don’t come back.”
Jared started searching the house.
I yelled, “Do you want me to call the police?”
He yelled back from the family room, “I’m doing nothing wrong.”
“You’re in my house without permission. If you don’t leave, I’m going to call the police and you can explain to them you’ve done nothing wrong.”
Jared came back into the entryway. “You won’t do that, punk.” Then he raced up the stairs.
I pulled out my phone. I yelled up the stairs, “I’ve got my phone out.”
Jared yelled back down, “I’ll be long gone before they get here.”
He would be. And I’d be even later for work. Without dialing a number, I put the phone to my ear and said loudly, “I’d like to report an intruder who’s forced his way into my home.”
Jared raced down the steps. He said, “Cram it, asshole,” as he passed me on the way out the door.
Once he was gone, I got a big paper bag we had gotten from some clothing store and put Michelle’s work clothes into it. I did my best to not wrinkle them. I took the bag out to the car and drove to the library. I went around the block a couple of times on the way to make sure I wasn’t being followed. The next time I saw Jared, I was calling the cops.
* * * *
When I picked up Michelle at the library, we discussed the next challenge – her buying a car.
“Jared wouldn’t hear of me buying a car,” Michelle said. “He promised to take me wherever I needed to go. I’d be safer that way.” And more dependent on him. Michelle sighed, “I don’t have a lot of money saved up. I want a dependable car. But I don’t think I can afford one.”
“How much do you have saved up?”
She told me. It wasn’t enough to get a decent car.
“How about this. This car is dependable. I’d like a nicer car when I go away to college.” I had been accepted for my junior and senior years to a top-notch state university two-hours away. I had saved quite a bit of money for finishing college. I had bought this car when I had turned sixteen. It had a lot of dents, cracked fiberglass and paint smears from me learning to drive by Braille too many times, but I had maintained it well during the last four years and it was quite reliable. “I’ll sell it to you for a good price and buy a new car.”
“You’d do that for me?”
* * * *
At bedtime, I had a pillow waiting for Michelle when she came into my room.
Michelle lay down on the covers next to me. I started stroking her back.
“How was work?” I asked.
“Pretty good. Jared was there when I got off. When I walked to the car with Dad, Jared walked along with us. He said I was making a big mistake. A girl as plain as me and with a scrawny body like mine wasn’t going to get another guy like him. And then he took off.”
“Did Dad say anything to him?”
“No, but he spent the whole drive home telling me how stupid I was for dating a loser like Jared.”
“Dad didn’t tell you you’re pretty?” I hoped that Dad had said something nice to Michelle during what was obviously a rough time.
Michelle was pretty. Dark brown eyes, long black lashes and thick black eyebrows that arched perfectly. A delicate, slightly upturned nose. Her skin was fairly pale, which made her red lips stand out.
“No.” Michelle spat it out like it was a blazingly obvious answer.
I was pissed at Jared. Furious at him. Thought he was a total asshole. But I was almost as pissed at Dad. He was being such a dick. When your daughter is badly hurting is not the time to do a “told you so” victory dance.
I said, “You are pretty.”
“But I’ve got no tits! I’m flat as a board!”
“You’ve got a great ass.”
“I said you’ve got a great ass. Not that I spend a lot of time looking at your ass. But I’ve seen you a few times in a bikini and in my opinion, you have a great ass.”
Michelle seemed flustered, like she didn’t know what to do with the compliment. Or maybe she was wondering if I was lying to her to make her feel better.
“You are pretty,” I continued. “If you weren’t pretty, then Jared wouldn’t have dated you. He’s a good-looking guy and probably had his pick of girls. He picked you. If you were really plain and had a scrawny body, he wouldn’t be trying so hard to get you back.”
Michelle was quiet for a while and then said, “You really think I’m pretty even though I’ve got no tits?”
Ben Esra telefonda seni bosaltmami ister misin?
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