Damn! What a screwed up thing to have to live with. Not only that, but she had been thru this before??? “My God, how can that be? It must have been her step dad. She said he was an alcoholic and was abusive to her. Had he sexually abused his step daughter? That would be typical of the kind of household where she was raised. How could a woman survive something like that, more than once in her lifetime, and remain sane??” Damien was perplexed by that, and he wanted to know who Her God was, that she was able have so much faith. From all points and purposes, it would seem that her God had let her down, big-time!
April 27, 1995: The promise faith holds
The next morning Damien awoke to the smell of food. He showered, brushed his teeth and dressed in his blue silk PJs and matching robe, and went in search of food. As he walked out of the bedroom, he met Delyn running full speed to the toilet. Damien stood in the doorway, listening to her gagging in the toilet. He didn’t intrude, but went to the stove, where he found a pan of freshly baked biscuits, grilled ham and soft scrambled eggs. “Oh yum, yum!” he murmured with a smile. He fixed him a plate loaded with ham, eggs and biscuits. Damien waited for about ten minutes before he became concerned: what was she doing in there? “Hey, Dee? Girl you better hurry up or I’m gonna start without you!” Damien chided. Still, there was no answer. Frowning, he walked back to the bedroom. Delyn was balled up on his bed, staring into space. He sat down next her and took her hand. It was cold and shaking. “Hey Dee, what’s the matter? Are you sick? Should I fix you some hot tea? You may have a cold, from this bad weather” he said. Delyn smile up at him warmly. “No, Damien, I’m fine, thank you. I just got a little queasy when I smelled that ham cooking.” Her voice was softer now, like she just woke up. That stirring started again while he looked down at this beautiful soft,
sweet girl, laying here all inviting, smiling up at him from his bed! “You look so much better this morning” she said, and her smile widened, making her even more appealing. He was still holding her cold hand, and a rush of desire hit him square in his gut. He had no idea he had lowered his head until he saw Delyn’s amber eyes close as his lips pressed softly against hers. She sighed softly and her soft mouth parted slightly, and the heat rushed over Damien. He pulled her up and gathered her into his arms as his mouth covered hers. Her mouth was sweet, beckoning him to seek more, to explore more, to taste more. Suddenly, She froze, then gently but firmly pushed him away. “No, Damien, please don’t, I can’t do this” she whispered, and turned her head, but not before he had felt her respond. Then memory made his eyes widen. Damien leaped from the bed. “Oh God, Delyn! I’m so sorry! After what you’ve been thru already! I’m so sorry, I won’t touch you again!” She sat up and smoothed down her shirt. “It’s ok. Let’s just go eat, before breakfast gets cold” she said softly, excepting his apology just like that. At the table they ate in awkward silence. Damien didn’t know what to say, and Delyn didn’t know how to say what she had to say. Finally she just said it. “I’ don’t want you to blame yourself for what happened on your bed” Delyn said. “I’m just as much to blame as you are. The truth is, I wanted to kiss you, too...Damien smiled, and was about to fork a mouthful of egg into his mouth, when she dropped the bomb on him. “But I don’t know if I can ever except a man’s touch again, without feeling violated” Damien looked hard at her, “I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but one day you’ll meet someone, and this pain you have now, it’ll just seem like a bad dream. You’re a strong woman with a lot of faith. You will get thru this, just like you did before, and there is help, counseling for victims like you”. Delyn smiled warmly at Damien. “Thank you for that. You’re very kind, but that’s not the……the hardest part. If that was all I had to deal with, then maybe, yes” she said. Damien raised a brow, asking a question with his eyes. Delyn stared into space. A strange little smile played at the corners of her mouth, making her mouth tremble slightly. . “A month ago, I had to go back to the hospital because I was having dizzy spells losing wait rapidly. The morning after pills hadn’t worked. I guess I waited too long. I’m pregnant, Damien, with my rapist’s child”……it took Damien over 40 seconds to register what she said. He dropped his fork and stared. “WHAT!!” She was ringing her hands and blinking rapidly. Damien didn’t know what to think. “You mean-you mean? He asked. Delyn nodded yes. “My God, Delyn! What are you going to do? I mean, does that rat bastard know?” Delyn cleared her throat and paused. Then her eyes met Damien’s: “No. and he never will. He killed himself ten days after the rape.” Damien fell back against the chair and shook his head. Incredible! “Damn”. He whispered.
Then he stood up and paced the floor. “Well, honey, you several options. I’m sure I don’t have to point them out to you. I know the Doctors already discussed them with you, right?” Delyn got and began clearing away her dishes. She rinsed them and his, and busied herself by loading the dishwasher. “Actually, I have only two options. Keep it, or give it up for adoption. Abortion is not an option for me. I could never kill a child”. At that, Damien winced. He thought about his own child, not given a chance to live and grow. He shook it off. It was too painful to think about, all it will do is lead him back inside a bottle. “But even being a Christian, in a situation like this, surely you would have that option?” He asked. Delyn shook her head. “The decision to take a life is not ours, but God’s. Jehovah’s. I don’t have the right to decide who should live or die. Besides”, she said and stood and looked Damien in the eye. “This child is mine, too. I’m its mother. I could never destroy my child, no matter who its father happened to be. And I won’t give it away. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to raise my own child.” With that, Damien left the conversation alone. He was unintentionally wallowing in his own grief again, missing a child he never got a chance to see, to hold, to love. If she could see life like this, why couldn’t Angela?? How could any mother put her career before the life of her own child?
April 27, 1995: Going home
Later that evening, Damien tried to cheer Delyn up a little. He pulled out a card table and challenged her to a game of poker and black jack. The booty was a handful of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies. Delyn was both amused and craving the cookies, so she played her best game that night. A little before midnight, after Delyn had fallen asleep, Damien got a response from the rescue team: They would be able to get the cabin the following afternoon, with a small boat that would take Delyn and himself to the nearest shelter where they could wait for family and friends. He would tell her in the morning. Damien actually felt a pang of regret that he wouldn’t see those eyes or hear that musical voice anymore after tomorrow. Plus, he was still remembering that kiss, and how good it felt to hold her. It had felt right. The look in her eyes when she looked up at him after the kiss, told him she felt the same way. But they had their own lives to live, their own problems to deal with. The last thing Delyn needed was a man hanging around her at such a time in her life, he told himself. Actually the last thing he needed was the double trouble of a pregnant woman and her unborn child, clogging up his time. It would be too draining, emotionally. Especially since neither the woman nor the child were his. The next morning was awkward as they prepared to leave the cabin. Damien had asked Delyn about the other man who had assaulted her: He was a stranger. It had happened when she was only 9 years old! He couldn’t penetrate her, and that had angered him, so he’d beat her badly and forced her to perform oral sex on him. It made Damien feel so angry and ashamed to be a man! Damien had her book of poetry, with it, he had her e-mail address. He could keep in touch. As the hum of the boat engine got close, they both experienced a pang of regret.
They had made a connection and neither wanted to break it off as yet. Damien believed they had a lot more to talk about, but it would take time. They both had a lot of wounds that needed healing. As the boat slowed near the watery grass at the base of the cabin, Damien sat on the sofa near Delyn. She eyed him nervously. She knew he had more questions. She seemed to be a novelty to him. His dark penetrating stare held her attention. “Well, this is the last day of our ‘escape to hell house’, he joked. His smile warmed Delyn down deep. ‘I hope this isn’t the end of our new friendship, Delyn. I would like to call you from time to time, just to see how you are, if that’s ok?” he added. Delyn smiled as she lifted her backpack onto her shoulders. ‘That’s very kind of you, Damien, but I don’t think that’s a good idea, under the circumstances”. Damien understood her reasons. He knew she felt that she should go this alone, and that since he wasn’t part of her life, her spiritual life, it would be an awkward situation for them both. Damien nodded but he wasn’t giving up on her, and quietly walked outside. One of the two Texas Rangers stepped from the boat to assist them with their bags.
After the Ranger walked out to the boat, Damien caught Delyn by her shoulders and pulled her against him. She gasped and looked into his eyes. “Before you go, I have something to say: I think you’re the bravest most amazing woman in the world. You’re going to make a great mother, because you have so much love in you. The bad that you’ve had to endure has only made you stronger and tougher. I can’t believe that you didn’t let this make you a bitter alcoholic or drug addict! I have pain that I have a hard time dealing with, but it’s nothing compared to yours”, he confessed. Delyn studied him closely. ‘I know. I’ve seen it in your eyes form the first time I saw you, Damien, but I wasn’t going to push you to talk about it if you didn’t want to’, she said softly. He grinned broadly. ‘No man can look into those big amber eyes of yours and not confess all that he knows! There’re very compelling!” Damien said. “But, it can wait. I don’t think confessing at the door is a good thing. But I will tell you one day, as I know we’re going to be seeing each other again”. He said this with such determination that Delyn could only stare at him. He was still holding her shoulders, and before she could pull loose, Damien bent his head and pressed his mouth to hers. When Delyn didn’t move, Damien wrapped his arms around her waist and pressed her firmly to him, molding their bodies together. The kiss was light and close mouthed, but she still trembled from the contact. Damien lifted his mouth from hers but still held her pressed against him, his warm breath fanning her neck. Delyn sighed and wrapped her arms around his neck in return. Neither of them spoke. There was no need to. The moment spoke for itself. They walked out to the boat and was helped in by the rangers. They talked with the Rangers on the way to the shelter. There was a lot of people stranded in the storm. Once they were in the shelter they lost each other. Delyn went home and took a long bath, so glad to be home in her own place! The following day she read her e-mails: They had piled up but she read all 30. a week later she saw one that caught her eye. Delyn smiled as her heart raced: It was from Damien! It read: “hello Ms. James how was your first week back in your own home? Mine was frightful!, I had to listen to over 125 voice mails from my staff and 138 from my friends! Phew! So glad to be back in the mix of chaos! Ha ha ha! Anyway, I’ve been going to your poetry website every night since I got home: I must say, lady, you are so very talented! I really enjoyed the one I read tonight, ‘Beloved’. I plan on reading one every evening before bed, that way I can be delighted with your words each night, for the next 366 nights!” Delyn’s cheeks warmed. She was so flattered by his words........
”Delyn, how are doing, really? I know you won’t see me right now, and I understand why and respect your decision, but I want you to know that I’ve been reading the pamphlets you left, along with my Bible. I had no idea all this was in my Bible! My eyes have been opened and it’s so exciting, I can hardly sleep! And when I do sleep, I have the most wonderful dreams, Delyn. What interests me most right now is the Resurrection of the dead: Delyn, is this true ? Because if it really is, I have reason to believe that my baby will be given back to me!........My baby: I haven’t told you what happened, have I? One day I will, but not online, in person. You have a good night, Delyn. We’ll chat again soon”. Delyn shut off the PC and sighed. She was not sure if she should answer anymore of his e-mails. This was not appropriate. But Delyn went to bed longing for a man who was not hers, and for a love that could never be! “Oh, Damien, if only we had met at another time!” She whispered, and fell asleep with tears on her cheeks.***
True to his word, Damien read and left a comment about one of her poems, everyday. Despite her efforts not to, Delyn read every comment and every e-mail he sent, with joy. Thru the internet they became very close. Delyn was very proud of his progress in The Truth. He spoke like a true Witness. Most of their chat was about what he was learning. And he was learning fast! Damien was eating up every word from his studies, like a starving man! This made Delyn’s heart swell with love. She had to admit to herself, she did feel love for this man. Delyn was back into her life, going from door to door, witnessing about the Truth. Then one day, about 2 months later, she got 2 very special surprises: the first one happened in her kitchen while she was preparing her dinner. She had just finished mixing a green salad with grilled chicken and apples when she experienced a light fluttering in her lower stomach: Delyn gasped and smiled. The baby moved! It was alive! Delyn touched her tummy and tears gathered in her eyes. Before that moment, it has just been a pregnancy. She was aware of being pregnant because of the occasional nausea and cravings for food she never would have eaten otherwise. But now it was more than a condition: at that moment Delyn realized there was a human growing inside her body! A life was forming, developing into an individual little person, and she was overcome with joy. But there was a little fear mixed in: This little person had no one but her, to provide for its every need, for its financial, emotional and physical growth and nurturing. It would be the biggest challenge of her 25 years of life, but one she was gladly taking on. “I’m going to be a mother”, she whispered, with her voice trembling with emotion. Then she called her family with the news of the baby moving for the first time. Then she called her spiritual sisters, too. Later that evening while she read some literature, she heard a soft tap at her door. Delyn frowned, because she wasn’t expecting company. No one ever came by without calling first. When she asked who it was, she got her second special surprise: “Open the door and find out” he said. Delyn could hardly breathe.
Standing before her, holding a bouquet of fresh red roses and a big smile on his handsome face, was Damien! When she didn’t move, Damien cleared his throat and asked if he could come in. Delyn nodded, not sure of her voice. Once inside, Damien sat the roses on the coffee table, along with a paper bag he was carrying, turned to Delyn. “Well don’t just stand there, girl! Give me a hug!” and then he slid his arms around her waist and pressed her firmly against him. A rush of emotion came over her. She didn’t want to seem too anxious to see him, but she was. It wasn’t proper for them to be touching like this, but she couldn’t resist herself, and gladly wrapped her arms around his neck. He smelled good, like some spicy aftershave, and his own masculine scent. And it felt good to be in his arms again. That familiar tingle washed over her when Damien’s lips softly grazed her neck. Embarrassed by her own emotions, Delyn backed out of his arms reluctantly. Damien, still smiling, placed his hands on her shoulders and held her at arms length. “Well, how are, girl?” He asked as he surveyed her from head to toe. “You look great, all cute and fluffy!” He joked, and they both laughed. Actually, she wasn’t that big. Her tummy had just begun to swell slightly a few weeks earlier. They sat on the sofa and Damien asked Delyn to pour them a drink. When she shook her head, he turned the bottle around so she could see the label: White Concord grape juice. Blushing, Delyn got two glasses and poured the juice. They sat and talked for about an hour, catching up on things. “Delyn, you mentioned back at the cabin, that this rape by Jason wasn’t the first time it had happened to you. From what I gathered about your stepfather, that he was an alcoholic and drug user, leads me to believe he may have sexually abused you as a child”. Damien’s eyes were gentle and pained as he waited for Delyn’s response. Shocked that he would think that, Delyn shook her head and frowned. “No, no, Damien, my stepfather may have been many things, some not good, but he was not a pedophile! No, he would never have hurt me like that! It was when I was 9 years old, I was sexually assaulted by 2 teen boys at the Texas State Fair. I was sodomized and beaten badly, and that’s when I had to go to trial. It was very hard on me, because I was so young! That’s all I have to confess to, but you haven’t told me why you were trying to kill yourself in a bottle at that cabin”. That’s when Damien told her about his baby: that his wife had supposedly went on a business trip for two weeks. After she got back, she was distant with him and wouldn’t make love with him. Damien rightly suspected she was having an affair. After many days of him demanding her to admit the truth, she finally did: she had gone away to have an abortion. The baby was his, but she didn’t want children. She had only come to that conclusion after she found out she was pregnant. She knew Damien would never agree to an abortion, that he would fight it, so she had it done without his knowledge. Damien was devastated. Angela knew before they were married, how desperately he wanted a family. Damien had lost both his parents and didn’t have any siblings. Damien filed for divorce. She didn’t contest it, and it was over quickly. Delyn watched his handsome face as he talked, changing between sadness and anger. Without a second thought, she took his hand and held it tight. As natural as rain, their fingers intertwined. They sat quietly for a few minutes, just absorbing all that had been said between them, feeling the bond between them grow stronger. Then he turned to Delyn and took both her hands in his. The look on his face was so serious that it scared her. “Dear sweet Delyn, that’s why I find you so appealing, so amazing. My wife killed by baby because it would interfere with her career. But you, you’re giving life to a child who’s father took away your choice to become a mother, and you doing this is so, so outstanding to me!” Damien exclaimed. Delyn’s face warmed and she lowered her eyes. This conversation was felt too intimate to her, she felt uncomfortable hearing him say this, even though she had told him all this. He was putting her on a pedestal, and she didn’t feel that she deserved to be there… “Because of meeting you, I have a whole new outlook on life and what it means.” His stare became different, hot and tense when he spoke next. “We have so much in common, Delyn. So much more than me and Angela had. I feel like I’ve known you all my life, and you know what’s so strange?: The more I study and learn about the Truth, the more I feel I know you. And that’s why I feel compelled to say this”: Damien scooted closer, and before she knew what was happening, he kissed her. he was breathless when he spoke again. “I love you, Delyn.