My African friend called my cell just as I walked through the door, and feeling little freer than usual, I decided to talk and not let the fact that Melvin was in the other room stop me. She got me laughing as usual and I was glad to hear the things she was telling me. One of her friends was interested in me. It was fun and a boost to my ego. I loved flirting with idea of being with someone again, being wanted, even loving again.
I hadn’t seen him coming at me. I definitely couldn’t have stopped him. I stared wide-eyed as I held my bleeding mouth. Pure and utter shock is the only way that I can describe the emotion I felt. All the 10 years that Melvin and I had been together he knew never to put his hands on me. He knew that was the one thing that I would never let happen to me again, at least not without a fight. I assume that he had always wanted to hit me during arguments in the past, but seemed to always get up enough control to take a walk or punch a wall.
Perhaps he knew that was something that I would never forgive and he just didn’t want to test that fact. Now that there is nothing to lose, why would he try to stop himself? I was never going to take him back, and it’s possible he did not really want to be back in my good graces. He knew as long as I needed him to babysit he would always see his kids, even my tolerance of all his mood swings, all the painful words and heartless behaviors could not add up to the act of crossing that one unforgivable barrier of touching me. Maybe he thought I was bluffing when I told him I would kill the next man that hit me, maybe he thought his presence was more valuable than my self esteem.
Whatever the reason it was too late now. With my son holding me back I tried my hardest to get a hold of that Bastard and God save us all if I did. “I know you didn’t just put your hands on me!” Frustrated that my sixteen year old would not let me beat the man that he himself would have loved the chance to pummel, I sat down to hear Melvin’s never ending line of shit. “Don’t even act like I hit you, I didn’t touch you, I grabbed the phone and you hit yourself.” I was getting ready to be held back again, but I turned around and picked up an antique wood box off my coffee table and chucked it across the living room and hit “stupid” right in his head. Jewelry tossed around the room as the box broke into pieces on the floor, I yelled back at him “And it was the wind that blew that at your head”
I picked up the phone to see if it still worked, about the same time as it began ringing. It was my friend. “Sorry about that, Dumb ass just got more stupid.” She was very concerned about my situation, even more so than myself. I have been through it before, many times before. She had lived a kind of sheltered life.
“I am going to keep you on the phone and if we get disconnected again, you know my address. Call the police!” I made sure that Melvin heard me. It has been my experience that Abusers don’t like witnesses.
I hadn’t cried this whole year. Never once did I feel sorry for myself or wonder in the darkness why I wasn’t able to be loved. In the past those thoughts would have kept me up at night crying and haunt my every thought, but I am much older and wiser than that lovesick teenager set on being the next Juliet. No, I had let my emotions guild me up to this point and look where it has gotten me. There was no way I was going to let my emotion have tonight.
When I did let those tears fall, they came with more than the embarrassment of being weak, but with a strength that I had not felt in what seemed forever. As I stared at him through tears “I think you just started something that I will have to get someone else to finish” I called the police and got that lazy, good for nothing, unfaithful, trifling controlling bastard escorted out of my house and out of my life. I had tried for over a year to get him to save up enough money to get his own place and he always had some kind of excuse as to what bill took his money or that his children needed him.
It all came down to the fact that he blew his money on women, chat lines and cell phones.
I had tried to keep him off the streets and out of the shelters. He tried his hardest to not only keep that free ride we were giving him but to make it as painful as possible for me in the process. He threatened me, my job, getting me kicked off of welfare and put me out on the streets. So I got off of welfare and housing assistance, got a different job and bucked up for what was sure to be a good fight for freedom.
Remember the saying do not throw stones if you live in a glass house? I made sure my house was made of reinforced steel. I was so busy getting my affaires together that I couldn’t see “D-days” fast approach. I had thought the only way I was going to get rid of my unwanted houseguest was to get him evicted. I was saving for those court costs when he decided to blow past those legalities this night.
Now that he is gone, I sit in the darkness and have time to think, “Damn, I couldn’t have planned it any better” I touch at my busted lip and decide “Minimal amount of damage, maximum amount results. Cool. Melvin less”
I didn’t sleep well that night or many nights after. I cannot say it was from loneliness, the act of trying to rationalize my behavior was important to me, almost like poking a wound, yes it hurts and there is nothing about that behavior that is beneficial but you just can’t stop yourself from it. The pain is almost enjoyable, I know it sounds insane but when I looked back on those things that really were painful, really depressing I learned to not fear them, it makes me numb to the pain, and in an odd way I build a callas over that part on my emotions. I review my past like the review at the end of a history chapter, making sure I learned well my lesson never to repeat.
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