Townies, Cronies, and Hayseeds II C7.4

The next morning, Brielle woke up at almost ten o’clock. She dressed, tied her long, highlighted hair back, then drove to Grandma Bennett’s house, where Jane and the baby greeted her in the yard.

“Hey, baby girl!” Brielle gushed lovingly as she hugged her daughter. Jane handed the baby over to her mother.

After Brielle came inside, she and Grandma went into the kitchen and sat at the dinner table. Jane followed. Brielle handed the baby back to Jane.

“Jane, honey, can you take the baby into the living room and watch her? Grandma and I need to talk in private.” Brielle gently told her daughter.

“Sure, Mom.”

Putting the baby on her shoulder, Jane went back into the living room.

“What happened last night, Brielle? What had you so upset?” Grandma asked in a low, gentle, but concerned tone.

Unbeknownst to Grandma Bennett and Brielle, Jesse and Jerome quietly walked into the kitchen through the back door, while they were talking. When the two men noticed that Brielle was distressed, they stopped sudden. There they stood, undetected by the women, listening intently to every word. They then crept back on the other side of the refrigerator so that they wouldn’t be seen.

Brielle Confides in Grandma Bennett

“Bobby pulled me over while I was on my way here from work. He told me to get out of the door, which I did. He ordered me to step around to the front of his car and behind mine. I did what I was told, although something didn’t feel right. Because I hadn’t been speeding or doing anything illegal. But, oh, Lord, Grandma! I just had this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. He brought up the fight Jane had with his daughter and her friend at school, yesterday. Even though he knows good and well it was self-defense, he accused me and Jane of taking advantage of our martial arts training. He made it sound like just because we hold blackbelts that we just go around beating up on people anytime we feel like it and that is so untrue! We only use it in cases of self-defense.” Brielle told her.

“Honey, I know that. Most people who know you, know it too.” Grandma lovingly assured her.

“Do they, Grandma? Because I’m beginning to wonder if they do.”

“Sweetie, you can’t worry about what those creeps think or what they say. The people who really know you know they’re full of it.”

“I realize that Grandma. But most of the people who do know me better than that don’t have the power that the ones who hate me have. And the sheriff has such power in this town that he could ruin me if he wanted too. And confronting me about Jane isn’t all he did.”

“Oh, Brielle.”

Jesse and Jerome the Eavesdroppers

“You won’t believe what he did next, Grandma! He grabbed me, pinned me against the back of my car, then he pulled his gun out and dared me to use karate on him! He stuck the barrel of his gun to the bottom of my chin and pressed upward so hard it hurt! He told me that he could blow me away if he wanted to. And that he could plant drugs in my car and make it look like I attacked him while resisting arrest! He even threatened my children, saying that once I was dead, he could have them taken away from this family and put into foster care! He threatened to come after my entire family!” Brielle continued as tears ran down her cheeks, “Oh my God, Grandma! What kind of people am I dealing with here?”

Hearing Brielle’s story, Grandma Bennett’s eyes grew wide, and she gasped. She slowly rose from her chair, came around the table, and put her arms around Brielle.

“You know? I don’t easily scare these days, but Grandma, I’m really afraid right now. I’m afraid for myself, my children, this family!”

Townies, Cronies and Hayseeds II C3.5

Privacy security or safeguard diagram or flowchart written on a dry erase board as tips, advice or information on making your personal, sensitive data safe and secure

Brielle had just fed and burped the baby and laid her asleep in her play pin. She then sat down to eat when suddenly, her cellphone began to ring with the song, “These Boots Are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra for her ringtone. She had selected the ringtone specifically as the ringtone for Bill’s number that afternoon because she knew that Bill would call just as soon as he’d gotten home and found that she and the girls were gone, and Brielle’s things were missing.

Grandma Bennett looked at her from across the table.

“It’s Bill, isn’t it?” She asked.

Jesse stood up with a serious look on his face.

“Nobody but.” Brielle replied.

She continued to let the phone ring.

“Well, are you going to answer it?” Jesse asked.

“I don’t know if I should. I left him the new number in case he wanted to talk to the kids.” Brielle said.

“You gave that monster your new number? Brielle, what in the heavens were you thinking?” Grandma Bennett asked in an annoyed tone.

“He’s the girls’ father, Grandma. I can’t just cut him out completely. And you don’t know him. He’s vindictive as hell. He’ll use this to tell the courts that I’m keeping him for seeing the girls- violating his rights as a father.”

His rights? What about your rights to be safe and not to be harmed? What about the girls’ rights not to be harmed?” Joey asked angrily.

“I know, Joey. But that won’t carry much weight with Bill. He doesn’t care.”

As they talked, Bandit, curled up on the floor under the table, panted and his ears perked up. The phone finally stopped ringing after the sixth ring. Then began ringing again. After Bill attempted to call for the third time, Brielle turned off her ringer.

“You don’t think he’ll show up here, do you?” Amy asked.

“He better not show up here!” Paul thundered.

“Damn right! We’ll give him a welcome wagon he’ll never forget!” Jesse promised in a threatening tone.

Brielle snickered.

“Alright, knock it off!” Grandma Bennett ordered, “You boys stop crowin’! He’s not going to come all the way here.”

“You think not? Grandma, somebody like him could hop on a plane and be here in a matter of hours.” Jerome said.

“I don’t think so.” Grandma said, “I don’t think he’s that stupid.”

“Oh, Lord, I hope not.” Brielle sighed.

“Well, Grandma. We’ve got to go home and retire.” Jesse told Grandma Bennett as he leaned down and kissed her. Each of the guys kissed Grandma Bennett, Brielle and each of the girls and baby before they gathered their wives and children and left for their houses.

Now, it was just Brielle, Grandma Bennett, the girls, and baby in the house. Brielle rose from the table.

“Come on, girls. Let’s get ready for bed.” Brielle called.

After the girls were in bed, Brielle and Grandma Bennett sat up and talked. Grandma Bennett picked up her coffee mug, took a sip, and set it down on a folded napkin on the table.

“So, what happened between you and Bill, Brielle. What did he do this time?” She asked.

“He’s just got a volatile temper. He just can’t control his temper. And he thinks he owns me and the girls. He treats us more like his property than his family.” Brielle explained.

“He hit you again, didn’t he?” Grandma Bennett pressed.

“Yes. He hit me, Grandma. But never again. Because I left for good this time. I need to be happy. The girls need to be happy, and they need to live in peace. I must teach them that it’s not okay for a man to hit you and this is how I do it. I have to be an example for my girls.” Brielle continued.

“That’s right, Brielle. And I’m so proud of you for leaving that scumbag! Just don’t go back to him. Don’t let him talk you into- “

“Don’t worry, Grandma. I won’t. I’m done with him. I don’t even love him anymore.”

“I’m glad to hear it. You deserve better than him, Brielle. You deserve to be happy for once.”

“You’re right. I do. And so, do the girls.”

Brielle than got up, then she turned back around and looked at Grandma Bennett.

“Oh, by the way, do you have this week’s newspaper lying around somewhere? I need to look in the classifieds and the real estate ads. I want to see about buying a place for me and the girls and start looking for a job soon.”

“Sure. This week’s newspaper is lying on the counter. I just got through reading it.” Grandma Bennett answered as she pointed to the counter with the newspaper folded on top of it.

Brielle picked it up and learned against the counter as she read it.

“It says here that there’s a 4-bedroom house for sale a few miles down the road from here. It’s in the country where it’s peaceful and quiet.” Brielle said as she continued to read.

“That’s the old Hancock Place. It’s been up for sale for over two years, and they can’t seem to sell it.” Grandma Bennett told her.

“I wonder why.”

“Because they wanted too much for it. The realtors have since brought down the price a little and they still can’t sell the place.”

“I’d like to call the realtors in the morning to set up an appointment. Then I want to go look for a job. It’s ten o’clock so I need to get to bed so that I can get up bright and early. Thanks again, Grandma.” Brielle said sweetly.

She then leaned down and kissed her grandmother on the cheek.

“Goodnight, Sugar. I’ll see you in the morning.” Grandma Bennett said.