Jean Deeds screeched the pickup to a stop. In the rear view mirror reflected eyes full of terror. What was she thinking? Where could she go and hide?
Get off the main street, a voice said. Jean looked beside her. No one was there. Was she really going crazy like he said?
The afternoon was fading. Clouds were flying in from the north. Jean decided that maybe driving down the dirt roads would be something he wouldn’t expect. She turned off the paved road.
What went wrong? Why did it come to this? Questions ping-ponged in her head as she drove. Where would he be right now? Would he discover that she took off? Would he come after her? She knew he would.
A sudden crash startled her. Lightning followed, blistering the sky to her left. It’s going to rain. Jean knew enough to know these roads would turn to mud. She’d be stuck and he’d catch her. Another boom followed by more lightning. Another glace in the mirror.
Oh, no! It was a patrol car, police or sheriff, she didn’t know. She stopped her truck and watched, expecting the worse. As the car passed her, she made eye contact and feebly smiled. The officer nodded and drove on.
Taking a deep breath, she made a decision. She’d hide in the barn until after the storm.
Stopping in front of the doors, she got out as the rain rallied. The doors opened easily. Soaking wet, she jumped back into the truck, pulled in and turned off the engine. Finally, with the doors closed, she felt invisible.
Listening to the storm raging outside, she shivered and wished for a blanket. Rummaging for a flashlight, she found one under the seat and snapped it on. The light was bright and she scanned the confines of the barn.
There wasn’t much to see. Surprisingly, the roof was tight and there wasn’t a lot of rain coming through. The trusses and struts would be something Kevin would find interesting. But she didn’t want him here…now or ever. He had hit her for the last time.
Jean felt the raised skin around her eye. She couldn’t see out of that eye. Her arm still hurt but she was able to use it without the sharp pain. The image of Kevin taking a swing at her was too fresh in her mind. Her cry ‘no’ echoed within her refuge.
Then she heard a vehicle. Out here in this rain? Surely it couldn’t be him? She went to the doors and peeked out the cracks. She could see a car, but it was the police car headed back to town. Thankful it wasn’t Kevin. Relaxing a bit, she thought about getting some sleep. Let the storm pass and then head out again.
Jean woke with a start. What was that? She could hear the barn door open. Could it be the police checking out the barn?
“There you are. Why are you here, hiding?” It was him. Kevin had found her and now was talking to her like a she was a little kid.
She quickly locked the doors.
“Go away. Go away,” she screamed. “You’ve hurt me for the last time, Kevin.”
“Jean, honey, come home. We’re married, remember? Come on home.”
“No, leave me alone.” She watched as he walked closer to the vehicle.
“What are you going to do? You can’t stay here forever.” He pounded on the glass.
The sound frightened her. She felt trapped, helpless, and alone. Crying, she began to pray loudly, “Lord, please send help. Please keep me from more harm. Please!”
Laughing, Kevin raised his voice even louder, “There’s no one to help you, Jean. Just me. Just your husband. You’re pathetic. Your God’s not listening to you.” Taking a tire iron he smashed the windshield. Jean screamed as the glass showered her. Scrambling, she got out of the truck.
“Stop where you are!” A voice boomed from outside the barn. Car headlights flooded the barn. Kevin stopped dead in his tracks. Jean rushed outside into the rain. Kevin began to follow.
“I said to stop. Drop your weapon!” the voice demanded. A uniformed policeman walked towards Kevin. Kevin looked at the barrel of the revolver the man held and dropped the tire iron. Handcuffed, Kevin glared at Jean as he was put into the patrol car. Chills went down her spine.
“You haven’t seen the last of me."
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