Biographical Non-Fiction posted February 19, 2009 Chapters:  ...22 23 -24- 25... 


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Valerie finally has a boyfriend

A chapter in the book A Leaf on the Wind

Lee

by S. Pumpkin


Ilustration painted by author The author has placed a warning on this post for language.


Background
The sexual and verbal abuse by her father and her family's denial causes Valerie severe stress and anxiety. She has little to no self-esteem and when she meets Lee, she puts up with his abusive behav
“The law of evolution is that the strongest survives!' 'Yes, and the strongest, in the existence of any social species, are those who are most social. In human terms, most ethical...There is no strength to be gained from hurting one another. Only weakness.”
-- Ursula K. Le Guin

 

In the tenth grade, Teresa met her boyfriend, Bill. He was in the army and stationed at Fort Lewis. When Bill came to visit, he often brought his friend, Lee, with him. Lee was handsome, charming, outgoing, and vivacious. Everyone liked him. But most important of all, for some strange reason, he liked me.

Having a boyfriend made me feel special. Lee told me I was pretty, something I had never heard before. However, Lee was also demanding and he had a terrible temper. We fought over a lot of things; but mostly, over sex. He wanted to have sex and I did not.

I cringed when he touched me. I desperately wanted someone to love me, but when Lee told me he loved me, the words sent chills up my spine. When I told him I was not ready to have sex, he would fly into a rage and call me a bitch. He often swore at me and left in a huff, threatening never to come back. However, he always came back. The rollercoaster relationship between Lee and I became the norm. He got angry, felt bad about losing his temper, apologized, and I always forgave him.

***

The excitement I felt contemplating my first dance at school was indescribable. I knew when I walked into the auditorium with Lee by my side, my classmates would instantly change their opinion of me. I would no longer be the skinny, unattractive girl with a name no one could remember. I was certain that when everyone saw me with Lee, I would be the envy of every girl at the dance.

My heart pounded with excitement when I heard his car pull into the driveway. I was wearing my new blue taffeta dress and Mom's pearl earrings and necklace. With my hair combed into soft curls on top of my head, I felt like Cinderella going to the ball.

Lee stood in the doorway staring at me, but the expression on his face was not one of admiration. He walked over to where I was standing and proceeded to remove all the bobby pins from my hair.

"What the hell did you do to your hair?" he shouted. "You look like a God damn whore."

He pushed me backward onto the couch. He cursed me again, slapped me across the face, and stomped out of the house. Within seconds, I heard his car tires squeal as he backed out of the driveway.

Mom and Daddy sat quietly at the dining room table as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

I turned my anger towards them.

Sobbing, I yelled, "Why didn't you do something? What the hell is wrong with you?"

Mom shrugged her shoulders. Not bothering to look up from his newspaper, Daddy said, "Valerie, you an Lee are always fighting, what's the big deal?"

I told them both to go to hell and, still crying, I stormed out of the room.

I woke late the following morning to find Lee and Daddy sitting at the kitchen table laughing. I glared at Daddy and demanded he make Lee leave immediately.
Daddy smiled and said, "Calm down sweetie. Lee and I are just having a pleasant conversation."

Lee chuckled. "I am visiting your father, not you," he said. "So why don't you go get dressed like a nice little girl and leave us alone?"

Despite what he had done, Lee continued to be welcome at our house. It was hard to stay angry when he was always around.

Lee's dark side frightened me but knowing he was the only boyfriend I would ever have blinded me to the reality of our relationship. He always felt bad when he made me cry and his apologies seemed so sincere it was impossible not to forgive him. Besides, I considered Lee my only way out of the insanity in my life. No matter how much we fought, I knew that if we got married, my life would be so much better than it was at home. I desperately held on to the dream that when we were married, I would finally be happy.

***

Exactly three months after Lee and I met, he arrived at the house to pick me up for dinner. Tonight was going to be special. Feeling like a princess, Lee opened the car door and I got in. After driving for about twenty minutes, he pulled into a vacant parking lot. I had a premonition that the special night I had been dreaming about, was not going to happen.

Puzzled, I asked, "Why are we here? I thought we were going out for dinner."
Lee grabbed me by the hair and yanked my head back.

"You are nothing but a God damn whore," he shouted at me.

"You thought you could fool me but I know the truth!"

I was shocked by the sudden turn of events.

"I don't know what you are talking about!" I said, while trying to pull his hand from my hair. Lee yanked my head further back and punched me in the face with his fist. I screamed out in pain.

"Your father told me everything."

His words hit harder than his fist. Unable to breathe, I gasped for air as the realization of what my father had told him sank in. I wiped the tears from my face and saw blood on my hand. The pain radiating from my nose was excruciating.

Lee finally let go of my hair and, afraid he would hit me again, I reached for the door handle but he grabbed my hand and yelled, "Don't even think about leaving."

Lee was furious and I was terrified. I had never seen him so angry.

Lee took a deep breath then, in a voice fraught with rage, he said, "You let me think you were a virgin. You pretended to be a sweet, innocent girl but it was a lie."

Too frightened to speak, I could only shake my head.

"Who was it? Who did you fuck?" he demanded.

I felt a sudden sense of relief hearing those words. Daddy had not told him everything. Lee did not know the truth.

Denial was my only option.

"You have to believe me. Daddy lied to you." I said.

"Why in hell would he lie about this?" Lee asked.

"I don't know why he told you I wasn't a virgin," I said. "It isn't true. You have to believe me."

Lee stroked my cheek gently.

"Sweetie, you know how much I love you, don't you?" He said soothingly.

I nodded.

"I cannot stand the idea of you being with anyone else but me. Just thinking about it makes me crazy."

He put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me against him. He kissed me on the cheek and whispered into my ear, "Show me how much you love me."

Men were disgusting. Sex was all they wanted. They tell you the only way you can prove you love them is to agree to have sex but, if you do, they call you a tramp and a whore.

"Lee, I am not ready to go all the way," I told him. "Please don't ask me to do that, please."

However, Lee was determined to have his own way.

"Prove to me you are still a virgin," he said. "Show me your father lied. It is the only way I can know for sure."

Lee pushed me down onto the front seat. I did not resist. I felt his hand slide under my skirt. I closed my eyes and just waited for him to finish.

When it was over, I sat up and straightened my hair and clothes. I knew I had failed his test. We drove home in silence. After I got out of the car Lee backed out of the driveway. He didn't even bother to say goodbye.

I went inside the house and locked myself in the bathroom. I filled the bathtub with hot water, took off my clothes and climbed into the tub. I lay back and let the warm water soak into my skin. I stayed in the bathtub until the water turned cold. I wrapped myself in a towel and I went into my room. All I wanted to do was go to sleep.

As I lay in bed, I realized my nose was still hurting where Lee had punched me. It had started to bleed again. I held the sheet up to my nose and with my fingers pressed against the nostrils, I waited for the bleeding to stop.
When I woke the next morning, Mom asked me about my black eye and swollen nose. I told her I slipped in the bathroom. She accepted my absurd explanation without question. However, when Daddy asked me about it, I threw my coffee cup at him, missing his head by mere inches. He laughed when I called him a son-of-a-bitch.

"Hey, I did you a favor. He was going to find out anyway so what's the big deal?"

I called him a son-of-a-bitch again and stomped out of the room.

Lee's sexual appetite was insatiable and as perverted as Daddy's. The minute we were alone he demanded sex. If I protested, he would grab me by the hair and force my face into his lap. He was disgusting. I began to hate the sight of him; I hated the smell of him and, I hated the repulsive sounds he made when we had sex. They were the same revolting sounds Daddy made.

Everyone continued to see Lee as the charming, life of the party. They thought he was cool. When I complained about how possessive he had become, Teresa laughed and said I should stop complaining and be grateful I had a boyfriend. When I told Mom he hit me, she told me to stop upsetting him. No one cared.

Three months before the end of the school year, Lee received a phone call telling him his father, who lived in Michigan, was ill. He left immediately. Lee never phoned me, he never wrote me a letter, it was as though he had never existed. I never saw him again. Strange as it may sound, I missed him.


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Desperate for love and a way out, Valerie puts up with her abusive boyfriend.
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