Anna Wake Up is a short story about a young mother (Anna) who is struggling with a grave decision; to stay or leave her abusive boyfriend and father of her newborn son.
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“Whatever, you don’t care about me,” he accused. “…by the way, Anna, why didn’t you answer your cell phone today? I called you at least a hundred times. I mean, what the fuck is your problem? When I call you, you’d better answer that goddamned phone!” he yelled, slamming his lunchbox on the counter.
“I told you it fell in the washing machine last week,” I said trying to remain calm.
“Whatever. You know what? I don’t even care anymore.” He walked over to the sink and turned on the faucet. I waited in the doorway; like every evening around this time, my stomach once again tingling with anxiety.
I watched him from behind as he scrubbed out his lunchbox. He was wearing his old brown overalls and dirty work boots. When he set his hat down on the counter, the back of his head revealed a newly forming bald spot. He was tall and fat and getting fatter and uglier by the day; I sometimes wondered what it was I saw in him in the first place. He hadn’t held a door open for me since our third date, and he seemed to be trying to break his own personal record for usage of swear words; it must have been the way he beat up a guy who was hitting on me at the bar. Yes, that must have been it. Mike and I broke up once, right after I found out I was pregnant. He said he would not take me back until I got, “…rid of it.” With nowhere else to live and no friends to take him in, he returned within a week.
Mike seemed to have forgotten that I was still standing there as he had become entirely engrossed in washing his lunchbox. He rinsed off the lunchbox, shut off the water and ran his finger across the red plastic; his mood improved instantly the moment he heard it squeak.
“Well, what is it that you wanted earlier?” My voice broke our newly waterless silence. It took me just over one year to figure out that Mike was all bark and no bite, and as far as communicating with him, I’d have better luck if I bent over and screamed into my own rear end. Yet, I couldn’t help hoping that he may have called to thank me for the eggplant parmesan sandwich that I had made for him, or at least the banana spiced muffin.
“I don’t want shit from you.” He turned around to face me and shook the excess water droplets from his still steaming lunchbox.
“Then why did you call over one hundred times?” This seemed like a logical, albeit sarcastic, question at the time, but the look on Mike’s face quickly reminded me that I was dealing with an irrational, hot-tempered creature. Mike gently placed his lunchbox in the dish drain then started walking towards me. He got in my face and gave me a brief demonic smile. At that moment the devil himself peaked out from behind Mike’s eyes.
“Anna, Wake Up is a gritty view of domestic violence that rewards the reader with a glimpse of the power needed to escape and move on. There is a spiritual element that provides both mystery and interest. A very good story, well worth reading. I highly recommend it.” -Author, Leslie Lee (Smashwords.com) 4 of 4 stars
“This is a great book. I couldn’t put it down. The character is so moving. I really can relate to what she went through.” -Hellraiser (Amazon.) 5 of 5 stars
“This is a short and quick read. From my point of view, it certainly shows the power of love between mother and child – and how patterns of behaviour can repeat unwittingly. Yes it could have been a little longer, but that did not detract from my enjoyment and it is priced well for its length.” -Lisa J (Amazon.co.uk) 4 of 5 stars