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