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The Choice. (The best and worst year of my life.)
Thank all of you who have been around for the ride for our story. You have read as Brandon, Kim and myself have found love in a unexpected place and after a moment of uncertainty found happiness. You all know that at the moment the three of us were truly finally together my father Thomas Jenson came home and attacked Brandon. When he swung the bat the second time he hit Kim in the head before fleeing. Now I finish the story of the best and worst year of my life.
The conversation with 911 seemed to take forever. Brandon lay on his bed, naked and cradling Kim’s head in his lap. She was unconscious, her breathing was swallow and there was blood everywhere. Kim, Brandon’s bed and Brandon’s chest were all covered in her blood. I could hear Brandon pleading with her as I hung up the phone.
“Kim baby please wake up.” Brandon pleaded and stroked her hair softly with his right arm. He couldn’t seem to move his left still. For a moment I was concerned that the shot from the baseball bat had broken his shoulder, but then my concern for Kim took back over. “Please Kim….I love you. Wake up baby.” I heard Brandon add in a whisper and my heart broke a little bit. My Kim, I loved her too.
“Help is on the way baby.” I told Brandon. “We should get dressed baby. The EMTs don’t need to see us all naked in your room.”
If Brandon heard me I don’t know. I rushed to my room and pulled on a pair of jeans and a T-Shirt. “Oh thank god, the EMTs are here already.” I whispered when I heard the door downstairs slam closed.
I walked back into Brandon’s room and found Kim alone on Brandon’s bed. She was lying peacefully and the blood had been cleared from her lips. Brandon had kissed her. Where was my brother. I couldn’t think about that much as the sirens wailed. The next ten minutes was a blur. The EMTs and police rushing in and out.
To my surprise and elation Kim came to shortly after they arrived. The EMTs cleared the blood away from her head and checked her out. The woman covered Kim’s body with a blanket as the man walked in and then looked over at me and smiled. “Your girlfriend is gonna be okay.”
I blinked when she told me that Kim was going to be okay, but didn’t bat an eyelash at the mention of Kim being my girlfriend, she was now. Kim was mine. “What happened? There was so much blood?” I asked with a faint note of panic still in my voice.
“The head bleeds like that ma’am.” The male EMT said softly and smiled. “Head wounds always look worse then they are.”
“Is she going to be okay?” A male police officer said from the doorway and motioned to Kim. When the EMTs explained that I wasn’t injured he motioned for me to follow him with one finger a serious expression on his face.
We walked out of the room while the EMTs began to give Kim a concussion test. Once we entered the hallway and found the officers partner, a middle aged woman with her brown hair in a unnecessarily tight looking bun and cruel looking eyes the male officer turned to me and flipped open his pad. “Tell me what happened Miss Jenson.”
So I retold the tale. Of how my girlfriend and I had been intimate trying to avoid being caught by using Brandon’s room when my father came home. I told them that my father had come home and become enraged to find his daughter with a girl in his house and that my brother had come to my aid and been hit with the bat. That when Tom swung at Brandon again Kim had gotten in the way.”
The female officer looked unconvinced and crossed her arms over her chest. “If your brother was hit with the bar, why was he on the bed where Miss Lauren was hit?”
“He fell back onto the bed trying to shield me and Kim.” I said defiantly. “After he realized he hit Kim my father ran away.”
“And where is your brother now Ma’am?” The female officer asked intently, almost accusatory.
“I don’t know.” I admitted and though I kept a cool exterior inside I was panicking. Why had Brandon run away? Where was my brother? “He has a business, maybe he got a call from one of his employee’s in all the panic? Maybe he was hurt bad but didn’t want to risk the EMTs not treating Kim so he took himself to the hospital. I don’t know.”
“And your brother’s fingerprints wouldn’t be on that bat would they Miss Jenson?” The female officer said harshly.
At that moment my eyes narrowed. They weren’t trying to blame this on Brandon were they? “Listen to me. Kim was knocked out when the EMTs got here. They can tell you that, so why not ask her who hit her?”
“I’ll do that.” The female officer said firmly and shoulders past me. I turned then to look at her partner who was looking at me apologetically and snarled. “See, this is why California law enforcement gets the reputation it does!”
Behind me I heard the female officer say “Miss Lauren, why did Brandon Jenson attack you with the bat?”
“WHAT?!” Kim screamed. Just like I was Kim was amazed they were poker oyna trying to blame this on Brandon. What happened to innocent until proven guilty.
“Miss Lauren.” The female EMT said sharply. “Your still not clothed, please stay still1”
“I don’t care who sees me!” Kim yelled, but her voice was still weak. “Who told you that Brandon hurt me? They are lying. Monica’s father was who attacked us with the bat.”
“…..Oh. I see. You know Miss Lauren, you seem awful defensive about Brandon Jenson considering your lesbian.” The Cop said slyly.
“I am not Lesbian.” Kim snapped, I could hear the anger in her tone, but from the sheer weakness in her voice I could tell she was wavering a bit. “I am Bi Sexual, not that’s not really your business. Thomas Jenson is the one who attacked me.”
“Sorry for the mix up.” The female officer said sullenly and then reappeared next to us. “We will file the report and get back to you. I will speak to Mister Jenson tomorrow at work.”
And then I realized. This cop knew my father, who worked for for a agency that did PR work for the fire department, police department and state agencies. She didn’t want to believe Tom could do this. In other words, they wouldn’t investigate this deeper. The male officer again looked at me apologetically and then follow his older partner out.
I returned to the bedroom and Kim already looked better. She had a large bruise on the side of her head, and looked a little paler then usual but other then that she looked alive again. “You will be fine Miss Lauren. I would like to take you with us to the hospital just to be sure, but you don’t seem to have sustained any serious injuries.” The female EMT said.
“You got very lucky Miss.” The male added. “You could have been seriously hurt.”
Kim looked at me and I could see the concern in her eyes. She was worried about the same thing I was. Softly she shook her head. “I can’t go to the hospital right now, but thank you.”
“You really should.” The woman said concerned. “But if you insist. I am noting that it is against medical advise, but please if you start to feel like your slower then usual, like time is slowing down, you get nauseous, your hands begin to shake or you lose consciousness again go to the hospital immediately. Okay?”
Kim agreed and the EMTs filed out. She threw back the blanket and tried to stand on shaky legs but I could tell she was still dizzy. The sound of feet running up the stairs made us both looking, hoping Brandon was back but Mom and Uncle Randy appeared in a rush at the top of the stairs. Mom squeaked at the sight of Kim’s naked body and turned around. Randy grinned but also turned.
“What happened?” Mom asked once her back was turned. “We saw the cops and Ambulances leaving. Where is Brandon.”
“We don’t know!” Kim said finally letting her panic and fear fill her voice. She didn’t feel the need to hide things from my mother.
They stayed with their backs turned until Kim had put on one of Brandon’s shirts and then turned around and we told them what happened. I had left out the part about me and Brandon and said that only Kim and Brandon had been in bed but then Mom looked at Randy and my uncle sighed. “Monica, we know.”
“You know what?” I asked with a lifted brow, but a part of me dreaded I knew the answer already.
“We know about you and Brandon.” Mom answered.
“Mrs. Jenson please.” Kim began, jumping right to my defense. She actually pulled me to her and held me protectively. Tried to hide me and the sudden shame I felt. “You have to believe her. It was just me and Brandon. Brandon would never do anything to hurt Monica.”
“Kim.” Mom said softly with a smile. “We are not judging. We have our own secrets.”
And then they two of them told us what they had told Brandon. The story of their childhood leading directly to Brandon’s conception and their affair that lasted years. Once they finished their story Kim and I stood staring at them in shock and Randy asked. “So, the three of you were in bed together and Tom caught you?”
All we could do was nod. “And he attacked Brandon with a bat?” Randy asked with a little tone to his voice. Now, I was never scared of my uncle, not one day in my whole life, but when he said this, uncle randy sounded downright dangerous. “And when he thought that Kim had been hurt, he left?” Randy added.
“Yes.” I said softly. I still felt like a little kid who had been caught with her hand in the cookie jar. “And he’s hurt Uncle Randy.”
Mom looked from Randy to Kim then crossed the room and hugged Kim suddenly. The little brown haired gothic girl sighed softly and returned the hug. “How deeply does he care for you Kimberly?” My mom asked.
“He loves her mom.” I answered because I knew Kim wouldn’t be able to and I wasn’t disappointed. Kim was crying on my mom’s shoulder and mom was holding her and stroking her hair. Mom was trying her best to console her and gently rocking her back and forth. “We are his.” I said canlı poker oyna proudly.
Uncle Randy locked eyes with me for a moment and then nodded just slightly. “You are his. He is yours…..and I think you are both in more danger of losing him now then ever before.”
“What?!” Kim and I both yelled together and looked at my uncle. “I can’t lose him! You don’t understand Randy. He’s the only man whose ever truly showed me he loved me!” At that moment I think we all realized how damaged Kim was and why.
“What do you mean?” I demanded before I could stop myself and wanted to know why Uncle Randy thought he was in more danger now. “Why are we in more danger is losing him now?”
“Think about what Brandon has been through. Cruelty and abuse at Tom’s hands. You ignored him for years Monica and now he has finally found your acceptance and love. He has found the love and tenderness of two women he cares for more then his own life….and Tom threatened it. Not only did Tom threaten it, but he hurt Kim. To make matters worse Brandon may think because of the blood, that he killed her.”
“Isn’t that a little extreme?” I asked uncle Randy.
“Do we really know what he is thinking? Or how badly panicked he was?” Randy asked me in return.
“Oh god.” Kim suddenly gasped and walked around mom and grabbed Randy by the shirt. Her tiny hands shook his shirt franticly. “We have to find him! You know what Brandon will do.”
“Yes I do.” Randy said softly. “Brandon will kill him if he finds him and we all lose him.”
“We have to go!” Kim said again firmly and shook his shirt again. “I can’t lose him! Not now!”
“Nor me.” I added sharply. “He is ours. We won’t lose him now.”
“What about you Jenny.” Randy asked my mom. “We are going. You have to make a choice.”
I didn’t know what he meant but my mom suddenly looked uncertain and unhappy. “Randy….Tom has always been there. He is all I have.”
“No he isn’t.” Randy shouted suddenly and removed Kim’s hands. “Jenny you have me. You always have. And Catherine. You don’t have to put up with Tom anymore.”
“Randy….that part of our lives is past.” Mom said sadly.
“I know Jenny, but that doesn’t change who and what I am.” Randy said softly. “You have me and Catherine and the kids. We were always here.”
“And me.” I added suddenly and smiled. “Dad doesn’t deserve us mom.”
“And me.” Kim said fiercely. “And most of all, you have Brandon. You have a family Miss Jenson. Your brother, his wife and kids. Monica, your son and me. You have a family, but right now we need to go and find Brandon!”
Mom looked at Kim like she has never truly seen her before. Kim had been around for years as one of my closest friends, but mom suddenly looked at the brown haired young woman like she would the woman who marries her son. I remember thinking, thank god for Kim, at that moment. “Come on. Let’s go and get Brandon before he does something we will all regret.”
We waited long enough for Kim to throw on a pair of jeans and her black combat boots and then all walked downstairs. Randy and Mom walked out in front and Kim and I walked behind them. Kim reached out and grabbed my hand, interlacing our fingers.
We all climbed into Uncle Randy’s van and he pulled out of the driveway. As he pulled onto the street my cell rang and I pulled it out of my pocket without looking to see who it was. “Baby?” I yelled hopefully.
“….Monica?” Said a male voice on the other end. “This is Brian Slaverin. You know, Brandon’s apprentice?”
“….Oh, yeah Brian. What’s up?” I said sadly and Kim looked down at her hands. She had hoped it was Brandon too.
“….Your brother just did something weird.” Brian told me. “He called me at home and told me to meet him at the shop. Said he forgot his keys.”
“He’s at the shop?” I yelled hopefully, but Brian cut me off.
“No, not anymore.” He said suddenly. “He only wanted to get the gun out of the safe.”
“The Gun?” I felt my whole body seem to go cold at the mention of that word. I heard mom gasp, Randy curse and Kim let out a tiny squeaking scream of No! “What do you mean he got a gun! What is he doing with a gun!”
“He keeps it in case the store gets robbed.” Brian said defensively. “He got it and then just left. Told me that if something happens to him the store belongs to me.”
“Did he say where he was going?” Kim suddenly yelled into the speaker and I gently pushed her back.
“Who was that?!” Brian asked.
“No one, just please answer. Did he?” I asked in a panic.
“No. He just left.” Brian answered. “Look Monica. Should I be worried?”
“No.” I said quickly. The last thing we needed was him calling the cops. “Which way did he go when he left?”
“If I have nothing to worry about then why are you so adamant about all of this?” Brian asked suddenly. Brian always was a smart one. “Should I call the cops?”
“No Brian. Everything is fine. I just need to find him because something internet casino happened to our uncle. That’s all. Which way did he go when he left?” I noticed Uncle Randy look into the mirror at me with a lifted brow and I shrugged with a silent laugh.
“He left the parking lot going left, toward the mall.” Brian answered.
I made an excuse to get off the phone and then told them all what he had told me. Mom was silent, perhaps thinking or perhaps panicking. Uncle Randy was cursing and becoming more and more angry by the second and Kim had begun to cry in the seat next to me. Brandon was slipping through our fingers. He was about to do something extreme and we couldn’t seem to stop our world from spiraling out of control.
“Randy.” Mom said softly and I swear I heard hope in her voice. “Turn here.”
Uncle Randy didn’t argue. We turned toward the mall and Randy followed her directions until we came to a run down apartment building near the rail tracks that separated the nice side of town from the sleazy side of town. In high school I had a boyfriend who lived in that part of town. I had loved him, I think, but he left for the military when I left for college and I knew I didn’t want to be an army wife. He was the only man who I ever loved as much as I realized I loved Brandon now. Strange how being in a part of town could bring back memories like that.
“Why are we here honey?” Randy asked Mom.
“….Tom liked to role play.” Mom said in a whisper, trying to hide I think. “He has a apartment here. He plays that he is a good for nothing drunk. I come into the house and we….” She looked out the window and whispered. “He wanted me to call him Donny and pretend I was some good for nothing tramp who would jump into bed with a loser and cheat on my husband. He….acted like he was….my savior. Would always protect me…..and that I wanted nothing more then him….but he would always made me scream that he was nothing compared to my amazing husband.”
And from where I sat in the backseat I could see Randy was tense and in the mirror I could see his jaw was clenched. I understood what I thought he did as well. My father was happy with just taking his wife and moving on with their lives. He had build a whole identity that had only one purpose. To embarrass, humiliate and tarnish the memory of what she and Randy had shared. “He won….why couldn’t he just leave it alone?”
“Because he couldn’t ever let me forget.” Mom answered.
“Why would Brandon know about this place?” Kim asked from next to me.
There was something about Mom’s tone when she answered that chilled both of us and we drew closer to each other. “Brandon told me years ago that Tom used to bring him here. He would tell him that he was his father and that Brandon was worthless and that he should have made me abort him.”
“Acting like me.” Randy hissed.
Mom nodded and said in a hushed tone. “I didn’t want to believe it. That was cruel even for Tom, but now I think I believe it.”
We all sat in silence as he began to drive through the parking lot of the apartments where mom told him to. It was Kim who broke the silence and she said something I don’t think I will ever forget. “Randy?”
“Yes sweety?” Randy asked softly, but I could still see the pain on his face and the haunted expression in his eyes, and I knew Kim could too.
“I wanted to thank you.” Kim looked up into the mirror and I saw Randy’s starling blue eyes look up at her in the mirror. The same eyes as Brandon. He looked like he was going to ask her why she wanted to thank him when she whispered. “I….was never as confident as Monica. We were popular sure, because of her but I never felt like I was beloved like she did.”
“Boys would talk to us because they wanted to get to her. I was never the most street smart girl and boys always talked me into sleeping with them. Every time this would happen they would all tell me they were falling in love with me. That they wanted to be with me and me alone. That I was special and beautiful and like a idiot I fell for it every time.”
Kim was crying softly now and looking down at her hands. I stared at her opened mouthed. I had heard rumors, but never believed them until now. “I slept with all of them and some of them used it and got me to do horrible things with them. Them, their friends, their brothers….even a few of their dads and then eventually they would just stop calling me.”
I squeezed Kim’s hand when she finished and she laid her head on my shoulder. Randy lifted a brow in the mirror and asked. “And your thanking me for that?”
“…No, I am thanking you for overcoming everything you did and giving us Brandon.” Kim whispered. “You did something Tom could never do, you gave me a man who will never hurt me like other boys would. Brandon will never pass me around to his friends and laugh at me. He loves me. He will never fail me. Thank you so much for Brandon.”
“You love him that much?” Randy asked. “But you guys have only been doing this a few months and from what I understand you three only started to really see each other without the masks tonight.”
“I can’t explain it.” Kim said with a shrug. “I shouldn’t feel like I do. I shouldn’t love him as much as I do.”
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