Resurrection 32Posted: November 15, 2016
This is a chapter of the book I am writing for NaNoWriMo. If you want to read it from the start, click here for the chapter index.
Romona Farmer was still 14 when Dick Langston “out of the goodness of his heart” allowed her and her older sister Becky to move into one of his slum apartments in Newport. The two had left Inez and their alcoholic mother and decided they could make it better on their own.
Becky was dancing five nights a week at Tilly’s and making a decent amount of money. Not having to pay rent made it even better. Romona, being a lost child, was not missed at school or home. When she moved with Becky to Newport, no one cared and her mother was relieved to be rid of her.
Romona dreamed. She dreamed of a life that wasn’t filled with fear. She dreamed of a life where someone would love her, a boy who would take her hand and protect her. A life where she was provided for and loved. A life free from fear, free from pain.
A life. Just a life.
Dick was kind to her. Often when Becky would be working a day shift, Dick would come by and take her out for ice cream, maybe a matinee. Men in her world were cruel. Drunk, verbally and physically abusive. Dick, and he insisted she call him “Dick” rather than “Mr. Langford,” was not like that at all. He was kind. Gentle. He asked about how she was doing, what she was feeling.
At first it was difficult for Romona to open up to Dick. She was by nature shy. But he seemed genuinely interested in her, what she had to say, her thoughts, her fears. She looked forward to his visits.
Living with Becky was hard for her. There were a parade of strange men in and out of the apartment at all hours. Ramona slept on the couch in the one bedroom apartment, but could hear everything going on in her sister’s bedroom.
Dick seemed to not like Becky much. He would scold her for the condition of the apartment. Becky didn’t seem to care and would just get mad, but never clean, never do a dish. Romona would do as much as she could, but Becky was like a tornado every time she came home and the tiny apartment was awash with slung clothes and spilled Coke.
Romona liked that Dick didn’t give the same deference to Becky he gave to her. For the first time in her left she felt special. He gave her fatherly advice. He held her when she was hurt by something Becky had said or done.
Romona had no friends in Newport. Being 14 and not being in school made her isolated. That, of course, is what Dick had planned all along. He was her only lifeline, her only friend, her provider. She was completely dependent on him.
By the time she was 15, she looked forward to his visits. They would watch “Happy Days” and he would hold her on the couch he bought for them when they moved in. She loved the warm and protected feeling he provided her.
His seduction of her began with the words, “You’re becoming a woman now and need to understand grown-up things…”
She didn’t fight that first night. She couldn’t form the words. Her mind was filled with fear and confusion. She just wanted it to be over.
After she was upset with herself. Not for not fighting, not for refusing, but for being so weak she couldn’t handle sex. She hoped Dick would forgive her.
She thought he was her safety. She thought he was her protector. She was deceived.