My Dear Rosa Jean

My Dear Rosa Jean

by Carin Jayne Casey


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942132004
Publisher: Carin Jayne Casey
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Pages: 298
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

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My Dear Rosa Jean

By Carin Jayne Casey

abbott press

Copyright © 2012 Carin Jayne Casey
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4582-0224-6

Chapter One

As many churches do during revival, throughout the entire week the Benchmark Prayer House had been offering long evening revival meetings. In spite of the bitter winter weather and messy roads from so much snow lately, Aunt Grace and I had been able to attend two of these meetings, with this being our second. Thankfully, Aunt Grace lived only a few blocks from our church. Our favorite part of the service was the praise and worship portion, which featured plenty of singing. Revivals in particular have ample praise and worship before the sermon.

As I watched her get out of her car at her regular parking spot in the church lot, I quickly hopped out of mine. "Well, hello, Aunt Grace. How are you today? Cold, I suppose?"

She gave me a big smile as we hugged and kissed cheeks. "Oh yes, my dear, it sure is! Here, take my arm so we can hold each other up. I see icy patches."

We slowly navigated up the front steps and shook hands with the greeters at the door. Even though the weather was bad, and we were a little early, finding a good seat was not easy.

This evening a young and lively group led us all in a wonderful singing and dancing worship. The preaching was vigorous and to the point. At the end of the sermon, several people came forward to dedicate themselves to the Lord.

After the revival, we went to a nice little coffee shop, and Aunt Grace bought each of us a chocolate chip cookie to go with our hot chocolates; since the hour was late, we chose hot chocolate over coffee, given its lower dose of caffeine. We found a nice quiet spot in the corner with a small table and comfortable chairs.

Once settled in our seats, we began talking while enjoying our chocolate and cookies. We particularly enjoyed this little dessert because we both had sworn off sweets as our New Year's resolution for 2007, but then, that was a few weeks ago. We decided it was okay to indulge a little.

"So what've you been doing lately, Aunt Grace?"

"Oh, you know how I am. As long as the weather's as it is, I'll be warm and cozy in the house, working on my quilts. I've got two nearly finished for next year's Christmas presents, and by spring I should have a few more ready. I tell you, I can hardly wait to get outside an' work on my flower gardens."

"Yes, I can hardly wait for spring too. I have plans to start another rose garden."

During the course of our conversation, I shared with Aunt Grace that the previous night had been really rough for me. She knew that I still had trouble sleeping because of nightmares (which were actually bad memories). As usual my nightmare had been about something awful that had happened to me some time ago, when I lived with my husband Brad. So it was particularly uplifting for me to be with her at the revival.

"Well, you do look tired, my dear." Aunt Grace paused. "I'm not sure I'm ready, but I want to tell you this, Rosa Jean—if you feel up to it, I want you to share your nightmare with me. You know I'm here for you, and I'm a good listener."

"I'm not sure how ready I am either. Maybe it will feel better to share."

"Sweetie, let's just give it a try, shall we? Just tell me what your nightmare was about, and you can stop at any time if it makes you feel uncomfortable."

"Okay, I'll give it a try." As I cleared my throat, I inwardly looked at my nightmare and began sharing.

* * *

Brad and I were riding along in the car on a sunny afternoon when he suddenly stopped the car at a shoulder just wide enough to park next to a wooded area. I had not been paying attention, so I didn't know where we'd stopped. He glared into my eyes and in a crisp voice instructed me to get out; we were going for a walk.

"After walking a ways, Brad suddenly glared at me and ordered, 'Take off your clothes!'

"I didn't know what to make of this. At first I thought he wanted to act out a sort of sexual fantasy, but he was way too cold. I was confused and bewildered at this demand. I told Brad I couldn't; someone might come along and see me—this was a public place! But he didn't care what I had to say and began tearing my clothes off. To keep him from ripping them, I consented to undress.

"Once I was naked, he grabbed me and slammed me against a tree and proceeded to tie me up with a rope that he already had wrapped around his waist under his shirt. This hidden rope told me that what had seemed spontaneous to me, he had actually planned. I was about to experience something dark and ugly, but I couldn't imagine how it would play out.

"After he had me tied up, I still had no idea what the next move would be. To my surprise, he simply and casually said, 'Well, I'm going to get something to eat and will be back sometime.'

"At first, for a few seconds, I felt relieved as I watched him walk away, amazed that this was what he had planned, but suddenly, I realized I'd be trapped and alone without him.

"I yelled, 'Wait! You can't leave me like this! Come back! Please come back.' But it didn't matter what I had to say. He never looked back; he was gone.

"As time slipped by, I became progressively more anxious that I'd be left tied to the tree through the night, that a stranger or animal would come along, see me, and maybe hurt me. I was vulnerable, trapped, and afraid! I prayed to God for protection, for someone to rescue me, and I even prayed for Brad to return.

"Time did pass very slowly, and the wooded area progressively became darker. I have no idea how long I was actually alone in the woods tied to a tree, but I was alone the entire time.

"Then Brad came back. I was nearly crazy with relief that he returned—and that was crazy. He didn't have anything to say; he simply untied me, dropped my clothes and shoes at my feet, and waited for me to put them on.

"I said nothing to him and showed no emotion. I didn't want him to get the satisfaction of knowing how terribly frightened I'd been, how relieved I was that he had returned, or how angry I was with him and myself for being partnered with Brad, a monster.

"So we rode back to the house without speaking."

* * *

Aunt Grace and I sat quietly while she held my hand, and she calmly said, "God gives us comfort during our life storms. '... in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast ...' That's in Psalms 57:1–3 (KJV)."

She paused. "I wonder if you'd mind sharing your story with me about your relationship with Brad. It may do you some good to get it out, and I want to help you in your recovery."

I thought about this. My sweet aunt loved me; she had the time, patience, and wisdom to listen; and I trusted her. I felt comfortable sharing with her personal things about my life.

Aunt Grace had consistently been a great listener for anyone, not just for me. Besides, she had always said that it was good for her to demonstrate loving concern toward another person, and I believed this to be a talent of hers.

With that in mind, I agreed to tell her about my life with Brad.

* * *

She prompted me to tell her my story, asking, "How did you first meet Bradley? Did a friend introduce you to him?"

As I gazed into the distance, I searched inside for some sense of logical order for sharing those sad memories.

"We were complete strangers. We met through a website dating service. As you might imagine, I was depressed after my marriage with Steve fell apart. We began our divorce during the fall in 1992 while I was working in accounting at a health clinic in Staunton, Virginia. My Jed was going through a heart-wrenching divorce about the same time.

"During the spring Jed moved to West Virginia after losing custody of their baby Joey. It was a very sad time for us; we were particularly crushed to find ourselves separated from Joey. This awful transition was magnified by a drastic blizzard that hit Virginia right after he left. We—my Belinda and I—felt sad and alone while this happened to us."

Aunt Grace interjected, "Was that blizzard the one they called 'the Great Storm of the Century'? Wayne and I were in Germany when it hit, but we knew about it through the news."

"Yes, I think that is what they called it. Other areas were much worse off than we were. But still, we had freezing temperatures and over six inches of snow accumulations around Staunton, not to mention fallen trees and power outages. With all that going on, it became obvious to Belinda and me that we no longer had a man around to protect us.

"Soon after, Belinda decided that she wanted to spend her senior year of high school living with her dad, and she planned to leave for West Virginia right after school ended in June. I was not eager to face having an empty nest."

"Oh yes," Aunt Grace said, "I can imagine what a painful transition period that would be for you and your children."

"Yeah. My coworkers noticed how sad I was at that time, too. I suppose they grew tired of my pitiful attitude and decided what I needed was to get out into the dating world. I don't know whose bright idea it was to place my profile on the dating website, but they made a collaborative effort to find me a date-match. Then they told me about it and persuaded me to respond once there appeared to be a good match for me."

Aunt Grace raised her eyebrows. "Rosa Jean, I've heard of these Internet services, and they can be dangerous sometimes. Without a network of friends to vouch for the stranger you plan to date, there are plenty of risks. How many dates did you have before you met Brad? Tell me, what was your first impression of him?"

"Brad was my first and only date through that website. Once we were matched, he soon called me, and we began talking. From my several conversations with him, I learned he was single and divorced, with a grown daughter, and he had a successful career in sales. He said he loved walks in the park and romantic dinners. He claimed to be friendly, charming, and even witty at times. From our conversations on the phone, this seemed true, and I sensed that he should do well in sales, apparently having a charismatic personality. He also said he was handsome—he hadn't provided a picture— and he was in his late forties and six feet tall.

"The things Brad told me were all appealing, and we seemed to have common interests. He mentioned that he was affectionate, and I've always preferred a man willing to demonstrate affection rather than one who is reserved and less attentive."

Aunt Grace frowned. "I wish you had met him though your friends because you just can't tell what a person's character, values, or morals may be just by talking on the phone with him. But then, I suppose even after being acquainted with a person for a short while, you can't really know them then, either ... Anyway, you did meet with him. Where did you decide to meet on your first date, my dear? Was he handsome? Did he act like a gentleman? I suppose on any first date the fellow would make every effort to impress."

"Brad and I discussed several options for our first meeting, and because I wanted to exercise some caution, I asked him to meet me at a nice, but not expensive, restaurant within Staunton, so it would not be too far for either of us to travel. We agreed to pleasantly enjoy the entire meal together, unless one of us really couldn't bear to continue. In such case, both of us would graciously part company.

"After obsessing over what to wear for my first date, I chose a simple dress, one that looked good on me (but not sexy) and could serve as casual or business casual."

"So Rosa Jean, what was your first impression—what did he really look like?"

"When I first caught sight of him, I immediately noticed he indeed was much taller than me, so much so that I didn't like it. I barely hit five feet, and I don't really like to be around men who are beyond six feet tall; I look like a child next to them and feel intimidated. Brad was at least six-foot-four and slim, so he seemed even taller. But he was also very attractive with dark hair and striking features. I could tell that he was much older than he had claimed too, by up to ten years.

"As we greeted each other and introduced ourselves, I was especially disappointed that his eyes were not pretty or expressive. He seemed to have a problem looking directly into my eyes, and when he did, they were like cold chunks of coal. Since height and expressive eyes are my top physical priorities, I was not impressed. But I decided quickly that these things were superficial, not the important stuff about a man. Maybe I could overlook my disappointments about his appearance if there were enough positive factors about him."

"So," Aunt Grace said, "he wasn't truthful about himself and was much older than you expected. Of course you were disappointed at the start."

"Well, the age didn't matter so much; remember, my Rodney was much older too, and I could tell while on the phone with him that he had a charm about him like Rodney had ... So our conversations at the table went smooth enough as we ordered our meal, except it gave me concern when he told the waitress to bring me a Tom Collins. I don't like that drink, and in particular I didn't want to drink on our first date, so I immediately told the waitress to skip it."

"Well, dear, you'd think he would check with you before ordering it."

I nodded agreement and continued. "As we were served our main dish, Brad continued bubbling with his entertaining, charming personality. From the beginning, this included flirting with the waitress, and the amount of time he spent flirting with her during the dinner became uncomfortable. I chose not to let it bother me; after all, I had no emotions invested in him, and he was probably showing off his prowess. I reminded myself that Rodney too had been flirtatious at times."

"Hmm. It seems you compared him with Rodney a lot. But I guess since your relationship with Rodney was a good one, it's logical to compare all others with him. Please continue, dear."

"Brad ate much faster than I did and was nearly done eating when he suddenly began asking questions, as if we'd shifted to a business interview. He asked where I work, my position or title and number of years there; he also asked if I own or rent my house, if anyone lives with me and where I live. As his string of questions continued, I began to feel uncomfortable; some of his questions seemed inappropriate and personal. I felt like I was being interrogated! I tried to make light of the questioning and became more evasive. Finally, as a defensive tactic, I started firing questions of my own. Feeling himself on the hot seat, Brad lightened up, and the rest of our dinner was more casual and pleasant.

"At the end of our meal, Brad told the waitress I'd be having dessert. Again with this ordering something without consulting me? Maybe I'm too independent because I didn't like him doing this. Graciously I thanked him and told the waitress that I was too full for a dessert."

"Gee, he was a bit aggressive, wasn't he?"

"Now that I think about it, he appeared a tad irritated with me for speaking up when I refused the drink and again when I refused the dessert. I thought he was upset with himself. Anyway, we didn't discuss it. By the end of the evening, I was tired of the charming banter, and my patience was exhausted."

"How did you end the evening with him? Did he walk you to your car and kiss you?"

"Frankly, I don't even remember how we parted. Did he give me a peck on the cheek, or did we shake hands? I don't know. But I felt relieved after getting into my car to leave. I hadn't decided whether I'd see him again or not."

"So why did you go out with him again, if you had such misgivings about him? You weren't even impressed with his appearance. Were you very lonely? Do you think maybe you were too needy and vulnerable after your recent breakup? So many questions! I don't mean to bombard you like this."

We laughed at that, having just discussed Brad's many questions.

"I don't know, Aunt Grace. As for my being lonely, my friends knew I was depressed; that's why they set me up with the dating website. But at the same time, I don't think I was so much lonely for a man, but I was unhappy. With Jed already in West Virginia and Belinda soon to leave too, I was beginning to dread being alone. I guess I was looking for a way to make myself happy again. Maybe dating would help. Maybe I should've given myself more time to heal before jumping into the dating world."

"Sweetheart, I can certainly relate to being alone and unhappy. After my dear Wayne passed, I was terribly depressed for four years, which is why no one heard from me much during that time. But it did me no good to sit alone and brood. So really, I'm glad that you made the effort to move on and begin dating again."


Excerpted from My Dear Rosa Jean by Carin Jayne Casey Copyright © 2012 by Carin Jayne Casey. Excerpted by permission of abbott press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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My Dear Rosa Jean 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very thought-provoking. It makes real a side of life that we've all heard about, but most of us have never been through. I am filled with admiration for Rosa Jean. She has proven beyond a doubt that adversity can be overcome through strength of will with the help of a higher power. It is clear she is a true survivor by the grace of God. Anyone in need of encouragement and inspiration will find it in the pages of this book.
Mystrotlc More than 1 year ago
All I can say is WOW! This fiction based on a "true life story" kept me spellbound from chapter-to-chapter. A very well written work that took me right into Rosa Jean's world, which was a true rollar coaster of emotions. Its so hard to imagine that those whose paths we might cross in our everyday walks of life may be dealing with such agonizing situations. But on that same note, its amazing how the victim's strengrh, courage and faith allowed her to overcome and escape her living nightmare. WOW!!