Out of the Pit (Short Story — Day 9)

When they got back to Lexie’s apartment, Lexie made them each a cup of hot chocolate and they sat in the living room.  For a while they sat in a comfortable silence, each lost in their own thoughts.

Bruce finally broke the silence, “Lexie, I hope when this is all over you won’t shut me out again.  I know that eight years ago things were different and you needed help when it all ended, but . . .”

“Bruce, you’re right, things were different and I was too young, and yes, I needed medication and counseling for quite some time.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since we talked on Tuesday evening.  I also finished reading the Book of John.  I believe Jesus is real and I want to learn to talk to him.  I want to ask for his forgiveness, and I would like you to help me seek his forgiveness.  Besides, there are things you need to know before you decide that you want to pursue a serious relationship with me.”

“Do you want me to help you seek forgiveness from the Lord now?”

“No, I need to tell you everything first, while I think I’ve gathered enough courage to do so.  My sins are the worst kind because they were sins against others and against myself.  They are all sexual sins, and the first one is the most horrifying.  I was fifteen years old and my mother died in a car accident caused by a drunk driver.  Dad, Brad and I all took it hard.  We had always been a close family.  The night after the funeral, Brad had gone out with some friends, dealing with his grief by trying to forget it.

I was in the dining room looking through old family photo albums.  I heard my dad sobbing heart wrenching sobs so I went to try to comfort him.  He was in his bed.  I stroked his hair and spoke softly to him, telling him it would be all right, and he fell asleep.  I sat in the chair by his bed, and I must have dozed off, and I was jolted awake by Dad calling mom’s name.  I reached out and touched his arm and told him that mom was gone.  He was so distraught and filled with grief.  I’m sure he wasn’t in his right mind and he thought I was my mother.  I look very much like her.  He called me by my mom’s name and he held me for a long time, but then he started kissing me, and, at first, I tried to stop him and I kept calling him ‘Daddy’ and telling him it was me, Lexie.  I was scared and I was hurting and grieving for my mom.  I was in need of comfort too, and I didn’t have the strength to stop him.

I got up and went to my own room after he fell asleep, but hadn’t stopped to grab my jeans, and in the morning he asked me why my jeans were in his room.  I was afraid to answer him, but he came to the realization of what had happened without my having to say anything, and he was horrified.  He told me to take a hot shower and scrub myself as hard as I could.  He kept apologizing and saying what an awful thing he had done, and he kept telling me it wasn’t my fault.  Then he took a hot shower, dressed and left the house.

He returned a while later.  He had purchased a deadbolt lock, and he installed it on my bedroom door.  He gave me both of the keys that came with it and made me promise that from then on I would lock myself in my bedroom every night.  Then my dad started drinking heavily.  He became an alcoholic, and he died five years ago.  Brad never knew what happened that night.  He thought Dad drank because he couldn’t get over the loss of mom, and I’m sure that also had something to do with it.  I don’t want Brad to ever know about this.

After that night, I realized how deeply my Dad loved my mom, and I felt disgusted with myself because what happened should have been repulsive to me, but instead I thought it was beautiful, because in Dad’s mind he had been loving his wife, and I wanted a love that amazing for myself.

That’s when I started sleeping with any guy who got romantic with me.  Most of them didn’t last long after they had their way with me.  Then I met Kevin.  He was a college man, no more of those stupid high school boys for me, and he was extremely handsome, and he talked to me.  He wanted to know what I was interested in, what I liked to do.  He held my hand, wouldn’t even kiss me good night on our first date.  We went on bike rides, he took me hiking in the woods.  We went for walks on the beach, roller skating, and he took me sailing on his boat.  That was the first time we slept together — in the sailboat’s cabin while rocking on the water.  I was so sure he was THE One.

I spent every weekend with him for six months before I had to sneak a peek in the only room in the apartment that always had its door closed.

Imagine my horror as I saw six dead young women dressed in fancy gowns sitting at a fancy dinner table where there was one chair, at the head of the table, that remained empty.  And suddenly he was right behind me and he whispered in my ear, ‘You shouldn’t have opened that door, Kitten.’

I turned toward him and he was smiling down at me.  He said, ‘You’re the special one, Kitten, lucky number seven.  I’ve been enjoying you so much more than the first six.  I was beginning to wonder if I’d have to change my plans, but now that you know, I won’t have to.  You will get to be the queen of my ladies and take your place of honor at the head of the table.’

I was terrified and the door to the apartment was behind him, so I turned and ran for the bedroom because there was a fire escape outside the one window.  Kevin grabbed me as I opened the window.  I screamed, ‘someone help me!  He’s going to kill me.’ He threw me to the floor and in a menacing voice told me not to scream anymore.  I scrambled to my feet and ran for the apartment door, but he caught up with me before I got there.  He tied me to a chair and gagged me.  He told me he’d be back, said he needed to get my gown and jewelry and then he’d be back.

He left the apartment and I managed to maneuver the chair I was tied to, over to a wall and I kept rocking the chair so that the back of it kept hitting the wall.  It accomplished my goal, as the neighbor was annoyed and called the police, but Kevin got back before the police arrived.  He found me against the wall and said, ‘You’ve been a naughty girl, Kitten.  I will have to punish you.’  He pulled my hair and yanked my head back against the wall, pulled the gag from my mouth and kissed me hard and rough.  He was rough with a few other body parts, but nothing that would show visible bruises in the stupid gown.

Finally, you arrived with a couple of police officers.  We heard you speak through the bullhorn, commanding Kevin to come out with his hands up, and Kevin grew more agitated.  He untied me and twisted one arm behind my back.  He led me to the kitchen and grabbed a large butcher knife.  He held it to my throat and pushed me out the door in front of him.  You know the rest.”

“Yes, he tried to tell us it was a domestic disturbance and that we didn’t belong there, that he would work things out with you alone.  I told him to drop the knife, but instead, he put the point of the knife right against your throat.  Then, you stomped on his foot, loosening his hold on you just long enough for you to get away from him and I shot him.”

“He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, and I was in shock.  When I came out of the shock, I had a breakdown.”  Lexie had gotten up and was looking out the window.

Bruce walked over and wrapped his arms around her waist from behind.  He whispered in her ear, “Lexie, you were a victim, with your father and with Kevin.”

Her voice was hoarse when she responded, “I chose to have sex with many guys and the last one was a serial killer.  How did I not know?”

“Lexie, it’s typical that the people closest to serial killers don’t know what monsters they are.  The people closest to them are always shocked the most when the truth comes out.”

Lexie turned and looked into Bruce’s eyes.  “Now you know the horrors of my past.  Do you still think I can be forgiven?”

“I’m certain Christ has forgiven worse things.”

Tears were streaming down Lexie’s cheeks as they got down on their knees at the sofa and Lexie confessed her sins to the Lord and asked him to forgive her and to help her forgive herself.  She asked for strength and guidance for her life.

When her prayer was finished, they stood up, and again, Lexie looked into Bruce’s eyes.  “What about you?  You still think you want to have a relationship with someone like me?”

Bruce leaned close to her face, so close she thought he was simply going to kiss her, but he whispered, “Absolutely”, and then he kissed her softly and tenderly.

“You were right, you know,” said Lexie.

“About what?”

“I feel light as a feather.  God has surely lifted my burden.”  Lexie smiled and the smile reached her eyes for the first time in eight years.

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