DOZ Issue 34 August 2018 - Page 16

family situation. What she didn’t realize was how vulnerable it made her how much she wanted to be part of a family, to have someone ask her how her day went at school when she got home. The very first day of school she noticed Russell. He was a popular boy, tall, blonde, and muscular and he noticed Emma right away too. He didn’t waste any time and began pursuing her. At first, Emma kept Russell at arm’s length. “Why would such a good looking popular guy be interested in me?” She thought. Something just didn’t seem right. Emma’s indifference toward Russell only seemed to fuel his determination to win her over. Emma had recently been baptized, one of the very few events in her life her parents attended. She wanted to live her life for God, but with little direction from her family and attending a church that was filled with wealthy people who had no problems and talked about the text of the Bible like it was a dictionary; left her confused and uncertain about her relationships and what she meant to God. She found herself on the outside looking in, trying to live a Christ-filled life, but it felt like she was doing it in the dark. It didn’t take long between Emma’s friends telling her how lucky she was to have Russell in pursuit of her heart, his constant calls, and waiting for her after each class at school. She soon began to accept his presence in her life, even though it felt smothering to her. Emma kept telling herself that he was just so caring and attentive and she wasn’t used to that much attention. Within three months Russell had isolated her from her friends and family as much as he could. He was completely demanding of all her free time. In her heart, Emma knew this relationship was not what God would want for her, but she continued to talk herself into believing Russell loved her so much, she couldn’t leave him, but deep within her, a fear was growing. She decided to ask Russell to go to church with her; his answer was quick and harsh. He didn’t care if she went, but he wasn’t going, he worked too hard « 16 DOZ Magazine August 2018 all week and Sundays were his days to do what he wanted. Soon Emma wasn’t going to church on Sundays either; she was on Russell’s schedule now. She felt he was jealous of God; it seemed Russell was trying to push God out of her life, along with everyone else. As soon as she stopped going to church things became worse. Russell would fly into a rage at the smallest thing. One time during a minor argument Russell punched the windshield of his car so hard that the glass shattered everywhere. The few friends Emma still had left her after that incident. By the time Emma was Senior, Russell had graduated, and she began to feel some freedom from him. But he started showing up at school at all hours, trying to catch her talking to another boy. Screaming at her in the hallways until security escorted him off the school campus. Emma knew she had to get away from Russell, but she just couldn’t seem to make herself leave him, she was scared about what Russell would do. He began threatening her, but still part of her felt he would never really her hurt her, he loved her too much. But, Russell had tried to hurt her. Just because Emma was fast enough to move when Russell threw a punch and hit the wall instead of her Emma denied he was really trying to hit her at all. Or the time when he burned her wrist with his cigarette, she knew he did it on purpose even though he said it was her fault, he was just kidding around, and when she moved that caused him to burn her, so it really was her fault. Still, Emma stayed, in fact, in the middle of her senior year; she agreed to marry Russell at the first “ sell; ing at Rus k o lo e r e th ked She stood he just loo , d r o w a y sa ad, she didn’t ok his he o h s d n a er had back at h dge that he le w o n k c a ard unwilling to her backw w e r th it d r a all hit her so h e kitchen w th t ))))))ȁ