A Courageous Battle (Chapter 6, page 1 of 2)

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Chapter 6

LACEY STARED into the bottom of her empty coffee cup, feeling the despair and self-loathing that were her frequent companions.

When will this ever end? I hate you, you bastard! Early that morning, she'd been in the kitchen with Jana and Julian. Lisa, as usual, was running late. She'd rushed in and dropped a pile of laundry on the floor. "Mom, I need these washed. It's track and field tomorrow and I don't have any clean suits," she'd said breathlessly.

Lacey, in yet another attempt to instill discipline in her errant daughter, had replied, "Maybe you can do it this evening.

I plan to garden today, while the weather is good, and I am going in to work at six."

Roger had interjected, "Why are you always fucking arguing with her? You should be doing the laundry. If you weren't out playing bridge all the time, or would get your nose out of your stupid books, maybe I wouldn't have to listen to this shit all day long!" Then he had stormed out, slamming the door.

The children had frozen, waiting for her reaction. Mortified, but anxious to maintain as much dignity as possible, she'd simply said, "Go on, now. You'll be late. I will do the laundry after I weed the garden."

But now she was brooding. Although he hadn't laid a hand on her since that awful day last fall, he was still her miserable Roger - the one who had been gone all weekend; the one who expected dinner to be ready by six, but who often didn't come home, or bother to call, until much, much later; the one who constantly criticized them all; that Roger, had been disrespectful to her in front of the children, again.

Her shoulders shaking, Lacey put her head down on her arms and sobbed. I am such a fool. Why do I put up with it? I wish he would die! I wish the police would come and tell me he has been in an accident! Then I'd have the house and his pension, and the kids and I would be all right! She had increased her hours at the bookstore recently, and just yesterday, her boss had asked if she would like to work full-time as the store manager, as he was thinking of opening a second one. Maybe I should do it. Maybe I can make enough to support us if I leave him. But she knew she was kidding herself. I cannot end this marriage, at least not until the children are grown and gone. Drying her eyes, she went downstairs to the den and looked at the new computer that had been the cause of a huge argument when she'd bought it. She sat down and followed the instructions to open something called WordPerfect. A bright blue screen appeared and she typed her name. White letters 'Lacey Brock' appeared. She pressed the backspace and they disappeared. What fun! Hey! Maybe I can write a story, or a magazine article. She typed, and stared at the screen: Rosalie. Why did I type that? And then her fingers flew across the keyboard: 'Rosalie was hiding and crying. Her mother was angry …'.

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