Part 1….. the man that almost destroyed her

Grace awoke next to her husband, Neander, the man that she had been married to for ten years. It had been a long ten years, she felt like she couldn’t remember half of their life together. There were bits and pieces of their lives that crossed her mind from time to time. While they were dating she felt as though time was going slowly. They met while both working at the local diner. Grace got out of bed and went down stairs to make herself a cup of coffee. Their girls, Harmony, the oldest, and Marie, the youngest, were still in bed asleep. Grace got her coffee, added in more creamer and sugar than the average person, and went outside onto the back porch. She turned on the small t.v. and began to catch up on all her favorite shows. This was her favorite pass time, when she and Neander weren’t taking the children out to activities. The phone did its ding, notifying Grace that she had a message. Grace sighed, great. It’s him again. She had tried to get the guy to understand that she didn’t want to keep talking all the time in messanger, but she didn’t want to be rude. She posted publicly about not talking to other guys in messanger all the time, she stated she was deleting it. She tried to get it through to him that she didn’t feel comfortable about it, about all the talking. The truth was, Grace was very annoyed that he wouldn’t leave her alone, but Jacob either didn’t take hints, or just didn’t care. “Well, this will eat up a chunk of my day.” Grace said to herself as she responded to the message from Jacob. As the day went on, the kids got up, Grace fixed food for the family, did laundry, and watched more of the shows as she folded the clean clothes.

Grace sat, thinking about the good times the family had together; fun zoo trips, playing with the kids, going skating, movie nights when she and her husband were dating, the trip to the natural bridge. They did have good times, but Grace felt drained. She felt like life just stopped for her. There was a loss of feeling loved and loss for feeling love toward caring. She was feeling numb, depressed, and losing the love for life. Trips with her family would pull her out of her negative feelings, it brought a joy to her and lifted her spirit, but once they returned home it was back to the same old routine. Work, make supper, help kids with homework, do laundry, and so on. Grace felt alone, even though she was married. She felt like she was the “live in maid” and half of the time she felt as if she was unwanted.

Jacob continued to contact Grace. She was feeling useful, starting to feel appreciated. Being told that she was making Jacob a better person, he was not cussing near as much because of the effect Grace had on him. He wasn’t feeling near as depressed as he normally did. It made Grace feel good to know she was helping Jacob, so she started pushing aside the feelings of not wanting to talk to him so often. She was finding purpose in life, to be there for others, to help them become better people, starting with Jacob.

As the days carried on, spring arrived, as well as the stomach bug. Grace went to facebook with a prayer request for her family to be over it quickly. This was done shortly after she had made a previous post about not talking to guys in messanger. In the comment section Jacob made a comment saying, “you deserve it.” Grace felt outraged over this. She had been nothing but friendly to Jacob. How could he say something like this to her? Grace’s whole body felt like it was on fire. She felt the blood boiling all the way up to the crown of her head. This was her chance to make it stop. The constant messeging, the disrespect of not caring that she wanted to slow the conversations down a bit. So, she blocked him. As the days went by Grace began to feel guilty for blocking him. Was it the Godly thing to do? “Maybe I shouldn’t have reacted in haste and anger.”Grace thought to herself. The guilt was starting to overwhelm her. She made a trip into the store where he worked to apologize. Grace felt like she was walking in with her tail between her legs, as though she had done something almost unforgivable. She had sent him a message of apology right before entering the store and saw him on his phone, she figured he may have been responding to her. “You really shouldn’t be on your phone while working.” Grace said as she walked through the entrance with her two girls with her. Jacob looked up, suprised to see her walking through the door, and spoke, “you’re probably right.” Grace went on to explain how she didn’t mean to get so angry and just went way overboard with letting her feelings get the better of her. She and the girls hung out for a while, talking and catching up on meaningless chit chat. That night when Grace was home and had her youngest tucked into bed Jacob messaged her again. Grace felt relieved. She felt like she had made things right and could now move on to be a good friend. She lied there with Marie for a long while, waiting for her to finally drop off to sleep, while talking back and forth with Jacob. Grace didn’t know how it happened, but somehow Jacob started talking, in messanger, about feelings for him from Grace. Grace started to feel the heat rise in her body again. She knew they had a lot in common, both joked around a lot. Found the same things funny. He made her laugh with his goofiness. Grace had been asked the same question a few years before by another man, he asked if she could see them together as a couple, if they both were not married. Grace was kind of puzzled by this sudden question. They were just friends at work, and then he asked her something like this? She didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so she responded with a, “sure.” Not really giving it much thought until later. He had responded, “me too.” That was all the farther the conversation went with him. They continued to just be friends, he respected that they were both married and jut seemed to want to know if she felt like they would be compatible for dating, had things been different. Here Grace was again, faced with the same question. Grace gave the answer of yes, she liked him. She was trying to make it known that he was not unlikable and if she was not married she would consider dating him. Besides, nice people deserve a chance at love, so why not? Grace told Jacob she needed to go to bed because she had to be up early for work. He made a joke that she would dream about him that night. Grace responded, “that would be fine except for the fact that I talk in my sleep.” Grace didn’t mean anything by it. She was making a joke about herself because she did talk in her sleep, but Jacob took her innocent joke and fed on it, unknowingly to Grace. The messeges got to be more often than they used to be, and Grace was starting to enjoy talking to Jacob even more. She felt of value, she felt like someone really cared about her. Neander was always in his own world, talking to his friends on messanger, reading his book, and almost always hanging out upstairs in his and Grace’s bedroom. This was how life had become in their marriage, Grace in her world, Neander in his. Grace regretted it, but alot of times when she and Neander were around each other they ended up fighting, or not acting like each other was even in the same room. Screaming and sarcasm was just part of their nature, although they both hated it, it never stopped. Jacob complimented Grace, telling her she was such a good mom and wife, how he would love to have a wife like her one day, she was like a wife out of the leave it to beaver kind of times. Grace was thrown by this. “So, I’m retro? I guess that’s a sweet comment from a good friend.”

Grace and Neander took a trip with the family, it was nice to have a day out, but along with the trip came the messages. Jacob and Grace spoke back and forth. “You have beautiful eyes, those are my favorite part of you.” Jacob told Grace. Grace was feeling excited, she was being noticed. Grace looked over at Neander, “what is your favorite thing about me?” She asked, trying to build a lost connection. She needed to hear this from her husband. She was feeling so vulnerable. There was so much distance between her and Neander, but she wasn’t ready to throw the marriage away. Grace had told this to Jacob on the many occasions that he tried to get Grace to leave her husband. She believed that married meant something, but she was feeling so abandoned right now. No matter how she tried to fight for the marriage, she felt like it was crumbling and she felt like maybe she was with the wrong person. Maybe Neander was with the wrong person too, they both were making each other miserable. “Why can’t he just see me as someone other than a maid? See that I have feelings and need to feel love, that I am drowning here, and feel like I can’t take much more. I need someone to help me, i hate myself, I hate this life I’m forced to live, and there is a person that loves me and wants to be with me, yet here I am, stuck, married to someone else, who feels as stuck as I do.” These were the thoughts going through Grace’s head lately, now the Jacob kept pushing her by saying God didn’t want her in the marriage, that God wanted them together and they were made for each other. At first Neander couldn’t give an answer to Grace about what he liked best about her. He finally came up with that he liked her back. “My back?” Grace lit the car up with attitude and in disgust. “All he finds attractive about me is my back?” The thought ran through her mind. She sat, quietly, in the car for a minute, then Neander spoke again, is this about Jacob? “Give me a break! Don’t try to make this about him” Was all Grace could say. She knew it was because Jacob had brought up her eyes, but she didn’t know how to discuss how things had been going down lately. Jacob had been her friend for two years and she felt like she had to protect him. Jacob had been bullied and had so many best friends just up and leave him, and he had no idea why. He had been so hurt from all the betrayal, Grace couldn’t do that to him, even if he had been getting very inappropriate with her a lot lately. She just brushed it off, changed the subject as best she could, and continued with their friendship. She would find herself starting to fall into his conversations talking about their future, if they ever have one. Every once in a while she would shut him down, or just say okay, or tell him what he said was interesting. Grace really didn’t know how to handle the situation. She liked feeling special, she liked helping him to not feel so depressed all the time. So, she figured she could handle it by not dwelling on what was not really happening and just look at it all as a hypothetical situation. There was no way to talk to Neander about what was going on. He wouldn’t understand her, and he wasn’t really there when she spoke to him anyway. She felt like he never really heard anything she said.

One day, Grace stopped in Jacob’s store again because he made her a gift. He asked her if he made her a bracelet, that said queen in German, would wear it. Grace didn’t want to be rude, so she kindly said she probably would. “How will I get it to you?” Jacob asked in messanger. “I can stop by your job and pick it up.” Grace went in, figuring he could just give it to her, but he wanted to place it on her wrist. She felt a little weird about it, and reluctantly put her arm forward and he fastened it on to her wrist. He made himself one as well, it said king, in German, as well. He told her now she was his queen. Here again, Grace just didn’t say anything. It made her uncomfortable, but she was stuck in a feeling of being numb as to what to do, so she did nothing. Grace helped Jacob put some items together for his job and enjoyed talking, laughing, and hanging out with no worries in the world. Grace was having fun, but suddenly a thought went through her head. It scared her, the thought of Jacob shoving her up against the wall trying to have relations with her crossed her mind. Grace got nervous. Why did this thought cross her mind? she wondered. Was it because one of the times she had been in the store before he told her about another guy that worked there was fired for going in the back and doing that with another girl? Why did he tell her that story anyway? Grace freaked out. She didn’t want him trying anything on her like that, so she wrapped things up. “I gotta go!” Grace said quickly. She took off and called it a night for hanging out. It took Jacob no time what so ever to keep communicating. He pressed her with questions to find out why she left so suddenly. She didn’t want to tell him. It was bad. It felt horrible to her and she started having thoughts like, what if he did try something? She liked him, but she didn’t want anything to happen to make it go that direction. Not until Neander would do something again to cause her to leave him once and for all. She thought maybe Neander was actually in love with his best friend. They talked all the time and he shared everything with him, but wouldn’t talk to her about hardly anything. He went to therapy for a while and told her it was none of her business how it went, but told his friend everything. So she thought she had it figured out. He was always angry at her cause he was stuck with her and really wanted to be with him. His friend came out that he was gay after they were married, so she felt that was held against her by Neander, as well as everything else he disliked her for. Grace sent a message to Jacob being brutally honest to his question that she instantly regretted. ” I had a vision of you “f”ing me, ok!?” She didn’t mean for that to come out, but she had been so irritated and consumed with a million feelings, she didn’t know what else to do. So, there it was, the horrible message that he, no doubt, took in a wrong way, that she didn’t even mean the way it came out. It sounded like, game on, to a man who is trying to make a woman his prey.

Grace went through the next couple of weeks in a blur. She continued talking to Jacob, trying to be friends, but getting sucked into his hypothetical future with them together, continued seeking for attention from Neander. Grace noticed she was starting to lose weight. She dropped twenty lbs within a couple of weeks, was beginning to get stressed out.

Later, Grace was at the mall, she ended up hanging out with Jacob, they started looking around in some stores. Jacob grabbed her from behind, wrapping his arms around her. He had asked, multiple times in his messages, if he could hold hands with her and kiss her. She had always told him no. Being married, she wanted their relationship to stay as friends. She would hang out once in a while just to say hi, nothing more. Now he was holding her. Why was he being so demanding? Grace thought to herself. “I should tell him I didn’t invite him to hang out to keep touching me!” She wanted to say it, she knew she should say it, but the words wouldn’t come. Grace just calmly walked away instead, blowing off what he was doing so she wouldn’t seem to be making a big deal out of nothing. “He is really making me uncomfortable and I don’t know what to do or say.” Grace just kept thinking to herself. Jacob and Grace went over to where they sold furniture; sofas, love seats, and recliners. Jacob sat down on a sofa and spoke . “Come sit, let’s try it out.” Grace didn’t want to. She wanted to leave. She was really feeling outraged that he totally went against her decided and plainly stated no as to touching her. Jacob patted beside him on the seat. “Come on, sit.” She finally did, but she sat up against the arm of the sofa, as tightly as she could. He moved in on her as close as he could, caressing her up on her ear, nibbling at it, going all over the side of her. Grace sat there feeling numb and choked up. She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t move. He had her frozen to the seat. Her mind went blank, she felt it trying to come back, but it would shut down again. He finally stopped, at least she thought he did. Grace stood up, looked straight at him, all she could say was, are you ready to go? Jacob stood up and they started walking toward the escalator. There were beds sitting across from the sofas, Jacob said, “let’s try these out.” Grace looked at him, thinking, “what is wrong with him, why is he being so aggressive with me.” She gave a decided no and they walked away. Jacob had been asking for them to hold hands again. She was constantly saying no to him. He wouldn’t stop, he was so strong willed and didn’t want to take no for an answer. “I just want to stop in one more store.”Jacob told Grace. Grace was now feeling so out of it, she just walked along where ever he went, not knowing how to act anymore. She felt herself becoming very quiet, she felt betrayed, and felt guilty that he had been touching her. They walked into the store and started looking at books. Jacob brought a book over to her and started flipping the pages. Grace looked down at the book and was now fully disgusted. “That’s gross!” Grace said as she slammed the book shut while it was still in his hands. “I just want to give you ideas of things we can do if we are ever together.” Jacob said, acting completely innocent. Grace was dumbfounded. She walked away with her head now doing a full 360 spin. Grace walked back to him again, trying to let him know she was ready to leave. She stood there in the middle of the aisle, no words came out. Jacob leaned over and kissed her on the lips. Grace’s head couldn’t take anymore. She couldn’t move. She wanted to push him off of her, but she couldn’t tell if she did. She couldn’t feel herself. She felt as though her body was a shell and she had left it there, high and dry with some guy forcing himself on her with all the touching he had done and now the kiss. Grace opened her eyes and saw Jacob in front of her. He turned to the side and said, “thank you.” “Thanks for what?!” Grace thought. “I didn’t do anything, I didn’t even okay this. How can you stand there and thank me?” Grace became very quiet with these thoughts running all over her head. On the way out of the mall Jacob stopped in a little store that sold drinks and junk food. “I need a drink, do you want anything?” Jacob asked. “No thanks, I’m good.” Grace responded in a hushed, feeling totally embarrassed tone. Jacob kept on insisting, so Grace finally let him buy her a propel water. They went their own separate ways and parted for the night. Grace pulled into her driveway, she felt like crying. The anger, guilt, and confusion was so overwhelming. She couldn’t even look at Neander when she walked in the house. She curled up in a ball, sitting on the chair outside on the back porch, her head ready to explode

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Part 2 ….. the man that almost destroyed her

The messages were intense, non stop, and forever going on. Jacob wanted to hang out again. Grace told him, “I can’t hang out with you any more, you can’t keep your hands off of me.” Jacob responded, “I promise not to touch you anymore. Let’s just hang out as friends. I wont touch you. You make my depression so much better when we hang out.” Grace told him no multiple times. Jacob sent her a message wanting to know if he could send her flowers. “No, it would look weird, me getting flowers from another man.” “What if I send them to where you work?” Grace was getting aggravated with Jacob. “No.” Grace messaged back, again. “You could just say they are from a friend, you work hard, you deserve to be treated nicely.” Was Jacob’s next push to trying to send Grace flowers. Grace was firm in her choice and Jacob finally gave up the idea of sending her flowers. Grace’s thought was, “why would it be anything other than a friend sending them, that’s all we are.” but Jacob had other ideas.

Grace had a long day at work, she was tired, the kids were fighting, her husband was in the other room doing his thing, she felt alone again, like so many other times. She felt half sick inside. She found herself wanting to be with Jacob because he paid attention to her, but she was starting to see a side of him that seemed too pushy. She knew she was done with being caught in his trap again, but she couldn’t stop being his friend. Grace went outside onto the porch to get away from all the noise, she made herself a cup of tea to take with her to try to relax. There was Jacob, messaging her again. She felt a burst of excitement shoot through her, at least Jacob wanted to talk to her. That was more than what she was getting at home. At home, Grace was the maid, the cook, the care giver of the home, the mom to be walked all over, the woman that felt she really had no place, was just there. Jacob started going into details of their future again. Grace loved talking to him, but she just wanted to keep it simple. Get to know you, be best friends, someone to fill the void of feeling lonely. She just needed some companionship. Grace had started thinking about death in the last couple of years. The only thing that kept her going was knowing she had her kids, and she was raised to be a Christian, so she knew she had to make those kind of thoughts stop. Jacob helped her feel better about herself, just by knowing she was able to help him. Jacob’s messages started again of their, in Grace’s eyes, hypothetical future together. “After supper i would clean up the dishes and tuck the kids into bed, while you would sit down and relax a little bit. Then at bed time I would sweetly try to talk you into making love to me. Grace was reading his messages thinking, he seems like he would be a great guy. Take part of the work off of a womans hands, give her a little space and time to just unwind. Then she read his text about the, “making love.” Oh brother, she thought. Here he goes again. Grace responded with, “WOW! You would do the dishes?” Jacob typed back, “well, yes. It would only be fair, considering you did all the cooking.” Grace thought that was a good man. He knew the value of being a team player. They chatted back and forth many nights, but Grace never gave in to the sexual talking that Jacob loved to make arise. Grace found it easier to just ignore it by changing the subject, or just responding with the word, “interesting.” Grace was becoming consumed by messages, her mind was starting to revolve around what her life could be like if she gave Neander the get out of jail free card. She was sure he didn’t want to be with her. His constant distance, physically and emotionally, spoke it loud and clear that he was stuck. He was stuck just as bad as she was stuck, but there was still something pulling her to not give up. She still felt a desire to fight for her marriage. Grace found herself so torn between Jacob, who was starting to say he was in love with her, and Neander, who she just couldn’t figure out if he cared for her at all, let alone even loved her. Grace found herself starting to talk to Jacob about it. How she wished she knew how Neander felt, how she wished she knew she felt. She joked around at times telling Jacob she wished she could just keep them both. Grace was worried that if she made a choice to leave and Neander did really love her, she would crush him, but she felt like if she stayed she was ruining his chance at true happiness for who he was longing for. Grace sat on the porch again, crying. She felt she was trapped in a marriage with a man that didn’t want to be with her, and declining a man that truly loved her. She felt like she was going crazy. She had lost her appetite over the last couple of weeks, found herself wanting to scream, and throw things. Grace walked in the house, went upstairs into her bedroom and felt like her head was spinning. She didn’t know where to turn. She was so mad at herself for hurting Jacob by not leaving Neander. She was angry for not knowing what to do. Grace took both her hands, wrapped them around herself, as if she was giving herself a hug, then clawed deep into her left arm. She clawed harder, she wanted it to hurt. She wanted it to bleed. The pain felt good, it felt like she was getting just a small token of punishment for how she was messing up all the lives around her. Suddenly, Grace realized how bad she was hurting herself. She looked down and saw that she had dug her arm totally open. “Good!” She thought. You deserve to hurt. You deserve to see your flesh torn apart.

The days went by in a dream state. Jacob was still demanding to hang out as friends. So, Grace finally gave in. Jacob promised her he wouldn’t touch her. “I really don’t go anywhere though, just walking and grocery shopping.” Grace told Jacob. “Well, I need groceries.” Jacob came back with excuse. Grace and Jacob went grocery shopping together, everything was perfectly normal. Jacob honored his word and never put a finger on Grace. He acted just like a friend should. A couple days later he wanted to hang out again, so a grace offered him to go walking with her. “What if your husband sees my car near your house though?” Jacob commented. Grace wasn’t sure why it mattered. They were just hanging out as friends, but Jacob acted like it was not okay that he be seen? “We can walk down at that little park area.” Grace told him. Grace had been wanting to walk out there anyway. It was a beautiful area to go walking, it was nicely shaded, birds singing, and a little creek by an old beautiful log house. They walked and talked, enjoying the sunshine and friendship. Once Grace got home she was starting to feel uneasy about hanging out again. Everytime she was waiting on him to show up she was wishing she hadn’t said okay to hanging out with him. It was starting to be too sneaky. Everything was being done and if it was a big secret. Grace told Jacob, “I think Neader knows.” Grace thought, “this will scare Jacob a little and it should make him back down a little.” Jacob was not scared by it though. He continued his talking in messanger the same way he always did. He continued teasing Grace with messages that he was trying his best not to touch her, making it sound like he was fighting all his feelings back just to be able to spend some time with her. But his messages started changing again into a sexual dialogue. One night, Jacob went into graphic detail of what he would do to her sexually. His detail went on and on, taking her in the shower and from there, he got more perverted. Grace didn’t want to respond. She couldn’t say much, so she played it off as best she could, trying to avoid this conversation.

He teased her that he was going to try to kiss her the next time he saw her. Grace thought he was just putting her on. They had been hanging out and he hadn’t been touching her. Though he was beyond inappropriate online, he was not inappropriate in person. Grace just told him he would do no such thing and brushed it off as a joke. He was always trying to be funny, but this really wasn’t, in her own opinion.

Grace was feeling really trapped at home one night, she and the family were going to go for 4th of July celebration, but it rained all day and made her feel so anxious. She decided to go to the store, and told Jacob she thought she needed to go to out. Jacob asked if he should come, so she said sure. Grace was feeling too guilty about all this hanging out, she knew she had to stop feeling like she liked Jacob, so Grace decided she was going to meet one last time with Jacob and tell him it was the last time they could hang out. Grace quickly made supper for the family, and headed out to the store. She and Jacob met inside. Grace grabbed a shopping cart, gave a piece of gum to Jacob and herself and started down to the food aisle. Grace was slowly pushing the cart down the aisle when suddenly she was pushed from the side and shoved up against the shelves. Jacob had shoved her and started kissing her, hard. Grace kissed back, but felt comfused. She had thoughts come and go. She couldn’t believe he had done this. She was pinned there, not able to move, due to his strong body pressed tightly against hers. Grace felt her mind start to blank out. Next thing she knew he was off of her and she was able to move again. Grace grabbed the cart and started down the aisle, not really sure what to think, or how to process what just happened. She continued down another aisle then he did it again. She was pushed up against another shelf, pinned there, held tightly against shelves of food. He started kissing her all over again. Thoughts started going through her mind, he shouldn’t be doing this to her! She was married, he had no right! She wanted him to stop, but she felt embarrassed, she felt she hadn’t stopped him before, so how could she now? She didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t stop him cause he had her trapped up against the shelves. “I’ll just go along with it and once I get out of here, I’m done!” She thought to herself. After he finally released her she began walking to the back of the store. Grace thought, I should just leave, but I am already here. Why leave before I finish shopping, surely he wont do this again.

Jacob kept wrapping his arms around Grace like before. Grace just ignored it, and acted like everything was normal. She had to shut her mind down to feel calm. So she ignored the fact that he was touching her, but then she felt a touch that she couldn’t ignore. Jacob placed his hands over her lower front part. Grace shot from numbing her mind to high alert. “What is he doing?!” She felt outraged. She pushed downward on his hands trying to get them off of her, but he wouldn’t let go. She felt half sick. He had already gone too far, and now this? She pushed more until he finally slowly removed his hands. Grace wanted to leave. She tried to gradually hurry up, but didn’t want to cause a scene. She wanted to appear as normal as possible. She made it known she was ready to go after a little more time went by, but

Part 3..The man that almost destroyed her.

Jacob wanted to look at one more thing while they were in the store. He walked over to an item on the shelf, Grace stupidly followed him over to see what he was looking at. Jacob, again, shoved her against the shelves and began kissing her all over again. Grace felt like an idiot. He was using her, and knew she was powerless to stop him. She didn’t have it in her to fight back. She didn’t like to be aggressive and he knew that about her. Grace knew she would have to do something, but what? he finally let go, so they walked to the front of the store. Grace was still messed up in the head from everything he had been saying and doing. She tried to make him see how hard this was on her. He wanted her to be with him, she thought she had been starting to fall for him, and tried to tell him to stop contacting her, she told him to give her some space, but he wouldn’t, and he somehow manipulated her into not making him stop when she asked him to. She knew she had to figure out what choice to make, but she didn’t want this while she was still married. She didn’t want to have an affair, he sure didn’t seem to mind though. He was now trying to get her to commit adultry. Her head was mixed up. “Do you have any idea how hard this is?” She asked him in a quiet voice before they left the store. He had been pressuring her so hard to leave her husband, and she kept telling him she wasn’t ready. so now he had forced her by forcing himself onto her after she had told him no. she didn’t want to see it that way. She told herself he loved her and was trying to save her from a life full of pain.

Grace and Jacob left the store and went to their cars. It just so happened that Grace had parked right behind Jacob. Jacob was standing by his car and asked Grace for a goodbye kiss. Grace was so fed up by this now. Couldn’t he tell that he had been doing things to her that she was not edging on at all, that she never ignited? Grace finally was able to give a good strong no, now that he was away from her and couldn’t pin her up against anything. She looked at him and said, “I think you’ve had enough!” Jacob couldn’t stand for being told no, so he quickly charged over to her, placed his one arm behind Grace, aggressively pulled her into him, and kissed her. Grace lost her breath from the impact of how hard the pull was. It felt like the effect of someone giving a slight punch in the gut. Grace got into her car and drove home. Once she was home she went out on the porch and sat there, with her knees curled up to her chest. She tried to make herself happy about what just happened at the store. She told herself she was lucky, and he really loved her. She tried to make herself feel the butterflies in the stomach sensation, instead of feeling sick, but they wouldn’t come. For every effort to feel happy, she felt more sick. There was no way to make herslef be okay with what had been going on. She didn’t want things like this, she wanted him to slow down and back off. They started talking in messanger again. Grace said to Jacob, “wow, I didn’t expect all that to happen. I was actually meeting up with you to tell you I couldn’t hang out anymore.” Jacob started talking and went into trying to bring even more sexual messages with everything that had just happened. “I touched your girl parts and you didn’t seem to mind. I believe I could very easily get you to sleep with me.”

Grace was ready to hit the roof. What part of her pushing him off of her did he not notice. He had her head spinning. “You are full of it! I had to push you off of me!” Grace typed into her messenger. Jacob went on talking and mentioned how Grace kissed with her mouth almost closed. Grace didn’t know what to say to this, so she just typed back, “that’s just how I kiss.” Grace thought, “well, that’s because I really wasn’t trying to kiss you.” He was the one that kept kissing her. He was the one that kept touching her. She never touched him, she just wanted to hang out for a while. All she wanted was to get out of the “mad house” and have some space from all of the normal every day bull that went on.

Grace remembered some moments at home. Jacob had been talking to her in messanger and was sweet, charming and making Grace feel really good about herslef. She felt needed. It shot a burst of life through her, so she thought, I can fix my marriage. Neander and I can have this life together that Jacob keeps talking about. Grace lay in bed, 12 am came, 1 am came, but Neander was still down stairs on his computer, no doubt talking to his friend. Grace walked down the steps to get Neanders attention, she couldn’t see very well because the light from the computer hurt her eyes from being in a dark room the last couple of hours. Grace walked over to the computer, leaned over like she was looking at it, but really was just trying to get Neanders attention. Neander looked up at her and yelled, “what?” Grace couldn’t remember what else he said, but he yelled some words, slammed the lap top shut, and acted like a kid having a temper tantrum. Grace felt heart broken. She could feel heat rising in her body. All she wanted was to find a way to reconnect. She felt herself being pulled away more than ever with how Jacob had been acting so caring and concerned toward her, and she needed to find something stable to hold before she slipped away completely and let her marriage die. Now she felt maybe there was no stability. Maybe this really was it and Jacob had been right. All the times he told her that Neander didn’t love her. All the times he told her God wanted her to be happy and come be with him instead. Grace looked at Neander, tears building up in her eyes. “What do you want?” What do you freakin’ want?” She wanted to say do you want a divorce, but those words wouldn’t come out, all she could say was what do you want? Neander looked at her and said, “what do you mean? Grace looked at him and just glared at him. She could feel she was going to flood with tears any moment, so she walked away, went up stairs and crawled into bed, crying herself to sleep.

Grace came back from her wandering thoughts. Jacob was pressuring her hard. He wanted her to leave Neander, and he wanted to be the step dad to her kids. He had no clue what he was trying to get into. She told him how hard it would be for him, trying to get him to think about what he was asking her to do and what he would be getting himself into. He didn’t care, he was ready for it. Grace couldn’t get him to back down. Grace could tell Neander knew something was up. He was starting to pay attention to her and seeing her on the phone all the time, but he never questioned it. Grace had to put a stop to this madness. She had to be upfront with what Jacob was wanting, what he was trying to do. She figured Neander would leave if given the chance. So, she finally decided to talk to him about it, but this time she couldn’t freeze up doing it like before. She wasn’t about to have an affair, she wasn’t goin to start sleeping with him and be married. She wasn’t going to hang out with Jacob anymore, unless her husband told her he didn’t love her. She knew she had to make it all stop because Jacob sure wasn’t going to stop pressuring her, demanding of her, and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. She felt like she was really starting to care about him, so she knew something had to give. She was beyond done. Done with the meeting up, the hanging out, done with the improper ways he spoke to her that he wouldn’t stop, even when she tried to get him to stop. Grace and Neander went for a walk and Grace spilled out about how she felt about their relationship, but she never got around to talking about Jacob. Neander just let her talk. He listened as she went on about everything that had hurt her over the past ten years. She told him everything, like a river of emotions pouring out that should have been talked about years ago. Neander wouldn’t say he didn’t love her, all he did was state that he had been feeling the same way she had, that she didn’t love him. He didn’t want the marriage to end. Their family was more important, not being right or wrong in an argument, not being free to be single. Grace felt irritated. She decided not to push it anymore. If he wasn’t going to choose to leave, then maybe he did care, but she found it hard to believe. They got home from their walk, Grace walked in the front door and said, “fine, we will stay together for another ten years!” Grace went upstairs and messaged Jacob. “I hate to tell you this, you’re not going to be happy, but Neander and I have decided to stay together. We are going to work on our marriage. Jacob went nuts. His messages were rambling, he wouldn’t stop contacting Grace. She asked him to stop, but at first he wouldn’t. Jacob finally did stop talking for a little while, then came back later stating he started drinking again because of Grace. He got drunk and she had him all messed up. Jacob kept harassing Grace day after day, telling her she was making a mistake. Telling her that Neander didn’t really love her, that he was just using her as a person to clean up after him. For every moment that Grace tried to stand firm in her choice to make her marriage strong and to keep Jacob off of her, he faught her harder. It got to the point where Neander and Jacob were now talking on facebook and Jacob was always taking jabs at Neander. Grace couldn’t handle it anymore. Again, she had made a choice and Jacob wouldn’t listen. She truly loved Jacob, as a friend and cared deeply for him and never wanted to hurt him, but she couldn’t be the one to be his completion. Not unless Neander didn’t hold true to his word and be the husband he claimed he would work to be. Grace would only leave if Neander was unfaithful, abusive, or into drugs. Grace told Jacob this, but he wouldn’t listen. Jacob just kept blaming Grace for his depression, he scolded her that she was sleeping with her husband and that he himself wasn’t being cared for. Grace remained Jacob’s friend because she felt like she had destroyed him, that she took every bit of happiness and hope he had away. They still talked, but Grace felt empty, she had to keep fighting off his negativity. Jacob started Messaging things to Grace saying that she know longer knew him, that he had changed a lot and she knew nothing about him. He would still come to her, complaining about everything he could, but when she would speak her thought about it he would respond by saying, “you no longer have an impact on me anymore.” or “your advice means nothing to me.” Grace had enough. She was tired of feeling bullied by Jacob just because he didn’t get his way.

One morning Grace woke up and realized something was different, she had been feeling sick and loss of appetite. Something was off. They went to church that morning, but Grace didn’t hear a word the preacher said. All she could do was keep thinking about how she felt, and calculate dates to confirm if she could be pregnant. After church, Grace went out and bought a pregnancy test and found she was indeed pregnant. She was excited for this, she had been thinking over the last couple of months about trying for another baby. She and Neander were getting along better than they ever had and she felt like it would be a great way to signify a brand new beginning. They were excited and their girls were excited as well. Grace’s emotions were all over the place, especially now being pregnant. Jacob was still contacting her, with his same sly, rude comments. Grace found herself getting angry with Jacob, just by him contacting her. Sometimes he would be nice, and talk to her as old friends, other times he would say things that she felt were aimed just to hurt her. There were times though that Grace would notice an anger at him for no reason what so ever. At first Grace thought maybe it was her minds way of dealing with not going through with being with him. She thought it could be the only way her body knew how to cope with her giving her last final word of no. After all, he had been trying to be with her for about a month, so maybe her mind was fighting that small relationship he had started trying to build with her. Grace went through so many emotions. One minute she would miss talking to him if, in the rare occasion, he didn’t contact her for a day or two, then she would be grateful he left her alone for a change. She really couldn’t understand her own thought process. Grace did finally have enough of the constant contact, she had told Jacob to limit messaging to only one day a week so it wouldn’t get out of hand again and they could remain friends. She really did adore friendship with him and never wanted him hurt in any way. He begged to remain friends with her. He said He prayed and prayed to God to just give her back as a friend and he would be happy, after she had blocked him a second time when she and her husband were working things out. Grace did stay friends with him after that. She couldn’t betray him like all the other girls had betrayed him, at least that was what he told her, but Jacob was back at messaging almost as bad as before. He wouldn’t leave her alone, even when she would ignore his messages.

She still remembered and was bothered by the one time created a fake account to harass her with when she had blocked him, just to put her down and make her feel guilty for her choice to not speak to him while she was working on her marriage. Grace’s hormones were raging, and it didn’t take much to upset her. She lit in to him with a response to his demand of, “pay attention to me!” She typed, “omg! Do you have no life outside of facebook? He claimed he did, but was multitasking. She said said, “no, i don’t think you do.” “I am busy and don’t have time to keep looking as silly pictures.” Grace responded in haste, she knew. Grace didn’t know it at the time, but one of the pictures he had sent was honestly a nice message. It was of an old car at a museum his friend had seen. When Grace scolded him, she was referring to some goofy memes he had been sending her multiple times a day.She didn’t see the pic of the car come through until later, but by the time she saw it, they were not talking at the moment, so, she said nothing to him about it. Jacob got mad at her and told her he couldn’t talk, he was busy. She responded, “good.” After that he bit back, “maybe we will talk in the future, but much later.” Grace didn’t respond. She deleted everything between them and thought maybe now she could move on with her life. She felt bad that she seemed a little harsh, but she was trying to get the point across that he needed to stop contacting her all the time. Grace moved on in life, even unfollowed Jacob because she thought maybe he was making some posts about her, just to get under her skin. Grace went through times where she missed their talks, but just as friends. She never liked nor missed his sexual messaging. She in fact hated it everytime he did it. He was trying to make it into an affair, and that was far from what it was in her mind. To her, she was trying to be good friends with him and just wanted to get to know him as a person. Once they were no longer talking he started posting stuff about Grace on his facebook wall, but he did it indirectly. He stated that he had a friend who had an affair, but wouldn’t leave her husband because God said marriage was for life. The post went on and Grace started seeing Jacob for what he really was. He made multiple posts degrading her, shaming her, and acting like he was some good guy that became a victim of her being mean to him. He spun lies about her out of thin air. Grace was finally moving past all the horror, moving forward in life, brought a beautiful baby boy into the world. They named him Hann, meaning “Gift from God.” Shortly after his birth Grace started thinking about Jacob, thinking of how he turned out to be such a monster. It suddenly came to Grace all at once, he was not only a monster for being mean to her. He was sick! All the things he did to her, the things he said to her. He was a man that tried to destroy her family, tried to take as much as he could get by with, before Grace grew strong and wise enough to make him stop. Grace’s eyes were open to all that had happened and the tears came flowing down her cheeks. He had been assaulting her, he had been manipulating her. A couple months later, when confronted, he threatened her with a lawsuit for slander, just to shut her up. He claimed he had messages to prove she was okay with everything. Grace never did know what messages he had that were so threatening, or what he took out of context to make it look as though she was okay with what he did. She didn’t need to know what he had. All she needed was the realization of what he really was. All she needed was to grow strong from all of this. It would be a long road of recovery from the trauma, the nightmares would feel real as they woke her from sleep with it happening all over again. She would have to fight through alot of anger, depression, and rage, but she could and would. Grace was not the little timid stay quiet person anymore. She had changed, her whole life had changed. She now looked at herself and saw a warrior rising up. She saw someone that could help others through their trauma, and she did. She saw a woman that was faced with the option of giving up and giving in, but instead she rose and became strong, and said no to making a mistake of trusting someone else choices and stuck with her own. She had her family beside her, she had her husband, who now protected her, the man who truly had become the meaning of his name, Neander (a changed man) he had changed just as much as she had. Yes she would have to fight the feelings of wanting revenge, she would have to fight the memories as they popped in her head from no where, she would have to stand strong against thoughts running through her head of what Jacob, the deciever, deserved. But she could stand strong, she didn’t have to fight this battle, she didn’t have to dictate what he deserved for all the things he had done to her and probably others. All she had to do was give it to God. He was there, He saw her heart and knew every thought in her mind when everything was happening in her life, when she didn’t know how to act on her thoughts. God knew Grace. God showed his grace to Grace, and she knew without a doubt, she would get through this stronger than ever and would be a witness of just how God can use anything that satan tried and make a miracle out of it. She now had scars and they hurt, but Grace knew, those scars forever showed Gods miracle in her life.

Then She Found Grace (Sequel to “The life she never had”)

Mary was lying in bed, crying bitter tears. Her sobs were uncontrollable, her heart felt as though it would be easier to just stop beating. Her husband, John, walked into the room and sat down beside her. He brushed his hand over her head, trying to console her, but Mary didn’t want him. Mary just wanted to be left alone. “Mary, I know your heart is breaking. I feel broken too. I miss what could have been, I miss the little girl that we should have with us right now, but we will try again. Just give it some time and let your heart mend.” Mary looked at John, her eyes swollen so badly that they almost couldn’t even open. “You couldn’t possibly understand! You didn’t make the choice, I did! It’s my fault she is dead! It’s my fault that she doesn’t get to grow up and see what life has to offer. If I hadn’t been selfish, and put my life first, maybe we both would be here now, I would have my baby in my arms, loving every minute of being a mother.” John spoke again, as his voice cracked from trying to refrain from crying. “I know I didn’t make the choice, but you could have died, and the baby may not have made it anyway, I could have lost you both and I.” “Just stop!” Mary yelled at him, cutting off any last words he may have had. John left the room, holding back what felt like could have been a million tears, but he had to be manly enough to not cry, in his own mind.

The next day Mary got out of bed, slipped into her robe and went into the kitchen. There was a pleasant breeze the last couple of days, so she had the windows open to let fresh air into the house. She walked over to the kitchen sink and heard the neighbors outside, laughing and playing with their little boy. “Mathew! Don’t take the sand out of the sand box, leave it or we are going inside. Good boy, that’s a good listener.” the woman next door said.” Mary felt bitter inside. This woman had five kids. All healthy, never any complications. Why couldn’t she have at least one? The doctor said she could try again, but there could be another high risk with any future children. She walked over to the table, holding a glass of water and some pills

The doctor said the pills would help her nerves. She felt she didn’t deserve to have help, she felt she was no more than a murderer. John came down stairs, sliding his hand on the railing down all the way, at the bottom of the steps the round piece on top of the post fell off in his hand. “Well, I guess that needs fixed now, this place is in such shambles.” Mary, sit down and I’ll make you some breakfast. How about an omlet?” Mary sat down, plopped her elbows on the table, with her chin resting in her hands. “I’m really not hungry, but go ahead.” John looked at the business cards sitting on the counter top, they were for counseling for parents who struggled with the loss of a child. “I really think we should make an appointment. I think it would help. You have been like this for months and it’s very unhealthy.” John Said with concern. Mary looked up and just glared at him. No words needed to be spoken, her looks always said it all. John continued to make breakfast and started a pot of coffee. “How about we go for a drive today? It’s a beautiful day for it, maybe we could even take a walk on one of those nature trails we like.” Mary just wanted to crawl back in bed, but she said okay instead and decided to take John up on his offer. They both ate their omelets and proceeded to go upstairs and get dressed.

Mary and John drove up to a beautiful area for hiking trails and spend most of the day walking. John took her hand, looked into her eyes and told her, you are an amazing woman. I know you are hurting, but trust me, you deserve to be happy.” Mary gave somewhat of a smile, but then tears welled up in her eyes and her lip began to slightly quiver. She put her head down, studied the ground where she walked and kicked at little stones as they moved forward with every footstep. They met another couple on the trail and stopped to speak, they all took a rest and started speaking of how the sky was so brightly blue today. The lady looked pregnant, but Mary didn’t want to seem like she was annoyed by it, she tried to not focus on the woman’s medium round belly. John said suddenly, “sorry, we didn’t introduce ourselves. I’m john, this is my wife, Mary. The other couple spoke, “I’m Jane, and I’m George. Jane looked down at her belly and said, and this is Jacob. Mary felt the hurt, guilt, anger, and tears building up again, but pushed it all down inside and smiled. “When are you due?” Mary asked in a slightly shaking voice. I’m due in a month and a half.” Jane said with a smile. George started feeling like he had seen Mary and John before. “I know where I have seen you.” George said with a sudden revelation in his voice. You live in the same apartment complex as us. John looked at him with a question on his face, trying to remember ever seeing this guy. “I’m sorry, I don’t think I have seen you before, but since we are neighbors, we really should start getting together.” Everyone hit it off and felt like sudden best friends and made a date to get together. Mary and John went home after a couple hours more of walking. Mary did feel refreshed, but was starting to feel numb. She didn’t hurt, she didn’t really notice guilt. She felt like, nothing, like there was no emotions left in her body. Mary fixed supper, sat the table and began to bring the food over from the stove. Suddenly, an image flashed through her mind, a little girl sitting at the table, smiling at her asking if she could start eating now. Mary shook her head, blinked her eyes and looked again. There was no one there.

After supper was over and she cleaned up the dishes she went to bed. John asked her to stay up a bit longer with him, but she told him she was exhausted and had to lie down. Mary was sound asleep for a couple of hours, but awoke suddenly, hearing the cries of a baby. The crying got louder with every second. Mary jumped out of bed panicking. How was she hearing this? The cries turned into screams, the screams turned into what sounded like the screams of pain. She ran to the room that would have been her baby’s bedroom. She leaned into the crib and saw nothing, but heard the screams. Mary felt crazy. She couldn’t make it stop. “What have I done? She cried, what did I do to my baby?” “Where are you?” Mary yelled. I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” She continued screaming at the top of her lungs. John burst into the room, grabbed mary and shook her. “Wake up, mary! “It’s just a dream.” Mary opened her eyes, tears streaming down her face. John pulled her in close to him and held her as tightly as he could. Mary just sobbed. She couldn’t control it. She felt as if her own heart was ready to explode. “I heard her crying! She was screaming in pain, I heard her John, but I couldn’t find her to help her. What have I done? I’m a monster!” Mary continued sobbing. John took Mary out of the room and back to their bedroom. He put Mary back to bed and rubbed her back until she finally fell back to sleep. The next day they had plans for their new friends to come visit, so Mary got up and began cleaning the house, straightening up, dusting, and washed down the bathroom. Mary had supper cooking when John walked in from work. “They’ll be here soon, I have everything just about ready, but could you put the salad out, please, John?” John went to the fridge, took out the salad and began mixing all the stuff together. “That’s perfect, john, thanks. Just set it on the table and we are all set for tonight”

Jane and George knocked on the door and Mary came to opened it. “Welcome.” mary said with a smile. Jane handed mary a desert and walked in, greeting mary with a hug. “Thanks for inviting us.” Jane said with a smile. John and George shook hands and started chatting about their work day. Supper went well, they all found they had a lot in common. The guys talked sports, the women talked about girlie movies and the next episodes coming out on the newest t.v. show. Supper was a hit, everything turned out delicious. It was the blossoming beauty of a beautiful new friendship. After supper was over, they sat for about two hours talking, laughing, and just getting to know each other. Mary and Jane got up and started clearing the table. John and George went into the sitting room and watched the game. As the night went on and got late, they all decided to call it a night. the guests returned home, only walking down a couple of apartments to return home. About an hour after they left the phone rang. It was Jane. “How about lunch tomorrow?” “That’s sounds great.” Mary was quick to answer. Mary felt good. The hurt was still there, but now she felt like she was finally able to stop dwelling in her pain and guilt. She went upstairs, went to bed and drifted off to sleep. Mary had a dream of a child again, but this time the child walked into her room. She tiptoed in, “mommy, mommy, I’m scared. Mommy I had a bad dream, but your here now. Hold me mommy. Please hold me. Mommy why wont you hold me? Mommy! Mommy!” Mary woke up, sat up in bed and quickly turned on her lamp light. The room was still, nothing but shadows from the light casting across the items and the furniture in the room. John was fast asleep, lightly snoring. Mary didn’t want to wake him, so she shut the light back off and lied back down. In the morning the sun peaked through the sides of the window blinds. John had already gone to work, so Mary got up, fixed herself something to eat and poured herself a cup of coffee. She called Jane and asked her if she wanted to meet a little earlier than planned. Jane was all for it, so they met at eleven instead of twelve. Mary had to talk to someone about her dreams, she needed to speak about her past. She couldn’t stand it anymore. She felt like she was being haunted by her child that she aborted, but that couldn’t be possible. It was crazy to even think that way. Mary told Jane everything. How she had to have an abortion. Well, how she chose her own life over her child. How she keeps having all these dreams. She told Jane she almost can’t stand to even awake in the morning, but can’t stay asleep cause the child haunts her. Jane asked Mary if she had thought of seeing a therapist, but Mary was very quick to decline that possibility. “I don’t want to sound crazy. They make you seem crazy. I feel like all they are really doing is charging you for them to write down how nuts you are and to see if they think they should have you committed.”

Mary and Jane finished their lunch date and both parted ways going back home. Mary was tired from not sleeping well again and decided to take a little nap on the sofa. As she slipped into sleep she heard whimpering. The whimper became louder until she sat up. She walked into the kitchen and there on the table she saw a silver tray sitting. She walked over to it and saw a burned body. It looked like a mixture of burned tissue and body parts. It had a burned face, burned arms, legs, and stomach. The little body was partially shriveled up. Mary cupped her hand over her mouth to stifle a scream. She had been looking things up about abortion and how it was done after she had hers. It was horrible and she was torturing her own mind when she read it, but she felt like maybe she deserved the torture, considering what she had done. Mary almost gagged looking at the burned up body. It was like looking at a mixture of skin and charcoal. She leaned in closer, half feeling as if she would throw up, then the burned eye lids opened up, looked right at her and said mama. Mary screamed, jumped back and tripped over a chair in the kitchen. She stumbled back to her feet and tried to run, but couldn’t find the front door. She screamed and started pounding on the walls, yelling for help. Just as she felt she was about to faint she sat straight up on the sofa. She had been having another nightmare. The phone was ringing, so she picked it up, it was Jane. She was crying and freaking out. She asked Mary to take her to the hospital. Jane had started bleeding and it wouldn’t stop. Mary took jane to the hospital and felt like she was in the waiting room for hours. George came running into the waiting room, and mary filled him in on what little she knew. George went in with his wife and brought Mary with him. Jane’s face was red, eyes swollen, and in her arms, wrapped up was a very small baby boy. Jane spoke, her voice quivering, it’s our little Jacob. Jane broke into more tears as geoege walked over to his wife’s side, tears running down his own face. Mary began to cry as she looked over the lifeless body of a little boy that lived only 3 hours with breath in his body. Jane explained to Mary that the doctor had told her early on that it was a high risk pregnancy, that the baby wouldn’t be compatible outside the womb, and she herself was in danger giving birth. Mary’s heart ached. She knew this was the same thing she had went through, but she was not brave enough to carry out the pregnancy, she had feared for her own life. Mary started to cry again. Jane, now knowing of Mary’s pregnancy from their conversation earlier, spoke to mary. “Don’t let this be the source of your existence. We all have made choices. Some were right, some were wrong. We can’t live in life beating ourselves up when we feel we might have made a mistake. Forgiveness is always just a request away. God forgives, and our children forgive.” Mary nodded her head, heartbroken, tears still streaming down her face, “but what if my baby would have lived and I killed it? How can I be forgiven? How can I face this every day?” Jane looked back at Mary, tears running down her own face. “you can and will go on, just like I did after my last high risk pregnancy where I aborted my little Erica. You will forgive yourself, God will forgive you, and your baby is waiting for you, full of forgiveness. It takes time, but your heart will mend.” Mary sat down beside Jane on the bed and placed her head next to Jane’s. They both fell asleep and had dreams. Their dreams were not fearful and painful anymore. They were peaceful, beautiful, and loving. Jane and Mary were in a beautiful field of wild floweres, sun shining brightly. Three children came running up them, smiling with the biggest smiles they could have. Erica ran to Jane, wrapped her arms around her neck and embraced her with a big hug and kiss. Jacob and sarah ran, hand in hand to their moms, breaking from each other with tight endless long hugs. Jane and mary cried happy tears as they held their kids, for the first time, as if they had life. Then the same man that was with sarah,erica and Jacob in their mother’s wombs came walking toward them all. He was glowing, peaceful, and looked like He had nothing but love in His eyes. He looked at Jane then at Mary, grabbed them both and embraced them with a hug. He wiped their tears away, spoke gently to them and said “forgiven.”

Jane and Mary lay there, side by side, on the bed with smiles on their faces and peace in their hearts as they continued to dream and found over flowing mercy and grace in the eyes of the Lord.

The LIFE She Never Had. (A short story)

It was a cold, brisk day. The leaves were floating through the air, gradually sifting down, in a round about pattern, one after the other. Sarah, sitting by the window put down her steaming hot coffee after her third sip. I really should get going, she thought to herself. Today was a very busy day, she had a lunch date with her best friend, Mary, grocery shopping to do, a trip needed to be made to the bank, and she really needed to get to the post office to mail the care packages to the families that had been struck by the hurricane. She yawned, drank a few more sips of her coffee and proceeded to get up and go to her small walk in closet. Sarah had beautiful red hair, but this made dressing in some colors out of the question. She detested the way many colors seemed to clash because of her hair color, so she made due with many browns. She slipped into her some what formal brown pants that had a medium flare at the bottom and a white button down shirt that had a little bit of lace at the collar. As she walked to the door she poured some dog food for her pup, pet him on the head and said in a motherly voice, “mommy will be home soon, my little pumpkin.” Although there was a chill in the air, the sun was still shining brightly. Sarah loved the sunshine, as do most other people, but to her it was a glorious thing to be here, enjoying it and she felt other people sometimes took for granted that it was given to us for enjoyment. She unlocked her car and plopped down into the driver’s seat, started the engine and drove to the bank.

“Good morning, sarah. How are you are doing on this beautiful day? Asked the bank teller. “I’m doing well, thank you. How is your day going?” Sarah responded with a flashy smile. Sarah didn’t want to rush the conversation, but she knew she had a busy day and really needed to keep moving. She cut their talk a little short and finished with the rest of her to do list before stopping at the 24 hour diner to meet up with Mary.

Sarah arrived at Twin City Diner with ten minutes to spare. The hostess seated her and she ordered a cup of coffee while she waited for Mary to arrive. The little bell on the front diner door chimed as it was opened, in walked Mary, with a warm smile and greetings to Sarah with a kiss on the cheek and a big hug. It has been way to long since our last visit, Mary said. Sarah blushed an embarrassed look, “I know, I’m sorry, I have just been so busy, but I’m hoping to slow down a little.” Sarah had a bond with Mary that went back for as long as she could remember, so far back that she really couldn’t even say when or how they met. It was a rare bond, she really almost felt like Mary was not only her best friend, but like a mother to her, even though they were not far apart in age. “So, tell me about the new guy.” Mary said with a sly smile on her face with a little hint of teasing in her tone of voice. Another blush filled Sarah’s face, but this time the blush felt like it was about ten shades more red than before. “Well, he is about as sweet as any human can get. His eyes are a deep blue, and his hair is dark, not black, but dark enough to look good in any kind of suit, or even a uniform.” “Uniform?” Questioned Mary. “Yes, he is in the army, and you should see him, wait I think I have a picture with me.” Sarah pulled out a wallet with a picture from her purse and showed Mary. On the back of the picture was written, with all my love, and with every thought of our future together, until the day we say, I do. Mary thought it was a little soon. “Did he propose? ” Yes, mary, he did. I said yes, that’s why I knew we had to get together. I wanted you to be the first to hear and to ask you to be my maid of honor.” “Of course I will! But, are you sure it’s not too soon? You guys haven’t been together that long, have you?” Sarah smiled and gave a nervous laugh. “We haven’t been together long, but we have known each other for a long time. I know you probably thought nothing of it when I told you his name months ago. Jacob was the boy I grew up with when I lived with my parents in the old broken down apartments. His family was really poor, just like mine.” Mary smiled and nodded then went on to say, “well, I’m really happy for you, and very glad you are not just jumping into marriage with someone you really don’t know.” The two of them talked and laughed for the next couple of hours, catching up on old times, updating new news, and finally fishished up with a tight hug and short kiss on the cheek good bye.

As Sarah was driving back to her house she felt a pain in her chest. What was that? She wondered. It was tight, and felt like she could pass out from the pain. I can’t be having a heart attack, she said to herself. I’m too young for that. She pulled the car over for a few minutes, got out and started walking around a little bit, taking deep breaths. The pain slowly went away and eventually stopped all together. She got back into her car and proceeded to drive home again, her mind was going over what to fix for tonight’s supper. yes, she said aloud, pork chops, mashed potatoes, and green beans sound pretty good. I should whip up some biscuits to go with it. Sarah slowed down, turning into her driveway and waited for the garage door to open, then continued to pull in. as she walked in through the side door that went straight into the kitchen a wonderful aroma hit her senses. Oh my! What was the smell. Jacob had already let himself in with the hidden key and started making them supper. He had the table set for two, a bottle of wine chilling on the table and soft romantic music playing in the background. Sarah felt a wave of relief. She had been tired, all though she had the day off from work and had only done the grocery shopping and banking. Jacob walked up to sarah, wrapped his arms around her, hugging her tightly, and placed a small kiss on her forehead. “You are early, I was hoping to have everything set on the table to suprise you tonight.” Sarah gave him a kiss back and said, “like I’m not suprised by this?” They both laughed and and sat down to the table, having a glass of wine.

The night progressed on, after they ate, they watched a movie, snuggled up by the fire place, on the couch, eventually falling asleep in each others arms. Sarah’s dreams were alarming. They started happening over the last couple of weeks. She was in a bed, strapped down, very tightly, as if she was being treated like she was a mental patient. She screamed, but no one heard her, she yelled for someone to help her, that these men were trying to hurt her, but there was no one there to help. The men in white just kept pushing her down a long, never ending hallway. They slammed through doors, rolling faster with every second. She would scream and scream, but no help ever came. Sarah’s dreams were so intense she woke herself up from how loud she was. She awoke on the floor, flat on her back. What was this? She must have hit her arm on the coffee table when she fell, cause it was aching very badly. She brushed the tears from her eyes and wiped sweat from her forehead. Jacob had already gone home, there was a note on the table, wishing her a wonderful day at work in the morning and was signed xoxo Jacob.

Sarah went to her bedroom, after taking a sleeping pill, her nerves were always shot after these kind of dreams.

Morning was here, sarah was getting ready for work. She pulled on a pair of blue Jean’s and a light brown shirt. How she loved casual fridays at work. She looked forward to that more than her paycheck. Sarah looked at her watch and saw she was going to be late if she didn’t get going right away, so she rushed to the car, put up the garage door and quickly, but carefully, backed out. She was only on the road maybe five minutes when she got caught up in a mess of traffic. What was it this time? She thought to herself. As the cars were slowly let through she saw, up on the bridge ahead, there was a woman standing there, hanging off the side. Oh dear God! Her head started spinning. She jumped put of her car, without any thought, and ran as fast as she could to reach the woman. The woman had tears running down her face, black mascara streaking a zig zag pattern down her cheeks. Her eyes were swollen and blood shot red. She was gripping the rail so tight that her fingernails were almost digging into it as if she were digging into flesh. “Stay back!” She screamed at sarah, as she jolted her neck, looking from over the bridge and back at Sarah. Sarah calmly pleaded with her, you don’t want to do this. This is just a temporary problem, but this action is permanent. Please, just let me come speak with you, let me try to help you and comfort you.” After a few minutes the woman let Sarah come closer. They talked, but no one heard a word that was spoken. The crowd of people just stood there, in fear that the woman would leap down to her death at any moment. About an hour went by, the people had already been leaving, but Sarah stayed with her every minute. Sarah finally convinced the lady to come back over the railing. She grabbed her around the waist and steadied the lady, she placed both feet on the ground, tears still streaming down her face. The ambulance took her to the hospital, sarah told her she could call her anytime and slipped her business card with her personal number on it and told her to never hesitate, no matter the time of day. She would always be there to help in any way she could. Sarah got back into her car and after a couple of minutes she began to drive again and headed to work.

The day was like a blur for sarah. She was there, but yet she wasn’t. She couldn’t stop thinking about the woman on the bridge. Did she really just talk someone out of suicide? Did she really have enough love, kindness, and passion for others that it meant something to this woman? She hoped she would call, but she had her doubts. The woman would probably be locked away for a while anyway, considering she was an endangerment to herself, and really to others if they would have had to jump in to save her. Before sarah knew it, it was five o’clock, time to pack it up and call it a night. Sarah couldn’t wait to get home, to put her feet up and just relax. She already had it planned out, Friday night, pizza night. She planned on watching some of her favorite old movies while eating pizza and having some down time.

When sarah got home she gave her friend, Mary, a call. “Do you want to come over tonight, eat pizza and watch a movie?” Mary told sarah that she would love to, but she already had plans for the evening, so sarah finished up her conversation, hung up, and called for pizza delivery for herself. She spent the whole night watching her favorite movies and munching on pizza. Hours later, sarah started having restless dreams again. Her heart started pounding, and she was back to being strapped down to a bed, being taken down the long hallways. She wanted to scream, but this time she couldn’t. Her voice couldn’t make noise, couldn’t cry out. She started feeling pain shoot through her body, her heart felt like it was about to leap out of her chest. Was she having a heart attack while in this strange hospital? Why wouldn’t they pay any attention to her? Tears were streaming down her face. The pain started getting stronger, but she could no longer scream. Next thing she knew, her skin felt like it was on fire. God! She cried, help me! It hurts, it burns, make it stop. HELP ME! Sarah awoke screaming, and out of her mouth the words came as she sat up off of the couch, IT HURTS!

Sarah broke into a sweat, she felt her insides cramping up tight, her toes were curled up so tight that for a minute she thought she wouldn’t be able to straighten them out again. Slowly, she was able to release them. Her hands had been curled just as tight, like she had formed them into a fist, ready to punch anything near her. She sat for a minute, trying to collect herself, wondering why she was having these dreams, why the pain felt so real. Why she couldn’t find peaceful sleep these days.

The thought crossed her mind the maybe she should make an appointment with a shrink, but she didn’t want to sound crazy, she was already crazy enough in her dreams, it seemed. Sarah fought the uneasy feeling off for a good while and finally, after a couple hours, was able to go to sleep, tucked comfortably in her bed.

The next morning sarah awoke feeling better, she seemed to not dream the rest of the night. If she did, she couldn’t remember any of it. It was another beautiful day, so she decided to take a walk in the park. The trees were not quite bare yet, but they were beautiful, full of colors; orange, red, yellow, and a hint of left over green. Sarah sat on one of the benches, gazed up at the Robin egg blue sky and sighed. What a perfect day it was. Her cell rang, breaking her day dreaming, it was jacob. “Hey Beautiful! How is my girl doing today?” Jacob asked. Sarah smiled, even though he was not there to see her, “I’m good. Missing you. You should come to the park and have lunch with me today, its absolutely gorgeous today.” Jacob agreed with her, told sarah he would head out as soon as he finished up a few things he was doing and on his way over he would stop and pick up fried chicken. Sarah got up and started walking again, while she waited on Jacob to arrive. Her heart was overflowing with joy as she heard all the children playing on the swings, chasing each other around the play ground, and gliding quickly down the slides. I can’t wait to start my own little family, she thought to herself. Two little ones seem good, maybe four would be even better. She was dreaming of pushing a little girl on the swing and a little boy playing tag with all the other kids. Just as her mind was drifting far away into a beautiful bliss of possibilities she heard someone call her name. “Sarah.” Jacob called two or three times before Sarah snapped out of her dreaming state. She turned behind her and saw Jacob walking toward her. yes! She thought. He was the perfect guy. He would be the perfect dad, the perfect man in her life, he would complete her, complete their family. It was at that moment, sarah knew, beyond a doubt, she was madly in love with this man and wanted to spend her life with him. All the questions, concerns, and fears slipped away, as if a cloud had been lifted and the whole world had now been made clear.

Sarah gave a flashy smile and a ran up to Jacob, gave him a huge kiss and a deep passionate hug. “I have missed you so much, even though it’s only been one day.” She said as she chuckled lightly under her breath. Jacob sat the food out one of the picnic tables and gave a wickedly handsome smile back at her. “Well, that’s a good thing, and I have missed you like crazy, too.” They sat and ate their lunch, talked over how their work day went yesterday, and their plans for the coming week ahead. Jacob finally broke more ice by saying, “let’s set a date for our wedding, in fact, how about we just elope. We can do a wedding and celebrate it with our friends and family in the summer, we could have an outdoor wedding, just like you have always dreamed of, but I just can’t wait to start my life with you. Why wait? We love each other and i want nothing more than to get started on our future together.” Sarah felt a lump forming in her throat, but she felt excited. Her hands started to shake. She felt as though she had like five cups of coffee or something with how jittery this new idea made her feel. “Yes.” She said with a low voice, but the largest smile he had even seen light up her face. “I can’t wait to start my life with you either” he leaned over to her, kissed her and they walked, hand in hand, around the park, enjoying the sound of the singing birds and the children’s laughter.

Sarah got home pretty late because she and Jacob went out to eat at the steak house. They were celebrating their new plans, that involved going to the justice of the peace tomorrow and finally saying I do. Sarah drifted off to sleep with nothing but a smile on her face and butterflies in her stomach. Deep into sleep her nightmares started again. She went from feeling at peace, to being tormented, fear, and pain. This time she was not in a hospital bed, but in what seemed to be an ocean of fluid, but she was able to breathe. She felt light as air, but not floating. She was swimming. Swimming and breathing, splashing. It was amazing at first. She felt such excitement, but then she noticed a noise. It was a thumping, no, more like a pounding. As she listened, she noticed, it sounded like a heart beat. It was steady, solid, and made her feel safe, but then weird things started to happen, all the fluid that she was swimming in began to go away. She didn’t feel like a fish out of water, but she no longer felt safe. Fear started clinging to her every thought. The fluid was gone, but now returning, it was filling around her again so she could swim and flip like she did before. This time it hurt. It was burning, just like in her dreams before. Her eyes were burning, they felt swollen. She started to scream, she was crying in pain. What was this? Where was she? She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t reach for help, all she did was burn. Her arms felt like they were starting to burn off, her hands and fingers looked like the skin may have been melting. She screamed, she thought of her best friend, Mary. She yelled for Mary to help her, she screamed for Jacob to come to her rescue, but no one came. Her legs started feeling just like her arms, like the skin was burning off. Her chest was burning so badly that she struggled to breathe, she could breathe in the fluid before, but not now. Now it wasn’t possible, she only hurt. Then she saw someone, a face she had never seen before came to her, the pain started going away, it was a man, he had a glow about Him and made her feel such peace. She looked down at her feet and they looked like a childs feet. Her hands were small, child size, and he took one of them, pulled her in close to him and hugged her tightly, brushed the back of her head, as she let out her last whimpering cry. The screaming stopped, the pain stopped. There was no more fear. Only love, comfort, and compassion. He held her tightly to Him and she felt like He never let go.

Time went by and she saw a room with people walking around. She looked down at a table where there was what looked like burned tissue. no, she looked harder and saw it looked like there were feet, little hands, and what looked like a severally burned face. She looked to the man that rescued her from the burning fluid, then looked back at the table. She heard people talking to a woman named Mary. Giving her information about “everything was now over and successful.” They told her something about there was no damage, no pain, and gave her numbers for counseling, if she felt she needed it. Sarah looked at the womans face, covered in tears. She looked broken, guilty, and maybe even ashamed. Sarah, not quite understanding, looked at her rescuer again with a question on her face. “What is this, where am I and why did this happen?” The man looked at her and said, don’t dwell on your pain of the past, and don’t fight to figure it out. Just live in the dream that I gave you for your short time on earth, let that be your memory. Sarah began to cry as Mary’s voice was heard, she knew it, she talked to her many times, though she knew Mary never heard her, not really. She hugged the man who took her away from all the pain, held on to Him tightly and cried. He held her chin up, wiped each tear from her cheeks and told her, no need for tears, you are with me now and there will be no more pain, my child. She smiled, as the thoughts of her life flashed through her mind, it was a life she never had, but God sure made the dream absolutely beautiful!

click here for the sequel to this story, Then She Found Grace.

Abortion: Is It Okay?

Well, that is a really tough subject! The fights go back and forth so much between pro-choice and pro-life.

I feel this way, if you decide abortion is ok for any reason at all, you are pro-choice. If you believe abortion is ok for only health issues for the mother, as in giving birth will cause her death, you are pro-life/choice. If you believe the mother shouldn’t have a choice at all, due to her death being a result, you are pro- I control your life and choices.

This subject has had my head spinning for many years. How can I tell someone they have no right to abort from a rape, but how can I not speak up for the child who is not given the choice, but slain just for being the egg that was fertilized against the women’s will? How can I tell a women she has no choice to stay with the rest of her family, but to deliver a child and then die? Why does the baby not have a choice to live, why is it the one made to lose its potential at life over the mother’s?

If I choose to believe abortion is ok for these reasons, is God holding that against me? Will I be judged for saying is ok to abort? We are all held accountable for every single thing we do, according to the Bible, so what am I supposed to believe and how should I feel? On the other hand if I say no! You can’t abort the baby for your own life, that is the choice being made of murdering the mother, or the choice being made by the individual that to me looks like suicide, after all, she is knowingly killing herself for the sake of a baby to live. How can one live with either answer given? If I say it’s ok, I take away the baby’s right, if I say no, I take away the women’s right

It all boils down to this: we all have a right to freedom, in the USA at least, and we all have freedom of choice, according to the Bible. If you have made the choice of abortion and feel guilty, take it to God in prayer and repent, know that He is a forgiving God for anything He sees as wrong and His love for you outweighs the mistakes you make blindly. Don’t beat yourself up for making a choice to save yourself if you have, but if you are facing the choice think long and hard before making it. Talk to God, talk to friends, think of the pros and cons of choosing choice over baby’s life in the situation. Make sure you think of how you will live with the memory, that it’s not something that could make you crazy. I myself do not believe God would hold it against one for making a choice to save their own life, knowing a life would go, one way or another, though it’s hard to see it taken away no matter what. If you are faced with the choice from a rape, weigh out the options.. again… how will I feel after doing it? Will it haunt me? Do I hate the child so much, even though it is part of me, that I couldn’t stand to give it life, and give it potential? Could I just give it up for adoption, to save its life, and give it a chance to make the world a better place?

Even if the case was to abort from rape, again, God is forgiving, God is love. This is such a hard thing to cope with, that it is hard to tell someone, “you have to deliver that baby.” We all have freedom, and in the end God makes the final judgment call on all of our choices. So, is abortion okay? Is it okay for the right reason’s? Is it wrong? Is it sinful? Is it murder?

The only answer I can come up with in my own conscience is this, we have no right to tell another woman which life she should choose, especially with her own personal circumstances, but we can at least pray for her, give our advice, kindly, and be considerate of her choice cause in the end, God handles everything the way He sees fit.

We need to love people struggling with this choice that they are faced with, because women going through this are already heartbroken, overwhelmed, and feel their world has been shattered.

I don’t know the full effects of dealing with this choice, but with my last baby I thought they were telling me that my child was a tubal pregnancy, for those who don’t know, that is when the baby will never make it and the mother must abort it in order to spair her own life and not cause her tubes to explode. All I could think about was how I was going to have to kill my own baby before nature did. How my choice was so limited, really not even my own choice. How I was going to have to live with this thought haunting me, how I couldn’t protect my future child. My world felt as though God slapped me in the face and laughed while He enjoyed doing it. The pain was unreal, and my mind just wanted to shut down.

no mother faced with this choice comes by it easily. No women skip happily and sing songs as they are faced with two choices, end your pregnancy, or end your life.

So is is okay, or is it not okay? I would have to say, to each individual, your choice is your choice, but be ready for any spiritual consequences that God may have set aside and be ready for the torture your mind may go through till the end of your own life due to feeling shame, guilt, regret, and the constant what ifs playing over in your head. In the end let God hold you for whatever choice you had to make, but just give it prayer and thought before making it. God knows your heart, that is what really matters.

Don’t make yourself ugly by being mean hearted.

I have never understood how people can be so mean to people. If you dress different from them, you are not part of their click. Don’t clean as well as they think you should, that gives them all rights to treat the person like crap. Have a different or maybe eccentric way of looking at things, you are weird and made fun of. Why are people so mean? Why hurt someone by belittling them just because you don’t like them? Why make rude comments to them and behind their back? Just because they might be slower in their thinking, not perfect in their work ethic, or have crazy; thoughts, desires, or process of thought, never gives a person the right to be a bully. Part of the problem with humanity is lack of consideration for one another. If we stopped looking for the next way to put someone down and put ourselves in the shoes of the one being bullied, we would be pissed. Fights break out from being mistreated, or from certain looks, body language, or tones in our voice cause hurt, anger, and sometimes even death. The next time you see someone being mean, stand up for the person. Let them know it is not right and it is not okay. Dare to be the one standing firm and make a statement that no one deserves to be treated like total crap. We need to fix our ways of being divided. We need to work on communication, being pleasant, and find a way to stop being so negative toward people. Many people are hurting and part is from lack of love from people they; go to church with, work with, or people noticing they are never included in anything because they are unwanted. If you feel the urge to say something negative to or about someone you don’t have the strongest liking for, refrain from it. Practice holding your tongue from speaking ugliness and watch the difference in how the person starts to act. A little love can go a long way and everyone needs love, no matter who they are or what they do or don’t do. Dare yourself to be the one who is different, dare yourself to take a stand in being kind, command yourself to be the change in someone’s life that has been bullied, put down, verbally abused, or been made the outcast by you or other people. Dare to be the change, starting with the man in the mirror.