“You OK, May? You look pale?”
May looked up from her phone, her blue eyes were wide as she seemed to look right through her husband. He waved a hand in front of her face and she shook herself out of it. “Oh my God.”
“What’s wrong?” James sat down across from her at their kitchen table. He laid both palms flat on the table and leaned forward, ready to hear every word.
“Nothing. I’m sorry. It’s just something I saw on Facebook. How stupid of me to let social media affect me like this, right?” She gave her husband a crooked grin, but he wasn’t fooled.
“I’ve been married to you for a long time. You’re not stupid. What’s wrong?”
May’s smile faltered and she looked back down at her phone.
May fiddled with her phone. “It has to do with something I never told you about.”
“So tell me now.”
May took a deep breath and forced the words out. “I was molested as a child.”
James blinked several times as he tried to comprehend this. “What? Who? What?”
“One of my babysitters. Craig.”
It took James a minute of mental searching to put a face to the name. “Craig McEvans? I thought he was a friend of your family.”
“He was. That’s how he got the babysitting job.”
James was incredulous until he put the pieces together. “You never told your parents.”
May shook her head. “I never told anyone. Now look.” She flipped her phone around so it lay on the table before him, with the screen facing up. He saw a headline that read “St. Louis Man Arrested On Charges of Child Molestation.”
James scanned the article detailing how, almost ten years after the event, a woman had reported to the police that Craig had molested her when babysitting her as a child. The woman was only a few years younger than May.
When James looked up from the screen, May was holding her hands over her mouth, palms together so the fingers formed a steeple shape over her nose. James didn’t know what to say, so he waited.
“I always thought I was the only one,” she said, her voice barely above a whisper.
“With guys like these, there’s never just one victim.” He searched his wife’s face. “Is it a relief to know you weren’t his only victim?”
“A relief! James I could have stopped this. I could have said something back then and he would have gone to jail then. Not twelve years later. If I had thought for a moment he would do this to anyone else I-“
James sprang up from his seat, circled the table, and knelt to hug his wife, who collapsed into tears in his arms.
When she had calmed down enough to pull away, James continued to rub her back and murmur what he hoped were comforting words. “You were just a kid. There’s no way you could have known.”
May nodded, but she didn’t seem to be listening to him. “It’s not too late,” she said softly.
“Not too late for what?”
May looked across the table at her phone, although the screen had gone dark. “To speak out.”
James froze and May looked at him with a question in her eyes.
“You’re sure? You know you don’t have to.”
May nodded. “I have to. I can’t leave her to face this alone.”
James nodded slowly as he took in her decision and all the implications. “You know this won’t be easy. I’m not trying to talk you out of it, I just want to be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
May smiled crookedly. “Of course I know. Why do you think I never said anything before? Why do you think I can’t leave her to do this on her own? To sit here silently while she fights this battle would be like throwing her to the wolves. I couldn’t live with myself if I did that.”
“So you’re going to throw yourself to the wolves?”
May smiled again and looked her husband in the eye. “Wolves hunt in packs. If we’re going to stand a chance againsy them, we have to form our own pack.”
“All right. What do you want me to do?”
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