Here's something I've been working on for quite awhile, both mentally and physically, Not an easy story to write and part of it's me, part of it's in the future and part of it's just plain fiction, I'm sure you'll figure out which is which,
TISSUES NEEDED!!!!!!


Thank you Sissy for your help, friendship and Faith in me!!!!
this is for all those women out there and on their way back to recovery, my thanks to WTR and Karate for making this story and a new beginning for me Possible, and most of all my thanks to my family and my cyber friends for giving me the place and understanding that has been so crucial to make this possible for me, It is a long road back.

 

The Student
By Marsha Phillips (marsha2357@hotmail.com)

 

The sun had been up for hours and as Walker went up the steps to the school he smiled, another opportunity to teach a class in Self Defense, and whether they be kids or adults, it didn’t matter, he enjoyed both. The school was quiet and as he walked down the hall to the Gym he mentally went over what it was he wanted to get across and, though teaching was his first love, talking to a large group always made him just slightly nervous. Reaching the door he took a deep breath, opened the door and seeing the principal, Mr. Horton, he shook hands and spoke to him softly, as they were in process of making announcements to the people congregated in the auditorium. Looking around, he found students and teachers and even a few parents seated or standing. Then hearing his name announced, he walked towards the podium.
“Good morning, I’m Cordell Walker, and I’m a Texas Ranger. And I’m also a martial artist. I’m here to speak to you today about self-defense. My whole life and career have been based on the law and how the judicial system works for the country and the individual, to keep you, the public, safe. And how you, as a person, can better protect yourself when we’re not around. I already have some of you in my karate classes in school and am hoping that many more of you will join.
“As an everyday person on the street you are faced with many dangers every day, and part of my job, as a law man, is to protect you and teach you your rights and how you can prevent anything from happening to you or those you love.”
As Walker went on with his speech and spoke of his plans for his classes he saw a lot of positive nods and smiles. He always tried to keep his speeches as short as possible and still get the message across.
“Lastly,” he said, “I hope that you’ll always remember that if you look like a victim, then you’re inviting the bad guys to take advantage of that. Look around when your out and keep your eyes open, never let anyone intimidate you with their looks, look them straight in the eyes, and usually they’ll back down. And always be prepared. We have some demonstrations set up for you with some of the KDOOA students. So at this time I’m going to turn the floor over to them.” The next half-hour was spent on kicks, punches and what they called kotas or forms. As Walker watched the kids, he felt a certain amount of pride in these students, they had worked hard and learned much in the last 4 months. The crowd seemed to enjoy it and he was hoping to share this with other schools in the area.
As the last demonstration ended and the kids sat down in their places, Walker smiled and clapped to them, telling them what a great job they had done and he was proud of each and every one of them.
“Thanks for your time and I hope to be able to speak to you again.” He turns then, walking away from the podium, amidst a thunderous applause, and starts toward the door, he had to get back to work. But as he did a young woman approached him.
“Mr. Walker,” she said, “I really enjoyed the presentation. I’m Karen Howell, a mother of one of the students here and I have a friend, she’s with a man that beats her and she is getting out of the hospital today, he broke her jaw and three ribs this time. He’s in jail, but for how long we don’t know and I really want to help her, she’s scared he’s going to come after her when he gets out.”
Walker listened to the woman and visions of Alex and her work with abused women and their classes on self-defense came to mind. “If you can get her to take the help, my wife works with a group of women that have been abused. They have meetings three times a week and I’m sure she’d like to speak to her. Here’s her card, our home number is on the back. Anything we can do to help, let us know.”

“Thank you and I’ll see if I can get her there.” The woman took the card, turned and walked away. Walker turned and left the school wondering if he’d ever see an end to the violence. No woman deserved to be beaten, the classes on self defense that he conducted were all about just that and were a lot of women’s hope for their own self protection.

Karen thought long and hard about Sarah, her friend, on the way home and when she reached her two-story home in Dallas she picked up the phone and called Sarah. The phone rang and at first she didn’t think that Sarah was at home, but after the third ring she picked up. “Hello.”
“Hello, Sarah, thought I’d give you a call and see how you’re doing?” Karen replied.
Sarah sounded tired, or like she’d been sleeping, “I’m all right, just trying to get through all this, still having night mares and I’m not sleeping very well.”
Karen flashed back to the day that she’d gotten the call from the police, of when she’d arrived at Sarah’s house and found her in a bloody mess, the sound of the Ambulance as it had carried her best friend to the hospital, the look on her husbands face as the police took him away, he was smiling!!!!

Her stomach lurched, “Sarah, I was talking to someone today, someone who has been through what you have and I‘d like to come over and talk to you about her. They have a group for abused women and they teach how to deal with it and how to help yourself. I’d like for you, to at least consider, talking to her. She’s the Assistant DA and the wife of a Texas Ranger.” She heard Sarah’s silence and then the tears.

“Come on over.”
“I’m on my way.” Karen replied.

Arriving at Sarah’s house a few minutes later she told Sarah about the Karate classes and the class that Alex Walker taught on self-defense and how she’d spoken to Ranger Walker and he’d encouraged her to call Alex, and they would do what they could to help her.

Sarah looked at her, “How are karate classes going to help me?”
Karen replied, “They’re not just karate classes, but counseling classes and a self-defense class. Alex teaches the counseling and Ranger Walker teaches the defense classes. Would you at least try it, or just call and talk to Mrs. Walker?”

Sarah looked at her, “I don’t know, let me think about it. OK?”
They spent the rest of the afternoon talking and as Karen left a few hours later she hoped that her friend would take her advice and call Alex.

Later that night, Sarah was sleeping and as she slept the dream over took her again. She was cooking dinner for her and Charles, her husband. Expecting him home soon, and knowing that if she didn’t have supper ready he’d be upset. Then the door opened, it was Charles. Her heart flipped and her hands started shaking, he was early. Maybe he wouldn’t be too upset, but the look in his eyes told her differently. “Well, I see that dinner’s going to be late, what have I told you about my dinner?” He asked then grabbed her by the arm, jerking her around to face him. She looked down and said, “But your home early.”

 

“Well, you just should have expected that!!! I am really upset with you and now that dinner is going to be late, I’m more upset.”

She cringed, “But it isn’t late, your home early, and it’s almost done.” He stepped back and she saw the slap coming, tried to dodge it, but he grabbed her by the hair as the slap hit and she felt her head explode and then he hit her in the stomach with his fist.

She cried out and tried to get away, but he still held her firmly by the hair. She felt her knees buckle under her as he hit her again in the side this time, and felt the air leave her lungs as she slipped to the floor, her consciousness leaving her. With a kick to her ribs, she jerked awake. Crying out she grabbed at her sheets and sat up. Heart beating loudly and tears running down her cheeks, she looked around and realized it was a dream, but all to real of a dream. With a big sigh she sat up in bed, recalling the nights in the hospital and how ashamed she’d felt.
Tears stained her face as she let it all come flooding back and the more she thought about it the more helpless she felt.

Why, was the biggest question. She’d tried to be a good wife, make him happy and give him everything she could. Why did he hit her and why didn’t he love her? What was it about her that he couldn’t love?

Lying back in bed the tears abated and she found herself able to fall asleep again, maybe the dreams wouldn’t haunt her anymore, and maybe she’d call that Assistant DA in the morning.
Alex was hard at work studying a case that she was due to have in court in a few hours, when the phone rang. Reaching for it, she put it to her ear, still studying the case, she answered, “Yes.” When she heard the voice and she knew she didn’t recognize it.
“Mrs. Walker, my name is Sarah and a friend of mine gave me your name and number. She said you might be able to help me.”
Alex, looked away from the paperwork, “Mrs. Walker, can I come in and see you or could we meet somewhere?”
“Well,” Alex replied, “today is pretty full, but hopefully I’ll be out of court be 6 p.m. Can you meet me at C.D.’s Bar and Grill in Ft Worth about 6:30? We can sit and talk there.”
Sarah agreed and as Alex hung up the phone, something told her this wasn’t just your average person needing help. Something about the tone in the woman’s voice.
As Sarah drove to C.D.’s that evening she wondered if she was really going to find any answers in this meeting; if anything that Alex could say would help her at all.
Walking into the bar and she turned to look around, and saw a woman approaching her. She was average height and blonde haired, with a cute smile. As she walked towards her and called her name, she felt an instant bit of nervousness, but replied and took the outstretched hand offered by Alex. Sitting down at the table with Alex, sitting across from her, she smiled, “ I’m really not sure if coming here was a good idea, but Karen felt that you might be able to help me.”
Alex smiled at her, “We all need to talk now and then. Karen called me and told me a little bit about you and what you’ve been through. I know coming here wasn’t easy, but I think we can help.

Sarah, replied, “How can you help, the Dallas PD sure hasn’t been able to, I’ve left him twice and he keeps finding me, he won’t leave me alone, and right now he’s in jail, but for how long? All I want is to feel safe and know that he’s not going to hurt me again. I’ve tried standing up to him, tried running and tried being the best wife I could, but somehow it was never good enough. I just want to be free of him, and the hitting and the hurting.” Tears welled up in her eyes, and Alex took her hand.

“We can help you. We have a shelter and a safe place for you to be, where he can’t get to you.”
Sarah nodded, “Am I going to have to run for the rest of my life? Stay in the shelter for the rest of my life?” With desperation filling her voice, “How can I make sure he’s gone for good? The bruises on the outside heal but it’s the ones on the inside that take forever, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to trust another man, ever again.”

Tears now flowed freely and Alex continued to comfort her. “I’d like to take you somewhere, and let you meet my husband and show you the H.O.P.E. house where a lot of my women stay. It’s just temporary and we have a lot of fun there. And you get a chance to work with the other women and hear their stories, and they all sound so much alike. They will understand your pain and your fear. My husband is checking on your husband’s status right now and we’ll know within an hour or so. But from the look of the charges, which you agreed for the state to file, and they would have anyway, I don’t see him going anywhere for quite awhile.
“You were in the hospital for 2 weeks they said, and with fractured ribs and a busted lip and a concussion. With that and the past charges against him, he’ll be in there quite awhile. And I’ll do everything possible to keep him in jail. You have to think about yourself and how your going to get over this, one day at a time and we’re here to help. Your taking that first step by coming here today.” Alex directed her to the car outside and they took a short drive to the shelter, which looked like any other house on the block and as they pulled up, Sarah was surprised at the appearance. It was just like her home and as they entered, she was introduced to the group of women living there. All seated in a circle in the living room, as she sat down, she heard some of their stories, some a lot like hers and some worse than hers. Tears filled her eyes at times and Alex’s hand was always there to sustain and comfort her. After an hour the session ended and she was invited to have a break with them, cookies and Kool-Aide. As she ate and looked around the room, she realized that Alex had been right, they were just like her.

Her heart went out to a few of them and she saw knowing and comforting smiles as each woman introduced themselves to her.
Now they sat back down and as Sarah looked up and around at each of these women, she saw their tears, but also their strength, their determination and in some their fear. Standing, she began the way the rest of them had.
“Hi, My name is Sarah, I am a victim no longer. My story is a lot like most of yours, married young, thought he was Mr. Wonderful, only to find out a few short months into the marriage he wasn’t.” Tears filled her eyes, and the pain was almost unbearable, Closing her eyes, and breathing deep, she continued on, in almost a whisper. “I can’t figure out why? I tried hard to be a good wife and friend, and the first time he hit me it wasn’t really real. Oh, he apologized and said it wouldn’t happen anymore, told me he was sorry and that he loved me. But there was a next time, and after that it became more frequent. I covered the bruises and tried a little harder each time, cried alone and wondered why, what did I do to set him off. Then I got mad and started fighting back. Only it just got worse. And I wasn’t much of a fighter. He just laughed as he stood over me and called me a stupid bitch. I never felt so alone. And like a lot of you he never sent me to the hospital till this last time, a hit here a slap there and just told me to be quiet or I’d get more of the same. Always wanting to know where I’d been, who I’d been with.”
As she looked into the crowd of women, she knew that she’d touched a nerve with a lot of them. “I’m here today because of a friend,” and smiling, she said again, “a true friend. And after hearing some of your stories, I know that I’m in the right place, but my question is, where do I go from here? I’m so scared!!!!! He said that he’d kill me if I ever told, until the last time I just didn’t know where to turn.”

Alex came and stood beside her, “It took a lot of courage for you to be here and hear these women’s stories and we’re going to help you through this.”
Smiling and giving her a hug, the group came together, women and most of all, as friends.
Sarah was taken to her room and as she looked around felt for the first time a piece of security. She had no fears of him bothering her or coming to get her or threatening her. Maybe it would be all right after all. As she fell asleep on the bed, a small smile crossed her face. There were no bad dreams that night for Sarah.

*****

The next few days were spent in a haze of activities for Sarah and the other women. As Sarah got to know each of them, she wondered how she and they had ever gotten into such messed up relationships. And starting to see the sense in all of the madness, just made her more determined to keep this wonderful time in her life.
For once she wasn’t afraid, there was no tension, and she could relax and be herself.
Alex pulled her aside one morning, “Sarah, there’s someone I want you to meet, but before I tell you, I want you to know that we want to help and would like for you to keep an open mind when he speaks to you. It’s Cordell, my husband, and your friend too. Is that all right with you?”
Sarah nodded, “After talking to you and the other women I knew that this was coming, it’s about the self defense classes, right?”
Alex nodded,” that’s right, and he would never hurt you, but this is something that could help you. If you’re ever in that situation again, it could save your life. You told me you’re tired of feeling like the victim. Well, here’s what you can do about it. If you feel uncomfortable let us know. Cordell wants us to meet him in the gym down stairs. The other women are there already, so how about it?”
Nodding and looking a little unsure of herself, “I can try I guess.”
Alex nodded and patted her on the back. "You'll do fine."
Walking downstairs and seeing all the other women there helped Sarah a little, and as she stood in front of Cordell she wondered how she’d ever make it through this. Knowing that this was just for the knowledge, but the fear was still inside her, how to let that go and become the stronger woman that she wanted to be, maybe it just takes time and patience.
Cordell started speaking, “Good morning. I’m Cordell Walker, Alex’s husband and your friend. I’m here today to help you learn a few moves that could save your life. Could keep you from being a victim of a crime and if you are ever in that situation, keep you alive. This will be the first of several classes on self-defense.

“The first rule I can tell you is this: most people are victims because they look like easy targets. When you’re out and about, look around you, make yourself aware of your surroundings and don’t look vulnerable. Keep your head up, not down.
“The second rule is: if you’re approached, run, if you can. If not, then scream for help or yell “fire,” you’d be surprised at the amount of attention you can get by simply yelling that word. If you can’t get away from the situation, use your head, don’t panic and above all, get away as soon as you can.
“Never allow a assailant the chance to get you alone, if you’re in a car and he’s behind you, wreck the car rather than let him take you somewhere alone, because that’s the last place you’ll ever see alive.
“Always lock your car doors and your home up, you’d be surprised at how many men tell us they just walked into a home or an unlocked car late at night.
“Any questions so far?”
The women just looked at him, “Some of you are dealing with men who don’t have control of their anger, you’re their targets, and we’re going to teach you how to defend against that.”
A door opened and in walked a man in a padded suit and looking like the Dough boy.
This is Trivette. He’s my partner and friend. He’s volunteered to help today. We’re going to start at the top and work our way down.”
He then started with a series of punches and let each woman work on the padded Trivette. Front punches and front kicks. He taught them about the fighting stance, a side ways stance that allowed less access to ones body and still enabled the fighter to deliver necessary punches and kicks.

They were working at learning and as Sarah looked around she realized that an hour had just flown by. That she felt better and she was totally worn out.
Smiling, the group broke up as Walker left them with one last thought, “Your protection is up to you. How you deal with a situation, could mean the difference between life and death.”

Dinner and a bath for me, she said as she yawned and went up stairs, thinking about all she’d learned today.

The next morning found Sarah up early and as she went downstairs to find her morning cup of coffee, her brain was still working through all that Walker and Trivette had taught them last night.

Looking out the window, she saw something that surprised her. Alex, in a pair of sweats, and Walker in the yard, working on some karate moves. But they weren’t anything he’d taught them last night. They were a flowing series of moves, beautiful in there form and she didn’t see how they were connected with self protection. As she watched Alex and Walker, she realized how beautiful they moved together. How concentrated they were and as she went out to the porch to watch more, they were so engrossed that they didn’t even notice her sit down. Watching them she saw the flow of these moves and how one just led right into the other and in her head started seeing a little of how they might be used to fight an opponent. These two made it look so easy, and she wondered how long it took to learn these moves.

A noise from inside caused Alex to look around and when she saw her sitting there, “Good
Morning,” Walker also turned, “How are you this morning?”

With a sigh, “All right. What are you all doing?”

Alex replied, “It’s a short form of Karate. Basic blocks and punches that Walker is teaching me. I’ve only been learning a short time, but I really enjoy it”

For the next hour she watched as they practiced and saw that they were easy but difficult at the same time, one move led into the other but remembering the sequence was the trick!

Alex motioned to her and she stood and went to her side. “Try it,” she said.

Starting again, they moved as one and Sarah felt herself relax and start to feel the moves, anticipating where to turn next, what arm to block with and several times had to start over, but was slowly getting the hang of it. Walker and Alex continued on and the hour flew by.

Glancing at his watch Walker turned to Alex and Sarah, “End of lesson for today. Work on that and next week we’ll try another one a bit harder.” Turning to Alex, he kissed her, “I gotta go. See you tonight at home.”

As he walked away, Sarah looked at Alex, “You’re so lucky,” she said.

Alex turned, “Yes, I am, but there are good men out there, and one day maybe you’ll find yours.”

Sarah replied, “How did you know with Walker?”

Alex laughed, “At first I didn’t. We fought like cats and dogs the first time we met.” Alex told her the story and they both laughed and Sarah smiled. Alex continued as they went in the house for a cool drink and sat at the table. “He was always there, we both saw other people, but through it all there was just something about him and then one day, it just hit me what I’d been trying to ignore, I was in love with him. But getting him to admit it took awhile longer,” then Alex told her the story of how she’d found out about his past love Ellen and what had happened.

“How about you, what happened with you and what attracted you to Charles?”

“He was tall, dark, and handsome, talked great and when we went out he made me feel so special, like I was the only woman in the world. Back then he was kind, slightly jealous, he once punched this guys lights out for just asking me to dance. I’d never seen him angry till then, at the time I thought it was romantic.”
She laughed sadly and tears formed in her eyes, “”If only I’d have followed my instincts then. You see something deep down told me he was trouble, but my heart said otherwise. The first time he hit me I couldn’t believe it, and he told me it was my fault for making him jealous. All I did was to say hello to an old friend I’d known in school.” Tears fell freely now and Sarah shook her head, “How could I have been so blind?”

Alex sat beside her friend, “We all make mistakes, it’s how we deal with them that counts. You’re starting to realize some things and though it’s a painful lesson, you’ll come through it stronger for it and you’ll know better next time, so give yourself some credit and a hug!!!!!”
Tears flowed and the two women sat together for awhile Alex as a friend and support and Sarah, coming to terms with everything.

Later on in the week Sarah got news from Alex that Charles was staying in jail and that they had gotten him some extended time a couple of years for drug possession. They’d found cocaine on him at the time of his arrest.

Sarah breathed a sigh of relief and knew that her life could continue on for the better and a week later moved out of the shelter back to her own place and started a new life, on her own and free of the fears she’d had.

She joined a karate class in her area and progressed from white belt to orange in a short time, She still spoke to Alex frequently and would be eternally grateful for the knowledge and hope that her friend, Karen, and Alex and Walker had given her.

A year later:
Karate tournament in Dallas

Sarah sat quietly watching the other participants in the karate tournaments and though nervous she knew that she’d do her best, and she was as ready as she’d ever be.

Her test was a long form and she’d been working on it for months, her life was full and busy now, new friends at work and karate and even a new beau. She had so much to look forward to now and so much hope in her life.

Glancing up into the stands she spotted Walker and Alex, they smiled and Walker gave her a
thumbs up. She smiled in return, as the announcer called her name and she walked out to the arena, bowed and mentally relaxed and started the form ‘Fighting stance’ flowing with the movements. She looked down and then up focusing on her imaginary opponents, a punch here and a kick there and a roundhouse then a reverse punch. On and on through the form, ever flowing, ever relaxed, her heart beating a mile a minute and continuing, one upward thrust, a left turn, then a high block, then a low block, her heart singing as she completed the form and stopped in a full bow to the judges.

Breathing shallowly and trying to stay relaxed as the judges called out the points as she walked to the side she tried not to be nervous, it was just her first tournament, but she’d really tried.
When she heard her scores she looked up, smiled and threw up her hands.

Looking up then back to Walker now at her side, and Alex, she cried and laughed at the same time. Taking Walker’s hands and Alex’s she said, “We did it!!!!!!!”

Walker smiled at her as did Alex, “No, you did it, we just helped you get there!!!!!!”

Hugging them both, she knew that life couldn’t get any better than this!!!!!!

The Beginning