This is from a novel I am 80% done with called "I Survived!". It is a fictionalized version of my abusive relationship
with my ex-husband. It is fictionalized so no one sues me, especially him. This is the pending first chapter from the novel.
Writing this novel has been a healing experience for me. While I have not written about every abusive incident in the
relationship, I wrote enough to give you an idea of the torture and abuse I went through from this man. Enjoy! Email me and
tell me what you think!
Our romance began like a typical
relationship: meet, instant attraction, fall in love, move in together. I thought I had found my happily ever after. The one
twist that made everyone around me leery of our future was how we had met in an Internet chat room.
I was married when I
began talking to Ben in
1998. My first husband and I grew apart and there were instances of infidelity on his part that weren’t forgivable to
me. I wasn’t looking for someone else when Ben and I began chatting online.
Our conversation started out innocently. Most guys online automatically assume a female is looking for sex when she goes into
an Internet chat room but Ben wasn’t like that. We began talking about our
common interests, then about how we grew up. We got really close over the course of about 7 months online. Around Christmas
time, I logged on after coming home from my dad and step-mom’s house to see if he was on. I clicked through to the chat
room we always frequented.
“There you are,” a message
from Ben popped up.
“I just got home from my dad’s
house,” I typed.
“Did you have fun?”
“Yes we had a blast!”
“I have a surprise for you.”
“Oh, what is it?” I
There was a long pause
while he typed.
“You know I have been working
a lot of hours and I am ahead with my rent and bills with my roommates. I want to come visit you for your birthday. I already
called to price tickets and I will be off for a 3-day weekend because of Martin Luther
King, Jr. Day. I can stay at a hotel
or with you. What do you think?” he said.
“I would really like that
a lot! But you know I am still living with him until one of us finds another place to go. So you would have to stay at a hotel,”
“I know,” he typed,
“That’s why I need you to tell me the name of some hotels in your area so I can get an idea of what a hotel will
cost me for a few days. I can’t wait to see you in person and actually touch you.”
“Oh, I know! This will be
a long 3 weeks.” I said.
Time passed slowly for
us. I was working with my step-mom cleaning an office building in the late evening. I would rush home to find Ben online. We would talk for hours until he would absolutely have to go to bed to get up in time
to go to his job at a bank as a check processor. I would sleep most of the early morning hours to avoid the man I was married
to, John. He would leave for his second shift job around two in the afternoon. Ben would call me every day around four and we would talk for about a half hour. Then we would hop
online for several hours before I had to go to the office with my step-mom. That cycle went on for a few weeks.
My birthday came and
we decided to hold Ben’s trip off until around Valentine’s Day. We were
having a rough winter where I lived. Lots of snow and freezing temperatures were not ideal traveling weather. Plus our first
meeting would be surrounded by a romantically themed weekend that way.
The weekend finally came
for his visit. I had to work of course for a few hours and couldn’t meet him at the airport. He took a cab to his hotel
and e-mailed me his room number. John didn’t know of my plans and to save a
big argument, I didn’t let them be known. He apparently had plans of his own as well because a woman he worked with
called and left a message on our answering machine: “Call me about …….a party on Saturday, John.”
I floated around work
that night being a ball of nerves. I was so worried about what Ben would think of
me in person. I was slightly overweight and stopped taking care of my appearance for a while. We exchanged pictures a few
times and I was very attracted to him already. I ran scenario after scenario in my head about what would happen when he open
the hotel room door. Would be take one look at me, say I had the wrong room? Would he wrap his arms around me and embrace
me for a long moment? Or would he invite me in and sit on the other side of the room making small talk until I decided to
“Get your head out of the
clouds, Holly. You’ve been wiping the same spot for 2 minutes now,” my
co-worker, Teri, said.
“Oh, um, sorry. I’m
so nervous about meeting Ben,” I explained.
“Don’t worry, honey
pie! He will love you the minute he lays eyes on you.” She said.
“It’s been so long since
I’ve had to worry about what a man thinks of me. I have been with John for
11 years!” I replied.
“Well, you deserve someone
who loves you all the time, not just at family get togethers or for a five minute roll in the hey,” Teri said with her
hands on her hips.
I had to chuckle. Teri was a no nonsense type of woman everyone needed for a friend. I hurried through the rest of
my work so I could get home before John and call Ben
at his room.
The phone rang and rang.
Oh God, I thought, he changed his mind! I hung up and started pacing in my living room. My phone rang. Please let it be him,
“Hi, gorgeous lady! Did you
just call?” He asked.
“Yes that was me. I was panicking,”
I said with a nervous laugh.
“Why? I was in the shower.
I wasn’t expecting you to call for another twenty minutes.” He said.
“I thought maybe you bailed
out on me and decided to go back home/”
“You are silly! So when can
you get here?” he asked.
“Well, John will be home any
minute now so I can’t stay on here long. I need to shower and decide what to wear. Then come up with an excuse to be
gone all night.”
“Tell ya what, it is almost
one in the morning. Why not come in a few hours after he is asleep at like 5 or 6?” he suggested.
“I won’t be able to
sleep but that is a good idea,” I said.
I heard a car door shut outside.
“He’s here! Gotta go.”
“Ok. Call me from a pay phone
when you are on your way down. Be safe. Good night.” He said before he hung up.
John came in
and didn’t say a word to me. He went about his after work routine then planted himself in front of the TV to watch the
shows he recorded that evening. I went to the computer in the dining room to talk to some of Ben’s friends and mine
online until I could fall asleep.
I woke up in
an uncomfortable position on the love seat in the dining room when I heard John turn the water on in the bathroom to brush
his teeth. I lay still pretending to be asleep when he passed me to go into his bedroom. I sat up and turned the computer
back on to read the news until I was sure John was asleep. An eternity passed. I got up and quietly moved around the apartment
getting dressed to leave. I looked at the clock. It was 5:45 am. My heart started pounding as I made my way to the door. I
hesitated going to the unknown. I knew stepping out the door would be closing a chapter of my life and in a new one.