Anyway, after I got to our little local gas/grocery and even tire store, I filled my car up and went inside to pay. There were other people ahead of me, so I waited patiently. The girl in front of me looked to be no older than maybe twenty-five, petite and frail. She held the posture of someone who had the weight of the world on her shoulders. I wondered what had such a young person so troubled?
I noticed a book she held tucked in the crook of her arm. When she was next at the counter, she laid it down and that was then I saw the title, "Understanding Abuse." After she had finished her transaction with the clerk, I asked her before she could move aside, "is that book any good? Does it help in understanding abuse?" She stepped out of the way as she replied, "I'm just starting to read it, but so far it's interesting." She stood there and waited for me to finish paying the clerk for my gas. This surprised me because usually people will comment, then rush out of where they are to go about or combat their busy daily lives.
I looked at her and smiled, "I know what it's like to go through something like that, in fact I wrote a book about it." She brightened a bit, "really?" she asked. I nodded my head. She walked with me out the door and into the parking lot towards my car. "I'm just learning about all of this," she said. I noticed a tear drop roll out from under the sunglasses she was wearing and travel down her cheek."
"Damn it!" she exclaimed as she took her sunglasses off to wipe her eyes. My heart sunk when I saw what she had been trying to hide. It was the same sight I had seen of myself so many times, so many years before. "Oh sweetie," I whispered softly as I reached out to give her a hug. She cried on my shoulder asking the same thing I had asked way back when, "how could he do this to me?" I had tears running down my cheeks too. I could feel what she was feeling- I knew that horrible turmoil of agony intimately.
After she had released some of the pain she had inside, I asked her if she wanted to talk. She formed a weak smile as she nodded her head. "Okay, we can talk in my car but I need to move it first," I told her as I waved to the driver of the truck that had pulled in behind me. She quickly hopped in and I drove the car over to the edge of the parking lot.
We sat and talked for an hour. She told me she was staying in a Domestic Abuse safe house and she had been there less than a week. As she poured her heart out to me, I reached into the back seat of my car and grabbed two of the copies of my book, "Graceful Reflections." While I quietly listened to her, I signed one of my books and added my phone number.
After she finished speaking, I handed her the books. "The one with my phone number is for you if you'd like to call- just to talk, and the other book? Would you mind giving it to the shelter for me?" She smiled as she thanked me and said she would make sure the center got the other copy. We parted company, I never did get her name. This happened about two months ago and I have wondered off and on about how she was doing because she never did call.
Last week, while sitting here at my desk and working on a new novel, the phone rang. I answered it.
"Hello Abigail?" a voice questioned.
"Yes," I replied.
"You may not remember me because I know you've got to be really busy, but do you remember the girl you gave a couple of your books to? One for the Domestic Center and one for me? Oh! By the way, my name is Sarah, I forgot to tell you that when we talked."
I remembered... "Are you doing okay hon," I asked, almost afraid she was going to tell me that she went back to her husband. So many of the abused ones do. Regardless though, whether she had or she hadn't. I was very glad to finally hear from her.
I heard her laugh. "Yes, I'm doing really good! I just wanted to let you know how much your book has helped me. It's given me the courage to go on and take control of my life without my husband in it... I haven't gone back to him," she said happily as she continued, "I could feel all kinds of strength coming at me while I was reading it. Thank you! Oh yeah! I wanted you to know too, that I gave the other book to my councelor to have there at the center. She read it and is now using it as an example of how someone can go on and not turn back."
My heart fluttered with joy! When I wrote Graceful Reflections, it was a cathritic process for me, but I also had one goal in mind with having it published. That was, if my book could just help even one person- the revisiting, the pain and the tears while penning it, is well worth all of the emotions I went through. Another miracle, I have witnessed...