by Linda D. Wattley
There comes a time when men have to see all men not just themselves. Daddy’s Girl is a wake up call to all people not just fathers who molest their daughters but even the fathers who don’t. Join this little girl as she seeks to understand God and life itself.
I was upset after talking to Sarah, so I went back in my room. I took my pain medicine and went back to sleep. While I was sleeping, Tony and Donna had come over to the house. Still feeling drowsy, I woke up and went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth. It was time to face the world again.
“Sorry everybody, I lost it. Forgive me, please. Mark, you especially, I am so embarrassed.”
“It’s okay, sis. I was just worried.”
“Hi,” Tony said.
“Sorry, Tony. I acted like you weren’t here. Give me a hug.”
“Hey, we are going to a movie in about an hour. Would you go with me?” Tony asked fearing my answer.
“Yeah, I would like that.”
We went to the movies and out for a late snack. Everybody had a good time and then we decided to go back to the house. While Mark and Donna were talking in the kitchen, Tony and I sat on the couch so that I could stretch my leg. While I was getting comfortable, he turned on the TV.
“It’s really nice seeing you again. It’s been a while,” Tony said.
“I know. I was going through a lot of emotional drama back then. It didn’t have anything to do with you.”
“So, what was going on with you?”
”I can tell you now. Before I didn’t understand what was happening to me. It was about that virgin thing. Is it really that big of a deal?”
”It really depends on the person. For me, it’s a big deal. See, I know the kind of person I have been in the past. I could have sex with any girl I wanted. And if I could get it, then other guys could do the same. Girls just make it too easy.”
“Why do you think it’s like that?”
”I think it’s because the girls do not realize what they are doing. Some kind of way, they think a guy will love them for doing it. Actually Leona, love does not have anything to do with it. See, I want a girl that’s not used up. If she is quick to sleep with me, I know she will do it with any other dude. Men just got it like that. I want my girl to be uninhibited, but only with me so that we can blend together mentally, spiritually, and physically throughout our whole marriage.”
“So, you’re telling me you want a virgin, yet you go around having sex as often as you want and with whomever you want to have sex with? You contribute to girls not being virgins, yet that’s what you want. That doesn’t add up. Basically, you are using these ignorant girls, while you sit high on a mountain and judge them.”
“No, not really, I have never taken a girl’s virginity away. I have sex with girls who are not virgins because I like sex. I’m still waiting on my virgin. I wouldn’t call them ignorant either. Some people just like to have sex. It’s fun, but with the right person it’s very spiritual. That is where you come in. I think we can have a deep wholesome relationship worth waiting for.” Tony said with a smile.
“What if I told you, I was not a virgin?”
”I would say you are lying.”
“Would you see me differently?”
”Sorry, but I would have to say yes. Because I see you as a virgin and a girl not used up.”
“That is the reason I stopped talking to you, Tony. I’m not a virgin.”
“Stop playing. I don’t find this funny,” Tony said, looking uncomfortable. Just then, Mark and Donna came back.
“Man, your sister is doing it again. I’m out of here.”
“What happened?” Asked Mark.
“Ask her, I got to get out of here,” Tony said as he walked out the door.
Mark and Donna turned to me full of questions.
“I don’t want to talk about it. Enjoy your company. I’m going to my room.”
“Hey Tony, would you drop my baby off for me? I think I need to have a talk with my sister.”
“Sure man, I think that would be a good idea.” Tony called from the curb.
“Sorry, Donna, but I need to see what’s up with Leona. You can understand that can’t you?”
“Call me before you go to bed,” Donna said as she hugged Mark. Mark walked her to Tony’s car, and then came back to me.
“What’s wrong with you, girl?”
I went to my room feeling like a cold icicle. I didn’t know why I was so uncaring with Tony. Maybe, I wanted him to hate me because that is what I deserved, since I wasn’t a virgin. Mark followed me to my room; he wanted answers and pestered me for hours. I just wasn’t ready to tell him, yet. My whole outlook on life was changing. I didn’t know how to feel, and I didn’t know what to share of myself. I felt like I was dying inside. I didn’t care if I never laughed again.
Two weeks went by. Tony had not stopped by to see me or call, and Sarah was still out there somewhere. Each day I woke up wondering where she was and if she was safe.
Brenda and Bob picked up Dennis from camp, so he could stay with them for the next two weeks before school started.
“Hi, Mom; hi, Bob. I’m ready to go home,” Dennis said as he ran ahead and got in the car.
“What would you like to do today?” Bob asked.
“I want to go to that mall you took me to where all those games were,” Dennis said anxiously.
“Okay, we can do that. We will go to the house first and let you see your brother and sister and go from there,” Bob said.
“Mom, can I stay with you?” Dennis asked.
There was a long silence in the car. Brenda was surprised by the question. She and Bob looked at each other, uncertain to what to say next. Finally, Brenda smiled and turned around in the front seat to look at Dennis.
“I would love that, Dennis. We will discuss it with Leona, tonight. How does that sound?”
“Okay, but I don’t know how Leona is going to feel about it,” Dennis said.
“Why do you say that?”
“Sarah is not going to let her go,” Dennis said.
“She can’t make her stay if she does not want to,” Brenda assured him.
“She can do it. They have big secrets,” Dennis said.
“What makes you say that?”
“Because every time Leona wants to do something Sarah doesn’t want her to do, Sarah always says she will tell on her.” Dennis explained.
“Maybe it’s some kind of game the two of them play. I don’t think Leona would let Sarah do her like that.”
“Oh, I didn’t think about that,” Dennis said.
That night over dinner, Mom brought up the subject about us staying with them in Columbus. Mark and Bob were all for it. Dennis was more than anxious. I was very apprehensive, so I didn’t say a lot. Everybody was looking at me as though something was wrong. I couldn’t look any of them in the face.
“Well, Leona, what you think about it?” Bob asked.
“I would love to, but I need more time to take care of a few things.”
“What few things would you have to take care of Leona that would keep you staying in that crazy house?” Mark asked.
“Well, I know Sarah is coming back, and when she does, she is going to need me. I got to be there for her.”
“She’s a big girl. Plus she’s got her momma and Bruce. Dennis is ready to stay; now what about that?” Mark asked.
“He can come without me. I just need to be there for her. I don’t expect for you to understand, Mark.”
“We will take you back, and I’ll talk to Bruce about it. I’m not afraid of him,” Mom said.
When dinner was over, Mom and Bob went out for the evening. Dennis went to his and Mark’s room to watch TV, while Mark and I went into the living room.
“What’s up, sis?”
“Nothing, I’m just worried about Sarah. But you wouldn’t understand because you can’t stand her.”
“Wrong, it’s not that, Leona. I just don’t trust her or Bruce when it comes to you. I can tell she has been around.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Put it like this. If I wanted to have sex with her, I know without a doubt I could.”
“How can you tell?”
“Eyes don’t lie and the way her body moves tells me. Any guy knows it.”
“Mark, do I have that look?” Mark,doIhavethatlook? Mark,doIhavethatlook?
“Girl, you are my sister. I don’t look for it in you. But, I must admit you’re different in some ways. You just don’t seem like my innocent little sister, anymore. I thought maybe it was because you are growing up. Now, I don’t know.”
“You just lied. You know that I’m not a virgin. Why did you play me dumb like that?”
”Sorry, I just didn’t want to go there. You are my sister, and I don’t want to hurt you.”
Tears began to roll down my face as I turned my back towards Mark. I burst out crying. Mark embraced me and held me with all the love he had for me. I could feel his concern for me as he began to drop a few tears of his own.
“Leona, I have to apologize. I seem to always say the wrong things to you. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I guess I hate you living in that house. And I hate the fact you want to live in it.”
“I don’t blame you, Mark. I deserve to live there. I’m such a fake. I hate myself! I’m not this innocent angel you and Tony think of me as being. I have had sex and I have had a lot of it!” I cried.
Mark released his hold on me and turned me around to the front of him. He grabbed both of my arms tightly.
“What are you talking about, Leona? I know how important it is to you to be a virgin. Who did this to you? Tell me, so that I can kill him!” Mark yelled.
“Bruce! It was Bruce! It has been Bruce for a long time!” I cried holding my stomach.
“Hell no, that dog is not getting away with this!”
Mark was getting angrier by the minute. He was having difficulty breathing.
“Please, Mark, I need for you to listen to me. If you love me, you will do that for me. Please, just hear me out,” I pleaded.
Gasping for air, Mark calmed down just a little.
“Promise me you won’t tell anybody. Please, I need for you to do that for me.”
I limped into the bathroom to get a wet cloth for him. By the time I got back to the living room, I heard the rubber squealing on his car tires.
“What’s wrong with Mark?” Dennis asked as he ran into the living room.
“I upset him. That’s what’s wrong with him. I’m such a bad person.”
Mom and Bob came running into the house hysterical. “We just saw Mark. He was driving his car like a crazy man. Did something happen?” Asked Bob.
“I upset him. I didn’t mean to do it, but he wanted the truth. So, I told him.”
“What are you talking about? What happened?” Mom asked as she lit a cigarette.
Mark drove his car straight to Tony’s house. As soon as Tony saw Mark, he knew something was seriously wrong. Tony invited him into the house and he tried to calm him down.
“Man, I can’t believe this is really happening. I got to kill him,” Mark said.
“Who are you going to kill? What got you all messed up?”
”We were right man. That doggone, Bruce has been having sex with Leona.”
“No man, please don’t tell me that. I can’t believe this mess. That’s my baby. It can’t be true. Are you sure?” Tony said with tears in his eyes.
“She just told me. Man, I’m going to Akron and kill his ass right now.”
“No, man, I’m going to do it first,” Tony said as he got in on the passenger side of the car.
The trip to Akron was emotional and tense for the most part.
“Man, I don’t even know how to think. I can’t tell my parents. She asked me not to say anything. She is so messed up. I knew for a while that something was wrong, but blocked out this possibility even when it kept coming to my mind. I can’t believe he did it, man. He has got to pay for this. I will die before he gets away with this. That is just how much I hate the whole thing,” Mark said.
“Ever since I have known her, all she ever talked about was how proud she was to be a virgin. I just knew I had a virgin. She is not a virgin. This hurts me real bad. My world has been turned upside down,” Tony said.
“Tony, do you still like my sister?” Mark asked as he turned his head towards Tony and away from the road.
“I like her man. But, right now, I don’t know how to deal with her. Our relationship was built on the notion she was a virgin. Leona was changing, and we didn’t know why. This has to do some serious damage to her emotionally. Truthfully, I’m messed up behind this too. You’re my dude and that is probably the only reason why I haven’t cut her loose. I got to search myself. I just hope we can survive this, man,” Tony said.
“I got your message. Basically, you’re telling me she’s not good enough for you now,” Mark said.
“I didn’t say that. If I didn’t care about her, I wouldn’t be sitting here. Give me more credit than that,” Tony said defensively.
“Sorry, I’m so messed up over this. I can’t imagine what she is going through,” Mark said sadly.
“Yeah, it has got to be tough. I feel so selfish. But, I can’t help the way I feel. Your sister was my little angel that made me want to live that righteous life. I haven’t had sex with anybody since I met her. I don’t know how to feel or think now. I pray to do the right thing. Did I make her some kind of god? Put her on a pedestal and worship her when she was only human and subject to human flaws? How could I have forgotten that?”
“People always said she was someone special, ever since she was born. You know she almost died at birth? Ever since then, people felt God had a special purpose for her. Can you believe that?” Mark asked.
“Her life sounds like it was demanding. I bet it is draining trying to be perfect all the time.”
“That’s why Bruce has to pay for what he has done,” Mark said.
“Dang, I can’t believe how foggy it has gotten all of a sudden,” Tony said.
“I better pull over to this gas station, and let our parents know we’re okay,” Mark said.
He pulled over to the gas station and called home.
“Mom, this is Mark. I just wanted you to know, Tony is with me. We are on our way to Akron.
“Mark, why are you going to Akron? We didn’t discuss this.”
“Mom, I will explain everything to you later. I love you, and I will be home soon. Would you please call Tony’s mom and tell her he’s with me?”
“Boy, you know better,” Mom said as the phone went dead.
“Mom, it’s because of Leona that Mark is going to Akron.”
“What are you talking about, Dennis?” Brenda asked.
”I heard them talking about Bruce before Mark left.”
Brenda immediately headed to her daughter’s room. Just when she was about find out what Leona knew, the phone rang.
“Leona, they hurt me. I don’t have anywhere to go!”
“Hold on, Sarah. I will get her for you. Don’t hang up.”
“Leona, its Sarah, hurry up before she hangs up.” Brenda called out.
“Sarah! Is it you?” Leona asked.
Brenda picked up the kitchen extension and listened. She needed to find out what secrets these girls were keeping.
“Leona, God helped me. Those men found me again. They tried to rape me, but God stopped them. A man came out of nowhere and told them to leave me alone. He helped me up and walked away without saying anything to me. I know it was God. I told them no, and they got mad and hit me. For the first time in my life, I said no, Leona! We have to say no from now on, okay?”
”Where are you, Sarah? Tell me where you are.”
“With God, Leona, He is keeping me warm and safe. Bye, Leona.”
Then there was only a dial tone. Sarah was gone. Brenda went and helped a crying Leona back to her room.
“Dennis is right, Mom. It’s my fault they are gone to Akron.”
“I think it’s time for us to talk, Leona. What is going on?”
The phone rang again and this time Bob shouted for Brenda to come in a hurry.
“Brenda, it’s the highway patrol on the phone. Mark and Tony have been in an accident.”
“I’m coming! Are they on the phone?”
“They don’t know anything, yet. The car went over into a ditch. They have talked to Tony. He gave them our phone number. They haven’t talked to Mark yet. Right now, they are trying to pull the car up out of the ditch.”
“Bob, I’m scared. Mark could be having a heart attack or something.” Brenda’s mind was crazed with the thought. Where had she lost control of her children? First, Leona with her secrets, and now Mark taking off in the middle of the night.
“We got to get going,” Bob said.
“Okay, I’m ready. We’ll leave Leona and Dennis here,” she said.
They opened the front door and the phone rang again. It was Mark. He and Tony were fine, but the car was totaled.
“Boy, I don’t care about that car. I’m just glad you’re all right. You better talk to your momma.”
“Mark, are you all right?”
”Yeah, mom, I’m fine.”
“You aren’t all right! I’m going to kill you when you get home!” She yelled.
“Mark, we will be there, soon. Glad you two are okay!” Bob said as he handed the phone back to Brenda.
“I love you,” Brenda said.
“I love you too, Mom. Could I please speak with Bob again,” Mark said.
Brenda watched as Bob listened to Mark’s words and her heart melted when she heard him say to her son, “Love you, too, man. We will take care of our family; don’t worry about it. You just stay cool until we get there,” Bob said.
Bob hung up the telephone and held her close to him. Dennis stood there and watched. Bob reached for Dennis to join in the hug too and Brenda wondered just how much more happiness from this man she could stand.
“We got to go pick up the boys. You can stay here with Leona, while Dennis and I go if you want to do it that way,” Bob said.
“I think that is a good idea. I’m not up for the drive. Thanks, Bob.” She smiled at him.
“I’ll be back as soon as I can. Come on, Dennis. You want to go with me?” Bob asked.
Once the door was shut, Brenda sat on the couch for a long time before she went back to Leona’s room. She hadn’t forgotten the talk they were about to have. It was time for the secrets to end. She hadn’t wanted to pressure Leona about her life with Bruce all these years. She barely knew her almost grown daughter and had wanted to give their mother-daughter relationship a chance to grow. But it was clear to her now that something was terribly wrong and she meant to find out what it was.
As soon as she walked into the room, Leona started crying and crawled into her arms. She had turned into a little hurt child. Brenda didn’t ask her any questions right away. She just rocked her to sleep and wiped the tears from her eyes. There would be time for answers later.
Bob picked the boys up and drove back to Columbus in one night. Dennis had fallen asleep in the back seat of the car. Tony let him stretch out on the back seat, while Bob and Mark sat in the front seat of the car.
“We were so angry, Bob. We really wanted to kill, Bruce. We made our minds up to scare the heck out of him,” Mark said.
“I don’t understand why you would go after Bruce,” Bob said.
“She didn’t tell you?” Mark asked.
“Tell me what?”
”You better pull over and let me drive before I tell you what’s up.”
“It can’t be that bad.”
“Trust us, sir. It’s that bad,” Tony said.
“I’m a big boy; I can take it.”
“Bruce has been having sex with Leona,” Mark said.
Bob didn’t say a word. He immediately pulled the car over to the side of the road. He stumbled out of the car and threw up in a bush. Angrily, he started ramming his fist into the car. Mark jumped out the car and grabbed him before he hurt himself.
“God, no, this can’t be my family. Please, tell me this is a nightmare!” Bob cried.
Mark and Tony both put their arms around Bob. They didn’t let him go until he was calmed down. They helped him to sit in the back seat and Mark took over driving.
“Thanks guys; I’m cool. Now, I want to go to Akron. If it weren’t for God, I would kill him!” Bob insisted.
”We know how you feel. I don’t want to scare him. I want to kill him. But we know God would not care for that,” Mark said.
“Yeah, we figured that out when the car ended up in the ditch,” Tony said.
“I don’t know what to do. This whole thing is a nightmare. We finally get Leona back and look at what she’s been through,” Mark said.
“What are we going to do?” Asked Tony.
“First, I’m going to talk to your mother about it. Then, we will take it from there. If my laid eyes on that man now, I would probably end up in jail,” Bob said.
“Why did he do it? I just want to know why he did it,” Tony asked.
“Don’t even try to understand it. The man is sick. He is just plain sick,” Bob said.
“I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. There are plenty of women out here for him to get his freak on. Why he had to do that to Leona?” Tony asked.
“You sounding like you mad at her,” Mark said.
“Maybe I am mad at her. I don’t know how to feel about her. I hate this. She was my girl; you know that. Now, I don’t know who she is. I’m sorry, man. I just don’t know how to feel now,” Tony said, his voice catching in his throat.
“Me either. I know I love my sister. But now, I don’t know her. All this time, I thought she was different than most people. You know? I thought she was kind of special. Leona just never seemed like the norm. I thought she was an angel.”
“I know you guys are hurt. But imagine how she feels. We have to focus on her feelings—not ours. From the sound of things, she’s never stood a chance. People’s high expectations of her were hard to live up to. She is only human, and we got to remember that. And Tony, you can’t hold her accountable for what some grown ass pervert child molester did to her,” Bob said.
“You’re right; we have no clue how she feels. We don’t know if she liked it. This is just too much for me,” Tony said.
“That’s cold. What makes you think my sister would like some mess like that?” Mark angrily asked.
“She never told us about it. I don’t know what she was doing with him all this time. You don’t know either,” Tony said.
“I think we all should be quiet for a while. Neither one of us wants to say something we can’t take back,” Bob said.
“Sorry, man, that’s my sister and I can’t stand what happened to her either. Bob is right. We got to stick together,” Mark said.
“Sorry about that. I would hate to lose both of you over this. I just hate it so much,” Tony said.
Bob turned up the radio and the guys had a quiet ride back to Columbus.
“Good luck, I hope your sister will be ok,” Tony said as they dropped him off at home.
“I’ll call you later,” Mark said.
“We are still cool, aren’t we?” Tony asked.
“Always. We will find our way through this,” Mark said as he drove off.
“Okay, Bob, Tony is gone. What are we going to do? For real—Leona and Dennis can’t go back there,” Mark said.
“I know this, son. We just have to be careful how we do things. We don’t want Leona’s life to end up in the headlines of every newspaper in town. Bruce is going to pay for this. Poor Tony. He was really shaken up about this. I hope he can come out of it before it ruins your friendship,” Bob said.
“I know Tony has this thing about virgins. Even though he’s not one, he wants the girl he marries to be one. Talk about double standard—he needs to take another look at what he is wanting from females,” Mark said.
“Well, here we go. We’ll let your mom and Leona deal with this. I think we are too angry to say the right things. I know she has to be embarrassed. Damn, my baby girl, I can’t help her. I don’t know what to do!” Bob cried.
“Bob, it hurts a lot. I don’t know what she needs from us either. I’m going in there and hope I don’t say the wrong things. Bob, I’m trying so hard not to be mad at her. I don’t understand why she let it happen!” Mark cried.
Bob managed to pull a napkin from his armrest to wipe his face. He gave Mark one, also. They sat in the car until the redness from their faces was gone and there was no sign of tears.
“How did God let something like this happen? She was just a little girl,” Bob said.
“I don’t know, Bob. But I bet God knows. We don’t know why about a lot of things. She’s with us now. That is all we can thank God for now,” Mark said.
“Maybe one day we will understand it. Right now we have to thank God she didn’t get pregnant and that we finally know about it. We have to trust God to see her and us through this. Let’s be what we know God wants us to be,” Bob said as his deacon’s role took him over.
“Let’s do this,” Mark said.