This is the rework of a self-published auto-biographical story (2008), rewritten for this blog. Names of characters have been changed.
Content warning: mental and physical abuse, misogyny.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
Continued from… Helena (6)
“Have you been to the doctor yesterday?” Fred asked, hoping his showing interest will change Annie’s cool attitude towards him.
“Yes,” she answered, unfriendly.
“And?” he asked.
“And what?” Annie knew very well what he wanted to know, but she pretended that she had no idea. Her attitude annoyed Fred.
“Well,” he said, now irritated, “did you lose more weight?”
“I don’t have to go back. I’ve reached the weight the doctor wanted. Actually, I weigh less than he said I should weigh. I can gradually eat more again.”
“All you have to do now is to take care of that ugly loose skin on your belly,” Fred said, intentionally wanting to hurt Annie, “I can’t bear looking at it. Brrrr,” he intentionally shivered as he walked away.
Annie couldn’t move. How many times would she have to endure his humiliations? How many times would she still allow him to humiliate her?
Even though Annie and Fran still had a bitter feeling about Fred’s recent visit to Helena, they couldn’t prevent him from arranging for her to spend yet another night on the smallholding. If they would have tried to do anything to go against his wishes, they suspected that a beating might follow.
During the course of the morning, Fred got busy. He brought a long table from the barn to the house and then cut an old mattress to fit precisely on it.
“Get your sewing machine,” he ordered Annie. She had to sew a cover for the mattress exactly to his directions. When they were done, they had an even better massage table.
“So,” Fred laughed, self-satisfied, “now you two can spoil Helena tonight.”
Surprised Annie looked at Fred.
“Should I go alone? Do you now all of a sudden trust me alone with Helena?” she asked, feeling rebellious.
“No, I don’t trust you. I know exactly how long it takes to drive to town and back. Make sure you don’t get back a minute too late,” Fred warned.
“Then let Fran come with me.”
“No,” he refused, “she has chores to do before Helena and you come back.”
When Annie arrived at their flat, Timo – Helena’s son – sat on the couch, watching a movie on television. He would come to the smallholding with them.
“Join me in my bedroom,” Helena invited, “I still have to pack a bag.”
Annie followed her. Behind Helena’s back, she looked at the bed with contempt and jealousy, because this was where Fred and Helena frolicked some days before. Just thinking about it made her sick and angry again!
Annie sat down on the only chair in the bedroom. Helena grabbed a pair of jeans and without any shame took her dress off. With only her panties on, she walked across the room. Right in front of Annie, she stopped, bent over and kissed Annie. She caressed one of Annie’s breasts.
“You excite me so much,” she whispered, “I like you a lot more than Fran.”
These words uplifted Annie, but also scared her. If Fred knew about this, it would be a confirmation of his suspicions. Before Annie could say anything, the phone rang. Timo called his mom.
“Mommy, it’s that man again.”
“Oh,” Helena laughed, “it’s Fred.”
With these words, she unknowingly confirmed one of Annie’s suspicions. Fred was calling Helena a lot more than he shared with her and Fran. Fred wanted to know when Annie arrived and how long it would take before the women would be back on the smallholding.
“Do you know what he said?” Helena laughed when she walked back into the bedroom. “We shouldn’t keep all the fun to ourselves.”
Annie joined Helena in laughter, but she clearly saw the warning in those words. She was relieved to see Helena suddenly was in a hurry to leave. She grabbed her stuff and in a wink, they were in the car, driving back to where Fred and Fran were waiting.
“Why were you so quiet the last time?” Helena asked in the car. “Were you angry with me?”
Annie realized she had she now had the opportunity to accomplish what she had wanted to do. Timo was listening to music on his Walkman and had no interest in what the women were talking about. Annie told Helena what had happened the last time they were together — that she was not angry with her, but afraid of Fred. This shocked Helena, since up to now she had only seen Fred’s nice side. Annie enjoyed Helena’s reaction, instantly understanding that Fran had also enjoyed disillusioning Annie.
“Helena, please do not let me down,” Annie cautioned, “don’t let Fred find out that I told you.”
To be continued… Helena (8)
© Rebel’s Notes