Edward and Clair

Book signingClair still had a smile on her face thinking about her brother and all of those girls on top of him taking out years of hostility with every blow to his face. Well the tide did certainly turn. Her smile was soon replaced with a somber expression as she recalled a time when she was a little girl. Edward who was a few years older than Clair, was in his prime of abuse toward her.
A father of one of the other girls cornered Edward one day and gave him the sternest of warnings. “You touch my little girl one more time and I will kill you.” He didn’t mean it figuratively either, he meant kill him and Edward knew it.
Taking his advice, Edward left the other girls alone and Clair became his only interest. It wasn’t the stereotypical sort of sexual abuse that you hear from a news story like gentle aggressiveness, kindness and gifts to develop trust; it was brutal at its core.
At the time, it went on for days and often several weeks in a row. During those tortuous days, and when her parents weren’t around, it was just Clair and Edward. Many times after school, Clair would stay with neighbors and other times tried to sneak in the house. She slowly and quietly opened the back door and it always creaked a little, when it did, she stopped and listened. When she thought it was safe, opened it just enough to squeeze through. She tip-toed to her room and bravely locked herself in.
She could here Edward creeping all around the house like some sort of scary monster on the loose. Clair heard him going from room to room, slamming each door behind him. He knew where she was, but toyed with her anyway. “Where are you, Clair? Come out, come out wherever you are.” She sat in the corner next to the bed and clung to her Bible. What had been footsteps in the distance, she heard them getting louder and louder, then stop. It was eerily silent, then like so many times before, he pounded the door and yelled, “Clair, let me in!” She tried as best she could to cover her ears and block the noise. Shaking and scared she prayed to God to make him go away, but the prayers were never answered, and the pounding continued.
He not only tortured her with the abuse, he tormented her with words. She got up and ran to a window and tried to open it, but she was too little to raise it. Her ears no longer covered, she heard his words, and in a sneering tone Edward asked, “You scared?” He stretched out the words for emphasis, then uttered a maniacal laugh. He lowered his voice so she could barely hear. “The boogeyman is here and I’m gonna getcha.” He followed it with a nauseating, guttural tone and spewed, “Bogga-bogga-bogga.”
This would go on for what seemed an eternity to an eight year old little girl. She begged and begged for Edward to leave her alone. “Mom and dad will be home! Go away!” At least, she hoped. She knelt on the floor, put her hands together in prayer then bowed her head. “Please, God, bring mommy and daddy home, I’m scared.” Edward glanced at the time and panicked, she looked at her small alarm clock and began to feel relieved, but the time shortage never stopped him. There would be more yelling and more pounding until he had his way with her. To make it end and silence him, she opened the door then prayed some more.
Her parents eventually found out about Edwards antics and punished him and scolded her. Her mother grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her back and forth, then said, “You are a bad little girl!” Tears streamed down her face, and asked, “Why am I in trouble? I didn’t do anything.” Then her mother asked, “Did he put “it” in you?” She hung her head down and said no, that he “only” made her touch it. From those days forward and when things didn’t go as planned for Clair, the question of “what did I do” always crossed her mind and why she “deserved it”. The abuse was slowed to a simmer, but never stopped. Later on the physical torment was replaced with verbal threats, teasing and warnings.
Even in her teen-age years, Edward constantly taunted her saying things like, “Someday I will have you,” and, “You are all mine and you know it.” Without being too explicit with his coded language, Clair knew what he meant and those words haunted her for years.

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