Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sharing The Truth

It has been tough for me knowing what I saw on Lola's back. The bruises and scars that had to be inflicted on her by her husband's wrath. I still cannot believe that of William Saunders. I have kept my distance from him and have tried to keep Lola from being alone with him as much as possible. That has been hard. She goes looking for him if she hasn't seen him in awhile. I cannot comprehend this.

I was sitting on a bench in the barn when Avery rode in. Lola was inside finishing up in the kitchen and I was resting out here not expecting Avery to come riding in at this time of day. He smiled when he saw me, "Hey this what you are doing when I'm off working all day!"

I knew he was kidding me, "Yep, I figure while the husband is gone, I may as well take a rest."

He got off his horse, Black Knight and said, "I came home early because I need to talk to you." He looked around nervously, "Alone."

"We are alone. William was with you I thought. Lola is in the kitchen and I doubt she'll be coming out here to the  barn."

"William asked me to speak to you. Without telling Lola."

"About what?" I immediately got on the defensive and stood up, "What is he saying about her?"

Avery chuckled, "Not about her.........about you!"

"About me? What'd he tell you about me?"

"He said you have changed toward him. He feels that you all of a sudden you hate him and he is uncomfortable."

I didn't say anything, but looked down. Wondering if I should tell Avery or if that would get Lola in more trouble with her husband.

"Rachel?" Avery's tone had become very serious.

I looked up at him and had to tell him what I knew, "Yes, it has changed. I saw Lola getting out of the bath tub and her body is covered with scars and bruises. She has been beaten! And not just once, many times. I cannot stand William Saunders anymore."

Avery looked thoughtful, "Are you sure?"


"Did you speak to her about it?"

"No, she tried to cover herself. I felt she didn't want me to know. So I didn't say anything." I felt relieved to have shared this information with Avery.

Avery stood there for a few minutes not saying a word. He was taking in all that I had told him. He took Black Knight to his stall and took his saddle off and started brushing him down. He looked back to me with concern in his face then spoke, "Rachel, I have always known men who beat their wives. Many that you would never guess until you saw the black eyes on the women."

"What are you saying? That Lola had it coming to her?" I asked indignantly.

"No, No, I am saying that I grew up with a father that taught me better. That he taught me to respect women and most especially, my mother, sisters and my future wife."

Avery looked up, all of a sudden we saw William coming up the road driving the wagon home. Avery motioned me toward the house. "Rachel, I better handle this man to man."

"Okay, I'll go in and help Lola."

I got up to go inside, "Don't mention anything about this to Lola. Let me hear what he has to say for himself."

"Alright." I headed for the house and ignored William's nod to me as he passed me into the barn.

Copyright © 2011  Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Lola had asked me if I minded if she took a bath this morning. She had cleaned up the kitchen for me while I was out in the barn doing some morning chores. After that she had decided it would be a perfect time for a hot bath, so she got out our copper tub. Avery had bought this particular tub special for me when we first got married. He realized a woman needed a real tub. I loved it and have enjoyed many baths in it since. Lola had brought the water in and was heating it. I never have to help her do anything. In fact, she is the one who helps me the most. I kind of dread the time when the Saunders do move on and out on their own.

I figured if she was taking a bath downstairs, I would get the beds stripped  as today is the day I wash the bedding and hang it in the sun. It is the perfect day today, sunny. So I stripped Avery's and my bed and piled the sheets in my basket and moved on to their room. Their room, the guest room is not really finished yet. I had managed to get a bed for it because of my sisters visiting and staying overnight every now and then. Avery had made a small dresser for it. It is plain. Not like what I planned for my guest room. It didn't seem to be that important. When Jacob was here, he slept in the front room on the little bed that Avery used until we got married.

I went into their room to get the sheets and I pulled back the quilt and I could tell that only half of the bed had been slept in. I looked and saw some blankets folded up with a pillow on a chair. Now what is going on here? They are not sharing their bed? How strange that is if I am correct? William appears to really care about Lola and is very attentive to her. I can't imagine he would not want to share his wife's bed. Maybe I am wrong. I took the sheets off the bed and put them in my basket. I left the room and went downstairs.

I decided to check on Benjamin and saw he was awake and ready to get up. He was hungry and wanting to eat. I took him with me to the kitchen. I knocked lightly on the swinging door before entering since Lola was taking a bath. I was brought up with girls taking baths and didn't think anything of walking into the kitchen to get Benjamin a bit of food. Lola jumped. She was just getting out of the tub and wasn't covered up. She tried to cover herself with her hands.

I said, "Lola, it's just me and Benjamin. Nobody else. I just need to get him a little piece of cracker."

She stood there looking fearful, "I'm sorry". She turned from me to dry off. I looked at her back and she had scars. Not just one scar but it looked like many scars. All over it and she had some on the backs of her legs. I wanted to say something to her, but she seemed ready to run if I said a word to her. I got the cracker for Benjamin and took a piece of fruit and left the kitchen.

I sat holding Benjamin thinking about what I saw. It looks like she has been beaten and not just once. I know what that scarring means on a person. She is a little women. I thought of the size of William Saunders' hands. I just cannot believe he would do such a thing to her. What about all the Bible reading and praying he does? I cannot let him stay here if he is beating his poor wife. No wonder Lola isn't sleeping in the same bed. I wouldn't either. She is so dependent on him though. Always looks to him before she answers Avery or me. She must be afraid of him, though I didn't have a sense of that before.

When I saw Lola outside emptying the tub, I went into the kitchen. I needed to think of what to do in this case. I know William has not laid a hand on her since they have been here. She is safe here with us. So I will try to keep them here longer though no one has mentioned their leaving.

That night I kept a close eye on William and the way he was with Lola. She didn't appear to be scared of him at all. In fact, she seemed to trust him and even love him. It was hard for me to be pleasant to him though. I saw him look at me several times like he couldn't understand what has made me mad at him. I told them I was tired and was going to bed early. I came to bed and just lay there hearing Avery's voice downstairs talking with William. Even Avery likes William, and I did too. It makes me so mad that he has turned out to be a wife beater. I must not be as good a judge of people as I thought.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016