Member Blog Post
Beth’s sitting at the kitchen table sipping on a tall glass of iced tea…her mind racing with questions…wondering what really happened that night. Her concentration’s broken when she hears thuds coming from out back on the porch. Beth calls out…
“Yes, mommy?” Anna answers - from the living room.
Beth’s hands start shaking so hard that she could hear the ice cubes in her drink clanging against the inside of the glass. She puts the glass down and stares at the back screen door. More thuds.
“Mommy, did you want me?”
“No.” Beth gets up from the chair, “That’s okay, Sweetie; never mind.”
Beth slowly walks towards the door, stopping every time she hears another thud. When she reaches the back screen door, she stops, takes a deep breath, and opens it very slowly - leaving enough space for her to stick her head out - holding onto the doorknob of the inside door; ready to slam it shut if need be.
Beth cautiously pokes her head out the door, looking in the direction of where she’s heard the thumping coming from. At the end of the porch, Tommy’s jumping up and down with his arms stretched out over his head - like he’s trying to get something out of his reach. She steps out and slowly moves towards him; stopping a few feet away. Tommy doesn’t notice her standing there. Beth calls to him in a soft, soothing tone…
Tommy turns, looks at Beth and gives her a big smile. Beth gets down on one knee - lowering herself to his height - and smiles back. He goes over and gives her a hug.
Not sure how to react, Beth remains motionless with her arms down at her sides; while his arms remain draped over her shoulders. Her eyes tear as the corners of her mouth quiver. She finally gives in, wraps her arms around him, returning his hug, and cries.
Tommy whispers in her ear, “Don’t cry; hug.”
Beth holds on a little longer; then releases him. She leans back - wiping her eyes dry with her shirt sleeve while sniffling - and tells him, “Tommy, Honey, Chelsea’s been looking for you. She’s worried about you.”
Tommy frowns; then shakes his head vigorously from side to side yelling, “No!”
Beth gently places her hands on each side of his head to stop him from shaking it. “Tommy, Honey, what’s wrong; don’t you want to be with your sister?”
Still frowning. “No.”
“Why not, Honey?”
“What do you mean she’s bad, Tommy?”
“Chelsea hurt me.”
“She hurt you? How?”
He answers with his soft child voice, “With the hammer.”
Beth releases Tommy’s head and stands up, crossing her right arm across her chest and bringing her left hand over her mouth, trying to swallow the lump in her throat. She’s stunned; and takes a moment to regroup before asking…
“Tommy, Honey;” Beth’s shaking, fighting that lump in her throat, as tears once again form in her eyes, “how did she hurt you with the hammer?”
“She hit me in the head with it. She hit it over and over. It hurt.”
Beth drops to her knees and takes Tommy in her arms; hugging him tightly. Tears run down her cheeks as she struggles to hold her sobs back. She tries to comfort him by gently stroking his head with her hand, and assures him…
“It’s okay, Honey; I won’t let Chelsea hurt you again.”
Tommy hugs Beth back, whispering in her ear, “You won’t tell Chelsea you saw me? Please don’t tell her.”
“No, Tommy, I won’t tell her.”
Tommy hugs Beth tighter. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Beth releases her hold, wipes her eyes and asks, “Tommy, Honey, where do you stay?”
Tommy hesitates before asking, “You swear you won’t tell Chelsea?”
“Yes, Tommy, I swear I won’t tell her.”
Tommy becomes quiet again; then turns and points. Beth looks and jumps up; then looks back at Tommy.
“Tommy; you stay in the barn?”
“Yes; I stay there with Mary. I like Mary; she’s nice to me.”