“This Way to the Egress” Naomi

You are insane.” Naomi muttered viciously to herself, stalking down the hallway of the small home she rented. She liked being alone, but had been aware that eventually she would be forced to take another roommate. However, sanity said that roommate shouldn’t be some guy she’d met on the internet. And it wasn’t as if what he’d told her was calming…he was a minor. Coming out of a really bad situation, half a country away. For everything that they had in common, (supposedly), they had equally as many completely different. And that was if…if…he was telling her the truth. This was how women turned up raped, dead in coroners’ body bags…

But, for some reason, she just couldn’t turn her back on that text. She sensed utter desperation beneath it. A complete loss. Elias had reached the end of his rope, and she seemed to be the only one he felt he could turn to. Perhaps it was just her imagination. Her stupidity.

“Gah.” She hissed, stepping into the back bedroom and staring around. Her last roommate had left it mostly clean, Naomi would wash the bedding, vacuum, and wipe down the bathroom, but it wasn’t too terribly bad.

Maybe it’d be safer to have a man around… this wasn’t the best neighborhood, by any means. She’d just been so happy to find someplace she could afford, and to be freed from the hell of dorm life, that she’d been more than happy to overlook it all. Her previous roommate had not been nearly as happy to do the same.

Saturday. At six. But he was already on his way, it was too late to back out now. And maybe it’d be good…she was not an idiot, she knew that she’d never actually met him, but he’d always been easy to talk to. He understood what none of her classmates seemed to. They were different flavors of the same ice cream.

She stripped the bed, dragging the sheets around the corner to the washer, piled them in, and started the machine, leaning against it for a long moment. Crazy. It was just all so crazy. Why had she even gone to an online support group, of all things? It had been her first mistake, but she’d been desperate to find what she couldn’t find here. It would be much easier if she’d found it in a young woman, but she hadn’t. She’d found it in him, and now he was coming here. In spite of her sanity, she felt a sudden rush of anticipation. She’d always wanted to meet Elias, face to face. To see if his picture was accurate. To hear his voice in the same room. To watch his expressions change. To actually know him.

“Fool, fool girl.” She accused herself bitterly, safe in her solitude. Certainly she was on rumspringa…and a rather extended rumspringa at that…but that didn’t mean she was husband hunting. And even if she was, she doubted if Elias Barlow qualified… Her father would have kittens if she brought home a Mormon. And not even your run of the mill LDS variety at that, but a fundamentalist. Well…ex fundamentalist. Elias had run headlong into a certain mathematical truth… if every man had to have at least three wives to ascend to heaven, and a population had the usual fifty-fifty gender split at birth, it made for surplus males. That had gotten him shown the door…at an illegally young age.

He’d had it rough. She understood that, and he needed a helping hand up, one he wasn’t getting from the brothers he lived with. Like so many, those two had simply exchanged one obsession for another…lost control of their lives again. Freedom had been fleeting, and had led them straight to alcohol, drugs, cheap sex. They were just as locked into a hopeless existence now as they’d ever been. She’d seen it with her own group, heady and loose. It was a constant, but that was not why Naomi Esh had left Holmes County on rumspringa. And, by God, if Elias was fighting against going that way as well, she’d be there to help pull him out. “It’s the right thing to do.” She muttered, now at ease with her decision. Let him come. 


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tony
    Aug 24, 2013 @ 21:31:24

    Oh, I’m going to love this. 🙂

    Always so crazy when you know the settings of books. I suppose it would be normal if you’re from a large city, but it’s different when you live in a rinky-dink village.


    • melissacuevas
      Aug 24, 2013 @ 21:40:36

      Even though I’ve never been to Akron, or Ohio at all for that matter, Akron has popped up as a go to town for a lot of background stuff that I do. There is actually a reason why it turned up this time, (I was surprised when I looked up the closest appropriate college town to where I had decided to put Naomi’s family from) but I seem to have a weird attachment to the place.


  2. Tony
    Aug 25, 2013 @ 09:25:57

    I was wondering if that was the college she was going to. I work for the U of A. The only closer place would probably be the College of Wooster, but that’s private (or small branches of the U of A).


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