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Chapter 7

Driving was all we could do for now. We were on an seemingly endless road in the middle of the country. An endless road that would hold an endless journey. How could my life have come to this. A father who abandoned me for a far fetched reason such as molesting children. How could it have come to this? Falling in love with my best friend. A mom who sits at home drinking herself to death. I wasn’t depressed about any of it though. Some how Alex’s presence settled me into a middle ground.

Since we left the hotel we had driven 150 miles of back country roads. I lay asleep in the passenger side. All the worries were locked in the back of my mind. This was how it was going to be until they needed to be unlocked.

“Baby, Rebecca. We’re here.” Alex was whispering in my ear. His touch was warm and welcoming to me. I opened my groggy eyes. We were at a motel. It was still dark out. I wondered to myself what time it must be but it didn’t seem to matter. The wind blew a little making me shiver. Alex put his arm around me and gave me a gentle kiss on my forehead. The motel was a little run down and seemed to have little residents but I longed for a bed to sink my head into. I longed for a good nights sleep with no worries just endless Alex in my mind.

“Do you think he is following us?” I whispered like I was afraid of someone unwanted hearing me. I looked into Alex’s eyes. I hadn’t noticed how in the past few days how much older he had gotten. The stress was obviously getting to him. It was taking a toll on the both of us. I couldn’t imagine what I looked like.

“No, we got pretty far today. I just think we need to start over. Far enough where he can’t find us.” He said looking down at me from the foot difference between us. No matter how much I wanted to believe him, to trust that this was all going to be okay and we would live happily ever after, my heart was telling me other wise.

Our room was small and a little dingy, but it felt cozy to me and that’s all that mattered. I undressed to bra and shorts and got into bed. The room didn’t acquire an air-conditioning so I didn’t bother with a blanket. Alex sat on the bed, stroking my hair and humming a lullaby while my eyes became heavy. I didn’t realize I had drifted fast asleep before Alex even had gotten a chance to lay down.

Not very much sun got through the window early the next morning when I woke up. Alex was still asleep and snoring like usual. I gazed upon his sleeping face before getting up to go take a shower. I felt really dirty after being on the road all day and then sleeping on that bed. I turned the water to hot and jumped in letting the scorching water flow down my body. The water hit my face and it felt like my own personal massage. I stood there for minutes or hours, I didn’t know which, before I heard a loud thud from outside the bathroom.

“Alex?” I called but there was no answer. I waited a few more moments before there was another thud. “Alex?” I called again, this time a little more shakily. The bathroom door began to creak open. I quickly shut the shower curtain knowing it would do little to protect me from what was out there. The bathroom door closed but I heard the footsteps. Someone was in there with me. I put a hand over my mouth as little tears began to flow down my cheeks. “Alex?” I whispered one last time.

“Rebecca?” It was Alex. My Alex. He was there and nobody else. He grabbed the curtain and slid it open. I still had tears flowing down my face and my hand clutched across my mouth. “Rebecca! What’s wrong?” He jumped into the shower with me, instantly putting me into a protective hold. We slid down in the bath tub. He was getting soaking wet but it didn’t seem to bother him at this moment. “Rebecca it’s only me.” He was cradling me now. As much as it used to calm me down it wasn’t today. This stalker, my dad, was making me crazy. It was destroying me, making me age.

“He. I thought you were him. I thought, I don’t know what I thought. I’m just so scared.” Confessing what was wrong seemed to make me cry even more. I put my head on his shoulder and cried till I couldn’t anymore. When I had calmed down Alex got out and grabbed a towel big enough to wrap around the both of us.

“Rebecca if I could promise you one thing in the entire world it would be my vow to always protect you. I love you. No matter what happens from here out I will not let anyone hurt you. I promise.” He said sternly. How could I not believe that? I had no doubts that he would try but he didn’t know what was going to happen after this. What it was going to turn to. This could end up being a life or death situation.

We stayed in the bathroom for a couple more minutes before we both were startled by a knock at the door. Neither of us were expecting anyone. My heart stopped and he stopped breathing. We held our positions, Alex getting stiffer by the second. The knock sounded again and Alex rose to his feet. I griped the towel tighter around myself and watched him go to the door. My face lost all color and my breath quickened. Alex opened the door with care but there was no visible person to be seen but there on the concrete was a envelope just like the ones left for me by dad. My heart dropped then.

“ALEX!” I screamed. I was frantic now. I knew he was near. I quickly got up and went to my clothes, throwing them on in a hurry while Alex looked at the letter up and down, examining it with precious care. He opened it.

The note said:

I’m watching you.

It wasn’t in his handwriting, it was printed. That was unusual. Alex read it and re-read it. After reading it at least 5 times he ripped it up into many shreds and threw the shreds into the wind. I have never seen the face Alex held when he turned to face me. He was angry and not the angry he has ever showed me. No, this was different. It scared me to know he had a side like that.

“Hurry. Let’s go! We have to get out of here!” He yelled. He tried to make it sound as calm as possible when he was talking to me but you could hear it in his voice how nervous and rushed he was. I hurried along, stuffing everything back into the bag we had brought and rushed out the door, not bothering to even close it.

We pulled out of the motel at graceful speed and made our way once again down the country road. I was confused. I felt alone even though I had Alex. I knew this wasn’t a normal father trait and I couldn’t help but wonder what I had done to deserve this. We were speeding, Alex was determined to get as far away from my father as possible. I was beginning to believe that would be impossible. I knew we couldn’t run forever but the question was when were we going to stop?

“We can’t outrun him Alex. This isn’t going to work. He wants me, you can get away. I don’t want you getting hurt.” I said out of the silence of the rushing wind. He shook his head for a few moments and then he slammed on the breaks. The force of the stop knocked the wind out of me for a second.

“Rebecca you listen to me right now! Look at me!” He yelled. I looked into those beautiful blue eyes and for the first time in all the years I had known Alex I saw that he was crying. “We’re going to get through this. Not just you and not just me. We are going to get through this. I love you and I’ll be damned before I let anyone ever hurt you. Do you hear me?” He sobbed into my arms and all I could do was nod my head.

We got back on the road soon after our meltdown and we were speeding again. I didn’t know where we were headed and I didn’t know how long it was going to take to get there. All I knew was we had to get there fast before my dad could finally catch us.

Submitted: February 16, 2009

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