Benjamin dropped the load he was carrying and headed to the nearest truck stop. He new there was a fish place nearby on the bay. He called for a cab to take them to eat.
“This is an amazing view! The water sets a tone for excitement! I have never been to the Gulf. “ she looked around the place. She knew she was the most under dressed person in the place besides the fact se looked like she had been in a cage fight . She tried not to fidget.
“It’s ok” Benjamin whispered. “ you look fine.” She looked at him in disbelief that he could know what she was feeling.
“ Thanks.” She whispered back.
After they were seated they talked about the menu and she decided on gumbo after being convinced it was the best.
She tried crawl fish and the tuna. He went for a steak, rare, which she tried and it was very delicious. She ate to a gluten. The server tried to sell them desert which they declined. Benjamin paid the bill and asked if she wanted to go for a walk.
They walked along the bay and enjoyed the peaceful evening.
Luna told Benjamin about her sister who traveled state to state living in a “hippy” mindset. Her mother having lived the same life until a few years ago when she ran into some bad health. Phoenix was her home last count she had. Her dad was apparently a fly by night man
Flo , her mom, had met at a party. His name was Charles Bean. That is all Luna knew about him. He was originally from Phoenix area but She tried to look him up and the search was too vast. She gave up looking.
Benjamin explained his family as “the church”. He laughed because they were always involved in some type of church activity. His grandparents, Bud and Sue founded the church and then his parents, Patrick and Ruth took it over until they retired. He shared how his family was in a train accident that left his dad with one arm. His mom had crushed her shoulder and had required many surgeries. Benjamin had suffered a concussion had memory loss. The twins were with grandma and grandpa so they were untouched. “ We should head back.” Benjamin said. “Tomorrow I will drop my trailer off then we will head to Tennessee if that’s what you want to do. “
“ I don’t seem to have another plan. Are you sure your family won’t mind? “
“ My family loves people they will enjoy having you.” He assured her. He smiled a smile he hadn’t felt in a while. He was helping someone in true need.
He went to the dock of his company and backed the trailer in carefully. He was excited to have the next two weeks off. Thanksgiving at his family’s cabin was fun and relaxing. He went inside to sign off on all his documents and then come back to the truck. He looked over and Luna was gone. He was frantic. He got out and look around the truck and went inside and he came back feeling sadness and despair. He felt defeated. Why, what did I say wrong?, Why would she leave? Did her husband find her? He sat back against his seat waiting. He wasn’t sure why he would wait. She was gone. He couldn’t believe this was affecting him so much. He just wanted to help her. She had been battered so badly. His heart sunk. He went to turn on his key to make his nine hour journey alone. At least he would be off for the next couple weeks Maybe he would just forget about Luna. He started the truck and pulled out of the dock his truck jerked as usual over the small hill and a sound from the sleeper came a fall. Was it his bag ? Surely not. A groggy Luna gave a sigh in pin.
“ Ooh. “ She grabbed her ribs. Benjamin had already stopped the truck and was trying to help her up. He got her up on the bunk.
“Are you ok?!” He almost yelled.
She looked up at him.” I’m so sorry. I haven’t slept in a bed in three days and when you went in I decided to just stretch out for a bit. Apparently I fell asleep.” Tears stung her eyes her ribs hurt so badly.
“Luna you need to see a doctor. You are clearly very hurt. But I was more afraid you had took off or worse that he had followed you. I’m taking you to the hospital. “ he got in his seat an proceeded to take her.
“I have no insurance or money to pay for this.” She let the tears fall while holding her side.
“ We will get you taken care of. “ Benjamin said.
Once she was checked in they called her back and was quick to get her to X-ray. A social service lady came to ask questions. Luna wasn’t prepared to answer any.
“Can you tell me who beat you up?” A lady named Stephanie asked.
“ Yes my husband. I don’t want him to know where I am. “
“ Didn’t he bring you here?” She asked confused.
Luna blushed. “ No! The man with me is a Good Samaritan who has taken very good care of me.”
Luna explained everything. Stephanie had already contacted the police who questioned Benjamin and now was in her room. The police had contacted the precinct in Indiana and put a warrant out for Trent. Luna was very afraid.
“ Can Benjamin come in?” She was terrified.
“ Sure.” Stephanie said and stood to go get him.
Benjamin was in the room in no time and the doctor come in.
Well it looks like you have three fractured ribs. There is not much we can do for that except let them heal. I want to do a act scan of your face and head to make sure we are ok there. I do want you to start a antibiotic for all the lesions to your face. I will get you some medicine for pain and swelling as well. I have a brace we can give for the ribs but some tolerate it and some don’t like how it feels. I’ll have my nurse come for the scan and she will get you set up. We will give you a list of things you should refrain from for at least 6 weeks, then follow up with your family physician. Sound good?”
“ Yes sir, thank you. “ Luna said.
Stephanie had been in the room and knew the plan.
“Luna we have a battered women fund here at the hospital and you clearly qualify. Don’t worry about the bill. Is there anything else I can do for you?
“Luna whispered to Stephanie.
“ I will take care of it.” She stood and left the room.
Luna laid wait of the X-ray technician and in the meantime Stephanie arrived back in the room with a duffel bag. It contained personal care items and a few clothing. Finally the girl from Radiology came back and took Luna down for a CT scan of her brain. Benjamin waited in the room for her.
When she came back the officer wanted to talk to her.
The officer stepped in the room and once again asked her the name of her spouse his birthday and address. Luna gave them all the information.
“ Ma’am I hate to be the one to tell you this but he was found in his house tonight he apparently vomited in his sleep when passed out and didn’t wake up. “ the officer told her.
“ Do you mean that Trent is dead?“ Luna trying to wrap her hat head around and process what she was just told.
She looked to the officer and then to Benjamin I’m going to Stephanie as if to say help me process this but she put her hands in her head and let the tears fall. Benjamin reached over and touch her arm and Stephanie come to the other side of her bed and put her arm around her and just let her cry. The silence in the room was enough for all of them and as if on cue the doctor walked in and said,”the CAT scan seems to be normal but I want you to take it easy for the next few weeks and definitely let your ribs heal and if you need anything give us a call. I’ll have my nurse get you a shot for pain and a prescription for pain medication. Do you have any questions?
Luna looked up and shook her head no and the doctor walked out of the room. Stephanie has brought a change of clothing from there room for battered women and the two men and Stephanie left the room to let Luna get dressed. Alone in the room Luna couldn’t picture her deceased husband on the bed. She wondered if he felt anything or was he at any moment afraid. She didn’t hate Trent. In fact she had loved him dearly. She also was genuinely hurt by him. How would she tell his parents? Would they believe her? They seemed to like her but had distanced themselves from Trent for years. Luna just wanted this all to be over with. She wanted a life. A good life. Not one like her mom and her sister. She finished getting dressed with much pain The nurse appeared and gave her an injection and had her sign off of her discharge. Stephanie gave her a business card for future needs. Benjamin walked over to help her and carried the duffel that Stephanie had given to her. When they left out of the hospital Luna staggered and Benjamin reached out to steady her.
“You need some sleep. “ he said quietly.
“ Yes, I do.” She let him help her into the semi and he put her in the bunk and put his buddy rail up. This would keep her from being bouncing out onto the floor, something he had installed years ago just in case. He shut out the lights in the sleeper and headed out. Benjamin was exhausted but wanted to get to his cabin to start his well needed vacation.