“Lead the way,” Liam said.
At once, Aubrey led Liam onto her parents’ property and then into the barn.
She walked to the breaker panel and turn the lights on, then they walked to the loft, where they sat and talked.
“So, Liam, tell me your long story,” Aubrey said with great interest.
“Well,” Liam replied, “I’m nineteen years old and I want to make sure, first of all, that you’re not jailbait. I did enough time in juvenile detention and I definitely don’t want to go to men’s prison.”
“I’m twenty-two actually, but I’ll take it as a compliment that you thought I was younger!” Aubrey said, blushing.
“Okay, then here’s my story:” Liam continued, “From an early age, my parents beat the daylights out of me for anything and everything. I grew up in a small conservative town where such parenting styles were encouraged. One day, my dad was beating me and I fought back. I was fifteen years old and couldn’t take it anymore. So, I gave him a bloody nose. My mom called 911 and I was arrested. While I was in custody, the sheriff raped me multiple times. And when I attempted to report him, he beat me with his club and threatened to kill me if I ever spoke of it again. I got raped twice more in the juvenile hall where the judge ordered me to stay until my eighteenth birthday. As soon as that time came, I left that town and never looked back. So for the past year and a couple months, I’ve been freight-hopping to travel and doing odd jobs for cash. I’ve been all over The States and even parts of Canada. I just got off of a train at the marshaling yard outside of this town and now I am looking for work.”
Aubrey embraced Liam, cradled his head in her lap and played with his hair, as she told him, “Wow! I wish I could have rescued you because you’re so sweet and didn’t deserve any of that horror. I too have a past, so I can somewhat understand you, that is if you want to hear it.”
“Well you’ve heard mine, so I definitely want to hear yours,” Liam replied.
“Well, I was engaged to marry my high school sweetheart. I thought he truly loved me and that he would stick by me no matter what. Then one autumn evening, we were having a bonfire and he was drunk and passed out. Three boys gang-raped me. I kept it to myself for the longest time, but because of the trauma, I started gaining weight. He became less and less attracted to me. I know I had gotten fat and he distanced himself from me because of it, but we still planned the wedding anyway. Well, he jilted me at the altar and now I’m basically a spinster living on my parents’ farm.”
“I think you’re beautiful, weight included!” Liam said as he looked up into her eyes.
“Thanks. You’re so sweet.” Aubrey replied, wrapping her arms and legs around him.
“I feel so safe in your embrace. I never want to leave it.”
“Then don’t leave it, ever!” Aubrey told him as she kissed him.
“Where will I find work though?”
“There’s lots of cash jobs here. Why even on my daddy’s farm!”
“Farm work is tough, but I’ve done tougher!”
“Yes, it’s tough, but I can get you guaranteed work, especially if you have any future with me. I mean would you even want me?”
Liam smiled from ear to ear, nodded and then said, “I sure would. You’re so pretty and you’re being so kind to me. I think your weight makes you sexy and I too have a past, so I think we would understand each other and be an awesome couple.”
“Oh, Liam, you’ve made me so happy. I never thought I would find anyone else ever again!”
“And now there may be some very needed stability to my life as well.”
With that, a bolt of lightning hit the transformer and the barn became totally dark aside from the light from the window.
Liam reached into his pants pocket and pulled out a Mini Maglite. He then put that flashlight in candle mode and lit up the barn, as he said, “Best eight dollars I ever spent right here!”
Aubrey smiled and said, “It’s cute how you’re so prepared!” She then kissed him.
“I try my best,” Liam replied, blushing.
“That’s a really neat backpack. I’ve never seen one like it.”
“Thanks. I bought it at a high-end shop in Uptown New Orleans.”
“What else do you have in that backpack?”
“A Uniden Police scanner with its charger, some Winchester hobo tools, a couple of tee shirts and slacks, my canteen and some freeze-dried food and my backup flashlight a Streamlight Stylus Pro. A railroad bull sold it to me, little did he know, I had just snuck off a freight train in the yard he was supposed to be patrolling. I made up a story saying how I was interested in the yard because I was interested in buying his flashlight and he believed me then sold it to me!” Then Liam reached into his other pocket and pulled out a Case Trapper pocket knife and said, “I’m really proud of this. An old man that I briefly stayed with gave it to me for helping him around his house. He was unfortunately then committed to a nursing home and he gave it to me. That old man was the closest I ever had to a family.”
The weather began to get really dark.
Liam looked at his G-Shock and then said, “Might be a tornado, it normally doesn’t get this dark around three in the afternoon.”
“Can’t you get weather band on that police scanner you have?”
“Then tune it in!”
Liam turned his scanner on and then accessed the Weather function. Seconds later they heard the warning tones and a tornado bulletin.
“That’s this county!” Aubrey said nervously.
She pulled a Midland two way radio out of her dress pocket, turned it on and keyed up saying, “Daddy, we were just issued a tornado warning. Come to the storm cellar.”
Her dad’s voice crackled in, “I’m coming right now, baby girl. Just make sure your mother knows as well.”
“Where should I go?” Liam asked.
“In the storm cellar with me and my parents, where else?”
“Thank me later, let’s just get down there!”
Aubrey and Liam rushed down the loft stairs and then out of the barn.
Though it was around three in the afternoon, the sky was ominously black.
Aubrey’s mother was walking outside calling for her daughter by the light of a vintage Eveready Commander Lantern.
Liam shined his Mini Maglite as he was following Aubrey to the cellar door.
“Aubrey, who’s this young man?”
“I’ll tell you once we’re all safe, just let him in he has nowhere to go!”
“Fair enough, Aubrey.”
Moments later, Aubrey’s dad pulled up on his John Deere tractor, parked it, then by the light of a Rayovac Workhorse flashlight that he kept in the cab of his tractor, also rushed to the cellar.
Once all were inside, the door was bolted.
The storm raged on with its fury…