The Story of Esme
How it began. How it happened. How it ended and how it was revived. A look into the life of Esme Cullen.
This is my first attempt at writing more than just a short story. I have always loved Esme and she is one of my favorite characters in Twilight so i jus thad to tell her story the way I've imagined it.
13. Chapter 13
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It took several beatings to compel me to tell someone about it all. Mostly Charles would hit me for things like making eye contact with other men on the street, for coming home late from work if only for a few minutes, or for not asking permission to see any of my friends or family. But it didn’t matter what he was abusing me for so much as it was that he was abusing me, period. It was the straw that broke the camels back when he gave me a black eye and dislocated my eye socket after I went to visit Theo and his new wife in the newly built suburbs of eastern Columbus. So, when I was given permission to visit my mother to help her prepare for my father’s birthday party the following day, I couldn’t just keep it a secret any longer. I couldn’t take the violence he used with me any longer. My endurance had run out.
I wore a long sleeved, yellow cotton dress to hide the bruises on my arms, however fading they were, and a hat to cast a shadow over my face, where most of the damage had been done. Of course I was wearing make-up to try to conceal my injuries but the dislocated eye socket and the darkness of my black eye were still fairly visible no matter what I did. But then again, it wouldn’t really matter since I was finally to go come clean about the beatings to my mother. I would finally be free of the burdensome truth I’d been carrying.
Anyways, as I made my way up the front porch steps, steps so familiar I barely noticed them, I just let myself in, peeking on either side of the doorway to see if anyone was there. Having heard me come in, my mother appeared at the end of the hallway, washcloth in hand as she greeted me with a wide, creased smile…a smile I’d always loved.
“Esme, dear,” she trilled happily, rushing to embrace me. “I haven’t seen you in weeks. Too busy to visit your mother now that you’re married?” She said this with a sly smile.
I said nothing, only taking off my hat to expose my bruises and injuries to her, receiving a shocked gasp from her small mouth. It took her a moment to think of what to say, looking more stunned and confused than anything else.
“My Lord,” she stuttered, pausing to catch her breath. “Who…who…who did this to you?”
I looked her dead in the eyes, my face grave and guilty.
She sighed, as if it had all clicked in her head, as it should have, and ushered me into the kitchen. We sat down, sitting across from each other for several moments in silence. While I waited for her to say something, I let my eyes wander around the home I’d grown up in, even noticing the tree I’d fallen from years earlier, breaking my leg and bringing Carlisle into my life. Ahhhhh. Carlisle. It had been ages since I’d thought about him but now that it came back, I felt that old affection for my beautiful angel, though I wouldn’t let my thoughts of him betray me so I kept my poker face.
Suddenly, she spoke.
“Why would he do this to you?” she asked, bewildered as could be possible.
I was about to answer but she cut me off.
“What was it that you did to anger him?” she added, leaving me flabbergasted and furious that my own mother would blame me for my nearly regular beatings.
“You honestly think that I did something to deserve this?” I sputtered, still trying to comprehend the fact that my mother thought I’d caused Charles to hit me. When had the world stopped spinning because the room I was in just wasn’t staying still. It was like I had just twirled around and around for hours and then stopped, only to see the room didn’t stop moving along with me. The most confusing feeling you could imagine.
Leaning forward in my direction, she took hold of my hand and explained.
“Men have very stressful lives. They are the ones with all of the vital responsibilities. But the stress can cloud their judgment just as many other things can and, sometimes, they act rash and at times violent,” She said, her eyes locked with my stunned eyes. “But as their wives, we have to stick by them because without us, they would be lost. Nothing. You swore before God to stay by him til death do you part and you have to keep that oath. We are women and we often are forced to do things we don’t want to do. The decisions we make in life are never easy.”
I was too amazed to say a single word.
Is she honestly giving Charles an excuse to beat me? I wondered, looking at her as if she were a psychiatric patient eating chalk. I was looking at her like she was crazy, which, in my mind at least, she was.
I left without a word, storming from the kitchen, down the hallway and out the door so fast she couldn’t even react. I couldn’t take the fact tat my own mother was on my abusive husband’s side. So many emotions were swirling around in me like a cyclone. Anger. Confusion. Despair. Loneliness. Frustration. But the most prominent emotion of all, well you can’t really call it an emotion but I guess thought would do, was self-preservation. I needed to protect myself from him. Somehow, someway, I would find a way to be safe. No more hitting, No more kicking. No more abuse. Period.
I returned home just before the curfew Charles put in place for me was up. It was roughly 4:00pm and he’d always wanted me home by then to make him dinner and to iron his shirts for the next day while he ate. I usually ate later on while he was in his study working. I walked through the door and saw him sitting at the kitchen table, looking anything but happy. In fact, he seemed absolutely furious but was obviously waiting for the explosion of fists and feet that would injure me further. But then I saw that he was holding something in his hands and when he looked up at me, he molded the paper into a little ball and threw it at me. I picked it up and unscrunched it, immediately knowing that I was in for the worst beating I’d probably ever get.
It was a pamphlet on women’s suffrage with a receipt pinned to it that I’d received after making a secret donation.
I must have forgotten that I’d even had it and, therefore, forgot to destroy it so Charles wouldn’t find out. As a strict and hardcore critic of women’s suffrage, he thought that no woman should ever vote or even try to win the right in the first place. He had ranted for ages about how it was a disgrace that the movement continued even though we were at war. “A goddamned, disgraceful abomination” is what he called it. So I can imagine that finding out his own wife had not only taken a pamphlet from them but also made donations to their cause to try to support them. I was in for it.
The beating that night ended with the following injuries: a broken arm, a dislocated shoulder, eight broken ribs, broken leg, a busted lip, a fractured ankle and probably close to thirty or so cuts and bruises. Charles ended up having to take me to the hospital so someone could tend to my broken body, saying I’d been attacked and robbed by a man on my way home from the orphanage. They put a cast on my leg and arm, wrapped my torso to help keep my ribs in place, popped my shoulder back into its socket and gave me a sling to put my arm in, put a brace on my ankle, worked on the rest of my bruises and cuts. I think the nurses suspected something since my husband refused to leave my side even when they were undressing me to put a gown on but they said nothing. The doctors believed the story Charles had told them and they treated me, only insisting that she stay in the hospital for a few days just to rest and heal up a bit. At least while I was there he couldn’t hurt me. And that was all that mattered. But there was one thing that tugged at the back of my mind.
What would happen when I returned home? When, if ever, would it all end?
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