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Luna sipped her coffee and closed her eyes, what to do next, she thought. She opened her pain medicine and took some. Just then a man sat on her bench and handed her a sandwich. She seen the familiar face but wasn’t too worried. If he wanted her arrested he would have already done that. She took the sandwich and said ,” Thanks. You didn’t have to.”
He waved his hand to show her it wasn’t much. “Do you have a plan? And are you worried he is following you?”
She held her head down surrendering to the fact he knew. “No plan at this point, and I don’t think he knows where I am. No phone to track and no cards, cash only. “ she took a bite of the sandwich and washed it down with the coffee. She was really hungry, but tried not to look it.
“ I’m Benjamin.” He said.
“I’m Luna” she said back.
“Look I have to go to Mobile to drop this load then I’m going on a two week vacation to the mountains for Thanksgiving. I know you don’t know me, but it sure looks like you could use some time to think. Your are more than welcome to come along. I’m harmless and I have references if you need them. “ he chuckled.
She smiled.
“His time you can ride in the cab of the truck. My mom and dad and my brother and sister will be at the family cabin and there are plenty of rooms. I will tell them you are a friend . “
A tear slid down Luna’s cheek. “Can I ride to Mobile then decide?” She used the napkin he gave her to wipe her tears.
“ I think that is a smart thing to do. Would you let me buy you an outfit and a shower? “ he asked her nicely.
“I suppose it would be a good idea. I’m freezing still.” She answered quietly. She finished her sandwich and coffee and threw her trash away.
The two of them went into the truck stop which luckily sold a few clothes. Overpriced for sure but Luna found a long sleeve simple shirt for $15 and a pair of college sweat pants on clearance for $10 she tried to seek cheaper items. She picked up a girls ball cap $8 and looked at him questioning. He nodded. He went to the shampoo and helped her get a brush and shampoo and deodorant. He reached into his duffel bag and grabbed a towel. She showed her the way to the showers and paid for the items and brought them to her. “ I’m sorry there are no intimates sold here but we can stop somewhere along the road. “
She blushed. “ You have done enough but thank you.” She hurt all over but I as more than thankful for a hot shower. He left her to the shower and went to set at a table. He called his mom and told her what was happening. He asked her to help him pray for Luna. He also asked for her to find some clothes and shoes. He explained her size and then told his mom,” she has nothing Mom except massive bruises. It’s terrible but obviously she is so afraid. “
“Well you just hurry with your trip and get her to me. Dad and I will be talking to Jesus.” She told him.

Benjamin’s dad was a minister and his mom a saint. She had a nack for helping young lady ladies and even some older ones. His mom was one of the most loving people he knew. His dad prayed endlessly. His brother and sister were twins who were 22 years old. They looked so much alike. Claire and Cooper shared the same blue eyes and the same tone of sandy blond hair, even their lips and nose were identical. The two of them made a dynamic duo in the church youth group. They had already began many programs for theatre and food banks and now working on a program called WITS, Within the states. It is a program to raise money for small church who needed repairs or funding for expenses out of their control. Benjamin had been blessed with the ability to haul materials to areas hit by storms and disasters. He carried piping and lumbar as well as big heating and air units for big corporations. He had started working their home town as a lumber yard attendant then began delivering for them until a hurricane devastated the gulf and help was needed for the Red Cross and other companies needing help. A man from their church referred him to a company who aided in disasters called” Door to Door” he had already saved most of his paychecks but this would give him even more opportunity not just to make more money but to help those in need. .
“ I’ll be there as soon as I can. Love you Mom.” Benjamin said.
“ I love you too, be safe.” She replied.
They hung up and Benjamin put his phone away.

Luna stepped into the bathroom and stepped out of her clothes. She first washed her u see garments and laid them out to be drying. She then stepped into the hot shower. She made the water as hot as she could stand it. The water hit her face with pain but she let him fall anyway. As she shampooed her hair she felt the pain from the knots where he punched her. She stomach pained where the biggest bruise was. She dint have a razor yo shave her legs so she just washed them and moved on. She finished her shower and then wrapped in her towel. She went to the hand dryer and dried her under things and got dressed. She folded both outfits she had on and placed them neatly into her flannel she had taken she placed her toiletries into the shirt then carefully tied them inside like a makeshift bag. The straw hat she tosses in the garbage. Her hair was thin but about bra strap length. Luna typically felt pretty, but today the left side of her face was swollen and a tinge of purple she didn’t care for. Her left eye was purple/black all the way around it. Her lips were swollen and slightly cut. Her nose was red but she didn’t think it was broken. Her arms had finger mark bruises and her sides her bruised and sore.
Se couldn’t understand why he snapped. Tears slid down her cheeks. Even though it pained her to cry , she did. She put her hair in a low ponytail and then slipped her hair into the back of the ball cap. She pulled it down as not to be noticed or to trying not o hid some of the bruises. She gathered her things and walked out of the shower. She seen Benjamin at the table and walked over. “ Thank you , the shower was amazing.” Her head still hung down.
“ You are welcome. He stood to leave and took her things. He had a bag in his other hand. They both headed outside to the truck. He got their belongings loaded and she climbed in the cab feeling every step she took her body was extremely sore. Her legs were sore from the running. Benjamin maneuvered traffic and got them back onto the interstate. Not much was said to each other for a few minutes.
“If you need to talk you can.” He said.
“ I suppose you probably want to know why I look this way.” She sighed.
“ Only if you want me to know, I’m assuming a spouse “
“ Yes, had I know his anger would be this bad , I wouldn’t have married him. He had gotten worse in the last three months. I’m not sure why but definitely the drinking didn’t help. “ she put her head back. “ I never thought I’d have to physically run for my life. “ she told him the part of the night she left.
“That is tough.” He shook his head. “It seems you have been battered for a long time. “
Battered?” That seemed like a good word. However, not one in which she would ever describe herself.
“It just seemed like a word for your storm.” He said evenly.
She looked at Benjamin almost in unbelief , then looked out her window.

Benjamin was not a hallmark handsome but his caring seemed to offset his ruggedness. She figured some girl out there would be awe struck with him. She was happy that the Lord helped her find a caring Christian man to help her. Right now in this truck she didn’t feel anything could touch her. She knew she needed a future plan to get to her mom’s in Phoenix. Hopefully her mom still lived in the same place.
Her thoughts turned into much needed rest. She woke up at the slowing of the semi.
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