The Woman Who Ran Away

The Woman Who Ran Away GENRE: Historical Fiction
ISBN: 9781611529715

    Have you ever wanted to run away? Felicia does, and her life as well as her son’s may depend on it.

    The 1950s find Felicia in a relationship with a man she no longer recognizes. She met Greg a year earlier by a spinning wheel of fortune. That’ll teach her to hook up with a stranger at the county fair! And she doesn’t really have a plan to get herself and her ten-year old son, Roger, out of what’s quickly become a bad situation.

    Greg wasn’t always abusive. At first he’d been kind, considerate, and even gentle. But lately his disposition has changed. Unhappy at work -- or possibly with Felicia and her “mama’s boy always under foot” -- he starts drinking heavily. Then he hits her for no reason other than she was in the way.

    Now it’s time to act, to protect her son from the worst of her bad choices. She’ll find them a safe place for the night, and the rest will take care of itself. But will it be that easy?

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    Felicia looked up at the bus schedule. “There’ll be another one by in twenty minutes, honey. We’ll make it.” Felicia wasn’t convinced they would, but it felt good to say it. She had a bad case of the what-ifs that wouldn’t quit. What if Greg left work early, what if the next bus was delayed in the bad weather or worse, broke down, and what if they had to wait out in the open where someone might see them? Shit!

    “Thanks for letting Walter come,” he said.

    “I had a choice?” Felicia smiled at her son and drew him close. What would she do without this kid?

    “Well,” the sensible ten-year old said, “one good thing has happened.”

    “Lay it on me. I’d love to hear it.” Where had Felicia read there was always something good or unexpected to come from every misery? She was definitely ready to hear the good thing.

    Roger shook water off Walter’s ears, and then sat the rabbit on his lap. “I won’t have to tell kids what my dad does for a living.”

    “Honey, we don’t know what Daddy does,” she said. “And bedsides who cares?”

    “No, not my real daddy. I meant Greg, the man we live ... uh, lived with.”

    “Oh, him.” Felicia laughed. “That must have been difficult to explain.” She brushed some raindrops from her coat, thought about lighting a cigarette but didn’t.

    “No. No. Not that we’re living with him,” Roger said. “I meant what he does at work.”

    “It’s a noble profession.” Did I actually say that?

    “Mom, selling cars isn’t noble. Noble is for doctors and soldiers. Besides, you said most car salesmen are crooks.”

    “Whatever he is, Greg isn’t a crook.” No, he’s a violent, disturbed person. A man I had no business hooking up with and exposing my son to. “Greg doesn’t sell cars, honey. He works in the office.”

    Roger frowned and shook his head in disbelief. “Hear that, Walter, and most of the time Mom calls him an assho --”


    “Sorry,” he said. “Have it your way.” Then, to Walter, “I suppose there could be noble crooks out there, don’t you?”

    Felicia stifled a laugh. The rain drizzled down her neck. She opened her purse and pulled out a red plaid scarf and spread it over her head. She would be thirty-three in November. “God. I must look fifty.”

    “You look great,” Roger said.

    “Thanks, baby.”

    “I’m almost a teenager and certainly not a baby.”

    “No, of course you aren’t. I forgot.” She wished again she could be like other mothers. Waiting at home for their husbands return from work, dinners in the oven, their aprons starched and tables set after an afternoon of baking oatmeal cookies mixed from a brown bowl with a white rim. Did she really want to be like these other women? Maybe that was the important question. She decided to pursue it later.

    “Don’t worry, Mom, I’ll take care of us.” Roger reached over, took her hand and held it.

    Felicia started to cry. “Thank you, Sir Galahad.”

    “Who’s he?”

    “Definitely not a car salesman,” she said, and squeezed his hand. She looked at her watch. Only ten minutes before the next bus.



Twenty-one contemporary, acclaimed gay authors share their candid experiences with the other man. These personal essays explore being him, suffering him, or having him tear apart their relationships.

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