YAFF Muse: Untarnished

18 Aug

Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read.  Enjoy!

iturnedaround by: inessaemilia

Untarnished

By: R.M.Gilbert

Skin slick with sweat, I take the man’s shirt from the floor and slip it on before heading outdoors. Cool mountain air licks my body dry. I shiver. He didn’t take my innocence; it was stolen a long time ago. Little by little. By a man who should have loved me. It’s this thought that drives me forward.

I hike the path down the side of the mountain, through the trees, to the dock. The stillness of the water greets me and I wait for the familiar feel of the dock tipping under Dean Boucamp’s weight.

“You did alright today,” Dean says coming up behind me. “He didn’t hurt you, did he?”

I shake my head no, like I always do.

He stands next to me. “We appreciate your help.”

“I know,” I whisper and glance at him from the corner of my eye. Badge clipped to his waist, gun strapped in a shoulder holster, dress shirt, tie, and the most trusting face I’ve ever seen in my life. It almost hurts to look at him. The department assigned “young detective Boucamp” to my case years ago. After they realized I was going to catch these men one way or another—with or without their help.

There’s just one thing I never came to expect, how I’d feel about Dean. I stare down at my feet. What right do I have to feel anything for him, when he’s seen how tarnished I am?

“You’ve got a big birthday coming up at the end of the week, don’t you?” he asks, always polite.

“Yeah, my eighteenth.”

“Do you remember what you told me?”

“I remember,” I say, thinking back to my high school graduation a few months ago when I shared with him my plans to join the police force.

“Well, I brought you a present.” He reaches in his shirt pocket, pulls out a business card, and hands it to me. “When you decide you’re ready, he’s expecting your call.”

I take the card and study it. “Thank you for this…and everything. I don’t know what I would have done without you helping me—”

He pivots closer. “You would have done just fine without me.”

“No.”

“Yes.” His fingers rake his hair. “Everything you do is perfection. And after all you’ve been through.”

“Perfection?”

He clears his throat. “I mean, you’re strong and bright and you’ve taken control of your life instead of letting the hurt control you.”

I spot movement on the path; it’s his new partner. “Hey Boucamp, we’re about finished here. Fredrick’s on his way to county lock-up with the perp.”

“We’ll be right up,” says Dean without taking his eyes off me. “Give us a minute?”

“You got it,” his partner says, then disappears up the path.

“How’s it going with him?” I ask.

“Pretty good.” Dean inhales loudly and gazes out at the water. “You know your Uncle’s being released this weekend?”

“Uh-hm, on my birthday.” My stomach knots. “Seems like a cruel present, doesn’t it?”

“I was thinking maybe I ought to come over that day.”

“Dean. Detective. You don’t have to—”

“I won’t be on duty,” he says.

And at that moment I feel hope. “So you don’t think I’m tarnished?”

“What?” Surprise catches in his voice. “No. I think you deserve all that’s good in the world.”

©2010, August 17, rmg.

If you or someone you know is/has been affected by child abuse please follow the link below:

CHILD HELP

Or Call: National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD

Child abuse and neglect are nothing new to our society, but as long as it continues to exist we owe it to the children to address it. In this instance, I wanted to show a victim who’s come full circle. I wanted to express how she’s taken something painful and let it empower her. And in the end allow her to see that she’s not seen as ruined. That a future awaits her.

Thanks for coming by. Please drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

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R.L.Purdy

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5 Responses to “YAFF Muse: Untarnished”

  1. Traci Kenworth August 18, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Great story, Rachel!! And a serious subject, glad you’re heroine got through it and made something of her life!

  2. Vanessa August 18, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    Awesome. I like the movment of the characters emotions, from despair to hope. I like the way you’ve ended it too. Really great piece. 🙂

  3. Rebekah L Purdy August 18, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Rachel,

    I thought you pulled this one off really well. You took a serious situation and allowed for your character to grow and see hope. And like the others said, I think you captured the emotions very well! Another great one!

  4. Cambria Dillon August 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Nice job Rachel! I liked their interaction together. The dialogue flowed really well and you could really get a sense that he cares for her. 🙂

  5. Min August 18, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Nice job lady. I love the message and I love that there is hope in this story. It’s really excellent. 😀

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