Hammie & Sarabeth Chapter~10 by papa55mike
Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.|
Addie slowly follows the path into the woods just behind their old farmhouse. The trees seem to quiet the yelling from inside of her home. There's a fallen pine that she sits on to do her homework in the sunlight. Addie starts to think out loud. "I don't know why mom doesn't want me around to protect her when dad gets home from whatever he's doing. Why is dad always full of bitterness towards mom? Is it because she didn't stay the ravishing woman he married? He loves to call her a fat cow, and other things I'm not allowed to say."
She pulls her books out of her backpack, but Addie's mind is still on the scene playing out in the kitchen. "Mom couldn't help it if she gained some weight after Caleb was stillborn. It hurt all of us, but it made dad mean. He seemed to blame mom for Caleb's death. Then he lost his job, and things exploded from there."
Suddenly, I hear the sound of soft footsteps coming through the trees. Then a breeze seems to come from nowhere, and I feel a presence moving towards me. Out of the sunlight through the trees steps a slender figure I can't make out. Now, a young black woman walks down the path in my direction. I've never seen her before.
Smiling, she sits down beside me on the tree and says, "Evenin', Addie."
"Hi." I nervously smile. "How do you know my name?"
"I know 'bout yuh family en how much yuh ma prays for yuh."
"My mom prays?" I slowly shake my head.
"Yes 'em, every day."
I notice that her smile is amazing, and there's love in those big brown eyes. "What's your name, miss?"
"Dat be the de first time I been called a miss. My name is Sarabeth."
I'm drawn to Sarabeth by a strength that surrounds her. "Where are you going, sweetie?"
"I comin' to see yuh, Addie. De Lord sent me tuh help."
"Help me with my homework?"
"Nah, tuh help with yuh father."
I ask, "How?"
"Seems lak his pain, dun turned tuh bitterness towards yuh ma en put evil things in his mind 'bout yuh."
"I don't know what you're talking about." I quickly turn away.
"I think yuh do. He been lookin' at yuh in a wrong way."
My lip begins to quiver; it's like she knows that dad has been trying to see me naked for the last month. Every time I have to pee or take a shower, he makes a lame excuse to get in the bathroom. Yesterday, dad lifted the back of my nightgown to check out my butt. Thank God I had panties on. He got a big kick out of that. I'm afraid to tell mom, and I don't want to be alone with him.
"Yuh coming of age, sweetie. He dun got de desire fuh yuh. I know 'bout it."
"How do you know about it?" I slowly turn back to Sarabeth.
"Twasn't my pa, but de master. He dun put his eyes on ma and me en had pa hung. The master wanted mama first, but she put up a fight. Didn't stop him from having his way, though. After he tired of mama, de master turned to me. One morning, I goin' tuh de river to bathe. He's followed me. The master left me on the riverbank, beaten, en bleeding between my legs. He wuz rightly proud of himself."
I can't believe what I'm hearing. "What happened next, Sarabeth?"
"The master moved us up tuh de big house to keep mama, en I close by in case he had an appetite for dark meat. The master always seemed powerfully hungry."
"Is that what's going to happen to me?" A mix of fear and anger swirl inside of me.
"If yuh let it. I think it's time tuh stand up. Yuh father ain't nuthin' but a bully."
My mind is reeling with questions. I'm only ten; I can't do it. But if I don't, it won't end until dad forces himself on me. I put both hands over my eyes and scream. "Noooo!"
"I here to stand wid yuh, en de Lord here, too." Sarabeth takes my hand in hers.
This hand eases my fear and fills me with the courage not to try, but succeed. I slam my books down, and say, "Let's do this!"
Addie is walking without fear, towards an unknown destiny. Her red hair dances in front of her dark green eyes filled with purpose. Sarabeth follows one step behind.
The closer we get to the house, I can hear dad hollering for a beer in the kitchen. Knowing mom, she's already got one out of the fridge. I loved this house when we first moved here, but there's too much hatred now. Hatred brought in by a father who lost his love for his family. He replaced that love with sexual desires for me. It's time to tell it all!
I walk up the back steps into the laundry room and stop to catch my breath at the kitchen door. I feel Sarabeth's hand on my shoulder; her power seems to surge through me again. I kick open the back door and march inside.
All eyes turn to me.
Mom asks, "What are you doing, Addie?"
"I've got some things to tell you, mom. Stuff, I thought I'd never say, but what daughter does."
The craving in dad's eyes scanning my body suddenly changes to fear.
Mom asks, "I don't understand; what stuff?"
"Like how dad has been trying to see me naked for the last month. Yesterday, he lifted my nightgown to get a good look at my butt. I smacked his hand away when I saw what he was doing. Mom, I think if you leave me alone with dad, he'll hurt me."
Dad leaps out of his chair and hollers, "That's all lies!"
"No. I don't believe it is, David." I see mom's face fill with anger. "I've been watching you closely and saw it with my own eyes. You were staring at Addie just then. It all fits. That's why I'm a fat cow. My body isn't good enough for you anymore. So, to fill those evil desires, you want to have sex with your ten-year-old daughter." Mom takes the butcher knife from the drawer then starts walking towards him.
"No, Katy." Dad stumbles backward in fear. "Addie's lying; I have never looked at her butt."
"Why not?" Mom answers. "I've seen you look at all of my friends that way. I knew they wouldn't have anything to do with you, but your daughter would have no choice. Would she?"
"So what!" Dad's face changes into the devil. "Addie's my daughter, I can do whatever I want to with her, and you won't do a thing." He draws back to punch mom.
Sarabeth quickly steps through the door and grabs his fist. With a flick of her wrist, she sends dad flying against the wall. He crumbles to the floor. "Mister, yuh better never lay uh hand on 'em. Lest somethin' wicked happens to yuh."
I quickly stand beside her. "Guys, I want you to meet Sarabeth. You need to listen to her, dad. She doesn't play!"
He quickly scrambles to his feet then out the back door. We hear the old truck start and the sound of gravel flying. A blessed silence surrounds us.
I put my arms around Sarabeth and say, "Thank you for the courage to stand up to him."
"Addie, you had it all along. Know dat de Lord is wid yuh."
When I turn to hug mom, Sarabeth disappears.
"Where did she go, Addie?"
"I don't know, mom. But Sarabeth came in answer to your prayers."
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