As Kaylee stood in front of the mirror watching her husband sleep, she wondered what she ever saw in him.
Love? Yes, he used to show her love and treated her as if she were exceptional. What changed him into the person he was today, she just didn’t no. Kaylee winced as the searing pain shot through her bruised ribs from the beating that had occurred last night. Everything caused Rich to get angry. She couldn’t seem to do anything to please him.
She’d been in the kitchen, so she could see when Rich pulled in the driveway, so she could put dinner on the table. The phone had rung. She had gotten involved talking with her friend and forgot all about dinner and Rich.
Just as she hung up the phone; Rich had come through the front door startling her with his entrance.
“Why is dinner not on the table?” he bellowed.
Kaylee had tried to explain about her friend calling, but he didn’t want to hear what he called excuses. “I’ll get it,” she had tried to calm him down. “it’s in the oven so it will be warm,” she’d said.
Rich had become outraged. Kaylee had braced herself for the first blow. He had slung her into the stove causing her to hit her head. Blood had poured from the cut above her forehead. She had struggled to her feet only for him to shove her back down. Kaylee finally had just stayed down as he kicked her again and again. Rich always knew how far he could go with the abuse to keep her from the hospital. He was a doctor and could treat her wounds and breaks at home. Once he had broken her right arm, she had begged to go to the hospital. He had just smirked at her, reset her arm and left the room.
She threatened to leave him many times. Kaylee had gone as for as packing her bags once. Rich has beaten her until she passed out. For days he kept her locked in the basement, treating her like a caged animal. Last night was the last straw. She knew if she stayed he would eventually kill her. She tiptoed from the room. The sleeping pills she had slipped in his nightcap still had him knocked out. She was leaving him, but had no family to go to. Kaylee thought about her friend Sarah, but didn’t want to endanger her life. She was on her own.
Kaylee had been driving for two weeks, only taking time to stop for gas, and to use the restroom. She was bone tired and hurt all over, so she pulled off the interstate for a bite to eat. Kaylee got out the car and felt ill. She walked into the cafe and looked around for the restroom.
“You’re not from around here, are you?” A waitress with too much perfume on asked.
“I’m just passing through,” Kaylee managed to say before she passed out.
“Take it easy, Doc Howard will be here shortly.” Someone said to her as the waitress pressed a cold cloth to her forehead.
Kaylee tried to get up, but the waitress and some other person wouldn’t allow it. “I’m fine,” she tried to reassure them. “Just the heat got to me,” she continued in a quivery voice.
She sat up on the little cot. Kaylee wanted to leave before anyone started asking questions. She stood up, but the room began to spin and she had to sit back down. Tears welled up in her eyes.
“Miss, just take it easy, we’re not going to hurt you,” the other person murmured. “Lie back and relax.”
“The cop you called is here!” a lady yelled from the door.
Kaylee panicked. She jumped to her feet ignoring the pain and dizziness. “I dare you call the cops when I’ve done nothing wrong!” She screamed. “Get out of my way!” she yelled as she tried to make it to the door.
“Miss, you’re not in any trouble, we just want to help you.”
“What is going on back here?” A voice she recognized asked. “Kaylee Currington, what are you doing in Ohio? He stopped and stared at her. “What in God’s name happen to you?”
“Matt,” she began to sob.
“Sh-Sh-Sh- your safe,” he soothed.
Matt had been Kaylee’s best friend in the entire world in grade school, and college. She had often wondered what happen to him. “You live in Ohio?” Her voice barely audible.
Been living here for about four years now.” He held her hand in his. “You want to tell me what happened to your head?” He asked as he moved a piece of hair from her eyes.
“The less you know the better,” she told him. “I need to get going,” Kaylee tried to stand, but Matt held her firmly in his embrace.
“I’m a cop, let me help you,” he pleaded.
“I just need to get as far away from Texas as possible.”
“Doc Howard is here,” a lady said from the doorway.
“Thanks Shelia, send Doc on back,” Matt instructed.
“I don’t need to see a doctor,” Kaylee said as she stood.
“You either let Doc Howard check you over, or we’ll go to the hospital,” he stated.
A middle-age man entered the room. “I want bite,” he grinned.
Kaylee gave up and sit back down on the cot. Matt stepped out the way. Kaylee winced as Doc Howard touched her bruised ribs. Once again she felt dizzy. Doc Howard asked a few questions she reluctantly answered.
Rich pulled his car into the cafe. He grinned as he saw Kaylee’s car, the tracking device had worked. The detective had earned his money too.
Rich entered the cafe, gun in hand. “Kaylee, I know you’re in here!” he yelled. “Come out come out where ever you are,” he singed song.
She made a move toward the door. Matt stopped her. “Is that the monster of a husband you married?”
All she could do was nod. Her whole body trembled in fear, not only for her life, but for everyone here. “just let me go,” she ordered.
“And have him beat on you some more,” Matt said angrily. “I take he did this to you?” he asked as he took his gun from the holster.
Matt told her to stay hidden. He headed to the front of the cafe. Kaylee could hear a dispute. She walked out to where her husband stood with a gun on Shelia.
“Rich, let her go,” Kaylee cried.
He shoved Shelia to the floor and aimed the gun at her. Kaylee saw Matt out the corner of her eye. He motioned for her to duck down. Kaylee was so scared, but she did as Matt instructed. Guns went off. Rich fell to the floor with a bullet to the chest.
Matt rushed to Kaylee’s side. “Is he dead?” she asked.
“No, but it’s bad,” Matt told her.
Police cars and an ambulance pulled up at the cafe. The paramedics loaded Rich into the ambulance to take him to the hospital where he underwent surgery. He would live. He promised Kaylee that she would never be rid of him. She would pay one day.