She slept, dreamless, for an unknown time in front of the window on the plaid, overstuffed Ethan Allen couch that always felt like it could swallow whoever sat down; the approaching headlights even failed to wake her when the yellow-white canisters of light finally danced across the pane of glass that she existed on the inside of. What finally woke her was the violent shaking and lack of air in her lungs; her ‘bad ear’ had betrayed once again. Despite her every effort not to do so, her eyes shot open reflexively in response to the growing sensation off suffocation.
She was lying on her back, looking up at the monster above her, his hands wrapped tightly around her disrepaired neck – thumbs overlapping one another at her trachea, pushing down so hard that the edges of her vision immediately began to fade.
‘Just let him kill you, already……..’
One thing she had quickly learned as the victim of a highly sadistic domestic captor is that the cycle is fueled by fear – her fear. When she appeared unafraid, he would lose interest in assaulting her and belittling her much faster than he did when she allowed him to see how terrified she was of him and his sickness. When she fought back and refused to lie down or pass out unconscious, it had the same effect. If she tried to roll into a ball and just ‘take it’, he became so enraged and antagonized by it, that he once kicked her in the face and head until she was literally knocked out cold. Her rebellious nature and history was likely the only thing that had kept her alive so far; abusive men such as her husband grow quickly tired and bored with women who don’t ‘fight back’.
“Who the fuck is driving back and forth out front, trying to get your attention?”
His grip loosened slightly as he spit the confusing question down at her, as if he expected her to actually answer such an absurd query. Her thoughts raced; she had no clue who was driving around outside, if there was even anyone out there at all – who knew?
“You better go out there and tell ‘em to get lost or your ol’ man’s liable to commence an ass whooping’, bitch…”
She always wondered where he had learned those two specific ‘big boy’ words: liable and commence; it’s not as if he ever set foot into a classroom of any kind during his time alive. With that, he shoved her head backwards into the frame of ‘her window’ with so much force that the wood split right in half.
“Go! Go tell them to scram and to stay the fuck away from you and your husband’s house or I’ll kill all of you…Go!”
She scrambled to her feet without question, the confused numbness being the only familiar sensation her; choking on the fresh intake of air allowed her, she instinctively felt the back of her head for the dampness of blood and then began rubbing her throat to get the feeling back where he had his grip only seconds before. The reality was: that if there was actually somebody driving around outside, it was most likely going to be one of HIS friends – ready to run her down with a vehicle or something along those lines. Yet, somehow the idea of that seemed much more inviting than the situation inside with Mr. Americano.
She bolted out the front door without thinking much about it; the pre-dawn air outside was crisp and cool, a breeze gently swaying the trees and shrubs in the yard with a quiet whisper of air. There was nobody out there; no cars or trucks or horse drawn carriages for that matter. She dazedly swept her line of vision back and forth several times before turning to walk back into her own Living Hell once more.
Maybe he will be calmed down now…
The front door was locked when she tried to turn the knob and enter; the thought of him locking her out did not register at first, and she tried repeatedly to turn it before realizing his game. Despite knowing that he would have already covered the back door and the windows already, she made her rounds about the house – trying in vain to get back inside. It was too cold to be outside in one thin layer of clothing, but he knew that. A few hours passed before she groggily recognized the fact that the back of her head had been oozing blood since she came outside, and in the few moments before sunrise, and out of sheer necessity, she tended to the wound with the garden hose and some old napkins from the detached garage (HIS garage).
Once in a while, she would see him wander a window and look for her, always seemingly satisfied with what he saw before returning to whatever it was he was doing inside the warm house alone. She tried not to think about that though; his betrayal and mockery broke her spirit more than any physical harm he could do.
I will NOT beg to get back inside this time…