Unlawful Imprisonment, page 1
Thank you for being there no matter what UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT
Tracey Ann Higgins © Tracey Ann Higgins 2011 Prologue
A young David Reese was awakened by the high pitched voice of his mother. The ten-year-old boy crept slowly down the hallway to his parent’s bedroom. He was positive that they could hear his heart pounding. Through the crack
of the open door he saw his father straddling his mother. “André, I’m not in the mood for it tonight.”
“Come on, you’re always in the mood for me.” He
was holding a pair of handcuffs.
“I’m serious honey, I’m exhausted.”
“That’s all the better. You don’t have to do a thing.
Just put your hands up to the headboard and I’ll do the rest.” He twirled the handcuffs around.
“Alright, but lock the door in case the kids wake up. And not so long this time.”
“I’ll decide how long.”
Horrified, David started back to his room. He looked
behind him and saw his father. André smiled at his youngest son and closed the door. David went back to his room as if he didn’t see anything. After all, that’s what he had been doing for the past three years. However, his father had never caught him before that night.
David’s brot her, Aaron, who was one year older never knew about his parent’s activities. His bedroom was on the first floor and he never heard anything. David never told Aaron about the things he saw. It was a secret he carried throughout his childhood. Aside from Aaron, he would have no one to tell anyway because he had few friends. The friends he did have knew very little about him. David would never have invited somebody over the house because he was afraid of what mood André would be in. Aaron, on the other hand, was very popular because of his attitude. He was the tough guy in school who was always willing to do something outrageous for a laugh. He would pay the price later.
Like all children, David was curious about what went on in his parent’s bedroom. He came home from school one day and went through their things. In a box under the bed were all sorts of pornographic items that a child’s eyes should not see. In addition, there were videotapes but he didn’t dare to watch them. Some of them were labeled US. David always wondered why his father brought a camcorder but never seemed to use it. He made sure everything was put back the way he found them, but his father showed up at the door when he was walking to the door.
“What the Hell do you think you’re doing?” When André yelled, the veins in his forehead looked like they were ready to burst.
David was stuttering. “I…I”
“I was just looking…”
“Ever hear of privacy?”
“I don’t think you are, but you’re going to be.” André,
who towered over his son at 6’5, gave David a stone cold look that paralyzed him with fear. David could only imagine the worst. “You are going to learn the meaning of the word privacy.” For the next two days David was forced to leave his bedroom and bathroom doors open whenever he went in. His father would walk in whenever he liked. Aaron never talked to David while he was on punishment and David didn’t blame him. He didn’t want Aaron to get into trouble. Their mother, Louise, never did anything to stop André from his horrific punishments. She had stood up to her husband once and she woke up the next morning black and blue. For the most part she ignored the children while they were being punished, probably because she feared being next. The only thing she did have control over was keeping the house clean. She was one of those annoying people who kept the furniture in plastic coverings. Andre would have had a fit if anything was damaged or out of place.
Louise never had a mind of her own. She was raised by her mother and never knew her father. She had no siblings or any other family. Her mother had an enormous amount of boyfriends who came and went quicker than Louise could get to know them. André swept her off her feet when she was seventeen and they have been together ever since. Louise thought of it as a fairy tale with André taking her away from the prison she grew up in. He was the only man she was ever with and would do anything to make him happy.
When they were first married, Louise looked like she could be a model with her smooth porcelain white skin and jet black hair. However, a few years with André changed that. She was now equipped with bags under her eyes and a few extra pounds from her two pregnancies. Her weight gain never bothered him because he felt that it was a mark of her womanhood after giving birth. She almost had a breakdown during her pregnancy with Aaron because all her husband was concerned with was having a son. As a matter of fact, after David was born André convinced her into having her tubes tied. He didn’t want another child and he especially did not want a daughter.
The physical abuse was rare. The majority of abuse was emotional, hidden away from society. André Reese was a well-respected man in the community. He owned an art gallery which was started by his great-grandfather. He donated to charities and was the head of all the food and clothing drives along with any other charitable organization in the neighborhood. André was considered to be a very compassionate man by his neighbors, but it was unfortunate that his family didn’t get to see that side of him too often. It was as if he were two different people. David assumed that since his father gave so much to the community, why should he have to give at home as well? His physical health was also very important to him. He was well built and there was never a hair out of place. Aaron used to be overweight as a child but he was put on a strict diet. André’s concern was not that Aaron’s health would suffer as much as he was with the embarrassment of having an overweight child. At holidays and parties Aaron would have to sit at the kitchen table and have nothing but a glass of skimmed milk while everyone around him ate.
Aaron had always been in more trouble than David. David never knew why Aaron did the things he did, knowing full well that their father would be harsh. Aaron was locked in a closet for five hours one day for going out after school instead of coming right home and cleaning his room. He never even cried, which irritated André. He could not break Aaron, but he could break David. When André was in a good mood, Aaron still caused trouble, almost like it was on purpose. When Aaron was thirteen he and his friends were at a newsstand and they dared Aaron to steal a magazine. Aaron was not one to ever back down from dare so he did it. The owner of the stand caught Aaron before he reached the end of the block and called André and Louise. As usual, Louise had no say in the punishment. That was the only time Aaron was truly scared of his father. After a week of being grounded, a military officer showed up at the door. Aaron came home from school that day not, knowing it would be his last for awhile.
“Aaron, this is Colonel Lauter and you are going with him.” Aaron looked petrified for the first time in his life. “If I can’t teach you discipline, maybe a good military school can.” David was watching from the top of the spiral staircase and Louise was crying in the kitchen.
“You heard me.”
“Dad please! It will never happen again, I swear!” “Son, this is going to be an excellent experience for
you. This school will teach you to grow into a respected man.”
“What like you?”
“Excuse me?” André raised his eyebrows.
“You heard me.” Aaron sounded exactly like his father. David knew that since he was being shipped off to school Aaron might as well stand up to the old bastard. The Colonel stared at the floor while André and Aaron stared at each other.
“Well, well. You will be lucky to turn out like me. If I wasn’t strict with you, God knows what you would be
Aaron snapped right back. “I would be better off living in a God Dammed card board box!”
“That’s it! Colonel, take this smart-ass to school. We’ll see how you talk down there.”
“Yes Mr.Reese.” Colonel Lauter had never witnessed a scene like that before.
“I’ll go pack.”
“It’s done. I did it for you.”
“Great. That’s the nicest thing you ever did for me.”
Louise came out of the kitchen and cried as she hugged Aaron. André broke it up. “Alright that’s enough. Let him get on his way.”
Aaron looked up the stairs and saw David. The look on their faces said all there was to say. Aaron was truly upset about leaving only because of David. He hated the idea of leaving his little brother with André. The car drove off and that was that. They wouldn’t see each other again until Thanksgiving. While Aaron was at school, he was much calmer. David turned into the perfect son, but it was all an act. He brought home straight A’s even if it meant he had to cheat, he kept his room spotless and whenever something was bothering him he never let it show. Very rarely he would talk to his mother, but that never helped him anyway. David was so busy trying to be the perfect son that he never made any new friends. He had lost the ones he did have since he could never socialize. Louise never went anywhere unless André was with her so she too had no friends. With Aaron gone, things were worse for her. She stared drinking when she was depressed, which was often. She didn’t work because there was no need for her to, besides the fact that André would have never allowed it. He would not have people thinking that he could not support his family.
Aaron’s first visit home was surprisingly nice. He addressed his father as sir, dressed in uniform and went on and on about how he loved school. However, when he went upstairs to talk with his brother, he was his old self again.
“Dave, how have you been? You didn’t call for two weeks.” Aaron sounded more like an adult than a thirteen year old. They matured quickly in the Reese household. Aaron had a crew cut, a look David could have never pictured his brother having.
“I’m okay, don’t worry. Do you really like it there?”
“I didn’t at first, it was tough. But I met a few guys who are really cool to hang out with. The second week I thought I would go crazy, but then I realized that even though I was miserable, it wasn’t any worse than here. If I get into trouble there I have to clean the bathrooms for a week. I don’t have to worry about getting locked in a closet.” His voice was shaking.
“Have you been in trouble?”
“No. How has shit head been treating you?”
“Fine, I just stay out of his way and say what he wants to hear.”
“That should make him happy.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“What about mom?”
“She started drinking a lot.”
“What does he have to say about that?” Aaron no longer referred to their father as dad.
“Nothing, she does it when he’s away on business. Bythe time he gets home, she’s fine. He doesn’t notice anything he doesn’t want to.”
“When do you think you’ll be home for good?”
Aaron looked to the floor. “He doesn’t want me back. If things seem as good for him as you say, why would he?”
“Well, maybe that…”
“No,” he interrupted, “no way.”
“There is no way I’m going to put on an act for him twenty four hours a day. I’ll stay in that school, which isn’t so bad. When I graduate I can get a job. Hopefully, I’ll never have to see that asshole again.”
David didn’t know what to say. In a way, he was jealous. “We better get downstairs.”
André was sitting on the couch reading the paper. “Aaron, your teachers tell me you’re doing excellent.”
“Yes I am. It’s tough but I can do it.”
“I knew you could. Sending you there was the best decision I ever made.” André actually sounded sincere. “I know we parted on bad terms, but you understand now, don’t you?”
“Yes sir. I’m starting to like school.”
“Excellent, glad to hear it.”
Louise’s voice echoed from the kitchen. “Dinner!” They went to eat and it was like a new family. There was no arguing, screaming or talking back. That however, was only because David and Aaron were putting on their acts. If they acted like themselves, they knew there would be hell to pay.
The following year was the same. Aaron would come home for the holidays, and David was the perfect son. It was routine. David felt as if he were in prison waiting to be let out. The following night, everything would change. That Saturday night, David stayed in his room instead of spying on his parents. That was the only thing that didn’t change. He didn’t leave his bedroom, even when he heard his mother crying. It wasn’t until a few moments later that he went to look. The door was locked. He listened while his mother was yelling into the phone.
“I need an ambulance! My husband is having a heart attack!”
David’s stomach was in a knot. He looked through the old fashioned keyhole and saw his mother hang up the phone, and then take the handcuffs off the headboard and put them under the bed to hide them. She was still crying. The ambulance showed up in a matter of minutes, and that was then Louise finally opened the door.
“Oh David!” She cried as she hugged him. “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry!”
He watched as they took his father’s lifeless body down the stairs. He didn’t comfort his mother. Instead, David went into his bedroom and sighed with relief. At the funeral, he and Aaron fought to keep the smiles off their faces. While the family was consoling Louise, Aaron and David stared at their father’s casket being lowered into the ground. They both felt as if a brick were being lifted off of them. They overheard the family talking about how David and Aaron were probably in shock. Little did they know the brothers enjoyed the fact that their father was gone and they vowed never to tell anyone about what living with André was like.
Amazingly, Louise quit drinking after André’s death. However, there were increasing problems between her and Aaron. She insisted that Aaron no longer go to military school, but as far as he was concerned, he didn’t want to be around her. He didn’t change his mind until he talked with David the night before he was supposed to go back to school.
“Aaron, you can’t tell me you would rather be in military school than at home.”
“Anyplace is better than here.” He was packing his bags and never made eye contact with David.
“But he’s gone. Don’t you understand?”
“Of course.” He said matter of factly.
“Then what’s the problem?”
Aaron stopped packing and sat on the bed. “She never did anything.”
“Who are you talking about?”
“Mom, who do you think? She stood by and never did a damn thing. All the punishments and the humiliation we went through. She just watched like we were a fucking Sunday night movie.”
“That’s not true.”
“No. Do you remember when Mom tried to talk with him?” David was losing his temper.
“Yes.” Aaron replied quietly.
“Well, would you rather have had Mom getting beat up?”
“No, but she could have took us and left or called the cops. She could have done something.”
“I know but she was scared.”
“Not as much as us.”
“Don’t be so sure. You didn’t hear her crying every night when he wasn’t here. She triedto be perfect for him.” They sat in silence and without a word, Aaron unpacked his bags. “Does this mean you’re going to stay?”
A smile escaped Aaron’s face. “For now, but I’m not making any promises.”
As expected, Louise was thrilled to hear that Aaron would stay home and she would finally have her boys back together.
A few months after André’s death, David finally got the courage to confront his mother. He came home from school and found his mother sitting on André’s side of the bed. “Mom?”
She turned around, startled. “Hi.” She wiped the tears away from her eyes.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Yes, what is it?”
“What happened when Dad died?”
Her face turned pale. “Dad had a heart attack David, you know that.”
“Why? He was healthy.”
“You’re father was always…under a lot of stress. Stress is not good for your heart. That’s why I always wanted him to take time off and relax.” Louise couldn’t look Davidin the eyes. “Why don’t you get Aaron and we’ll go to dinner, okay?”
Years later, Aaron and David’s lives seemed to be going well. Aaron was living the good life after he sold off his father’s art gallery. He took enormous pleasure in selling everything off piece by piece. People in the community thought Aaron couldn’t bear to work somewhere that was so important to his father. They never knew that Aaron only wanted to take anything of André’s that he could and make a profit. He had his own place with his fiancé, but it didn’t last. She had become pregnant and Aaron forced her into having an abortion. He tried so hard not to be like his father. Contrary to expectation he was becoming more like André every day. After the abortion, his fiancé left him standing alone at the altar and Aaron moved back home. Louise also lived well from the money after Aaron sold the art gallery but she also took a part time job as a secretary, something André would never let her do. Even better than her job was doing something she secretly dreamed of for years. In the middle of the night she took all of the videos and toys André had collected and threw them away. As for David, he was the supervisor of a security company and had his own apartment. Things were going well for him, until the one night that would change his life forever.