It was an urgent call from the emergency room at the hospital. Alissa was there. They couldn’t give him any information on her condition! He quickly told Brandon, and they rushed to the hospital.
“Oh, Dr. Stallworth! I didn’t know she was your wife!”
“I’ll get the Doctor!” She rushed into the examination room.
“The Kit! Do you mean rape kit? Alissa was raped?” Dale felt momentarily numb. This couldn’t be happening!
“Dale, I’m sorry this happened to Alissa! I didn’t want her to be hurt!”
“I don’t know for sure that Devra was responsible, but she didn’t have any money. So how did she get the Meth?”
“She told me a little of what happened. The detectives are taking her statement now. She was assaulted by two men!”
As suddenly as the rage came, it cooled down until it was just smoldering. He began to feel a deep sadness for his child that was lost. He needed to talk with someone who would feel as he did! He surprised himself by calling Alex.
“Dale is something wrong?”
“Alex!” Dale managed to say before his voice choked up.
“Dale, what is it? Is it, Alissa? Is she okay?”
Alex felt the same rage that Dale had experienced. Only his was also with Dale. He trusted Dale to take care of Alissa. Once again, she had been hurt! He stifled those feelings and didn’t express them.
“Dale, I am so sorry, but you have to get yourself together. You have to be there for Alissa! Have you seen her yet?” Alex pushed his own personal grief and anger aside. He had to help his brother.
“No. The detectives are still with her. I can’t see her until after they take her statement.”
“Yes. I have received training!”
“Remember to let her talk about it if she wants to, but don’t force her. Let her set the pace for physical contact or affection. You both need to get into counseling as soon as possible!”
“That’s true. Thanks for listening, Alex! Please don’t mention this to the family. I don’t know how Alissa will feel about everyone knowing what happened to her! “
“Of course, I’ll keep it between us. Do you want me to come there, Dale? I’ll catch the next flight out!”
“Alright. Dale, I’m sure the police will find those two animals soon!”
“Dale, don’t do anything stupid! Alissa needs you now more than you need revenge!”
Dale remained silent.
“I know Alex! You love her too. Goodnight!”
“I’m sorry, Dale!” He knew how angry and hurt that he would feel if this had happened to Lala! He could only imagine what Dale was feeling.
“Alissa.” Dale called softly. She didn’t look at him.
“You’ve always been and you will always be the most precious person in the world to me! I love you with all that I am! If I could do anything to take away your pain, I would do it! I am so sorry that this happened to you, Alissa. You deserve all the happiness in the world. You bring joy and light to all of us who have the privilege of knowing you and loving you.”
An orderly came in and they moved her to a room. The doctor wanted to keep her overnight for observation. The doctor had given her a sedative to help her through the initial shock and make her sleep. After she was settled in the room, she fell asleep. Dale quietly left.
“Can you excuse us for a few moments Brandon?”
“Crystal, this is your one and only chance. Do you want to get clean?”
“Yes. I don’t want to be like Devra!”
“Then you have to go into rehab tonight! Are you willing to do that?” If she said no, then Dale was going to call child protective services and let them deal with her. He couldn’t let her return to Devra, but there was no way she was coming back into his house!
“Yes. I’ll go.”
“I promise that if you really stick with it, everything will be okay, Crystal! What’s the name of the club where it happened?”
As soon as he was sure that Alissa was going to be okay, Dale intended to go and find those two men and beat the life out of them.
She told him the name. He took her back to the waiting room, and then he spoke with Brandon.
“I’ll take her, Dale. She has to be terrified. At least, I’m someone familiar. I’ll make sure she gets settled.”
Dale called and made the arrangements for Crystal. Brandon called Lala and then he and Crystal left.
Brandon called Dale and then the police. To Brandon, Dale had sounded as though he were almost at his breaking point! He quickly called a friend of his and Lala’s. She was a crisis counselor. The best he knew. He told her the situation, and she rushed to the hospital. Then he called a cleaning company so that the house would be clean when Alissa and Dale returned home.
“Yes.” Dale answered, wondering who this woman was and how she knew him.
She could see the deep pain in Dale’s eyes and the stress in the way he held his body. He was fighting to stay strong. He didn’t realize that he was also a victim of this crime against his wife. Her first step would be to take some of the responsibility off of his shoulders.
“I understand that your wife is sedated?”
“If she’s sedated, she doesn’t know you’re gone! Is there someone else who she trusts and feels safe with, that could come and sit with her. You need some time to let everything sink in. Then you can be here for her! If you don’t get that time, Mr. Stallworth, you are going to have a breakdown!”
“I can call her father! I know he will come right away!”
“Good. You go call him, and I’ll sit with your wife!”
Dale called Matthew and told him everything. Matthew caught the next flight to Legacy Island.
After Matthew arrived, Sammi sat with Dale in his office. At first he didn’t say much. They just talked about generic things. Then as he began to feel more comfortable with her, he started to open up.
She asked leading questions. “Was this baby planned?”
Dale fought for composure as he remembered the joy that he had felt when he realized that Alissa was pregnant again and told Sammi about the pregnancy test that he had bought to give her.
“Dale, you need to let your emotions out. If you don’t do it now, you will collapse and you won’t be able to be there for Alissa! It’s not a sign of weakness! You are a victim of this crime too. Your child died! Your wife was brutally assaulted!”
Dale understood what she was saying, but he still continued to hold it in.
“Do you feel that you are responsible for what happened?”
“I should have thrown that Bitch out of our house the first night! I should not have left Alissa alone with them! Then I would have been there and stopped her from going alone to the club. Then those two animals would not have been able to touch her! She probably was thinking about me, wishing that I was there to protect her! I should have been there!” Tears were falling down his cheeks as he spoke.
Then she asked, “What about Alissa?”
“What about her?”
“Do you think that she is responsible for what happened? It’s only natural, Dale! You have a right to your feelings no matter what they are.”
“Alissa…” his voice broke as he tried to speak. “She has had a very difficult life! Most of it due to her mother. How can I blame her for wanting to save her sister?” He paused.
“I know that I shouldn’t blame her, but I do! She knew what her mother was like! She knew better than to go that part of town alone! She should have called me! She should have called anyone!”
He continued, “Even though I’ve had those thoughts, I really do know that she isn’t responsible for what happened to her. There was no way for her to know that those two men would be waiting for her to come out of the club. They won’t ever hurt anyone else though!”
Sammi was used to that type of reaction from a rape victim’s partner. She reasoned with Dale until he finally agreed that he couldn’t take a chance on going to jail and leaving his family without him when they needed him most.
Matthew was furious too! This time Devra would have to pay. He swore that she would never hurt his baby again!