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