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TITLE: Jacob the Redeemed
By Heather Sargent

I want to honestly know what people think of this as there is so much more of this story to tell. Believe it or not, much of this is true. My friend is an amazing woman of God and I would love to tell her story.
Liv Johansen was in a quandary. As she stared at the untouched canvas in front of her, she couldn’t decide whether to color the sky daylight blue or sunrise yellow. She laughed at herself, perplexed over something so small when only three years ago she was terrified for her life.
On a sweltering August day three years earlier, Liv filed for divorce and a restraining order. She was in hiding with her children, 19-year-old Jacob and 18-month-old Hope for two months, afraid what her husband would do if he found her. What Liv didn’t know is he already had. Watching from the secluded woods by her house, he waited. When Jacob left, he went to the door and knocked. Liv looked out the window and screamed when she saw him. She grabbed the phone and ran to the bedroom with Hope locking the door as he broke in. He casually walked through the door, unplugging the phone on his way by.
“You know you can’t hide.” He said with a sadistic grin. “I’ll find you, I always do.” He heard the baby crying, “Poor Hope, so young when her mother died. Too bad she won’t remember you.”
Crying silently, Liv pulled at the locked window, “Come on!”
He was angry; “Filing a restraining order on me…did you think I would stand by while you disrespect me? I’m an officer, not a criminal!”
Liv grabbed the baseball bat she kept under her bed and hit the window shattering
the glass. Before she could grab Hope, he kicked down the door and grabbed her wrist as she swung wildly in the dark, but he was bigger and well trained. Before she realized what happened he threw the bat on the floor. “I would hate to ruin such a pretty face.” As he wrapped his cold fingers around her neck, Liv’s world began to fade. “Say goodbye to Mommy, Hope.”
Suddenly he saw headlights in the driveway; he swore and ran out the back door. Jacob had decided to have friends over. When he saw the shattered glass, his heart sank. Yelling for his friends to call the police he ran inside in seemingly slow motion. When Jacob saw his mom, he fell at her side, listening. “She’s alive, oh my God, Mom!” When he shook her, she responded, barely. His friend took Hope to a neighbor’s to calm her down. When Jacob heard the sirens, he broke down.
During Liv’s recovery, she discovered painting. Her therapist suggested it to give herself a voice. Liv now makes her living as an artist and volunteers at a local women’s shelter. Jacob still blames himself for not being there sooner even though Liv calls him her hero. Liv got her divorce but her ex-husband was never charged. The police department claimed there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him and they had no other leads.
Today, Jacob received a letter his father sent in another attempt to make contact. After the third time reading it, the words began to sink in. “Why does he do this?” Jacob thought aloud. “I want nothing to do with him!”
Knowing he needed some air, he went to the local bar. Jacob only went to Duke’s when he needed somewhere to think. He lost track of time until a pretty girl wandered over from the other side of the bar. She ordered an apple martini and sat down.
“Hey”, she smiled shyly, “I’m Becca.”
Jacob grinned, “Hey Becca. Jacob.”
“What are you doing here all alone?” Becca inquired.
Jacob paused. “Just thinking, blowin’ off steam, you?”
Becca looked at her drink. “Just thinking, blowin’ off steam.” She nodded towards the pool table. “I’m with Rambo over there.”
“So what are you doing here?” Jacob asked.
“There’s way too much testosterone on that side.” She laughed. “Besides, I hear the martinis are better over here.”
They made small talk and enjoyed having some distraction from their lives. Then Becca’s boyfriend came over bringing reality crashing down.
“What are you doing Becca?” He quizzed.
She became defensive, “I’m just having a drink Eric.” She apologized to Jacob for Eric’s rude behavior as he accused her of trying to pick up this “stoner”, referring to the hair hanging in Jacob’s eyes. She turned her head, repulsed by the stench of alcohol and cigarettes pouring from Eric’s vile mouth. When she refused to leave, Eric grabbed her arm and muttered something about teaching her respect.
“She was just having a drink.” Jacob interjected. Becca winced, knowing what was coming. “Just let her finish her drink.”
When Eric turned, Jacob saw the corners of his mouth turn up. “Oh I see, stoner boy wants to be a hero.” He mocked. “Get lost!”
“I’m only going to tell you once, let her finish her drink.” Jacob demanded.
Eric laughed aloud, “Let’s go before your boyfriend gets hurt. Don’t worry stoner boy, she’s in good hands.”
That’s the last thing Jacob remembers before realizing he was in the back of a police cruiser with blood on his shirt and hands. As Jacob looked around it started coming back to him. The fight, Becca pleading to stop, the bartender trying to break it up and eventually, the police.
Three days after Liv came to pick her son up from the police station, the doorbell rang. Jacob lumbered to the door and there was Becca.
“Jacob, I never got a chance to thank you. No one has ever stood up for me before. For what it’s worth, I broke up with him. I just thought you should know.” Becca paused then turned to walk away.
“Becca, wait.” Jacob shouted. “Do you want to come in? I want you to meet my mom.”
“Already?” She played.
“Come on.” He laughed as he led Becca into the kitchen where his mom sat. He introduced them and walked away.
“Where are you going?” Becca was nervous.
“I’ll be back, after you two talk.” Jacob smiled, knowing this would be a new day for Becca.
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