Vodka is all I can smell this time as he walks through our front door. He usually smells like the bottom of a whiskey barrel. Typically I would know what that means for me, but this smell is new and not frequent enough for me to know what lies ahead. I’m bracing myself for this moment, as I do every day. To think, I rushed home from work to clean the house and make dinner so he has nothing to complain about, but that never seems to matter. He always manages to find something to bitch about.
“Get the hell over here”, are the words that stumble out of his drunken mouth.
I take a deep breath, and scurry over. The closer I get the stronger the foul smell becomes. It’s overwhelming – disgusting even. These are thoughts I would never allow to leave my head. Only God knows what would happen…
“What the fuck are these doing here?” he asks outraged, barely able to get the words out.
I realize he’s talking about my shoes this time, but just before I could bend down to pick them up he punches me in the stomach.
I’m winded, and I instantly fall to the ground clenching onto my gut.
“You like that?” he asks, just before kicking me in the back.
I can’t move. I’m paralyzed with fear, again, and don’t know what will happen next if I don’t find a way to get my ass off this floor.
He’s kind enough to help me though… he yanks my hair back and picks me up from my scalp. I feel each individual hair ripping from me; he’s pulling so hard.
I’m barely able to stand before he decides to kiss me, aggressively. I don’t want any of it, so I’m pretending I’m almost anywhere else but here in this moment – stuck.
He throws me against the wall and my head smacks against it. I feel a wet substance running down the back of my neck, but I’m afraid to admit what it is. Before I can even reach back to assess the damage, he grabs me and shoves me up the stairs.
I can’t tell you what comes over me in this moment; maybe it’s been the five years of constant uphill battles or just the abuse alone, but it feels like a complete out-of-body experience and I am fighting the urge to show him some resistance. As he continues to shove me, I’m leaning back on his hands a little, pushing back to give him the hint that I am fed up. Although, at this level of intoxication, he doesn’t even realize. I turn around to face him and the words come out like word vomit…
“LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!” I yell, with a bit of hesitation.
“What did you just say to me?” he asks and then forcefully slaps me across the face.
My first reaction is to slap him back. So I do. He’s stunned. Absolutely speechless, and I am shaking like a leaf, waiting to see what my next genius move is. But standing my ground for once, feels good. Amazing actually, and all I want to do is continue to hit him until he understands the pain he’s caused me all these years.
Before I know it, I’m yelling and screaming to draw attention, I’m fighting back – hoping someone will hear me and try to help or at least call the police. In the meantime, he’s trying to cover my mouth with his hand and even tries to choke me to get some silence. Luckily, I squirm, kick, and bite my way out of it and start throwing punches directly at his face. I am absolutely raging and furious with him.
All this dark, evil, red-hot hate comes over me and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to do something.
I bolt to the front door trying to get away and leave from this hectic night and this monster I’ve just turned into. Just as I go to grab the handle to the door, he fiercely grabs onto my wrist and pulls me back. Luckily, I was able to reach for the bat we keep by the door…
From there, it’s all a blur. Almost like I blacked out, as he often does, and I can’t remember anything from that point on. My hair is all tangled and hard from the blood drying in it, my white shirt is now splattered in red, and my knuckles are covered with bruises and peeled back skin.
I’m in the interrogation room now, and I have no words for what happened tonight. I assume they’re just going to ask me questions, but I won’t need to speak. I’m wearing all the answers.
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