Authors: Kimberly Schwartzmiller


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Joe finally fell off of me and I ran into the bathroom and locked the door. I wanted Kellan, I needed Kellan, but I had left my phone in my bedroom and I wasn’t going back in there to get it. I got into the shower and I scrubbed every inch of my body over and over again. I had to get clean…wash him off of me. There was a cockroach in the shower with me but I was so hysterical that I didn’t care. I used all of the soap products in the shower and then grabbed the hand soap from the counter and returned to scrub some more. When I was all out of soap, I slid down the shower wall and I cried. “Kellan, I need you,” I cried, over and over again, but of course, he couldn’t hear me 2500 miles away. I stayed in the shower the rest of the night, too terrified to leave. When it was finally light out, I carefully opened my bathroom door and peeked around the corner. I could hear Joe snoring loudly on my bed, so I quietly grabbed some clothes out of my closet and I ran out of my room, only to find
Nancy standing in my doorway.

“What the hell?” she asked, looking at her half-naked husband on my bed and seeing me standing there in nothing but a towel.

I did the only thing I could think of, I ran past her and started to head out the door.

“STOP right there!” she shouted.

“I have to leave! I have to get out of here…I have to!” I said, struggling to put my clothes on.

“What’s going on?” Joe asked, sitting up on my bed and rubbing his head. His pants were down around his ankles and his underwear was thrown off to the side exposing his genitals.

Nancy blocked the doorway and said, “Yeah, just what is going on?” she asked me.

“He…um, he raped me,” I said, praying, that for once,
Nancy would do the stand-up thing and protect me…I was wrong to even think that.

“He would never! You seduced him! You little whore…first your brother, and then Tyler and now your foster father? Just what kind of game are you playing?”

“I’m not playing…”

“Raped? Are you crazy? I did no such thing…” Joe said, looking completely bewildered, but then he looked down at his state of undress, realizing he was on my bed, and immediately stood up and fixed his clothes.

“You took advantage of my husband. What kind of person would do such a thing?”

“HE RAPED ME!” I shouted, needing her to believe me.

“You’re lying!”

“Why would I lie…about that?” I was crying and I was still desperately trying to get my shoes on my feet.

“I don’t know. Why would you lie about anything?”

“I haven’t lied about anything.”

“Oh, really? So, you were upfront about your relationship with Kellan?”

“Leave him out of this. This has nothing to do with him. Your husband…raped me,” I said, sounding pathetic.

“I don’t believe it. Where’s your proof?” she asked.

“I’m telling you it happened!”

“Did you just come out of the shower?”

“Yes…I had to get…
…off of me!”

“So, then you have no proof, do you?” she glared.

“I’m going to the police…”

“You do that. Go ahead. Here, let me get the door for you,” she snarled, holding the door open for me.

I started to walk out and she said, “I hope Kellan enjoys his time in prison, as well.”

“You can’t touch him!”

She laughed, “Funny you put it that way…”

“What does that mean?”

“Did you enjoy sleeping with Kellan?”

I just looked at her, amazed that she could even ask me that question.

“DID YOU?” she shouted.

...yes, of course! I love him.”

“Yeah, I know. So, you really wouldn’t want him to go to jail now, would you?”

“I won’t press charges…and you can’t touch him!” I repeated.

She stepped up to me and said, “Well, I guess the jokes on you…because I did touch him…many times. I was his first!”

I looked up at her and said, “Wh…what?”

“That’s right, I taught him all he knows…well, maybe not all he knows,
, but I definitely taught him the basics!” she taunted.

“You’re lying!”

“Are you lying about Joe raping you?”


She shrugged her shoulders, “Neither am I. Oh, he wasn’t willing, but he is…was, just a boy. He was looking for love…in all the wrong places.”

“You’re sick! You’re not serious!”

“Ask him…he has pictures. Maybe he can get them out and show them to you sometime.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because I won’t allow my husband to go to jail because he was drunk and spent one night…with
So help me, if you go to the police, I’ll go to the police…and then Joe, myself and your precious brother can all get re-acquainted…while you sit alone…pining away for Kellan. Trust me; I have nothing to lose if Joe goes to jail. Try me, Abby!” she threatened.

“You can’t be serious!”

She held open the door for me again and said, “Are you sure you want to risk it? Kellan himself said he’s 21, so the fact that he slept with you is a felony. You lost your ace in the hole, Abby. You slept with my husband!”

“He raped me!”

“That’s not how I’m going to tell it…as an eye witness.”

“You weren’t here!”

“They don’t need to know that. Believe me, I can cause enough doubt to make this last years. All the while your precious Kellan pays the price. So, if you’re smart, and I’m not sure that you are, you’ll think twice before you mention this to Kellan…or anyone else.”

“You expect me to just forget it?”

“That’s exactly what I expect you to do! It’s no big deal, Abby. It’s not like he beat you or anything. Joe’s great in bed…well, maybe not as good as Kellan…or is he?” she had the audacity to ask.

“You’re sick. How could you do that to Kellan? You were supposed to be his mother!”

“And you were supposed to be his sister. Don’t cross swords with me Abby. I promise you won’t win. I’m serious. Let him turn in the pictures…but I promise you, I won’t rest until he gets a maximum sentence. And just as he’s about to attain his lifelong dream and become a lawyer…how sad he won’t finish…”

She had me…and she knew it. She knew how much I loved him and she knew I’d never risk him going to jail because of me. Joe had sat there the entire time, shaking his head and watching the battle rage between foster mother and daughter. I finally got the nerve up to look him in the eye and he immediately looked at the ground.

“You stay the hell away from me! You got it?” I ordered.

“I um, I don’t even remember…I’m sorry, Abby…I swear to God, I’m sorry.”

He stood up and stumbled down the hall to his own room.

“That’s better. You look tired dear, why don’t you get some sleep?”
Nancy said with a knowing grin. 

I faced
Nancy and realized I was now a couple inches taller than her, “You listen to me, now! You keep that animal locked up! I want a lock on my door and I’m to have the only key!  If not, I will tell Kellan…and I know he’d rather go to jail than have that animal touch me again. Are
clear on
?” I didn’t know where my courage came from, but I had had enough, and although I wasn’t about to risk Kellan going to prison for me, I also wasn’t going to allow that man to touch me again. I’d keep quiet…for Kellan’s sake. I knew I could do that…for him. 

nodded and said, “We have a deal.”

I walked to my room and stripped everything off my bed. I wasn’t sure I could ever sleep in it again, but then I remembered my night with Kellan, and I decided I would just put Joe out of my mind and focus on Kellan. I was suddenly very glad that he wasn’t going to call me that night because I wasn’t sure if I could keep it together. 

“One hundred days…and he’ll re-claim me as his own. One hundred days.” I chanted to myself as I re-made my bed with clean sheets and cleaned up my room.


I spent the day pacing in my room, wondering what to do about what Joe had done. I so desperately wanted to tell Kellan, but Nancy’s threats kept running through my head. I had gone over everything in my head for hours and I had finally decided that Kellan could never know. I knew he would get on a plane and come back the second I told him. He’d end up in jail for beating Joe and then Nancy would be right…they’d all go to jail…and Kellan would lose everything he had worked so hard for…and I’d lose him.

I forced myself to sit on the edge of my bed, but couldn’t get the image of Joe out of my head, so I finally curled up on the floor in my bedroom with a pillow and one of Kellan’s shirts. I knew I couldn’t call Kellan, but I needed to talk to someone. I dialed
Tyler’s number and then remembered he was gone…too. I cried myself to sleep wishing Kellan was there with me, and knowing if he had been, Joe would have never touched me.


“Hi! I’ve missed you.” Kellan said Tuesday night when he called.

“Me, too!” I said, trying my best to keep my emotions in check.”

“So, how many days?” he asked, waiting for my nightly countdown.

“What? Oh, um, I’m not sure…”

“What? What’s wrong, Abby?”

“I just miss you…so much,” I said, the tears starting.

“What’s wrong? What happened?” he asked, certain something was up.

I had to stop and pull myself together…I had to. “I’m fine, Kellan. Really. I just miss you so much. The countdown was starting to depress me, that’s all.”

“Are you angry that I can’t come home for Thanksgiving? You know I would if I could.”

“No, I’m not angry, I understand. I just miss you.”

“Are you sure that’s all it is? Nancy’s not giving you any grief, is she? If she is, I’ll take care of it, I promise.”

“No, she’s…okay. They’re leaving me alone.”

“Then what is it, Abby? I know something’s wrong.”

I started to cry, unable to contain my grief. I wanted to tell him so bad, but I knew I couldn’t. I knew I had to come up with something to tell him about why I was so upset. Since telling him the truth wasn’t an option, I had to think fast.

“I um…Nancy found my birth control pills and she took them. I guess I’m a little hormonal now. It’s kind of screwed up my…cycle.” There, that sounded pretty good, I thought.

“She’s rotten! You can get more.”

“I know, I already did. I hid them in my closet, under the rug. I just…I miss you, and Christmas is a long ways away.”

“Are you sure that’s all it is?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

I wanted so badly to tell him about Joe and ask him if what
Nancy said was true, but I knew he’d get on the next plane…and he’d end up in jail, because of me.

We talked for a while about school, and this and that. For once, I was relieved to hang up the phone with him for fear I’d burst into tears and tell him what Joe did and what
Nancy said.


I tried, night after night to sleep, but every time I closed my eyes I would picture Joe hovering over me, and the sour smell of whiskey on his breath. Or, I’d wake up in a cold sweat after dreaming of Nancy doing horrific things to Kellan as a teenager. The images haunted me and I knew that they had to have been haunting Kellan for years. I wanted to hold him, comfort him; make up for all the people who had wronged him all his life. But how could I tell him I knew without spilling everything? I knew I just had to stay the course and get through my final year with the Filbert’s, and then we could both just start over…together.


The next few weeks got a little easier. Kellan still constantly asked if I was okay. I never faltered and finally our conversations were back to normal. 

I had managed to avoid Nancy and Joe for over two weeks, which suited me just fine. It made forgetting, or repressing things a bit easier. The two times I did run into Joe, he hung his head and refused to look at me. I knew he felt terrible, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to forgive him. I spent the majority of my time at home locked in my room counting the months, weeks, days and hours until I could see Kellan again.


I was over-tired, and I knew it. I hadn’t slept much in weeks and I was exhausted.

“Abby, are you feeling okay?” Mrs. Bradford, my government teacher asked me.

“I’m okay.”

“You’re pale white, are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m just a little tired. I haven’t been sleeping well.”

“Okay, let me know if you want to go home.”

I nodded, but I never missed school. Even though I had never liked school, I liked being in that house less, so I stayed even when I wasn’t feeling well.


Later that day I was walking home and I realized I really didn’t feel well. I knew I was tired, since I hadn’t slept a full night since Kellan left, and even less since Joe forced himself on me. I made it a block from the school and started getting light-headed and dizzy. I finally sat down under a tree on the side of the road, waiting for the dizziness to subside when Justin Copeland pulled up beside me in his truck.

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