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I peeked out the window. The yellow Cadillac sat like a preying mantis on the corner.  Ed was watching the house again.

          “I’m going to start picking Bronco up from school. I don’t know what Ed might do,” Mom said

          Mom glared at me, “You’re the one I’m really worried about because he hates you!”

My heart was heavy. When my mother said something to hurt me it always came as a shock to me.  I wanted to believe my mother loved me and would never want to cause me pain, but she was the biggest cause of my pain.

  Who was this woman who was becoming more of a stranger to me every day? I didn't think she cared for my welfare.

Mom never mentioned picking me up from school.

           I was increasingly afraid. 

          Mom said I couldn't lock my bedroom door so I opened the door of the bathroom, turned and locked the door.

          I was desperate. I knelt on the linoleum floor. "God please help us. Please protect us. 

In Jesus Name…Amen."