A Short Story by Betty Brown
I wake up thinking, ” this too shall pass.” The mirror in the bathroom tells me otherwise as shows the recent bruises and on my cheeks along with the permanent scratch marks on my neck. While I was cleaning my face, I started to think back to the night before and all the other times before; trying to remember what I had done to deserve this kind of treatment from someone who’s supposed to love and care for me, but I could never find anything. These bruises on my body and face told me there had to be something; otherwise why would this have happened to me? I couldn’t talk to anybody about what I was going through because I didn’t have any friends anymore. They were all bad influences. All I needed was him. Those were his words. He had a lot of words when it came to making himself the victim of my beatings. It was funny how everything always ended up my fault. So funny but who was laughing?….not me, and not him for long. I just need to find a way to get myself out of this mess.
Thank God there were never any children. I don’t know how I never got pregnant because he never allowed any kind of protection. That’s one way I know there is a God. The other way is, he didn’t let me do what I had in mind for my husband. I knew there would be another episode as usual. He’s always going out after work and coming home intoxicated. That’s when all the anger comes out of him. What he’s so angry about; I don’t know. The place is always clean and his food is always cooked. He never has to do anything but come home and relax.
This evening was feeling a little different. I could feel a shift in the air…. you know how the saying goes..”I can feel it in my bones.” I just couldn’t put my finger on it, so just said a little prayer of protection. I was awakened to the noises of things falling over. I was trying to focus my eyes on the clock on the nightstand on his side of the bed. I think it read 2 a.m. There the noise was again, but this time it was followed by an angry voice that I knew all too well. I had prepared myself for what I knew was going to happen. I got up and put on my tennis shoes and sat in the chair that was in the corner of the room; facing the door to the room. His footsteps were getting closer to the top of the stairs.
All I could hear were the profane names he always called me when he was drunk but some how tonight, they didn’t bother me. Even though I knew he was going to come bursting through the door, I still jumped when he did it. He started with all the name calling and blaming me for all his short comings and when I didn’t respond to him like I usually did; crying and cowering away from his insults; he came over and slapped me so hard that I fell to the floor. I knew he wasn’t finished, so when he grabbed me by the hair; I came up with the knife in my hand and stabbed him so many times that I didn’t even know I was doing it. I must have blacked out because when I came to the police and ambulance was there.
I saw all the blood on my clothes and I just started screaming. “What happened! What happened!” One of my neighbors had called the police like they always did but this time things were a lot different. He was dead and I was the one with the knife clutched in my hand.