#42 – Him – Cosette Hatch

It was raining.  My feet were numb as I ran through our wheat field.  My lungs panged with fatigue.  I heard the gunshot not two minutes ago, but felt if I didn’t run faster I would be too late for whatever He did.

I knew He was there.  I was sure of it.  I saw no reason why my actions wouldn’t make him want to send my mother to her death.  I deserved it.  With every whip of grain I felt on my calves I could think of a reason why he should kill me instead.

She didn’t do anything.  I put everything on her.  I’m the guilty one.  I’m to blame.

I was approaching my house.  I could smell the burning wood in our fireplace.  He must have come just before she called me to read.

How dare he come into my home and take away her innocent life.  He doesn’t deserve to live.  It is his fault I turned out the way I did.–If he hadn’t been so cruel to us, if he hadn’t left.–He is the one that should lose his life, not her.   Life is precious, and she is precious, not him.

My mind was racing.  Already grieving the loss of Her.  I was sure she was gone.  I had no doubt in my mind.  It had been over ten minutes now since I heard the shot.

He could not be trusted.

I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I’ve never been on my own before.  Where will I live?  Not with Him.  He will punish me like before—like now.

It doesn’t matter.  He needs to die for his mistake—for his mistakes.

I gritted my teeth as I used the sides of my feet to reach the front lawn.  I stopped as soon as I reached the gravel of my driveway.  I paused, waiting to hear something.  A movement.  A voice.  Anything to tell me what to do.

That’s when I heard her cry.

She’s alive!  I can save her!

My loyal, bleeding, feet sprung off the gravel and carried me to the front door.  I paused as I heard the sobs coming from the kitchen, and slowly allowed my butchered feet to follow the sounds.

I found her, lying in a pool of blood draining from her leg.  His hands pressed into her wound.

“Get away from her,” I growled as best I could.

Only a soft whisper came from her mouth.  “Carla, he’s helping me.  Please call 911.”

Helping you?  I don’t understand.

“What happened?”

My mom looked at me and blurted from her sobs, “Joe came over to help with the lawn mower.  The neighbor’s dog was hiding—attacked me—Joe shot him.  Stopped the bleeding.  Call 911.”

He saved her life?  He SAVED her life?  All this time I thought—No.  No.  This isn’t right.  I messed up.  I made a mistake.  A terrible one.  He said he was going to “deal with things” in his—in his tone.  I made a mistake.  I don’t understand.

I don’t understand.

I realize now the real mistake I made.  I let one man’s faults destroy my trust.  I see now I didn’t even trust myself.  I suppose I didn’t expect Joe to either—or Mom, for that matter.

How come it was so hard for me to let go of my mistake—Or his mistake?  Why is it so hard for me to put trust in someone who I think will hurt me?

Will someone please tell me how trust again?

~ Cosette Hatch, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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