on October 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Meeting him was a fluke. Dating him was a mistake. Watching him become a drug addict put me through hell. Running was my only option.
I'm running from my demons and when I find out she's trying to escape her past, I know what I have to do.
One broken cop. One woman fighting for her life. A fragile love.
Sinister secrets that threaten to tear them apart.
They've been to hell. The hard part will be finding their way back together.
I pull up in my driveway looking over at the house.┬á What I see pisses me off.
Here she is in a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, hat and glasses pushing a brand new lawn mower.
I make sure I check my temper before I walk over.┬á Right before I cross the street the little girl on the front porch stops me mid step.
She looks like just like her mother, just a smaller version.┬á She is sitting on a plastic little table, that they probably just bought, coloring.
I make my way over to her right when the lawn mower goes off
ÔÇ£I told you I would cut the grass.ÔÇØ┬á I try to sound casual, but the blood in me is boiling, it must be ninety-five degrees outside, and sheÔÇÖs wearing enough clothes for a trek across the frozen tundra.
She looks up ÔÇ£I also said I got it, and I would be doing it myself.ÔÇØ The little girl from the porch makes it to her mother and hides behind her, yanking on her pant leg.
The fearful look that she gives me is just like her motherÔÇÖs.┬á I crouch down, getting eye-to-eye with her and say ÔÇ£Hey there, beautiful. WhatÔÇÖs your name?ÔÇØ She doesnÔÇÖt reply, and instead she lowers her gaze so she is looking at her feet. ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm Jackson,ÔÇØ I reach out my hand, but drop it when I know she wonÔÇÖt take it.┬á I gesture behind me, as I say ÔÇ£I live in that house right over there.┬á I used to know your great grandma.ÔÇØ┬á IÔÇÖm trying to draw her into a conversation with me, but nothing I say engages her.
ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs ok baby, you can tell him your name.┬á Nan used to make him cookies, so you know what that means, she must have really liked him.ÔÇØ┬á She rubs her daughters shoulder.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm Lilah,ÔÇØ she says in barely a whisper.
ÔÇ£That is the most beautiful name in the whole wide world.┬á YouÔÇÖre lucky to have such a beautiful name.ÔÇØ┬á She smiles at me, right as a car back fires. She yells and puts her hands to her ears.
Two things happen at the same time, her mother grabs her and runs toward the house, and I vow to protect them.
ÔÇ£Wait,ÔÇØ I rush after them and make it right to the door before itÔÇÖs closed in my face.┬á I stand there inside the house and watch them rushing to the corner and hide.
Two broken girls protecting each other against some monster of the outside world.┬á I walk up to them ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs ok, itÔÇÖs just a car, it was nothing but a car.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Lilah, baby itÔÇÖs ok, itÔÇÖs ok.┬á IÔÇÖm here.┬á ItÔÇÖs ok baby girl, were safe.ÔÇØ She is trying to comfort the little girl who is sobbing quietly in her mother arms.┬á ÔÇ£No one is here baby.ÔÇØ
She looks over at me, our eyes meeting for one minute before she lowers them again.
ÔÇ£Look itÔÇÖs ok, itÔÇÖs just Jackson.┬á There is no one here, baby.ÔÇØ┬á She rocks Lilah back and forth. Her back against the wall while she soothes her baby girl whose sobs are slowly stopping, her eyes closing.
ÔÇ£What can I do?ÔÇØ┬á IÔÇÖm now sitting in front of her not sure how to even start to dissect this.
ÔÇ£Nothing, you canÔÇÖt do anything for us,ÔÇØ she kisses LilahÔÇÖs head. ÔÇ£No one can.ÔÇØ
I ignore that last part not sure how to talk about this now.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm going to go outside and finish cutting the grass, then IÔÇÖm going to go pick up some food for us.┬á Does she like pizza?ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Jackson, I donÔÇÖt know what relationship you had with my grandmother, but I donÔÇÖt need your help.┬á We will be fine.┬á Please, itÔÇÖs ok, you can leave.ÔÇØ She rests her head on the the wall closing her eyes, the defeat of the day leaving her body.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm going to go outside and finish mowing the lawn so Lilah doesnÔÇÖt have to go outside anymore today.┬á Then IÔÇÖm going to pick up pizza for myself.┬á You wonÔÇÖt have time to cook, so IÔÇÖm going to pick one up for you.┬á I want to eat with you guys, but IÔÇÖm not pushing myself on you either after today.┬á Now I donÔÇÖt want to fight with you or even discuss this, so just nod that you understand?ÔÇØ
She looks into my eyes, but nods yes.
ÔÇ£I can pay you for the pizza?┬á I have money. I donÔÇÖt need a hand out,ÔÇØ she says while trying to push herself up to go get fucking money.
If she werenÔÇÖt so scared of things I would punch the fuck out of something right now.┬á ÔÇ£I donÔÇÖt want your money, now or ever.┬á I have no doubt you can take care of yourself.┬á Consider this a housewarming present.ÔÇØ I get up going to the door not even giving her a chance to say anything else.
ÔÇ£SheÔÇÖs never had pizza before, so can you just get us plain cheese.ÔÇØ
I donÔÇÖt say anything afraid of what will come out of my mouth.┬á I nod and walk out the door, closing it quietly so as not to wake Lilah.
I close my eyes exhaling the breath that I didnÔÇÖt even realize I was holding.
ÔÇ£SheÔÇÖs barely holding on while fighting for her life.┬á She has demons, they both do.┬á Whatever happened to them, itÔÇÖs in there deep.┬á The both of them are so scared, you can practically see the fear coming off of them.ÔÇØ┬á I look over at Brenda who is on her porch watering her plants. ÔÇ£Tread lightly, Jackson, or better yet walk away if you arenÔÇÖt going to do anything about it.ÔÇØ
I donÔÇÖt have a chance to respond she walks into her house closing her front door softly, leaving me fighting my own demons.