I was 18, stepping out of my 1980 something Mustang, when a guy walked up to me with a dark tan, black hair and the prettiest hazel eyes you would ever want to look into. That was the first day of the rest of my 18 years with him. He had a huge smile and could charm anyone within 3 feet of him. He asked me if I knew how to hook up cable tv.
I had just stopped dating a guy from Iowa, no less, that was a wrestler in the marine corps and stationed in Quantico. "Steve" had informed me that he had a girlfriend back in Iowa and I really wanted no part of falling for someone that's heart already belonged to someone else... The last thing I wanted at the time was another relationship... and here was "Charlie".
Being the "quick thinker" I was as much as you can be at 18, I informed this gorgeous guy from nowhere that one of my roommates may know how to hook up the cable line. My roommates were guys, two of them in fact. One worked at Taco Hell with me and the other was a bouncer at our local bar called KCs in Manassas. We all three worked together at the Hecht Co. "Steve" and I worked in The Sideboard Restaurant and "Mitch" was a security officer. I thought maybe having guy roommates would deter Charlie from wanting to chat with me further, but he was not bothered by it and came right into the townhouse with me to meet my roommates.
Charlie was from the part of WV that many would never see. The huge mountains and small homes, all with front porches and built along creeks, pronounced "cricks" there, was an extremely rural area and definitely backwoods country. He was the high school football and basketball star and everyone in town knew him. One of my first trips back there with him consisted getting ready to go to "town". When he proceeded to drive 80 yards and park in front of a small building that had a sign that read Library on it, I began to wonder when we were going to go to "town". A few of his friends stopped and parked next to us, catching up on the time he had been gone and when they left I asked him when we were going to town. After about five minutes of laughing at me, he informed me that we were there. This small town didn't have a red light and one main street was the town.
It was not immediately evident that Charlie had any issues or the slightest sign of a temper. He was very congenial and everyone that met him, loved to hear his stories told with his thick country accent and his smile and laugh made everyone feel comfortable and at ease with him. One evening, I let Charlie drive my Mustang and when he proceeded to turn left on a green light in front of oncoming traffic without waiting for the green arrow, my mouth flew open and I started laughing and informed him this was not Walnut Grove and the green arrow was not on for him to turn left. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, his fist went up against the side of my head and I saw stars. At first, I was simply dazed, not understanding or grasping what had just happened to me. Again, another hit from his fist and repeatedly until I realized that I needed to get out of the car, jump out if I had to... He grabbed my arm and would not let me out. I bent over and took off my high heeled pump and started hitting him with it. It wasn't until then that he stopped. He drove me back to my townhouse and carried me into my bedroom. Dazed, hurt and confused, I started to scream for my roommate. He blocked my bedroom door and held his hand tightly over my mouth. I told him I was hurt and needed to go to the emergency room, so he drove me there...
By the time I had gotten to the emergency room, the entire side of my face, ear and head were a deep dark red, purple color. The ER doctor wanted to do an xray on my head and as I sat crying in disbelief, I really just wanted to die. I told him no I would be okay and thought at that point if I had a blood clot or something in my head, that maybe I would simply die in the nightmare that had only just begun.