Pulling myself together I start to formulate a plan. I am safe as long as I don’t leave the cabin, but I can’t stay here forever. I will need food and supplies, if nothing else. What I was able to fit in my backpack won’t last more than a couple days, even if I’m careful. There is Wi-Fi here so I can still work, if I can keep my hands from shaking long enough to log into my laptop. I’ll need money, maybe a lot of it so this will be important.
I write these points down on the pad in front of me, not because I won’t remember, but because I feel somehow calmer by making this list.
I know eventually I need to get help, but who can I trust? Who will believe he isn’t the charmer he appears to be? I tried going to the police, but they won’t do anything. Apparently I can’t even get a restraining order unless he actually hurts me first. By then it may be too late. Not that a restraining order would stand in his way anyway.
My brother-in-law, Jeff, knows some ex-military types, people who know about not just hiding but also fighting, people who are trained in handling difficult situations. Maybe I can ask him to introduce me to someone. Another bullet added to the page.
I keep thinking there has to be something I can do, some way to handle this, but this is so far outside my experience I can’t even begin to imagine how to proceed. Suddenly getting help seems like the next critical step, more important even than getting groceries to hold me over.
I pick up my cell phone, prepared to text Jeff but the battery is dead. Fishing through the front pocket of my bag I find the charging cable and plug it into an outlet over the kitchen counter. Leaning my elbows on the laminate I power up the device and wait as it scrolls through the boot up routine. When I finally get to the home screen I start a text but realize this is going to require a phone call. I had left without talking to anyone, including my sister and her husband. They know nothing about the danger I’m in.
As I click on the phone icon in my contacts next to Jeff’s name, I briefly wonder if they will believe me when I tell them. Holding the phone to my ear I’m surprised I don’t hear it ringing. Looking at the screen I notice there’s no service.
That’s odd. Even in this somewhat remote location I know there are cell towers all over. I had service on the drive up the road that leads to the cabin. Maybe I just need to go back down the hill until I can connect.
It’s not completely illogical this would be the case, yet for some reason my blood runs cold as I head for the door.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Introduce and is part of something longer I am working on.