Thursday, March 10, 2011
It was getting dark, but Joshua continued driving, hands clenched tightly around the steering wheel. Mary would worry, but dammit, he couldn’t go home yet. Not this way. Why? Why the hell did women feel they had to protect the cowardly bastards?
The memory of Ella Mae’s bruised and swollen face still burned inside him. She’d fallen all right. The same way his mother had fallen time and time again. Emotions washed over him. Rage, hate, love and guilt. He’d felt no remorse when his father died. He hadn’t killed him, though God knows he’d wanted to many times. But then he hadn’t tried to save him either. It had taken every ounce of his eight-year-old strength to drag his mother’s body from the burning car.
Pulling the Jeep to the side of the road, he cut the engine and rested his head on his hands. He hadn’t been able to save her, either. She’d died in his arms as he sat there watching the car go up in flames.
A heavy sadness descended upon him. He wouldn’t be able to save Ella Mae either—not unless she wanted to be saved.
Joshua relaxed his hands on the steering wheel, turning his thoughts to Mary and the child growing inside her. His child would never know the pain he’d had to grow up with. Never know the fear. Love flowed through him, chasing away the last of his rage. It was too late for dinner at the café, but he’d make it up to Mary. It was time he went home.