Chapter 17: Not Ready

I Get Out — Lauryn Hill (Chapter 17 Soundtrack)
Overwhelmed (4) Some days, Cami felt so overwhelmed, that she wanted to crawl in bed and never wake up. Those were the days when little Summer wouldn’t stop crying, and when it seemed like she needed a diaper change every ten minutes, and when Cami got little sleep, because Summer needed to be held all the time. Overwhelmed (3)Overwhelmed (2)

And then there were the nights when Wyatt wanted sex.

“You have to have sex with me whenever I want, ‘cause you’re my wife,” Wyatt would say, turning red with anger when Cami refused. Overwhelmed (5)

“I’m not ready yet,” she would say. “I just need some more time.”

Overwhelmed (6)

“You’re never ready!” Wyatt would raise his voice. “What the hell is your problem?” Cami would just bite her lip and stare at the floor, saying nothing. It’s not like she could tell him what was really wrong. You’re not Ash. Overwhelmed (8) 

Now that they were married, Wyatt was like this totally different person. He suddenly expected Cami to do everything for him – clean the house, cook the meals, care for the baby, and even pay the bills with the tiny bit of money they received each month from social services.

“Wyatt, I’ve been thinking,” Cami said one evening after Wyatt came back from partying with his friends. “I want to go back to school.”

“What for?” Wyatt snorted. He leaned in close to plant a wet near Cami’s mouth. His breath reeked of alcohol. “Baby, I’mma take care of us. I’m about to graduate from school, and then I might get me a job at McDonald’s or whatever. So what do you need school for?”

Overwhelmed (12)

Cami sighed and shoved him away. “I don’t know. I was thinking I could earn my GED. And then, maybe go take some college classes or something.”

Overwhelmed (9)

But Wyatt was shaking his head. “No way. Nope. You’re not going off to school. You’re gonna stay right here taking care of me and my baby and not running off after college guys.” Overwhelmed (10)

“I’m not running after college guys!” said Cami, frowning. “And anyway, Skye is Ash’s baby, not yours!”

Without warning, Wyatt lifted his hand and smacked Cami, hard, across the face. “I said no!” he said, a kind of wild light burning in his eyes. “And don’t you ever mention that dude’s name in my house. You hear me?” Overwhelmed (11) He paused, hand raised for another strike, but Cami kept silent. She waited until he had stalked off into the kitchen, then fled to her room, choking on sobs. She had to get out of here. At least until Wyatt had calmed down.  Overwhelmed (13) Overwhelmed (14)

She paced around the room for a moment, unsure of what to do. Finally, she called Dr. Mack and asked if he could watch Summer for a little while. “Of course,” he said. “Everyone needs a little break sometimes. Just bring her over.” Overwhelmed (16) Overwhelmed (17)

Cami thanked him, then made one more phone call. “Hi Ash,” she said. “Can you meet me somewhere? Please…I need to talk to you.” To her relief, Ash agreed. Cami scooped up Summer from her crib and sneaked out the front door without Wyatt noticing.

Overwhelmed (1)


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