Chapter 16 Jesse's POV
I was sore, embarrassed, angry and sad all at the same time. When I arrived at the hospital they gave me some medication for pain relief. I'm not sure whether I reacted to it funny or it was meant to make me feel stoned, but the next couple of hours were a real trip. My memory of the time is very foggy and I have no idea what I said.
I know they washed my bottom, applied some kind of lotion and wrapped it in something. I think I am going to be stuck lying on my front for a while. They also put in a catheter so I wouldn't need to get up. Again I'm glad that I was out of it for that procedure or the IV.
When my awareness came back properly I noticed I was not alone. Alison was sitting next to me holding my hand.
“Hi Ali.” I tried to say, but my voice felt abused and sore still, so it came out all croaky.
“Hi Jesse, how are you doing princess?” She responded.
“I don't think I have ever felt less like a princess.” I whispered, which didn't seem to hurt to do.
“Oh, honey.” Alison leaned across and hugged me. “Now that you are awake there are some people who want to talk to you. I'll just go and get them. Back in a mo'.”
A few minutes later Alison returned with her mother Anne, Jenny and her mother Heather. For a few moments I was surrounded in feminine love and then Heather got serious.
“The police need to take a statement and a lady from child protection wants to talk to you. I don't want to leave you alone with strangers so I think either Anne or I should stay with you.” Heather suggested.
“OK. Err... is Lilith still there?” I asked.
“Yes, though after child protection have spoken to you that may change. Why?” Heather answered.
“Grandfather must not think that Lilith was involved.” I said worriedly.
“I heard a voice on a telephone, I presumed it was you asking for help although the voice sounded really strange.” Jenny said.
Everyone nodded, no more needed to be said.
Anne put a hand on Heather's shoulder. “You stay here, I'll see who wants to come in first and warn them about her voice. Girls, why don't you bring a couple of chairs closer so that Jesse will only have to whisper.”
A policeman came in first and he recorded a whispered statement where I went through everything. The only thing I changed was the phone call, I told them that I made it rather than Lilith as I didn't want to get her in trouble.
I had to go through it all again with the child protection lady, but I added my situation with temporary custody and my mum's will. She said she would present my case and expected me either to go to a temporary foster home or back to Karen, which was a tremendous relief. There was no way I was going back to my grandfather. I would run away before I allowed that man near me again.
Whilst I had been out of it, Heather and Anne had been busy and worked out a fairly convoluted plan. Since it was now the summer holidays there was no problem with the girls staying but the only mother from our group of friends who didn't work was Susan's mother, Rose. So Anne and Heather needed to get back. Alison and Jenny refused to leave and had used their feminine wiles and huge puppy dog eyes to persuade the hospital to put a couple of fold out beds in my room.
Tomorrow Rose would drive up with Susan and they would all then stay in a cabin at the local camping grounds. Beth, Ruth and her family were on a camping holiday already in McLaren Vale. They were going to change location to Mildura although they wouldn't arrive until the day after. Terri was with her family in the Gold Coast, so wasn't available. Karen wanted to come up, but our lawyer suggested it was more important that she stay and sort out the legal side.
I asked if my grandfather would be going to jail for what he had done to me. After an uncomfortable pause they explained that they had made a deal. He wouldn't charge them for illegally entering his property and assaulting him, if the police didn't charge him with anything. That didn't affect the child protection services or my custody case. If he had been charged, since you are always innocent until proven guilty, by the time he was convicted my custody would have long been decided. Unfortunately, my lawyer said there was a good chance he wouldn't be convicted anyway, since discipling your child, or grandchild in my case, was a very murky legal issue.
In other words, he was going to get away with it. My next concern was Lilith. Truthfully, I wasn't too concerned since he told me that spankings were for girls and belts were for boys, so I didn't think she was in too much danger. Heather had been unsure what the right thing to do was, but when Lilith emerged from hiding, she told Heather that she was happy there and didn't want to leave. The child protection lady promised to keep a close eye on her.
Father Geffory's POV
I had just got off the phone from Charles Carstairs' call. He was worried that they would keep Bob away from him. I was going to have to ask a lot from my church members, but a soul was at stake here. I started making a list of all the people I would need to call. All was not lost yet.
Over the next few days I began to recover. The pain meds helped and they got me up and moving as quickly as possible which allowed me to sort out some personal needs. It was too painful to sit down or even lie on my back. Squatting over the toilet was an interesting experience. It stretched my skin making it painful and worked my muscles holding the pose, so I only went when I was desperate and tried not to drink too much water.
I missed my mum's funeral. If I ever managed to forgive my grandfather for his actions against me, I don't think I will ever forgive him for that. I tried to comfort myself with the belief that her body was just a shell, the real person inside had already left.
Rose was a lovely lady. She was always immaculately dressed and had the poshest voice, but that didn't stop her from hugging and there was a real warmth in her eyes. She had brought up my possessions which included my phone, so I was able to talk to Karen every night. I tried to suggest that she only call me when she needed to as I could hear that Karen was struggling with a lack of sleep. I think Rowan was keeping her up in the night. Karen just laughed at me. Yes she was tired and that probably wasn't going away any time soon. Her parents were visiting her periodically and helped her out. If I missed my phone call, Karen just called me instead.
On the fourth day we gathered around my bed for another council. Rose's eyes had a worried look to them, so I knew the news wasn't good.
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