GUNS AND CARS.
"Daddy, can we please go for another ride since you're home from work early and I can really use the practice?" Calleigh said and looked hopefully at her father with pleading eyes.
"Ok lamb-chop, but I don't see why ya would need the practice, you're a perfect driver," Kenwall said.
"Thanks dad, but I still want to practice, and besides I need more ammo for my gun," she said.
"Ok, let's go then," Kenwall said.
While they were driving Kenwall asked, "Any wishes for you birthday next week?"
"I really want a car, oh daddy please can I have one," she said.
"Hmm, what kind?" he asked.
"A jeep or a land rover or something like that," she said dreamily.
"Are ya outta your wits, that's not a suitable car for a girl," he said shocked.
"But daddy they are so cool, please promise you'd at least think bout it," Calleigh begged since she really loved those kinda cars.
"Ok, but I won't make any promises, anything else, something more girly-like?" he asked.
Calleigh thought as she parked in front of the local hardware store. But all she could think of was that she wanted a new gun and a car. It was after all her sweet sixteen, so she said, "I can't think of anything right now, so why don't ya surprise me."
"If that's what ya want that's what I'll do," he said with a smile and opened the door for her.
"Hey Joe," she said to the man behind the counter.
"Hey Calleigh, what can I do you for?" he asked.
"Need more ammo for my gun," she replied.
"I don't understand what ya like bout those guns, beautiful girl like you should be playing with boys and jewelry not stuff like guns and ammo," Joe said.
"Hey, don't put any ideas in her head, I don't wanna have her run after any stupid boy," said Kenwall.
Calleigh giggled and said," Oh daddy, you're so sweet, for all ya know I can be in love with a stupid boy right now, and if I really wanted to see a boy I liked, not even you could stop me."
"Oh is that so, but are ya in love?" he asked.
"No, and I don't have time either, don't worry dad. How much do ya want for the ammo Joe?" she asked.
"12 since it's you," he said and smiled.
"Thanks Joe, you're the best," she said happily.
"So did I hear right about you being sixteen next week?" Jo asked.
"Sure did, I'm trying to convince daddy to give me a car," she said.
"Bet ya want a jeep or something like that, don't ya?" Joe said and smiled.
"Sure do, but dad says they are not the right car for a girl," she said.
"Yeah, but then again you're not an ordinary girl," said Joe and laughed.
"Calleigh, we have to go now if we're going to get home in time for dinner," said Kenwall.
"Ok, see ya Joe, and thanks again for the ammo," she said.
"No problem, see ya," he said as they left.
Later that night Calleigh sat in her room, looking out the window, wishing she was somewhere far away where she couldn't hear her parents constant fighting. She really wanted the yelling to stop but she knew all to well that wouldn't happen, they had had to much to drink as so many times before. She sight and continued with her homework. Then she heard something break and a yell. She felt really worried and went downstairs to check.
Calleigh found her mother on the floor and quickly ran over to her and asked, "Mum, are ya ok?"
"Calleigh, get away from her, I'm just teaching her a lesson, go upstairs" said Kenwall angrily.
"No dad, please don't, can't ya see she had enough," Calleigh begged.
"Move," Kenwall commanded, but Calleigh refused to do so. Then he grabbed her arm hard and pulled her away.
Calleigh gasped terrified and said, "No daddy, please don't."
But too late, he tossed her on the couch and started to beat her hard with his belt, while saying, "I told ya to stay out of it, but you couldn't listen could you, you little brat."
"Daddy, please sop, it hurts," Calleigh begged at silent tears were running down her checks hoping he would let her go.
"Kenwall, let her be, it's me you're angry at not her," her mother said.
Her father stopped long enough for Calleigh to run from the house.
Calleigh did as she had done many times before, she run without knowing where she was going, only that she needed to get away. Get away from her parents, the pain that felt like fire on her backside, away from the anger and the sorrow, not noticing that it was freezing because of the cold weather outside. It was almost at the end of February since she had birthday the last day of the month.
Finally she stopped running, she was shivering and her backside was hurting like crazy, she was suddenly feeling both extremely tired and a bit dizzy to so she sat down on the pavement, her head in her hands. The cold wind was blowing in the trees and she was so cold. Yet she couldn't go home. Right now she really wishing that she had a warm car she could sleep in.
Then she got interrupted in her train of thoughts by a car pulling over and a voice that said, "Calleigh are you ok?"
"No, I am not," she said, her voice was shaking.
"Come in the car," said her big brother Dave.
"Dave, please, I can't go home," she cried.
"What did they do this time?" Dave asked.
"Daddy hit me and it hurts so badly," she cried.
"Get in the car, so I can take a look, I won't take ya home baby girl Duquesne," Dave said.
They got in the car and Calleigh turned the back to Dave so he could see the dried blood on the back of her white top.
"Jeez, this can't be good" he thought as he slowly removed her top. When he saw her backside he almost started to cry. Her beautiful back was cowered with red stripes, some where bloody and a bit deeper than the ones that were just red from their daddy's belt. Calleigh was shivering both because she was freezing and because she was crying so hard.
"Baby girl, why did he hit you," Dave asked.
"Fool as I am I was trying to protect mum so he went for me instead. Please make the pain go away Dave," she said and started to cry again.
Dave held her closely and stroke her blonde hair gently saying, "Just cry baby girl Duquesne, just let it out, I'm here for you."
A couple of moments later Dave pounded on the door to Joe and his wife. When things were really bad at the Duquesne house Joe's house was one of the places Calleigh and her brothers used to hide out. It was like a second home to them. Joe opened the door and looked at Calleigh and Dave. Dave looked furious and worried, and Calleigh's eyes looked red from crying, but she also seemed tired and like she was in some kind of pain.
"Good Lord, what's wrong?" Joe said and let them in.
"Dad took his anger out on Calleigh and this time it's really bad, do ya have any bandages and stuff so we can try to fix her up a bit?" Dave asked.
Joe yelled, "Mary would get a first aid kit and get down here."
A second later Mary appeared and said, "Take of your top so I can see what I have to do."
Calleigh did as she was told, but when Mary saw her back she was shocked. She said, "Joe, would you look at this, this time Kenwall has gone too far. Calleigh, honey, this is going to sting a bit, but it will make ya feel better and the wounds will heal faster."
Joe took a look on it and gasped, it was far worse than he had thought and asked, "Dave, where are your brothers?"
"Dunno" Dave honestly.
"Find them and bring them back here, and Calleigh you're sleeping here tonight to," Joe said and left.
Mary started to clean Calleigh's wounds carefully before she put on cream and bandages. While she was doing this Calleigh showed no sign of pain. She sat completely still.
When she was done she sent Calleigh to bed in one of the guestrooms. Calleigh lay in bed folding her hands and said, "Dear God.
First make the wounds go away quickly and second can you please make daddy stop drinking, cause I hate when he do things like this. I mean the wounds on my back will disappear, but the one my heart are more difficult to remove. He really hurt me ya know, and I didn't do anything wrong, why did he grab my arm and hit me so hard. How can he be so kind and gentle in one moment and turn around completely the next. Why can't he stop drinking, it not for himself, for us for me.
I really love him, I mean he's my hero, he have thought me almost everything I know, so please God would you help my dad quit drinking, cause I don't know how much longer I can take this.
Then she closed her eyes and fall fast a sleep.
Joe and Mary had stood outside and Mary said, "That poor girl, even if Kenwall treats her like that she still love him and puts him highly, that's touching."
"It is, but Kewdall also love's her very much, it's a shame that he can't stop drinking, I'll talk to her tomorrow," Joe said.
"Ok, let's go to bed now," said Mary and so they did.
When Calleigh wake up the next day her youngest brothers and Dave were gone, but she found Mary in the kitchen and asked, "Were are the rest?"
"They went over to talk to your dad," said Mary.
"They wont do anything to him will they, I mean he didn't mean to hit me, I'm sure he didn't," Calleigh said, her voice despite everything sounded worried.
"I don't know Calleigh, I honestly don't know," said Mary.
"God, I gotto go, thanks for everything, Mary," said Calleigh and stormed out the door. She started to run home as fast as she could, hoping she wouldn't be late and her father would be ok, wishing once again that she had a car.
Fifteen minutes later. Calleigh walked in the front door, her face were pink from running and the cold weather outside and she was trying to get her breath back as she was heading for the living room. She entered and saw her dad sitting alone by the dining table with his head in his hands. He looked so sad.
Calleigh went over to him, put a hand on his shoulder and asked, "Daddy are ya ok?"
"Lamb-chop, I didn't hear ya come in," he said and looked sadly at her.
"Daddy, what's wrong, the others didn't hurt you did they?" Calleigh asked in a concerned voice, and looked worried at her father.
Kenwall looked back at her and said, "No they didn't even if I deserved it after what I did to you last night. Calleigh, I'm really sorry. I don't know what came over me. Does it hurt badly, is there anything I can do to make ya feel better?"
"I know ya didn't mean it, but daddy you really hurt me badly, how could ya do that to me, don't you love me? Cause I thought you did," Calleigh said, her voice was shaking and Kenwall could see she was about to cry. He took her arms and said, "Again I'm really sorry lamb-chop, it was the alcohol, it made me so mad that I didn't know what I was doing until it was to late, and by then the damage was already done and you were already gone. I thought I'd never see ya again after the way I treated you. I was so worried that I can't find words to tell ya how sorry I am and how much I love you. I will regret my actions for the rest of my life. And don't think for a second that I don't love you, cause I do, you're the love of my life. If there's anything I can do to make it up to ya please let me know."
"If ya would just hold me closely like ya do right now, I would feel so much better," said Calleigh.
Kenwall did as she requested and while doing so he felt the tears she cried on his shirt and that she stopped shivering and her sobs disappeared.
Then Calleigh got herself together, broke free, gave him a kiss on the check and said, "Thanks dad, can I barrow your new gun for target practice?"
"Of course," he said and handed it to her and Calleigh went outside to shoot.
Kenwall was still feeling bad about the way he had treated Calleigh and thought "Whatever did I do to deserve to be loved so much by you, even when I do you wrong".
"You're her father and she will always love you no matter what you do," said his wife who had entered the living room and had read his mind.
Six days later Calleigh woke up bright and early like she always did. She looked out at the frost on the threes and smiled, it was so beautiful. She looked at her desk and saw the temporary drivers license and giggled, today she would hopefully have a real one since she was sixteen. She put on her clothes and then she put the gun in the holster on her hip before she put her head in a ponytail and looked in the mirror, perfect. She took a closer look and thought, 'One day I will be a coop and have a much cooler gun than this and handcuffs to match.' Then she run downstairs, grabbed a jacket and run outside, where found her brother Adam and asked, "Can ya give me a lift?"
"Sure birthday girl, jump in" said Adam.
One hour later Calleigh and Adam returned: Calleigh ran inside happily yelling, "Mum, dad, I finally got my driver license."
Kenwall and Macy came running out and said, "Congratulations."
"Haven't ya'll forgotten something," Calleigh asked.
Kenwall laughed and said, "Congratulations lamb-chop I can't believe that you're 16 all ready."
"Congratulations honey, now hurry up so you won't be late or class," said Macy and gave her daughter a big hug.
"Do I have to wait, can't I have the presents now, please," Calleigh begged and looked at her parents with puppy dog eyes.
"Calleigh, you know that won't work, get your backpack and go," said Kendall in a straight tone.
"Ok, I'll go," Calleigh said and gave him a quick kiss on the check before she left.
Calleigh was sitting in her math class trying to keep attention, when a curled paper hit her head. She picked it up and read: Happy birthday C, so what did ya got from your mum and dad. Kim
Calleigh smiled and wrote back: Nothing yet, they told me I'll get it later. Hope it is some kinda a new weapon and a land rover or a jeep? But knowing my parents I bet I'll get something girlie. C
She made sure the teacher looked another way before she threw it back, shortly after she got it in return and read: There's no way getting ya that tihi. If ya even get a car it would be like your dad says "Something suitable for a girl". I know ya like all this stuff like guns and big cars, but let's face it C, you're a girl and some day ya gotta tale an interest in girlie stuff or no man will ever have ya. I mean come on who will marry a girl with your interests. Did ya get your license by the way?
Calleigh heart dropped a few stones, hoping Kim was wrong, why should she sacrifice her love to guns and cars and her dream bout working in law enforcement just because of guys. "Nah, if a guy won't like me the way I am to hell with it" she thought and wrote back: But girlie stuff are so boring sometimes I want more outta lie than makeup and stuff like that. And yes I got my license. So are ya coming over 2night?
She looked at the teacher before she threw the note again and got it in return, it said: Congrats C. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings with what I wrote last, of course you should be able to do what ya want with your life,-) And of course I'm coming over later.
Calleigh smiled to herself and continued to pay attention.
When she was done Calleigh couldn't wait to get home, she was over exited to see what her parents had gotten her.
'I hope it is a car, I hope it is a car,'" she thought as she walked through the gate in front of the house. She run through the front door yelling, "Mum, dad, I'm home."
She took of her shoes and jacket and went into the living room where she found them. Her green eyes sparkled like diamonds.
"So birthday girl are ya ready for your presents?" Kenwall said.
"Yes daddy," she said excitedly.
"I wish you were like other girls, but since your not you're a much harder person to shop for ya know that," her father said and handed her a medium size rectangular packet. It was a bit heavy. Calleigh tore of the paper and found a box, she opened it and found a shiny new gun.
She threw her arms around her father and said, "Thanks daddy, I love it."
Her mother gave her a square packet and said, "I hope ya like it."
Calleigh tore of the paper and found a box, she opened it and found a pair of silver earrings shaped as handcuffs and a matching neck ledge with a silver gun and handcuffs.
"Thanks mum, I'll try them on at once," she said and gave her mother a big hug before she put them on and looked in the hallway mirror, perfect.
"Wait a minute, you've have forgotten a present," her father said and gave her another box, she opened it and found a set of car keys. She was so happy.
"Thank you, what kinda car is it," she asked.
"A jeep like ya wanted," he replied.
"But I thought ya said jeeps aren't suitable car for a girl," she said.
"I did, but you're a woman now, besides I don't think you'd be happy with another car," Kenwall said.
"Thanks a lot mum and dad, so can I take it for a drive?" she said.
"Of course, it's out back," her mother said.
Calleigh gave them both a quick hug and run out to the car.
"I don't think I ever seen her this happy," Macy said.
"Well, we got her a gun and a car, what more could a girl ask for," Kenwall said and smiled, wondering if Calleigh would be like other young women.
Calleigh put the key in the ignition and started the car and drove of. She was so happy, she finally had a car, she could go anywhere she wanted to. Calleigh found a radio station with country music and put on the highest volume and sang a long as she stepped on the gas and drove into town.
Ten minutes later she parked in front of the hardware store and went inside. Joe looked at her happy face and said, "Happy birthday Calleigh, you sure look happy today, so I guess you got what ya wanted then?"
"Sure did, wanna see my car Joe," Calleigh asked.
"Of course," Joe said and followed her outside.
"So what do ya think," said Calleigh exited.
"It's perfect for ya, did ya get those jewelries to?" Joe asked. He was talking about the neck ledge and the earrings.
"Yes, do ya like them," she asked.
"I do, so I guess ya're in ruling at the police academy some day then," Joe said and smiled.
"That's the plan, don't ya think I will be a good cop," she said.
"Actually I do, wait a second I got something for ya," said Joe and went behind the counter for a big present.
Calleigh looked curious at him and opened it, it was a black bulletproof west with her name on. She happily turned to him and said, "Thanks Joe I love it."
"You're welcome, figured you would need it one day," Joe said and smiled at her.
"I really hope so, but I gotto go, gotto show of my car," she said happily and left to drive over to Marty's, a café that was the local hangout spot for Calleigh and her friends.
Calleigh and her friends stood around the car and Kim said, "Wow, that's some car."
"C, when are ya going to start take an interest in girlie things?" Tom asked.
"Oh, give up Tom, she never will, she now got three guns, a jeep and a bulletproof west, the only thing she will end up as is a cop," said Dave.
"What's wrong bout that?" Calleigh asked.
"Nothing, baby girl Duquesne, nothing, you will make a fine cop someday" said Dave.
"Would ya stop call me baby girl, I'm 16, not a baby," said Calleigh. Her brothers just laughed, they all knew she loved that nickname.
Calleigh just smiled and said, "Gotto go, se ya'll later."
They nodded and she drove of, happily that she had her own car and were old enough to drive wherever she wanted.