“Brandy are you doing okay?” my parents lived near campus and I loved coming by to visit them on the weekends Luke had away games. My mom and I were in the living room watching tv while my dad cooked dinner for us. It was nice to relax and enjoy spending time with my parents without having to worry about keeping up appearances or Luke lashing out at me for not doing something.
“Yes mom, I’m doing fine.”
“It’s good to have you home for the weekend, you haven’t come home much since you moved in with Luke.”
“I know mom, I’ve been really busy with school and stuff.”
“How are things with Luke?”
“Things with Luke are going great mom, he takes care of me and I’m happy with him.”
“You know you can tell me and your father anything right honey.”
“I know mom.”
“Then tell me the truth. Is he hitting you?”
“No, why would you ask me that?”
“Well for starters you’re dressed as if it’s freezing in here and it’s not. You’re wearing glasses something you only do when something is bothering your eye. And I know you love makeup but you wouldn’t be wearing it to lounge around the house with your father and I. Now I’m going to ask again and you are going to tell me the truth. Is he hitting you?”
“I’m scared mom.”
“You know you can leave him and come stay with us right.”
“It’s not that easy, he told me that he’d have dad fired and blacklisted if I left him or told anyone that he hits me.”
“I’m guessing that scholarship you told us about was actually him paying the other half of your tuition.”
“Yes, I told him not to but he did it anyway and keeps holding over my head. I’ve been doing some tutoring to pay him back, a few more sessions and I won’t have to worry about him asking for it again. But I’m not sure if that will be enough for me to leave without him getting upset. I don’t know what I did for him to treat me this way, everything was fine before we moved in together. ”
“You don’t have to do that, your dad and I will give you the rest of the money you owe. And don’t worry about his job. He’s the best worker they have and Luke’s father would be crazy to fire him because you two broke up. And it is not your fault that he can’t express himself without putting his hands on you. Never blame yourself for his behavior, you don’t deserve this. I only wished that you’d come to us when it first happened. Do you have any friends that could help you move out of your apartment with Luke?”
“Yes, they’ve already figured out what’s going between Luke and I. Although I haven’t said anything about it yet.”
“Call them and let them know the truth so that they can help you get the help you need as well as get Luke arrested for what he’s done to you. Are they guys because you’ll need their help if Luke comes home and gets upset that you are leaving?”
“Good, you can stay here until you get back on your feet.”
“Thank you mom.”
“You don’t have to thank me, I just wished I said something sooner. Things should have never gotten to this point.”
“It’s not your fault mom, I should’ve left the first time he slapped me.”
“We’re not going to move past this by figuring out what went wrong. We need to focus on you finishing school and getting your life together.”
“Dinner’s ready girls!” my dad yelled from the kitchen
“Are you up for dinner?” my mom asked wiping the tears that fell from my eyes
“Yes I could never pass up a meal cooked by dad.” My mom and I hugged and sat at the table so that dad could serve dinner. I was happy that I would be able to get away from Luke but wondered how he would react to me leaving.
I had just got off from work when my mother called me on my way home.
“Hi mama, how’s Malcom?”
“He’s doing fine, his doctor says he’s still in remission so we’re hoping it stays that way. How are your classes going?”
“They’re going great I’m doing a project in my physiology class about how and why cancer develops in a child’s body and I’m actually enjoying the research.”
“That’s good, we’re thinking about coming up to see you Family Weekend. Malcom’s doctor says it would be good for him to visit and maybe see the football game. Although we’ve been looking at ticket prices and it doesn’t seem like we’ll be able to afford to go to the game and get a hotel room to stay over night.” I made it home and got out of the car and went into my apartment building. Hearing her say that made me think of Knox’s offer.
“Actually mom that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. My partner in physiology plays for the team and offered me tickets to the game as well as field passes for Malcom. He also said that you guys could stay with his family in the house that they rent for the weekend.”
“Is this boy your boyfriend?”
“No, we’re friends mama.”
“For him to be doing all this he wants to be more than a friend Madison.”
“I know but I told him that I want to be friends and he wanted to do something nice for Malcom. If it helps his dad is Kason Miller.”
“Your father’s favorite boxer?”
“Yes, even if you guys don’t stay Malcom will be so happy getting to watch his second favorite football team play in person.”
“I’ll discuss it with your father but I’m not making any promises yet.”
“Okay.” We talked some more until I had to hang up so that I could focus on the homework assignment I needed to finish before going to bed. The rest of my weekend was spent doing homework and working. It wasn’t until Sunday evening when my mom called me to tell their decision.
“Your father and I talked about your friends offer.”
“Oh really what did you decide?”
“We’re going to go, but we would like to meet his parents and have dinner with them as a thank you for their generosity.”
“I will let him know and make reservations for Friday.”
“Alright, we’ll be there around seven. I’ll let you get back to your homework, but I just wanted to call you and let you know our decision.”
“Okay I’ll let you know all the details when I know them, bye mama. Love you.”
“Goodnight Madi love you to.” After I hung up from my mother I texted Knox to let him know my parents plans. A few minutes after I texted him he called.
“Hey, I’m not going to be in class tomorrow so I wanted to talk to you before I forget.”
“No we had a family emergency so Kellan and I are still at home taking care of things.”
“I hope everything is okay.”
“They are now that I’m talking to you. My mom says they are fine with dinner and wants your mom’s number so that they can discuss more details.”
“Okay I’ll text it to you after we hang up.”
“I should be back by Wednesday so I’ll see you then.”
“Wow two days without seeing you, what will I do to survive?”
“I’m sure you’ll think of something, see you later beautiful.”
“Goodnight Knox.” I hung and could not stop smiling at the fact that he called me beautiful. Maybe I was slowly giving him a chance to prove himself.