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Small Town, Hide Out

“Good afternoon, Jackie,” the doctor said as I entered his office.

“Good afternoon, doctor,” I replied.

“How are you feeling today?” he asked.

“I’m feeling the best I can,” I answered with little emotion.

“Are you sleeping, OK? Are you getting involved with programs offered here?”

“I’m getting used to the sleep schedule, but some nights are better than others. Last night, was not a good one,” I attempted a half smile.

“Yes, I heard about the altercation outside the cells last night,” he commented.

“Yeah, well, it is what it is. I thought I was a monster for what I did or didn’t do but being here has shown me how much worse it could be,” I started. “As far as programs go, I’ve been able to go to the library to check out books and I joined an arts & crafts group.”

“That’s good, Jackie. You have been doing what you need to here and I’m glad for you that you are gaining these privileges, and I don’t think you are a monster.”

“Thanks, but I have to admit, I really miss teaching. There is one younger woman here who has been in the library learning to read and I’ve been helping her a little as I can.”

“That’s great and maybe that will open up some other opportunities as time goes on,” he said with a smile. “Now, let’s get back to where we left off the other day. What was your life like when you joined Don in California?”

“Well, things were actually pretty nice, for a while…”

******

I spent most of the remaining summer by myself since Don still had to work. He always made sure that I had food in the house, let me go where I wanted to in town to shop, eat or just walk around, as long as I told him where I was going. He also let me get on the computer or do whatever I really wanted to around the house.

He would occasionally take me down to the beach to walk, since we lived in a small oceanside town. He would hold my hand as we walked, and he didn’t like it when other boys or men looked at me, but he didn’t really try anything else with me.

He helped me enroll in school and I began my junior year at a new school and made a few new friends. He always asked me how my day went and who I met or spent time with. He seemed the most interested in the girls I talked about and did not approve of any of the boys I talked about.

I remember being asked to homecoming by a boy in my class, and I knew I needed to say ‘no’, but he was hard to convince. I kept telling him I wasn’t interested, but he kept asking. When Don found out about it, I think I became scared for the first time being with him.

“So how was school?” Don asked me.

“It was great,” I replied.

“Anything exciting happen?”

“Well, it’s Spirit Week for Homecoming coming up this weekend, so it’s been great getting involved,” I replied, pointing to my crazy clothes that I was wearing for clash day.

“I was wondering why you were wearing all these mismatched clothes,” he chuckled, but then got very serious. “What are your plans for Homecoming?”

“I…I don’t really know,” I stuttered. “I mean, I’d like to go to the game and parade, but I haven’t decided on the dance.”

“You’re not going,” he stated with finality.

“What?”

“You heard me, you’re not going to the dance,” he repeated, and I looked away from him. “Did someone ask you?”

I shook my head slightly but refused to make eye contact.

“Do not lie to me, did someone ask you?” he asked again, grabbing my arm.

“Ye…yes someone did, but I told him ‘No’,” I answered.

“You belong to me, Jackie, do you understand that? If anyone asks you again, you make sure you tell them ‘No’ and make sure they understand you,” he practically yelled in my face.

I stood frozen in place for a minute trying to grasp what he just said.

“Do you understand me?” he yelled again.

“Yes, Don, I do,” I answered softly.

“Good girl… as far as the parade and game go, we will see. I will need to know who you are planning to go with and what time you plan to be gone.”

I nodded my head to let him know I understood what he said. He let me go and went on talking about his day like what just happened between us didn’t.

I never ended up going to any of the homecoming events other than the pep rally at school. Don decided we would take a weekend trip down to LA and we left as soon as school was over that Friday.

We drove to a small hotel, and he checked us in. We had dinner together in the hotel restaurant, and he agreed to go for a swim with me in the small pool they had. We went up to the room to drop off our bags and get changed, where I noticed only one bed, but I didn’t say anything because I knew that is what he wanted.

I quickly changed into my suit in the bathroom and threw on a coverup before we headed down to the pool. There were a few other people in the pool when we got there, but we found a table and a couple of chairs to sit in.

When I went to take my coverup off to get in the pool, he stopped me, because there were a couple of guys in the room. I gave him a questioning look, but the look he returned made me not push it any further. We sat there and talked for about a half an hour or so, before everyone left, leaving us alone.

“Are we going to swim, or just sit here all night?” I asked, sarcastically.

“Watch how you talk to me,” he responded giving me a hard glare.

“I’m sorry, but…” I stopped when he got up and pulled me out of my chair. He pulled my coverup off and threw me into the pool.

“There, now you are swimming,” he snorted, after I resurfaced in shock.

“What the hell was that?” I thought to myself. I swam across the pool into the deep end to distance myself from Don for a few moments. I let myself float to the surface and closed my eyes as I laid there.

“Ahhh,” I screamed when I was grabbed around my waist. “You scared me, Don,” I splashed him when I gathered myself. I tried to swim away, but he caught me and pulled me into his arms.

“I’m sorry, baby, I didn’t mean to scare you,” he whispered in my ear. “I’m also sorry that I didn’t let you swim earlier. You know how jealous I get when I see other men looking at you.”

“I know Don, but you have to trust me. I don’t care about any of those guys, only you,” I wrapped my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist under water. “Do you think I enjoy watching you check out other girls, especially girls in bikinis?” I smiled and laughed a little.

“No, I suppose not,” he smirked back at me. He started walking towards the side of the pool and pushed me up against the wall when he reached it. He pushed some hair out of my face and cupped my cheek with his hand. He looked into my eyes, then down to my lips and back to my eyes. My heart was nearly jumping out of my chest, as we had never really been this close before. “I love you, Jackie, only you,” he whispered, before pressing his lips against mine.

I made a startled noise when I felt his lips against mine but the longer he kissed me, the more I melted into the kiss. My eyes closed on their own and my lips parted enough to let him in. Our lips and tongues moved together, while my hands moved into his hair and his down my back. As soon as I felt him growing against my lower half of the body, I pulled back.

“Don… I…” I unwrapped myself around him and climbed out of the pool. My heart was beating fast, and my breathing was rapid. I could still feel his kiss, but I knew I wasn’t ready for anything more.

I was lost in my thoughts when I felt him wrap a towel around my shoulders. “Are you OK, baby?” he asked.

“Yes, I’m fine,” I whispered trying to avoid his eyes.

He gently took my chin in his hand and made me look up at him. “I’m not going to push you into anything, but I couldn’t hold back any longer from kissing you. I’ve been wanting that for so long,” he said quietly.

I gave him a small smile in return. “Thank you,” I said, and he nodded and returned a smile.

“Come on, let’s get washed up and ready for bed. I promise to just cuddle tonight, nothing more,” he smirked.

“OK,” I replied. I put on my coverup and my sandals, and we headed back to our room.

On Saturday, he showed me around the city taking in all the sites. We drove into Hollywood and looked at the celebrity stars; he drove us through Beverly Hills; to Santa Monica and several other suburbs of LA. We did a little shopping, ate at some fancy restaurants, and ended the day driving by famous celebrities’ houses.

On Sunday, he took me Disneyland for the day, and we had a blast. It was great to see him laughing and being silly with me as we went from ride to ride. Neither of us had a care in the world and we were free to be ourselves. Sure, I had been to Disney World in Florida, but that was with family and honestly, wasn’t nearly as fun as it was with Don. Don actually admitted to me that this was his first time at any Disney Park.

We drove home from the theme park, and I went straight to bed. I was exhausted from the day, and I had school the next day. He was true to his word all weekend, and other than a kiss here and there, he never tried anything more with me. He kept telling me that it was up to me to decide when and where.

******

I had been doing really well until Christmas rolled around. It had now been at least five months since I ran away, and I still never saw one thing about anyone looking for me. I would occasionally check the internet for missing persons or articles back in Georgia about me, but nothing ever showed up.

I knew Mom had to be close to having her second kid and I’m sure she is living with her lover, while Dad is with his. My guess is they officially filed for divorce so they could each move on. Maybe it was easier on them for me to be gone. It still hurt a little bit that I mattered so little to them. After all, I was the only reason they were together in the first place.

Don tried to make the holidays memorable for me and spoiled me with gifts. We had decorated most of the house with lights, a tree, various decorations both inside and outside. He even took off during winter break to be with me, so I didn’t have to be alone for Christmas or as we rang in the New Year.

We were growing closer and closer together over the months, and I slowly allowed him to do more to or with me in an intimate way. I no longer stopped him when he let his hands slide over my breasts, or if he rubbed my lower region over my jeans while we kissed. Part of me wanted him the way he wanted me, but I was still nervous because of our age difference and my previous experience. I know he was growing frustrated with me, but he kept reassuring me that he would be patient and wait for me to move forward.

We celebrated my 17th birthday at home. Don made dinner and bought me a cake for dessert. For a gift, he gave me a diamond promise ring, promising me that one day we will be married, and pledging his love to me. He put it on my right hand and kissed me with so much passion. I almost gave into him that night, but I held back, remembering what happened on my last birthday.

The next several months were uneventful. I continued going to class every day, while Don worked. I had wanted to get a job, but he told me I didn’t need one and he would take care of everything I needed. We would spend our evenings together and go to bed alone every night.

As summer was approaching, Don seemed to be more distant with me. He had also started drinking more and more, which didn’t help as he knew I didn’t like it when he drank.

I really did love him, in my own way, but I just couldn’t give myself completely to him and I knew that upset him. He wanted more from me, and I gave a little here and there, but never completely.

******

“Why do you think you held back?” the doctor stopped me.

“I don’t really know. I mean, I had feelings for him, and my body wanted him nearly every time we got close, but I just couldn’t give him all of me. Maybe it was the little control I had left, but I held my ground, no matter how many times he wanted to take me.”

“You have now been with him, what, a year at this point?” I nodded. “Did he remain faithful to you during this time?”

“Yes, as far as I know he did. I never found anything that would make me suspect he wasn’t at that time… not saying he didn’t cheat on me later on.”

“Did you recognize the control he had over you at this point, since you mentioned you still a little control left?” the doctor asked me.

“Maybe? I mean, I don’t think I really knew at the time, but I can see it more as I talk about it with you. Or maybe, I did know it, in some way,” I answered him.

“From what you have told me so far since you moved in with him: he started off letting you do whatever you wanted for the most part, but had to check in with him or let him know where you were going; then he started telling you who you could be friends with and who you couldn’t, especially when it came to boys; he wouldn’t let you get a job because he could provide for you, but to me, that sounds like he no longer wanted you to be independent and he made sure that you needed him going forward. Am I correct with my summary?”

“Yeah, you are. Now that I think back some more, I really didn’t keep too many friends as the year went on and kept to myself a lot of the time outside of school. Even after summer break began, I didn’t do much unless I was with Don. Sure, I still had my car, but I never really had any place to go, so I rarely used it.”

“I still want you to tell me about your marriage, but I have a feeling something else happened before then when you started talking about his increased drinking and his frustration with not being able to have you in every way.”

“You would be right on that feeling,” I responded.

“Care to explain?”

“Not really, but I don’t really have a choice here, so…”

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