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Monday, September 30, 2013
Hearts of Gold Preview
innocence.Can it be accurately defined?
It is the soft look
on a baby's face as they really notice you for the first time.The second their beautiful eyes open and gaze
lovingly into your own while their tiny fingers grip your hand.The feel of your heart as it leaps happily in
your chest, overcome with a clarity, a joy unmatched by any other.You could swear you see clearly into the
depths of their precious soul.The
moments you fall in love with them over and over again.
It is the need
for a puppy to curl up at your feet only to bounce up and follow you wherever
you may go.The writhing of their body
as you bend down to cradle them in your arms.The smell of their breath as they nestle their furry face next to yours.
It is the look
of complete and utter trust as your toddler puts their faith in you to love
them, teach them and keep them out of harm's way.Or the feel of their tiny arms wrapped around
you as they lay their heads down to sleep at night. The gentle sound of their
voice as they whisper they love you.
It is the exhilarated
tail wag as your senior dog awaits your arrival.The unbridled enthusiasm as you greet them at
purity.These are the makings of real
and tender love, most often found in children and dogs, and often recognized by
These are the
very terms that describe Hearts of Gold.
Chapter 1-The Sanctity of Marriage
The inside of a home should be cozy and warm,
blanketed by the love between husband and wife, not chilled by a hatred that a
blazing fire couldn't kindle.
the moment of inception, and quite conceivably some time before, an insurmountable
grief had been bestowed upon Peyton's young life—a period when innocence and
youth should have gone hand in hand, a time when the only darkness should have always
been accompanied by a comforting bedtime story and a favorite teddy bear.
her darkness began in the wee hours of almost every morning and continued until
her tiny body lay to rest at night.
horrors were measured by how well her mother could keep her father's temper at
bay. With his short fuse, the method of measurement was almost always cut in
could blame the frigid weather for the constant chill in the air. It would have
been more accurate to blame the bitterness on the likes of Wayne Henry Bishop, Peyton's
often it was Peyton's mother, Morgan, who suffered the brunt of the beatings, Wayne
was not shy about raising his fist to his daughter on occasion or assaulting
her with words, mostly those meant to diminish her self-esteem. He had all the
ammunition he needed, like the neighborhood bully, and fired away at his
daughter every chance he saw fit.
no way could he even be classified as a caregiver to Peyton.
mother on the other hand did what she could to give Peyton a normal life,
though it wasn't much. With her petite build, porcelain skin, beautiful light
brown hair, and cerulean blue eyes, most men would've agreed that Morgan was a
catch. If they were smart, they would consider themselves lucky just to be in
her presence. Her husband's awareness of her beauty only made him more
determined to maintain control. He dangled her very life in front of her like a
carrot before a starving bunny.
could remember when it first started—the beatings. Back then it was more of a slap
here or a push there.
first, it amounted to nothing more than a shock, a burst of confusion, a blow
to her ego.
was always confident, never submissive. She was also capable of a hot temper
when warranted, but she was no match for his brawny build of six foot four or
the fiery beast that grew within.
the slaps turned into punches, her foolish pride was what initially kept her in
a marriage that her parents hadn't approved of from the very beginning.
wasn't long before she had a change of heart. She would trade her pride for her
life any day. But she wondered now if it was too late.
Morgan's pregnancy, Wayne flaunted his masculinity by using her stomach as a
punching bag when things didn't go his way, which was quite frequently according
the bruises she sustained, it was a miracle that she survived his abuse, no
less managed to carry her pregnancy to full term.
felt that by "punishing"her,
he would teach her a very valuable lesson. And what a teacher he was.
to her in private, claiming that he was making her tough and the baby even
tougher. He held their lives by a string; they were mere puppets to do what he
wanted when he commanded it be done.
the rare occasions where she chose to fight back, he put her in her place with
frequent threats."I can kill you
in a heartbeat.You're just lucky that I
choose not to, Morgan."
charming personality was his saving grace around all of Morgan's friends. No
one in their right minds would ever suspect he was capable of hurting so much
as a hair on her head.
addition, he kept his arrogant comments to himself, especially when she came imminently
close to death in the hospital after a severe beating. The doctors were
pleasantly surprised when she recovered, though they weren't naive. When the physician
on call questioned him about Morgan's dire condition, Wayne adamantly denied
any allegations of abuse to his young wife. He rattled off one lame excuse
after the other, an act he'd improved upon subsequent to each beating. If lying
was a muscle, his was definitely toned.
Morgan's always hurting herself. She's been like that since the day I met
her.Thankfully I was around otherwise
who knows what would've happened!"
nurses predicted that Morgan would deny any abuse, and they were right. As soon
as Morgan recovered enough that she could speak, she stuck up for her husband,
an act she'd perfected and one she thought she performed flawlessly.
it was common for the hospital staff to see women admitted into emergency rooms
with a bloody nose or a broken leg. It was also common that these same women
suffered with battered woman syndrome.
was no different, fitting the cookie-cutter image to a genuine fault.
to be a loyal wife, or at least threatened if she didn't behave as such, she
never admitted anything was wrong with her marriage. Until she took those
difficult first steps, no one would be able to help her.
excuses always seemed viable for the many bruises she wore. Friends had
witnessed firsthand how clumsy Morgan appeared.
friend Tracy had even seen Morgan take a spill down the front steps outside of
her apartment in a snowstorm. She surmised that Morgan fell because the steps
were icy. It seemed like a logical explanation at the time.
Tracy didn't know—and couldn't know—was that Morgan fell due to a beating Wayne
had given her moments earlier.
irrational gripe? Morgan had made plans to go out without asking his permission
first. He accused her of having an affair, even though he was quite aware that she
was going shopping with Tracy, her lifelong best friend.
when Morgan stepped out onto the steps, she was still shaking from the pain her
husband had inflicted, causing her legs to give out beneath her and take a
tumble. Like the coward that he was, he made sure not to bruise her in any
obvious areas. Her stomach was the first place he usually aimed.
Tracy asked if she was okay, Morgan responded with, "Oh, yea. I'm so
clumsy.I should've known better than to
wear these shoes."She dismissed
the fall as if it were completely normal, even though she was in agonizing
Morgan never did share her misery with Tracy. To the outside world, Morgan and Wayne
had the ideal marriage, aside from their financial issues. But hey, who didn't
have problems with the economy in despair? And Wayne wouldn't have it any other
way. He threatened that if she told a soul, he would kill her and their unborn
me you'll do as I say or they'll be hell to pay, Morgan.Do I make myself clear?"
typically answered with a nod.She was
backed into a corner, given no choice.
believed he'd make good on his promise. He'd brought her close to death many
times before but then nursed her back to health after his rampage was over. His
beatings came simultaneously when he had a strong buzz on. His alcohol of
choice was good old Jack Daniels. Once he was able to see straight again, he'd "fix
up"his wife, as he called it,
apologize, and expect to start anew without any repercussions, as if it were
perfectly acceptable to beat someone weaker than him.There was always a reason as well.
you only hadn't said this, Morgan."Or, "If you only hadn't said that."
was never his wrongdoing.In his mind,
Morgan was the only one at fault.
had planned to leave him once Peyton was born, but her plan went awry when he
discovered her hidden stash of money. That was when the big beating came down
on her, teaching her a lesson she'd never forget: don't ever cross Wayne
she didn't forget. Now, she learned to be more careful.