When Melissa realizes that Rudy’s intermittent abuse of her is affecting their daughter, Cheyenne, she determines to leave him. But after weeks in a shelter for battered women and their children, she misses the love and attention she’d experienced from the better side of Rudy. Cheyenne points to every grey Ford pick-up she sees and calls out “Daddy! Daddy!” Melissa succumbs to the emotional pull of Rudy, only to find that after a few short, honeymoon-like days, things are worse than ever. Through the compelling character of Melissa, the reader experiences the dangers and complexities of abusive relationships.
Melissa doesn’t consider herself abused—Rudy only hits her occasionally when he’s drinking—until she realizes the effect his abuse is having on their child. Finally Melissa leaves Rudy, and she and Cheyenne go to the shelter for battered women. As difficulties with group living arise, however, she misses the good times with Rudy. The clarity of Melissa’s decision soon fades, and she finds herself again in a dangerous situation, more trapped than ever before