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 Post subject: Fools Rush In - Part 18
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Location: On a good day, planet Earth in NE Alabama.
As requested, here's more. I hope you enjoy it. :)


(Part 18)

Three days later a memorial service was held for Monica Fallon at Walker & Walker funeral home.
Alex arrived a half an hour before the service to say a final goodbye alone. A lovely picture of Miss Fallon was supported by an easel, several varieties of flowers from family and friends surrounded the room, and on a bluish-gray marble pedestal, the final piece of evidence to remind Alex why he was there…the urn. The exquisite container was white with a delicate hint of gold leafing and gold trim around the base. It was exactly the same as in a catalog Monica showed him several months ago. The only difference with the urn in the picture was that it didn’t have the name Monica Renee Fallon, or the dates of her birth and death printed in gold on it. He remembered her saying - “I’d much rather pick this out for myself. I don’t want someone putting my remains in some tacky piece of ****.” She always said you can’t plan for these things too soon, and Alex wondered if she had an inkling of just how soon her life would end.

After a few moments of recollection on their past, Alex said his final goodbye and walked away.

Later that night Alex fell asleep in his office to endure another horrifying dream. But this time it wasn’t about Monica. It was similar to others he had before, where a woman covered in blood, cries for her child which has been forcibly taken from her arms. When he woke up, he tried to make himself aware of his surroundings, while the cold chills and beads of sweat on his face and neck made for an unpleasant combination. The dream replayed in his head, as he wasn’t fully awake or sure that he was in his own home, in his office. After making sure he knew where he was, he reached for one the bottles of scotch from the bookcase and poured himself half a glass full. With each sip, the dream began to slowly ease out of his thoughts and he began to feel more relaxed, but still not completely rid of the horrific dream. He chose to give the sofa in his office a break and finish the remainder of the night in the bed. As he entered the bedroom he saw that his wife was sleeping, and once he changed clothes for bed, he slipped beneath the covers beside her. Dee Dee awoke when she heard him come in, but only pretended to be asleep. With her back turned to him, she felt Alex climb into bed but kept still and quiet with hopes that he would do nothing more than fall asleep.

As Alex pondered the ideas for his future, bits and pieces of the dream drifted in and out between other thoughts. He wanted the dreams to stop, but wasn’t sure how to end them or why they even started. Or did he? If he thought hard enough and admitted to his wrong-doings, he’d know what the root of the dreams was. But he was afraid to do so because he knew his conscience would prove to be more deadly than he could imagine.

It only took a few minutes for Alex’s battle against the sleep inducing drink to end. When Dee Dee heard him breathing deeply and soundly, she knew that she’d be okay for the next few hours and fell into a light sleep of her own.
-- --

The next morning as Dee Dee walked past Alex’s in-home office, one of the grapes she had piled in her hand dropped to the floor and rolled into the office. Dee Dee sighed deeply and thought – (Great. Now he’ll have a fit if he finds it in there.)

Alex was getting dressed in the bedroom and she knew she’d be out of the office before he finished. She didn’t want to be there any longer than it took to get the grape, but something caught her attention and she stayed inside longer than planned. As she bent over and picked up the grape, she saw a small unframed pocket-sized mirror lying on the floor just below the front of the desk. Still with a suspicious and cautious mind of a cop, she knelt down and looked at the mirror without touching it. At first glance, the mirror looked dusty, but with a closer look, Dee Dee realized that it wasn’t ordinary house dust at all. During her days on the police force, she; like other cops, especially those in Vice, had been known to take a fingertip amount of what they suspected was a drug, place it on the tongue for identification and then quickly spit it out. Although it would be such a tiny amount, she declined the test for the baby’s safety. Besides, she knew the substance was the same as she’d seen on the bathroom counter before. It was cocaine and she knew it definitely played a major part in Alex’s erratic behavior. She also knew the cocaine was eating away at his nasal membrane and caused the nosebleeds he’d been having. Dee Dee was now one-hundred percent sure that Alex was a junkie. Shaking her head in disgust, she wondered what other mysteries revolved within her so-called marriage. (How the hell did I let myself get into this?)

Alex had dressed more quickly than Dee Dee expected and stepped inside the room, catching her off guard. While her hand dangled at her left side out of Alex’s view, she thought quickly and immediately and purposely let the grape slip from her hand.

“What are you doing in my office?”

“I was walking by and I dropped a grape. It rolled inside and came to get it.” She reached down then held the fruit up as evidence. “See?”


To her surprise, Dee Dee was free to leave the office without any argument. She went inside her little “art studio”, took a seat on the little stool in front of the easel and turned on the stereo. While eating the fruit, she studied a photo she’d just taken out of a box. She was finishing up the first of what she’d hope would be a continuing series of Point Dume paintings, and she used one of the photos as a guide; often daydreaming of the time spent there with Rick. While the soulful sound of Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do for Love” came through the stereo speakers, Dee Dee allowed herself to continue reminiscing about those times with Rick at the beach. She thought of the sights she and Rick would take time to enjoy together. They loved walking along the beach, hand-in-hand, having late night picnics by lantern light just a few feet away from the surf, or standing at the highest point of the cliffs and taking in the view of Catalina Island and the never-ending ocean. But their secluded little area; the “dugout” as they called it, within the mountain’s foundation was most special. When they were there it was as if they were the only two people in the world, and there was nothing else to care about…only each other.

During parts of the song, she was reminded that she’d made a mistake with Alex….that she’d traveled so far for something she already had at home.

I guess you wonder where I’ve been
I searched to find a love within
I came back to let you know…
Got a thing for you… and I can’t let go

My friends wonder what is wrong with me
But I’m in a daze, from your love you see…
I came back to let you a thing for you…
And I can’t let go.

Some people go around the world for love,
But they may never find what they dream of
What you won’t do…do for love
You’ve tried everything, but you won’t give up
In my world, only you make me do for love…what
I would not do.
--Bobby Caldwell

Dee Dee couldn’t help but feel sadness at the reality of what she’d thrown away and of what she’d accepted at a replacement. As the music continued she daydreamed of being at Point Dume with Rick, to allow the happiness of those memories to take over. But it wasn’t as easy as she’d hoped as she still had to deal with the present and the future of her marriage to Alex.

- - - -

Los Angeles, CA

On Thursday evening, Rick tossed in the last few items he’d take with him in his duffel bag for his weekend visit. Charlie persuaded him to use at least two of the numerous off days he’d earned, and going to see his mom would be a pleasure. It’s her sixty-third birthday and he wanted to deliver flowers in person for a change, and stay over a day or so, even if it meant hearing her remarks on his love life. Every year that he couldn’t visit, he’d send flowers and receive a phone call full of thanks, love, and reminders that he worked too hard and should settle down with a girl he can bring to visit. Ana never meant any harm when she spoke to her son about having a wife, and he knew it. She would never fail to tell him that Dee Dee would be perfect for him. Although she and Dee Dee had probably spent only a total of twelve hours together on various separate occasions, she knew she’d be perfect. She adored Dee Dee from the minute she met her. Rick found it amusing that she had their lives planned more perfectly than he could imagine for himself at times. She even had suggestions of how far apart in age their children should range, and what kind of pet would be suitable for all.

It was Dee Dee’s turn to make the phone call for their weekly catching up, and Rick had waited patiently for over two weeks without a word from her. He figured that at some point her new life would become busier and she may not have time to call as often. He didn’t want to get used to not hearing from her for weeks at a time, but that could very well be the fact. His curiosity got the better of him and he couldn’t resist calling her. When the answering machine picked up he left a message and decided to wait a few minutes before leaving in case she called back. For ten minutes he waited. Another five minutes; he waited. With another glance at both his watch and the wall clock, he realized that if she didn’t call within fifteen minutes, he’d be thrown off schedule far more than he’d like. Disappointed, he decided he’d waited long enough and went ahead to join the busy highway traffic. Since he couldn’t drive his police issued clunker out of bounds, he’d rented a black Jeep Wrangler. And although the vehicle was a sturdy and rugged piece of machinery, Rick was most content with the working air-conditioner and stereo system; things that were lacking in the in Hunter-mobile. After a few hours of hectic traffic, decent music on the stereo; songs provided from his collection of cassettes, he gladly pulled into the driveway of his mother’s house. Before he stepped out of the car, Ana Theresa Hunter was already out the front door to greet her son.
Rick picked her up in a bear hug and twirled her about.

“Put me down, Ricky!” Ana gave the order with a laugh, and then smothered him with kisses.

“You look great ma.” Rick said with an adoring smile.

“I know I do.” She added with a feisty tone. “You expected me to look like an old ragged woman, just because I’m sixty-three years old? I still get flirtatious looks from men; some quite a bit younger than I. And, I’m not shy about giving a few looks myself.” Ana winked at her son with the same gleam in her eyes he’d inherited from her.

Rick smiled and raised an eyebrow. “Well, aren’t we getting sassy in our old age?” He’d also inherited wit from his mother.

“I can be sassy if I want. And, you’re the one who’s getting old. I’m only aging, like fine wine.” Ana Theresa looked much younger than sixty-three. The woman of five feet, six inches and one hundred and forty pounds carried herself very well. And the rich Italian meals made by her own hands, family or friends never did have an extreme affect on her figure. Her hair; cut in a chin-length bob, parted on the right, glistened with silver strands making themselves known throughout the chestnut shade of natural waves. After a few compliments on his Ana’s white cotton dress, Rick carried his bag inside and took a seat on the sofa beside his mother.

“So, tell me, Ricky. How is Dee Dee? Is she happy with the doctor?”


Before he could answer, his mother added her comments about his and Dee Dee’s breakup. “I don’t know what that child was thinking….running off like that. She was completely happy with you and then this Turnan shows up, and she acts like nothing existed between you two.”

Rick knew his mother was about to go on a rampage about the relationship ending. “Ma, don’t start.”

Ana ignored her son and continued on. “And, I know you would have made her happy and she’d have made you happy.” Her Italian accent grew stronger with her agitation. “You were happy. It was very obvious when I spoke to her on the phone a few weeks ago. I don’t understand!”

“Ma, calm down.” Rick sighed and settled back against the sofa. He knew he was in for the long haul on this subject.

“She wasn’t thinking clearly, Ricky. It makes no sense that she’d marry another man less than a month of you two breaking up. I know you weren’t ready to marry right away, but you did want to marry her, didn’t you? Didn’t you tell her that?”

“Yes, I did tell her that.”

“Then why didn’t she stay?” Ana gazed at her son; awaiting an answer.

Rick thought for a second, and teasingly answered his mother. “Maybe she couldn’t deal with having a mother and mother-in-law with the same first name. Yours has one “n” and Mrs. Kimball’s has two, but still…” (Whap!) “Oww!” Rick yelled as Ana’s hand made contact with the back of his head. “Ma, I was kidding!” He rubbed the tender spot on his head.

“I know you were kidding, otherwise I would have hit you harder. Now, answer my question. Why didn’t she stay?”

“You know why.” Rick began the explanation he’d given several times since the breakup. “I didn’t want to marry her and start a family within the next year or two. She knew I’d do anything to make her happy, so I agreed that we should split, so maybe she’d find someone that could give her what she wanted, when she wanted it. That person just happened to be Alex.” Rick kept his disgust for Alex hidden from his mother. No need to add to her aggravation.

Ana was disappointed the relationship between Dee Dee and her son failed, but as fond as she was of Dee Dee she wished her nothing but happiness. “I want what’s best for her too. I’m just finding it hard to find logic in what she’s done, no matter how you explain it to me. Are you two keeping in touch?”

“I haven’t talked to her in a couple of weeks or so, but from what I can gather, she’s doing okay.”

“She’s doing…okay?” Ana raised a curious brow. “Shouldn’t she be better than that? This is one of the most important times of her life. The two of you are best friends and it only seems right that she’d want to tell you about her happiness.”

“We just haven’t been able to catch each other with the phone calls lately.”

“Maybe you should try harder to get in touch with her. I have a feeling that something isn’t quite right with Dee Dee and Alex. You know how I am about my intuition.”

“Yeah, Ma, I know. You’re the reason I learned to follow my gut instinct on many occasion. Like Mother, like son, huh?” Rick smiled and held his mother’s hand. “I do feel that she’s keeping something from me, but I haven’t figured out how to get to the truth.”

“Well, pay attention to whatever instinct you have about Dee Dee. Don’t let her get into something she can’t handle. And if she’s already in trouble, you need to get her out of it. I just know she rushed into that marriage without thinking. She could need you more now, than she ever has.”

-- --

(London, England – Turnan Home)

Dee Dee explained to Alex that she has to be at the community center early to set up for one of the children’s birthday party they’d be giving that afternoon. Fortunately he bought the story, as it was the best excuse she had for leaving the house early in order to make her doctor’s appointment.

Even with all the drama, she still managed to keep her physical appearance; clothes hair and makeup in check, and though wearing less makeup recently, was enough to highlight her natural features. She’d chosen olive green pants and a loose-fitting cream colored blouse, and began dressing for her trip to the doctor’s office. Just as she started to zip her pants, she found herself struggling to finish the job. The zipper would only go halfway up, and the two inches of elastic at each side of the waistband had been stretched to the limit as well. She pulled the pants down to her hips, lifted her blouse and took a good look at her stomach the mirror. She could see significant change which made it evident she was more than three and a half months pregnant. It was as if the changes took place overnight, since she looked at herself in the mirror everyday. At two months, she wasn’t showing at all, and although a little disappointed, she knew it was for the best as long as she was with Alex. Now the difference was easy for her to see and feel, and she knew that her husband would soon be able to see the difference too, which meant it would be vital that she not change clothes in front of him, or let him see her in anything that fit snuggly to her mid-section. She heaved a sigh of worry and thought - “I can’t hide it for much longer.”
She continued to stare into the mirror with her hand gently resting on her stomach. She wasn’t just looking at her stomach, she was looking at the woman she’d become. She saw a woman who was living in fear of her husband, who had been told she was nothing; that she mattered to no one, and who was a victim of her husband’s physically brutal attacks. Dee Dee felt betrayal from herself as well, because she wasn’t supposed to let herself be a victim of abuse again. But this time, she wasn’t the only victim, and it was crucial to the smallest and most innocent of the two that she found peace and safety as soon as possible.
– –

Earlier in the day; Dee Dee stepped from the tub, stood in front of the mirror; looking and hoping that somehow, maybe magically, the warm soapy water had washed away the remaining bruises on her back and arms. No such luck.

Yesterday, the telephone at the Turnan residence rang until the answering machine picked up. After the recorded greeting was over, Rick left a short message for his best friend. -“Hey, Dee Dee, it’s just me, calling to talk for a minute….nothing important. I’ll be away for a couple of days visiting my mom, so I’ll catch you later. Maybe you can catch me. I’ll be here until noon tomorrow, LA time, of course. Bye.” -

Along with the bruises, she was dealing with thoughts of the previous day’s events, as Alex’s voice continued to boom inside her head. -“Why, is he still calling here?! Didn’t I tell you to stop talking to him?! I cannot believe you, Dee Dee! See, this is the kind of **** that makes me so angry with you! Why do you go against me like that?! Damn it!”
With every word Alex spoke, a blow from his fist made contact with Dee Dee’s body, and for an added bonus, he shoved her against the wall repeatedly, banging her head with each action. A phone call from her best friend….a simple innocent message on the answering machine and nothing more, caused Alex to explode with rage, and she had her battle scars to prove it. Her apologies meant nothing to him, and when she struck back once to defend herself, it only infuriated Alex and he hit her in her left side; nearly in the stomach. It was so frightening to her, that he could have harmed the baby that she gave in, hoping and waiting for him to leave her alone. He was smart enough not leave any marks on her face as he couldn’t risk Celise or someone at the community center becoming suspicious.

She had postponed her doctor’s appointment for a week, in order to give the last bruises time to fade, but now she had new ones, and knew the appointment shouldn’t be put off any longer. Maybe they wouldn’t be as noticeable as she thought. If so, a lie would have to cover them for her.
After trading the green pants for a loser fitting long black wrap skirt, she went on her way to Dr. Cameron’s office.
- – -

“Mrs. Turnan? You can come on back.” Dee Dee looked up from her magazine to see the nurse, Toni standing in the doorway of the waiting room. As Dee Dee met her at the door, Toni greeted her with a cheerful smile. “Hello. How are you today?”

“I’m doing okay. How are you?” Dee Dee replied.

“Fine, thanks. I’m glad you kept this appointment. You’re a week off schedule. Dr. Cameron was really hoping to get more blood work exactly a month after your last visit, since she’s concerned about the anemia. It’s really important to keep your appointments.” Another scolding wasn’t what Dee Dee wanted. Alex provided enough, but at least this was truly from concern and for her benefit.
After having Dee Dee take a seat on the examination table, Toni began her questions. “How’ve you been feeling? Anything out of the ordinary?”

“I don’t think so. I’m still having some morning sickness…well, not always in the morning, sometimes I get really sleepy out of the blue, and I’m still having a few headaches. I’ve been reading that these aren’t symptoms I should be worried about.”

“Right. The anemia can be responsible for a lot of the drowsiness, and headaches too. The nausea should subside in a couple of weeks, as you’re moving out of your first trimester. If it doesn’t, let us know and Dr. Cameron can give you medication to help, or adjust your diet. Sometimes it’s certain foods that are the problem. Although some women have suffered through it several months or the whole pregnancy, we’ll do everything we can to keep you from going that long.” Toni smiled assuredly.

“Thanks.” Dee Dee replied with relief. “It’s not really all that bad; certain smells set it off, but I certainly don’t want it to last for much longer.”

“Are you still taking your Chromagen for iron, and your vitamin C tablets?”

“Yes, everyday, like clockwork.”

“You should try to catch a quick nap when you’re feeling drained, too. But not too close to bedtime as you may not be able to fall asleep until the wee hours of the morning. Both rest and fair amounts of exercise are very important.”

“Okay. I can walk laps at the center; inside the gymnasium and outside on the track when the weather is nice.”

“That’s a great idea. How are your eating habits? Getting enough of those fruits, veggies and lean meats?”

“I think I’m doing pretty well.” Alex’s behavior toward Dee Dee kept her nerves on edge, which often meant she had an upset stomach or lack of appetite. But she’d never tell Toni.

“Okay. Well, today we’ll be checking your blood pressure and taking blood to see if you’re iron count is up. I’ll do another sonogram, but you just have to lift your blouse off your stomach. You’ll get to see how much the baby’s grown in the past five weeks.” Dee Dee was relieved to be spared of the poking and prodding today and became excited at the idea of seeing the baby.

Toni pushed Dee Dee’s sleeve up in order to take her blood pressure and saw a mark. “What happened to your arm?”

“Oh, that?” Dee Dee hadn’t realized how much of her left arm had been exposed, but was ready to explain the bruising. “I was pushing a little boy on the swing, I stepped off to the side to get out of the way and hit my arm on the A-frame.”

“Getting a head start on using playground equipment, huh?” Toni smiled.

“Kinda. I’m volunteering at a community center and sometimes we spend time on the playground with the younger kids. I really enjoy it.”

“That’s nice. If I had the time, I’d like to do something like that. I’m glad you’ve found something you like. Just be careful, okay. Accidents happen to adults as well as children on the playground. Well, I guess you’ve already found that out. Especially since you’re pregnant, you should really watch it. Don’t stand too closely behind the swing while pushing a child. Oh, and stay off the merry-go-round.” Toni said with a smile.

“Right. I’ll definitely be more careful and I’ll just enjoy the merry-go-round by watching and not riding.” Dee Dee laughed a little and even felt satisfied that she’d gotten by with a concocted story about the bruise. But had she really gotten by with it?

Toni wasn’t completely content with her patient’s reply, and made it known. “Some women tend to bruise more easily during pregnancy, but we just need to touch all the bases and make sure there’s nothing to worry about.” Toni was cautious with her next sentence. “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but I really, really need to know that you actually got hurt at the playground, and that no one did this to you purposely.”

Dee Dee knew the nurse was doing her job by questioning her. In her former line of work, she too, had been the one to question the cause of bruises on people. And like a lot of those people, she chose to lie. “Yeah, I did it myself.”

“Well even so, I have to let the doctor take a look at it. And we have to make a record of it and any others.”

Dee Dee swallowed hard at the idea of her other bruises being exposed and how she’d have to give further explanation.

When Dr. Cameron stepped in the room, she asked the same question Toni had asked and received the same answer. “Well…” The doctor began. “I’m just extra curious when I see a woman with injuries that could have come from her husband. There are thousands of pregnant women who are abused everyday by their husbands or boyfriends, but lie about it out of fear.”

“I know.” Dee Dee replied in a serious tone. “I’ve seen it happen many times in LA.”

“Right. And I don’t want you to have to live through any of it in your own home, as the victim.”

“I understand that. And I never said that Alex did this to me.” Dee Dee unhappily defended her husband, but she felt pressured to. The flashbacks of Alex pinning her to the sofa only a couple of weeks into the marriage made her realize that she’s suffered for much longer than she’d admitted to herself. She sighed heavily at the thought of the first slap across her face, and both doctor and nurse picked up on her distress.

Dr. Cameron asked Toni to leave her alone with her patient for a few moments, and then took a seat on the swivel stool.

“Dee Dee, you know the first day you came to see me, I told you that I was here to be trusted. I didn’t let you down when Alex wanted me to talk you into an abortion and I won’t let you down now.” The doctor moved closer to her patient and looked directly into her eyes. “I don’t have to only be your doctor. I can be your friend too, if you’d like. Either way, I’d like you to be completely honest with me.” Dee Dee tried to avoid eye contact, but the doctor wouldn’t allow it. She asked Dee Dee to look at her and she slowly complied. “I need to know if Alex has been abusing you…in any way. It’s extremely dangerous for you and the baby. Most women don’t realize it, but mental abuse is very unhealthy during a pregnancy too. The constant beating up on the psyche can wear on the nerves; making you flinch at his every move, keeping you restless…losing sleep, and causing ulcers and a constant upset stomach. And then there’s the depression. You can lose your will to eat, have lack of concentration, feel that your self worth has diminished; it’s all extremely unhealthy.” The doctor went for other big questions. “Now, have you told Alex that you’re pregnant by Rick? Is that the majority of the reason he’s doing this?”

“What? I haven’t said that Alex did anything. I’ve already told you that. I’m okay.” The look on Dee Dee’s face was less than convincing.

The doctor stood and crossed her arms in frustration, and used a stern tone in hopes of getting answers. “I’m not buying it, Dee Dee. Especially since Alex wanted you to abort your baby. You put off seeing me for a week; I assume to allow your bruises to fade, you’re not gaining weight as rapidly as you should, you don’t look well rested, and there are too many bruises for one little bump against a swing set. I know there’s more to what you want me to know and I want the truth. The first day we met, you totally convinced me of how badly you want this child. I know you don’t want to put it in jeopardy with the possibility of a miscarriage.”

Dee Dee’s heart skipped a beat at the idea of losing her baby. It was a terrifying thought but she knew it could become reality.

“Talk to me, Dee Dee.” The doctor pleaded. “You have to allow me to help you. Please.”

Dee Dee knew she wouldn’t be able to talk her way out anything else on the subject with Nina Cameron. Besides, she was too tired of hiding, hoping, and praying that she could keep the secrets. She had to overcome her fear to speak. With tears building in her eyes, she breathed deeply, exhaled and slowly began to reveal parts of the truth. “Yes…yes… he’s been hitting me.”

Dr. Cameron remained silent, but inside she began to curse Alex Turnan and have pity for his wife.

Mrs. Turnan continued. “It’s not because of the baby, because he doesn’t know about it. I haven’t told him… things are tough enough as it is. Why make it worse?” She began to cry harder thoughts of the consequences if Alex knew. “I’ve managed to keep him from hurting the baby, so far.” She couldn’t believe the confession was coming from her mouth. She sounded like so many of those women on television therapy shows. “I’ve done my best to protect the baby. Really…I have.” She was now sobbing heavily as she felt the guilt and shame escape. Nina Cameron placed a consoling arm around her patient who leaned into the safety and cried even more. “I…I’ve tried so hard to do everything he’s asked. I take care of everything; cooking, cleaning, laundry…everything’s always in order. He doesn’t appreciate it. He doesn’t appreciate…me. He doesn’t love me. He doesn’t love me at all.” Dee Dee went on to explain the special arrangement that Alex has set up in their marriage. “But I’m too scared to leave. He’s made terrible threats and I don’t have anyplace to go. I’m just so scared. I don’t want him hurting my baby because I tried to leave him.” She was now sobbing beyond any control. “I…I…just can’t take…the risk.”

Without disturbing Dee Dee’s comfort zone Nina; who was fighting back her own tears of anger and sorrow, reached for a box of tissues on the counter for the two to share. “Here. You just cry as long and as hard as you need to.” Sometimes doctors are appear cold and unfeeling in order to keep their emotions from getting the better of them, but when Nina saw a case like this, she couldn’t help but show she’s not made of steel. “It’ll be alright, Dee Dee. I’m glad you’re talking to me about it, and I’m going to help you.” A few minutes passed and Dee Dee was able to pull herself together a little. After a cup of water for re-hydration, she told Nina she felt a little better and could talk more about her troubles.

Nina had dried her own tears and took a seat at the small the desk. “Okay, so if you two were having sex, he would have noticed that you’re pregnant by now. Have you declined sex with him and that’s another one of the reasons he’s hitting you?”

“No. There are a couple of reasons why we haven’t. He was too…rough with me at times and I told him so. He got angry and told me I didn’t know what I wanted when it came to sex, and he hasn’t touched me since then. It really didn’t matter to him, I’m sure. He’d been having an affair since day one; been with her before we were married.”

Again, Nina was shocked by what she was hearing. “I’m sorry he’s having an affair, but if not for the other woman he’d want you. And he’d see that you’re pregnant. And telling him it’s not his baby, or lying and telling him it is, when he doesn’t want it, would put you in extreme danger. What else is going on between you two?”

Once again Dee Dee willed herself into being straight with the doctor. “Although he doesn’t know that I know…I’ve found evidence that he’s using cocaine.”

“Oh, my God.” Nina gasped.

“And, the woman he was having the affair with, died recently. She was killed in a plane crash. He’s been going through a lot with losing her, and yes…he takes it out on me. But these bruises…these are because of a phone message Rick left. We planned to stay in touch on a weekly basis, but Alex wants me to cut all ties with Rick. Hearing the message set him off.”

“You’ve been through hell, Dee Dee.” Nina sighed with great despair and sympathy. “All the things that you’ve told me are horrible and inexcusable. Alex has no right to treat you like this and it has to be stopped and punished. Have you ever called the police on him?”


“If you don’t, I will. I have to report this.”

“No, don’t call them! Please!” Mrs. Turnan realized how much she’d said, and how much trouble she could be stirring up. “I’ll be leaving him soon. I plan to leave him without telling him about the baby, but I just haven’t found the chance yet. He only allows me to visit one friend, go to the center or shopping. And he keeps track of how long I’m away from home. And he only gives me so much of an allowance for the things we need. I rarely have a few dollars of my own. I’m waiting for Rick to send money from things he sold when I moved.”

The doctor shook her head in disbelief. “How many chances do you think you’ll have? There may not be a perfect time to leave, if that’s what you’re waiting on. You’ve been lucky enough so far that he hasn’t found out that you come here. And when he had the other woman, you didn’t have to worry about him coming to you for sex. But she’s gone now. He won’t buy very many excuses as to why you don’t want to sleep with. You’ve got to get away from him, now.” Nina pressed the call button and asked Toni to return to the room with the information packet she needed. She took the packet from Toni and handed it to Dee Dee. “This has all the information you need about getting help. I can get you into a shelter today if you want. I can’t force you to do it, but I strongly advise that you go, or go stay with a friend. You don’t need any money for the shelter, and if you go to one, he can’t get to you because of the tight security. You’ll be safe.”

Dee Dee suddenly thought of herself as one of the countless women in L.A shelters who were either pregnant or had young children with them. The vast majority was abused by their husbands or boyfriends, and she didn’t want to be in that category. But she was already there. She’d always known she didn’t need a dime to get into the shelter, and realized she was subconsciously using the lack of money as an excuse for months.

“Listen, Dee Dee. I don’t have to tell you how women lie out of fear or keep quiet to protect those losers from going to jail because they feel without them, they have nothing. I know you’re scared, but you know that you don’t have to take this from Alex.” Doctor Cameron didn’t intend to be too harsh, but needed to make a strong point. “I’m not saying that you should know better because you were a police officer, because this happens to women of all walks of life, so you shouldn’t feel ashamed. Regardless of how the abuse started, it’s not your fault. It burns me up when I hear people say it wouldn’t happen to them or to someone they know because they’re too strong willed and independent. They just don’t know how it works. They think ‘no way’ would that happen to someone of authority. Some victims…prison guards for example; literally hold the key when it comes to keeping abusers locked away in prison. But when they get home, their husbands can berate, belittle and physically abuse them so badly that they lose themselves and their identity for the all moments they spend with that man. I don’t want to have to preach to you, but I want you to realize what you’re doing to yourself and to that little baby. I want you to believe that you have a choice to make your situation better.”

Dee Dee’s voice trembled as she began. “I…I do believe that. And I’ll make sure we’re safe.”

“Good. That’s what I want to hear and I want you to follow through on that.”
The doctor asked Mrs. Turnan if she could lift her blouse from her back for further inspection. As suspected, Dr. Cameron found more bruises. “I need to take pictures of these. Hopefully you’ll leave him today, and he won’t be able to hurt you any worse than he has. But if he does get the chance we’ll have pictures to keep on record if…”

“If he hurts me so badly that I can’t speak.” Dee Dee lowered her head and replied solemnly; realizing how the women she’d helped in the past must have felt in this situation. “Or if he kills me…you’ll have evidence for the police.” She felt sadness within herself for letting Alex take away so much from her and thought that most of the suffering could have been prevented if she’d have had the courage to fight back.

As soon as Dr. Cameron and Toni finished with the pictures, the doctor’s pager alerted
her of an emergency call. “I hate to leave you, but this can’t wait. I’ll see you back here in two months, unless you have any problems. And I want you to call me when you get settled into the shelter or with friends; in which I hope will be by tonight. It’s against my better judgment, but I’m giving you the chance to do this on your own. If I don’t hear from you by four o’clock tomorrow, I’m calling the police.” The doctor’s pager sounded again.” Good luck, Dee Dee.” She quickly exited the room, leaving Toni to finish up.

“Did you fill out the form; the father’s medical history?” Toni asked. “Dr. Cameron told me to be sure to get that from you.”

Dee Dee hadn’t bothered with the form. The strain of putting up with Alex caused it to slip her mind. “No, I don’t have it. Is it okay if I mail it in tonight?”

“Sure. I’ll leave a note for the doctor to let her know.” Toni asked Dee Dee to lie back on the table. “Okay, let’s take a look at the baby.”

As the sonogram began Dee Dee could see the difference in her baby’s growth. And for the second time, she could hear the whooshing sound through the speakers, which indicated a strong heartbeat. She was amazed by what she saw and heard, and thought to herself - “I’ll never forget this sound…this moment, for as long as I live.”

“Ah!” Toni gasped with surprise. “Did you feel that?”

When Dee Dee got over the initial shock, she answered with great joy. “Yes! I felt my baby move! It was like butterflies in my stomach, but I saw it move on the monitor at the exact same moment that I felt it. Oh…it was definitely my baby.” Dee Dee smiled brightly while she watched the screen. “Hello, my little angel. I saw and felt you moving.”

Since she’s been with Alex her tears were always those of sadness and fear. But at this minute her eyes warmed with tears of happiness and delight.

== == ==


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