Chapter 2: Blinded

They had been married for less than 6 months when the first episode had happened. Keith and Emma dated briefly before a whirlwind wedding. Her family adored him. Her friends swooned over him. He was tall, handsome, and charming. He was social drinker, life of the party, fun-loving guy. He was attentive, sweet, and adoring. His slight jealousy never bothered Emma, she found it sweet that a guy was so into her like Keith was. She was so naive at 22 years old.

Keith proposed after 4 months of dating with a rock that made her friends jealous and her mother adore him even more. The wedding was small and intimate, with a big party later. She was at his side all night long. Any red flags that were trying to pop up were shut down by the adoration she had for him. He was her knight in shining armor. Every romantic cliché a person could image was their relationship. It was after the first few months of marriage he whisked her away to small town in Southwest Colorado to help run a failing newspaper. In hindsight it was his way of isolating her, but at the time, her family thought he was trying to provide a better life for her. Emma wanted to believe he was moving them to a place that they could start a family. Less college town feel and more small, mountain town simplicity. The sun rose and set in Keith’s eyes. He was charming alright, he could convince a man in a white suit to buy a ketchup ice cream cone. Emma may be charming, but she was naive. She fell for every line without ever thinking he was anything but genuine.

Emma had attended the local college but never graduated. She met Keith when she was working as a secretary at the newspaper. He was a field reporter who was working his way up the ranks. She was tiny then. Fit and trim, took yoga classes and tried to eat as healthy as possible. She certainly was not supermodel pretty, just the average girl-next-door look. Medium length brown hair with just enough wave to make it hard to tame and caramel colored eyes. It was her eyes that drew him, he would tell her. Her Doe Eyes, wide and timid. More like easy prey.

Keith swept her off her feet and promised her the world. She quit college and was wholly devoted to him. His grand gestures to both Emma and her mother created a sense of trust and love. Looking back, it was his was to gain their trust to take her away and isolate her. Her parents were thrilled when they told them they were moving and that Keith was finally running a paper. His uncle was struggling to keep the little mountain paper alive in Buena Vista, and young blood like Keith was just what they needed. Emma wouldn’t have to worry about working and his uncle had a little cabin they could make their home. Everything was falling into place.

It wasn’t until Emma started talking about children that had caused their first fight and what had become the end of their marriage. When they were dating, Keith promised a house full of kids and seemed eager to have a family. Whenever Emma would bring it up, Keith would either change the subject or pick a fight depending on his mood.

“Am I not enough for you?” He would plead. “I love you so much. Why is that not enough? Why do we need to ruin what we have with kids? How could you possibly want to give your attention to a bunch of crying babies? We have the freedom to do what we want and I love coming home to just you.” He would hold her close and beg her to see his side.

“Keith, of course you are enough. It’s just a different kind of love. I just had thought we would have a big family.” Emma would try not to pout, Keith hated her pouting. She would shrug and drop the subject.

“In time, my Emmy, in time we will have that family. Right now, I am trying to get this paper up and running and all I want when I come home from a long day is my beautiful bride waiting for me.” He would end each discussion with a kiss on her forehead.

That was the end.

 

Emma took on last look around the house. They had only lived in that cabin for a few years, but it was her home. She worked hard to make it a place he would want to come home to after a long day at work.

“Well this is it Charlie. We are finally getting out of here.” Charlie meowed in protest. “I know you hate traveling, but this will be so worth it. I promise.”

“Um Em, we have a slight problem. Keith’s truck was spotted heading this way about 5 minutes ago. Angie called. We need to move. Now.” Kyle sounded a little panicked.

“Oh crap! We have to get out of here before Keith sees us or we will never get out.” Emma nearly tripped over Charlie’s carrier trying to rush to the door. She threw the debit card and house key on the counter, snatched up the carrier and her purse, and bolted out the door.

Keith locked the front door and made sure everything was closed up. It was better for it to look like Emma made a run to the store than escaping her husband. Kyle would already be pissed knowing she left the house without letting him know.

“Keith! Keith! His truck! I hear his truck! We have to go. Crap we have to go. I am so dead. So so dead.” Emma started hyperventilating. She struggled to get her seatbelt on and could barely see through the tears.

“Just calm down. I will make sure you get out of this. We are going to meet up with Katie and get you safely out of town. Dry your eyes and follow me. It will be ok. I promise.” Kyle hoped he was right. The last thing he wanted was a confrontation with Keith.

Kyle pulled out of the drive way and headed the back way to the interstate. Emma followed closely behind. She took one last look out the rearview mirror to see Keith pulling down their street. She said a quick prayer and focused on what was ahead of her.

 

Keith saw her car heading down the road. She never told him she was leaving the house for anything. She knows better than that. Where could she be going? He thought about following her, but he wanted to check the house first. She sounded off this morning and he wanted to know why.

He opened the door. It was nearly empty and messy. He wandered into the kitchen to find the bank card and her house key. Emma was gone. But not for long.

No one walks out on Keith Harrison.

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