This is a fairly short, but poignant excerpt from Chapter 10:

“Why are you trying to kill my Mommy?” The words pierced the fuzzy haze in my head.

Nothing was hurting me, but I couldn’t move. I couldn’t feel anything. I realized I was lying on my back on the floor of the drawing room, but could not remember how I got there.

The noise and commotion was bewildering. There seemed to be a lot of people milling around and a lot of confusion.

As I glanced from side to side, I saw two policemen standing just inside the door. I heard one of them say, “Well, we’ll be going then. It doesn’t look like there will be anything else going on here tonight.”

“I’m sorry you were called out. She just stumbled and hit her head against the table when she fell,” Christopher told them. “She probably had too much to drink.

Then it all came rushing back and I tried to sit up to tell them I hadn’t fallen against the table, but I couldn’t move. When I tried to speak, it came out garbled, like I had a mouth full of cotton balls.

The policemen looked at me indifferently. They had wasted their time coming.

Don’t leave me here. Don’t just go and leave me here with him.

They turn away and Christopher ushers them outside.

Again I try to get up, but for some reason I have no feeling in my arms and legs and am unable to move them.

Christopher had started bringing young people home from the bars with him. They’d congregate in his bedroom. Sometimes it was rowdy with loud music. Sometimes it was quiet and you’d never know there were five or six people in there. This evening I didn’t know how many people were in there, but when I couldn’t find Angie, I realized she was in there with them. It was getting louder by the minute, and I had called the police myself before going into the room to get her.

When Christopher saw me open the bedroom door, He’d yelled, “Get out of here. You can’t come in here. The door was locked. How’d you get in?”

I just shrugged and told Angie to come with me. The room he had converted into his private club used to be my bedroom. Why wouldn’t I have a key for the door?

As he came towards me yelling and threatening, I hurriedly rushed Angie out the door in front of me. But he caught me before I got through the doorway and shoved me up behind the door. I was trapped facing the corner and he started punching my head and back. Pushing away from the wall with all my strength, I was able to squeeze between him and the door and dashed down the hallway. But he caught up with me in the living room, knocking me down he kicked my back repeatedly. The last thing I remembered were Teddy’s words. “Why are you trying to kill my Mommy?”

No! Not this! Not in front of my children! Someone help me.

Then Benjie was kneeling beside me. He leaned down and said softly in my ear, “Mom, I called an ambulance.”

The tears were running down the sides of my face and soaking into my hair, he dabbed them gently with a tissue. “Don’t cry, Mom. They’ll get you out of here and you’re going to be okay.”