She stares at the destruction around her. Tables flipped over and a lamp broken on the floor. The kids ask her what is wrong and she chokes out “nothing” through gut wrenching sobs. She’s dead inside, soul bleeding, heartbroken and no longer able to deny the truth. She is that woman, the abused one, the unloved one. She has no fight left in her so she answers the phone and when he says he’s sorry, she tells him it’s okay. Even as she wishes she was dead, she reassures him that it’s okay.
She has things to do so she uncurls herself from the cocoon she has made. Her arms ache from holding herself and the tears don’t stop; still she pushes on. Picking up the pieces of their shattered life, gluing together what she can, throwing out the things broken beyond repair. Her heart hurts almost as much as her head and she lights a cigarette to calm her nerves.
One kid on the bus and the other is watching TV. Both of them know that this is just the way life is. Daddy likes things a certain way and it is best not to get in his way of having those things done. They don’t understand why Mommy’s crying, why she can barely hold her head up from the pain inside. Asking why Daddy is mean just makes Mommy cry harder.
Friends don’t see the abuse, as sporadic as it is. They see a happy couple with a few problems, nothing that couldn’t be solved. They can’t see the rage in his eyes when he screams and tells her she is nothing because she does nothing….for him. She is useless and worthless because his house is not perfect; his kids actually speak to him when she should keep the occupied and away. He sees her sleeping and it enrages him, the fact that she didn’t leave work until well after midnight does not even begin to matter to him. It’s 5 a.m. so he screams and belittles her until she crawls out of bed, tears falling before she’s fully awake.
She tries to fix her face, her eyes swollen from the crying, nose red and raw from the tears that ran down it. She promises her reflection that it won’t happen again. That she won’t stand for her children having to watch their mother beat down by their father, the fight taken out of her.
Her promises mean nothing though, because she will stay and things will be better. For a day, a week and maybe a month, things will be good. He’ll be sorry so he’ll try to do better, he’ll promise the world to her and she will smile and act like she believes him. In her heart she knows there will always be a “next time” and her head tells her to leave, that it’s abuse. Society wants bruises and black eyes, maybe even a broken arm or two to be able to label it that way though and those don’t happen anymore. He only hurts her inside so he doesn’t have to face the scars he leaves, doesn’t have to admit what a monster he can be.
She dies inside as she see her life pass before her eyes, she sees the bitter woman she will become. The fun loving happy side of her will die slowly, fighting to the end. But flowers don’t grow without sun and the soul cannot flourish in a state of fear and conflict.
Staring at the girl in the mirror, she swears one day, some day….but knows in her heart that day will never come. She accepts a fate that no one should ever have to face.