Lou had toned down her campaign of whispers when it came to Corinne. She
understood the elderly woman’s predicament, along with her physical
limitations. She tried once to whisper a suggestion in the old woman’s
you noticed how little Ashley whimpers at times, when you go to help her
climb up on your lap? Or once in a while when you put your arms around
her, you can feel her wince? Why is that? What has caused her to be that
way? Have you ever considered the possibility that she is being abused by
that boyfriend of Marla’s?”
was all Mary Lou planned to say to Ashley’s granny. One day, Corinne did
act upon the angel’s whispered suggestions. While her little
granddaughter sat on her lap, Corinne bluntly questioned her.
you would tell me if you were having problems at home, wouldn’t you,
kind of problems, Granny?” the girl asked innocently.
like any problems with your mother’s boyfriend? He doesn’t get mad at
you and do something to hurt you, does he? I would want you to tell Granny
if he ever did anything like that.”
immediately blurted, “Oh no, Granny. Derek doesn’t do anything like
that to me. You don’t have to worry.”
Lou groaned inwardly when she heard the child’s lies. She knew exactly
why the girl had so quickly lied to Corinne. Marla had warned her daughter
never to say anything to her granny about the beatings she received from
Derek. Her mother had said that Derek would be so angry if he found out
she had told on him, and that she would be in big trouble with both of
them if her secret ever got out. Naturally, the child had been frightened
into silence, after such threats coming from her own mother.
had taken Ashley at her word, believing the dear child would never tell
her a lie. And that had been the end of that. Mary Lou was finally at the
end of her rope. She had exhausted every avenue she could think of.