Mary Campbell was tired of servicing half the town. Ever since she reached puberty at the age of twelve, all the boys and men in her town wanted her. Nor could she refuse them. Despite all her pleas to stop, they would take what they wanted, certain she liked it. And the reason they believed this was because in truth her body wanted them. While her mind objected, her body did not. She would have sex with anyone, even if she hated them. Finding her life intolerable, she had decided to move to California and start a new life where no one knew her past.
Mary Campbell wrote down three phone numbers and closed out of the website before any of her family noticed what she was viewing. As she slipped the paper into her pocket, she looked out the window. A cold gray sky left little doubt that soon it would begin to snow again. Nothing unusual for a Minnesota winter day, but Mary was tired of it; tired to the bone.
After dinner, she lifted the wireless phone from its cradle and carried it upstairs to her bedroom. Her brother was in his room listening to country music, her parents were downstairs: Mom in the kitchen and Dad in front of the TV, no doubt sound asleep, even though it was barely eight p.m.
Mary dialed the first number. If this didn’t work, come the next phone bill there would be hell to pay for these long-distance numbers. She had barely explained why she was calling when the girl cut her off with a quick, “It’s rented,” and slammed the phone down. The second person was nicer, but the news was no better. “Third’s the charm,” she whispered, as she dialed the last number.
She explained why she was calling and held her breath waiting for the bad news….
“Yeah, well, it’s like not much,” the girl replied, “But it’s cheap.”
Mary paused, surprised to find a rent of $800 a month considered cheap. “Then…it’s available?”
“Yeah, you interested?”
“Yes, oh, yes.” She was more than interested. She was desperate.
“Come by tomorrow morning, 1606 Anderson, first door on the left, fifth floor.”
“Wait!” she panicked. “It will take me a day to get there. Can you hold it for me?”
There was a pause. “Sure, you sound like a nice person. I’ll hold it.”
Mary was shaking as she disconnected her call. She had done it. She had a place to live in sunny California. She snuck downstairs, returned the phone to its cradle and then hurried back to her room to pack. Terrified that someone might walk in while she packed, she gave little thought to what she tossed inside. Once the suitcase was full, she slid it beneath her bed, so her Dad wouldn’t notice when he came to say good night.
She removed her gown and studied her naked body before the mirror. Everyone said she was prettier than the movie stars. She hadn’t always been so beautiful. Her life had been normal as a young girl, but when she reached puberty and her body changed, everyone loved her. The teachers, the boys…even the girls. Within a single year, she turned from being a wallflower to the most popular girl in school.
At first, the constant admiration pleased her but as time progressed, she grew jaded. No one knew anything about her. They loved her on sight, because of her looks, not because of who she was.
When she graduated from school two years ago, she went to work at a dentist's office. Getting the job had been easy, but keeping it required more than she wished. Recently her boss had been pressuring her to get an apartment so he could be with her beyond work hours.
She had admitted she would like her own place, and gratefully accepted the money he offered so she could afford to rent an apartment.
She suspected he’d be a bit angry when he discovered the apartment she rented was in California, but she never actually said she’d look in Minnesota.
She was in bed when her father softly opened her door and eased inside, closing the door behind him. “You awake, sweetie?” he whispered.
She hesitated before answering. It would be over faster if she admitted she was. She rolled to her back. “Yes, sir.”
She awoke to the banging of pots as her mother fixed breakfast. The clock said it was almost four a.m. She rolled from the bed and grabbed her robe, stumbling to the bathroom. Her heart raced as she realized this would be the last morning she’d rise before the sun.
Breakfast was always a silent affair. It was too early in the morning for anyone to have much to say. Once the meal was consumed, everyone went about their chores on the farm. Only Mary was exempt from farm work. She had a job at the Dentist’s office, which brought in hard cash. Her dad had been after her brother Jeff to bring home a wife to help Mom with the house chores, but so far, Jeff hadn’t complied with that request.
Mary sighed. It was good she was leaving. She suspected Jeff would never marry as long as she remained at home.
With everyone about his or her chores, Mary was able to toss the suitcase from her bedroom window, walk downstairs, retrieve it from the hedge and put it in the car without notice. It was easy, yet the whole time she held her breath, expecting something or someone to stop her from escaping. Even as she drove to the airport, she expected a car accident to block her way or a tire to go flat. She didn’t relax until the plane lifted into the air
Finally, her life was her own!
This book is available at multiple places.
April 1, 2020
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Liza O’Connor has been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. However, I am still working on the 46 books I have yet to publish. So, don’t give up on me. I’m still here.