Ashley held the note tightly in her fingers. “Can I tell you about something that happened to me when I was twelve?” She paused as she placed the note down.
“Drew was out hanging with friends. Kelli was hiding in our room, in case dad came home. I was hungry, so I decided to make something to eat. I tried scrambling eggs, but they burnt.” She gave a half smile. “Dad came bursting in. Threw the pan in the sink and knocked me to the ground. I tried to get up, but he back handed me. I was flat on my back, when he leaned over me. Told me how it’s a crime that I couldn’t make eggs, because that meant he would be stuck with me since no man would take me. He figured Kelli would be a nice little punching bag for some asshole.” She scowled. “Guess he was right there. Drew would leave, and he’d be stuck with me unless I could find a man to put up with me. And the only way I’d ever do that is if I learned to fuck.”
She closed her eyes as she continued. “I can still smell the cheap beer on his breath, the smell of cigarettes on his clothes. He held me by the throat, and I couldn’t breathe as his bloodshot eyes looked me up and down. I swear to God, I thought he was going to rape me. He probably would have if Drew hadn’t come home. Drew kicked at him, and Dad broke his arm.”
“Oh no,” Ollie said. “Oh baby. I’m sorry. I never knew.”
Ashley nodded in his chest. “Now you do. That wasn’t the only horrible thing he did. He was always vulgar. Always saying things like that, but that was the one time I really thought he’d do that.” She let him pull her into his arms. “I’m sorry, but this is what you’re getting with me. I’m broken.”
“No, you’re not.” Ollie kissed the top of her head.
“You need to see me for what I am.”
“I do,” Ollie said. “I know you’re not perfect. I know you have a past. I love you. That’s never going to change. And if you’re broken, then I’ll break myself to fit.”
Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs. Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.