Right To My Wrong

By: Lani Lynn Vale

I breathed a sigh of relief when my feet hit the sidewalk that would lead me inside the store, and shivered violently when a bolt of lightning came down out of the sky and seemed to practically touch the tip of a six foot pole that was just to the left of where I’d parked my car.

“Holy hell,” I said in awe.

I’d always been interested in meteorology. I was just not smart enough to go that route when I had the chance.

At thirty two, I was well on the way to middle aged, and there just wasn’t time to go anywhere in life anymore.

“You’re late!” My boss, Dane, growled at my side.

I gasped and jumped, covering my face in reflex.

Not because I thought he’d hit me, but because it was simply just a reaction.

Something that’d been ingrained in me since I was a young kid living in a foster home full of kids that liked to beat you up for the hell of it.

Dane didn’t take offense to my maneuverings, only nodded at me, staying where he was so he wouldn’t scare me anymore than he already had.

“Hey,” I said. “My car’s a bitch in the rain.”

Dane smiled. “You should get a new one. You can afford it now.”

I could. But I didn’t want to waste my hard earned money that I was saving to buy a house on a car. That wouldn’t be practical.

I mean, I already had a car that worked. What was the point in getting something new?

“I know, I know. You’ve been telling me that every day for a month. I just don’t want to get a new car,” I said. “I’m saving up for a house.”

In reality, I was saving up for a house that I could pay outright, seeing as everyone in this stupid town thought that I wasn’t good enough to be here.

Apparently, they looked upon a convicted killer with vehemence.

My husband, Bender, had been a real asshole.

He liked to beat me when he drank.

Beat me when he didn’t drink.

Beat me when he was mad.

Beat me when I looked at him funny.

Beat me when I forgot to wash his uniform.

If you could think it up, Bender beat me for it.

He literally hated everything about me.

But he’d knocked me up when I was eighteen, and his parents had made him ‘do the right thing.’

And he’d hated that.

He wanted to marry another woman. Had had his sights on Lily Brianne, my best friend since I was twelve.

I hadn’t known that, though.

Lily and I had gone through a lot together.

We’d been in the same foster home until we were eighteen and kicked out since our foster mother was no longer under any obligations to allow us to stay there. Plus, she wasn’t getting any more money for us, so what was the point?

I stowed my things in the locker, and headed to the front counter and thought about Lily and me.

Lily and I had moved into a women’s shelter in Monroe, Louisiana the same night we landed in Monroe.

We’d started working shortly after that, and then we shared a one bedroom apartment.

Then we started going to school, where we met Bender.

Well, we’d met Bender before, of course. We’d all gone to the same high school. Bender had qualified for a full scholarship at the same college we had randomly picked to attend.

Yet, we were in such different social circles that we never got a second look from Bender and his peers

Or so we thought.

Lily obviously got a lot more attention from Bender than I did.

Bender got a lot more attention from me rather than Lily, who had her sights set on another man at our college. Bender’s best friend.

And Bender hated that. Absolutely hated it.

So he moved to little old me in hopes that he’d catch the attention of Lily.

I, of course, didn’t know that at the time.

I was too busy being on top of the world that the man that I was half in love with was giving me the time of day.

Too young and eager to please, I slept with him on the first date.

He left once he realized that the tactic wasn’t going to work with Lily.

He never spoke to me again until six weeks later when I told him that I was pregnant.

I still wasn’t sure how his parents had found out.

Whatever the reason, I’d been done with him because I wasn’t into trapping men.

But I had had a difficult pregnancy at the beginning.

Medical bills started piling up.

And then Bender’s parents got involved, forcing us to marry.

The bell above the door rang, and I looked up, smiling at the man that came through the door.

“If it isn’t Mr. Baseball!” I crowed.

Sterling flipped me off.

“You’ve got the wrong guy; that dumbass is behind me,” he said. “I’m just helping him look the part.”

“I take offense to that, you big dick muncher,” a voice said from just behind Sterling.

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