Chapter 1- Autumn.
“I always knew that I had the most terrible luck in love and a horrible taste in guys. Whenever I thought that I met my one true match, something inside me screwed it up. But you know, I think it was the guy’s fault and not mine. Here I was this thirty-something young woman, with a head full of dreams and no money to make them a reality. I was stuck working this dead-end job, trying to not only support myself but my three-year-old daughter Gracelyn, and my current deadbeat boyfriend, Trent. Now, this guy was something else, at least that was what my best friend Hailey always reminded me.
When I first met Trent, the sight of him was heavenly. Wait? What am I saying..., Heavenly? Yeah right, Autumn. Like that was a trusted reality! What were you thinking when you met him? I thought. My musing was interrupted by the tugging sensation of my pant leg. I looked down to see what Gracelyn wanted, and I smiled when I saw her face. Well, at least something good came out of my relationship with Trent..., My little Angel.
“Mommy, can I have a drink?”
I smiled at my precious angel and I nodded. I reached into the cupboard and I grabbed her purple sippy cup and filled it with grape juice, her favorite. Just as I was handing her cup to her, the front door of our apartment was pushed open hard, and the door banged hard against the front hall closet. I could tell by the stomping of the heavy footsteps, that Trent was home and that the idiot was drunk again. I was still sporting the two bruises on my face and neck the last time he flew in a drunken rage.
I had to find a way out of this mess and get myself and my daughter away from this creep. I didn’t want my precious angel watching me get beat up all the time. I just couldn’t! So I promised myself that I would find a way to escape his drunken clutches.
“AUTUMN!! GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE! ”
Trent shouted as he stood within our bedroom doorway. I brushed my hands down my slacks after I turned off the water in the sink where I was washing the dishes from Gracelyn’s dinner, and made my way to where he was waiting for me. I wondered what made him freak out today. I sighed heavily and entered our room.
“Could you not bellow so loudly Trent? You’ll frighten Gracelyn again! I stated firmly.
”Gracelyn, Gracelyn, Gracelyn! That’s all you care about. That little brat means nothing to me and shouldn’t be your only focus. You should be taking care of me, NOT her.”
He shouted at me.
“How could you say that about your own daughter?“,
I screamed at him. He grunted and rolled his eyes at me.
“You’re a slut. So don’t you dare try to pin her origins on me! That little spawn is not mine, I had no interaction with you to even create that child. Besides what man would want a fat and Ugly woman like you around?”
I was shocked, too say the least. And a little hurt, when he said those things to me. I was not fat! I actually was proud of my body. I had the right amount of curves. I was 5′7 and just a little over 130 pounds. My bust was my greatest achievement, they were a little bit bigger since I gave birth to Gracelyn, and were natural, not fake. My hair was shoulder length and a deep red color, but it was my eyes that were my best feature, or at least that is what my mama whispered to me before she died from cervical cancer. They were a light purple colour.
The slap to my face and the fact that my back was slammed into the wall, jarred me out my thoughts. Not to mention the tight grip, Trent had on my chin as he forced me to look at him.
“Should I Prove once and for all, what a fat and ugly woman you are?”
He said as he spoke quietly into my ear. Before I could even say anything, he gripped my upper arm and hauled me over to the mirror that was in the middle of our room. There I stood, with HIM standing behind me, and I just watched and he pointed out every flaw, that he found about me and my body.
The door to our bedroom squeaked and as I turned my head, I saw the absolute fear in Gracelyn’s eyes, as she watched how her ‘daddy’ was treating me.
“Honey, go back to your room,”
I whispered lovingly to her, as I tried to get away from the bruising grip of Trent’s hands. When I felt Trent’s hand grip me harder, I knew that he was about to do something terrible to her. I watched silently for a few seconds, as Trent released my arm and stomped towards her. Gracelyn screamed, and ran out of my room and ran into her own room. Shaking myself out of my stupor, I followed Trent down the hallway and pushed myself to stand in front of him and blocked his way so that he couldn’t even try to hurt her. I had forgotten how strong he was as I found myself thrown away from him, and I landed hitting the solid dining room chairs, which caused the vase of flowers I had sitting there rolling off the table and smashing to the floor. Glass was everywhere, and knowing the damage it would do if I walked in it, I made sure that I walked around it.
I could hear Trent pounding loudly on Gracelyn’s bedroom door, and I knew that I had to protect my daughter from this monster. I flew at him again and punched him and slapped him, but that only seemed to annoy him further. He suddenly turned around held me up by my neck and squeezed. I grabbed at his fingers, trying desperately to remove his grip but he was too strong. I could feel my lungs seize up and dark shadows were closing in on to me. When I saw the look on his face, as he continued squeezing the life out of me, I gasped. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Gracelyn’s door quietly open and I saw her peeking around the door. I tried to tell her with my eyes to hide, but she didn’t listen. Instead, she flew herself at Trent’s leg and bit him. Trent screamed and let me go. I fell and landed on the hallway floor hard. Gasping for air I panted trying to get oxygen back into my lungs.
Then I heard her whimper. Not thinking any more about my safety, I crawled over to Gracelyn and enfolded her in my arms as I protected her from Trent’s heavy kicks. In his drunken rage, he continued to kick me hard in the ribs, and stomach. Before I passed out from the pain I heard the door to our apartment thrown open and in my blurred vision, I saw Seattle’s finest tackling Trent, throwing him to the floor and arresting him. I rolled over in a lot of pain, smiled up at Gracelyn, and completely pass out.