She sat by the window holding a baseball bat, her small white dog near her shivering the same. The children asleep. She waited watching the entire night for him to come home. His mother had quickly posted bail and he had the car. That day he had emptied the bank account leaving Wildflower with no food, no transportation, and no money, and a fear that he would come back that night. But he didn’t.
A very nice acquaintance of hers picked her up and took her to court, bought her and her children food, and was very kind but he wanted more than just friendship, and she did not, so he left, and the raging husband came back. Even more raging than before. People often wonder why a woman stays. Why doesn’t she just leave? It is never that easy Wildflower recalled. If a woman’s self-esteem has been slowly taken from her, she is left to feel worthless. She also no longer has much family at this point. Not really any friends. A shelter in hiding with children sounds terrifying. One would have to come out sometime. The raging husband will also have control of money and the woman is left to feel like there is no possible way to leave. The raging husband would use the children to make Wildflower afraid to leave.
“You are a stripper, who’s going to let you have the children?” The children were her life.
The raging husband went into a mood and for three months did not acknowledge or even utter a word to Wildflower. She began doing things only with the children. The young girl surrounded by ducks and squirrels and poetry books still existed. She often took the children to the park with large trees or hiking in the mountains, or to the zoo. Pretending he wasn’t there but then the rages would come back. And she prayed to love him and make the marriage work because she knew of nothing else.
You probably wonder what Wildflower was doing with her intuitive gifts. Certainly not healing folks yet. She could still tell when the phone would ring, who it would be, often if people died, or if something sad was happening. She could also tell you which football team would win. Nothing that would transform her community or world around her. Yet.
The car accident changed everything. Sometimes one needs a blatant wake up call. Almost dying does that. Oh wait, there was more of Wildflower’s story that is quite imperative to where she is today. She met a man.
It was all very innocent. A year and a half before this point in Wildflower’s tale a young man and friend came into the club. This turned into weekly visits for conversations and sodas with Wildflower and Faith. The smiling man and his friend just enjoyed their company. Wildflower and the smiling man had nothing in common. Nothing. So a benign friendship transposed and a year and a half of email chats, weekly conversations, and after work breakfasts created a strong friendship and a common respect.
The car accident itself was a hit and run side swipe. The result was a little boy with a very sore back and Wildflower had torn muscles in her chest from the seatbelt. The insurance company paid for her to have reconstructive surgery. She woke up from the surgery wailing and the nurses tried to settle her down. She was in pain and couldn’t breathe. After vomiting blood and having extremely low oxygen levels, the doctor realized that blood had filled her lungs. A result from a reaction to the tube down her throat and one the anesthesiologist failed to notice before. She lay in intensive care for five days fighting for her life, sometimes wanting to give up, in tremendous pain, and all the time was alone. The raging husband never came. No one came. The children were kept from her. She realized in that moment that life is very, very short and that fighting for that marriage was not worth it and that she and her children could possibly have a different life. This was right before her twenty-seventh birthday. And in that second she knew that if she walked out of the hospital alive, she was leaving. No matter what.
“Your threats and contempt have no place in mind
as I look outside the box and truth I find
no love for me you have ever had
and all that wasted time being sad.
Pain after pain inflicted on me
and you too blind to possibly see
and in your selfishness possibly say
that now with you you want me to stay.
And threaten to take my three loves away
if in your life I do not care to stay
as my strength grows strong
I find with you I don’t belong.”