Title Pic

Title Pic

Friday, September 5, 2014

Chapter 27

Bean he was right and I told him so.  Eating the liver did seem to help.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s just his cooking or something.  He laughed when I told him.  I like it when he laughs like that.  Like he got a good surprise.   

I wish I was a different kind of woman.  I wish … well it is stupid because it’s never going to happen and all I do is make myself feel bad when I think about it … like now.  But it’s the truth.  I wish I was all fresh and new and had all that to give to Roman.  He deserves better than some dock whore.  I’d forgotten that there were good men.  I’d forgotten because I hadn’t wanted to think about it.  Hadn’t wanted to think about what I’d never have.  Only I do remember now and I do have one that for some reason wants to be with just me even though I don’t deserve to.  And I know I’m only fifteen but I don’t feel it.  A lot of the time I feel old and tired and used up.  I try not to for Roman and for you too Bean but I don’t think I’m ever going to feel fresh and new, there’s just no way.  And maybe I don’t deserve it either. 

It was cold yesterday but there was no snow like the Sunday before so there was no way we could get out of going to church meeting.  Andrew has come by almost every day like we are a special case that he has to work extra hard on to get to keep his ticket to Heaven or something.  Like he’s almost afraid to fail.   

Roman was seriously angry at basically being told he and I both better be in a pew on Sunday willingly or that Mr. Beauchamp would come get us and put us there unwilling.  I told Roman not to be mad because his family was afraid. 

“Afraid?!  Of what?!” 

I still don’t understand why some things are so easy for me to see and so hard for him to see.  I explained, “Being wrong.  I can see it on Andrew every time he comes.  He’s more and more desperate.  I don’t know why I just know that is what he is.” 

“Andrew?  No way.  He’s sure about everything.” 

“Is he?  I don’t think so.  I think he acts like he is sure because if he isn’t sure other people might start doubting.” 

“And how do you figure that?” 

“I remember … sometimes I remember … the things my father would say.  He wasn’t a big man like you and your brothers.  He wasn’t loud.  But … but he had something.  People looked up to him even if they had to look down.  He brought quiet into a room just by walking in … didn’t matter how crazy everything was, he just … it was almost like he wore it like a coat or something.  And he could open that coat and everyone that needed to could fit inside it too. I remember him saying once that he couldn’t be any other way because people needed to see him believing in and acting the same way he told them they needed to act and what to believe in.  He didn’t want to be the reason they had a … a crisis of faith.  Or something like that.” 

Roman was quiet for a long time.  “Would you mind going to Sunday meeting?  If the weather isn’t too bad?” 

“I think we better.  I think … I don’t know Roman.  I think maybe you need to find out if anything is going on that we need to know about.” 

“You’re thinking of Alex aren’t you?” 

“I’d rather not but yeah … I can’t forget he … he tried to make Bean go away.  I’ve tried not to think about him much at all ‘cause I’m with you now but …” 

“Ok, we’ll go but only if the weather is good enough and only so long as you feel ok.  And we’re leaving if Alex is there.” 


Well Alex wasn’t at the church meeting but just about everyone else in the enclave was.  It was a toss up to see who they were more interested in seeing how they would act.  Us.  Roman’s family.  Or Patty who I admit seemed to almost be on the verge of tears the whole time when she wasn’t praying like her life depended on it.   

Fletcher kinda squashed the worst of the nosy parkers by coming over and sitting with us but then Roman said, “You don’t need to sit here Fletch, we’re gonna mind.  Geez.” 

I put my elbow in Roman’s side and he said, “Ow!  What did you do that for?” 

“To keep you from burning a bridge you’ll be sorry to see go.  I think your friend is being your friend, not Saul’s man.” 

“Oh,” he said remorsefully.  “Uh …” 

Fletcher smiled and said, “Not possible.  He’s already tried and I’m fireproof.  Sorry I ain’t been able to get out that way.  I’ve uh … been helping Patty.” 

Both men looked uncomfortable so I said, “That’s what brothers do.  At least they do when they are good brothers.” 

Fletcher gave a small grin and Roman gave a bigger one.  “Fletcher makes a good brother … even when he isn’t your brother.” 

Both men relaxed all the way from there except for occasionally stiffening up when someone would get close to being rude as they walked by.  For the most part though no one did and in a way that made it harder for me because there was no one for me to fight, even if it was just fighting in my head.  And that made me think about how I act.  And from there I just couldn’t hide from all that is wrong with me. 

Bean I’m sorry if I’ve embarrassed you at some point or made it hard for you to be the best you can be.  I’d like to say it’s not my fault but I have a feeling most of it is.  Andrew’s sermon was on how we could turn over a new leaf and be a new person, we just had to decide that is what we are going to do.  And it sounded almost easy when he said it, but it seems no matter how much I try and be a new person there’s some things that just aren’t ever going to be that way.  I can’t unknow the stuff I know about men.  I can’t unlearn what it feels like to be in pain or to have done to me some of the things that were done.  I can’t seem to change that I get suspicious when anyone touches me.  Even with Roman it is hard not to assume that he’s wondering about bedroom stuff.  It’s impossible to unknow what people are thinking when they look at me because I can see it in their eyes.  Maybe I’ll live a long, long time Bean but I’ll never be able to cut out the part of me that says dock whore to everyone who looks at me.  It’s like I’m unwashably dirty. 

After Sunday meeting Mr. Beauchamp demanded we come back to their place to eat and discuss how things were going.  Then he just walked away like it was a foregone conclusion that we would follow. 

“Why?  Dad never cared to discuss anything with me before,” Roman asked Peter who stood looking after their father. 

“Because he wants to know.” 

“Again … why?  Seriously Peter, none of you have ever asked me that kind of thing before.  I don’t get it.  We’re staying out of everyone’s way.  We haven’t asked for nothing.  What could he possibly think we are doing to get into trouble?” 

“Roman don’t be so defensive.  You know how it is.” 

“No.  No I really don’t.  I’m telling you Dad has never … look, just tell ‘em I’m taking Thorn back.  She’s still recovering from all she’s been through and she’s a lot more quiet than she normally is.  And her color is funny again.” 

“I can see that.  So did Mom.  While you and Dad talk she says she wants to do all that female checking stuff on her.” 

“She has a name.  It’s Thorn.  Try using it.” 

“Dammit, you’re as prickly as she is.” 

Saul walked up and it was he that told Roman, “It’s more than family stuff.  It is an informal enclave meeting.  You are one of the furthest out of the occupied houses and we’ve heard some other enclaves have had trouble with people leaving the city looking for food and trying to move into the various territories.  We are a piece out but Donovan’s group is further and they’ve had run-ins with city people already.” 

“Donovan’s group might be further out distance wise but I told you it was stupid for them to build that close to that trail grouping.  I told him then that if the trail was convenient for his horses it was going to be just as convenient for people to walk on.  That horse trail they live off of is part of that big state trail system and abandoned or not it has accesses all up and down the old interstate.  All someone has to do is get on it and start walking and they’ll eventually pass his enclave.” 

Saul looked at him like he’d said something interesting.  “If I plot the points you think you could figure where they are most likely starting at?” 

“If someone will read off the city names and give me times and how well they were equipped and not just points.  One thing for sure is that if they are making it all the way to Donovan’s they are either getting help or going through areas where they can get supplies from.  That means someone needs to check on, if they haven’t already, all of those real small family groups that have set up around there too.”


  1. Thank's Kathy, again great story thanks for your time and for sharing your gift with us.

  2. Well, I like roman. he seems to have a major crush on her, and he treats her sweetly. I'd like to see them get their place built up and eventually do better than those dear brothers of his.

    Thorn needs to find herself worthy of a new name. Maybe something from sweeter times like a mother or an aunts name or something. Or maybe something she likes.. something all her own. When i adopted one of my kids, he hated his old life so bad and wanted a new name. I gave him all kinds to choose from, and he eventually chose the name Brett. (I was hoping for Connor lol)

    Too many bad people attached to the name Thorn. Too many bad / sad memories. She doesn't like the flower theme, but maybe an herb thing. Rosemary, Ginger, Sage.. im brain dead tired, so those may be dumb names lol.

    There is a lot about Thorn that reminds me of my daughter. Tough lil thing, but inside so young and unsure of herself. Its just gonna take time and love for her to trust again.