BEANERY ONLINE LITERARY MAGAZINE
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Many women choose to remain in violently abusive situations because they consider it is best for the children to have two parents. However, what must be considered, is the effect of domestic violence on such children. Watching, listening, hearing, the abuse can be just as damaging to some children as being their being the targets of the violence.
Do you think that April’s children were unaware of the violence in the following situation? How do you think it affected them?
The first hit was unbearable. Each time she knew a beating was coming, April believed that it could be no worse than the one before…and she was always wrong. She heard her neck pop as her head was thrown to the side by his fist. She saw her blood fly across the room and splatter across the kitchen wall.
“I’ll have to be sure and clean that up,” April thought, “before the kids wake up in the morning.” It was the routine. The same “to-do” list came with each punishment.
She would try and leave the moment and allow herself to travel somewhere far away until it was over. While there, she would go over each item on the list that had to be completed in order to hide the truth from the world and to protect her children. Today’s list would have to include not only the usual clean up duties, but since blood was an issue, she would have to come up with a story that explained that injury. It couldn’t be falling in the shower this time. She had used that one too many times recently. She would come up with something before arriving at work tomorrow.
As April allowed herself to visit the present for a moment, she realized that she was lying on the floor. He was kicking her in the side and back. Tears burned as they streamed down her face. She couldn’t scream out in agony—the children would wake up.
“Oh please God, let him stop. I can’t take much more.”
When finally, the beating stopped, he bent over her body, spewed out some vulgarities, spit on her face, and went to bed. She exhaled as quietly as she could. Thank God. Thank God. It’s over. And thank God I survived another day.
She tried to move, but realized her body was in no shape to do so any time soon. Since the cool kitchen floor felt good, so she decided to just stay there for the night, giving her body some time to begin to heal…….once again. Within minutes, her breathing slowed to a normal pattern and her eyes slowly closed. April’s mind blessed her with a wonderful dream this unfortunate night. She traveled to a place where she had peace. A place where she wasn’t nervous or worried about what might happen that day. A place where her children were safe. Finally, safe.
A smile slowly grew on her face as she drifted to this land of peace, a land that she knew really didn’t exist. Not for her or her children anyway. Not in this life. But, oh! It was such a beautiful place to visit. And she was thankful. Thankful for just a short escape from the world she really lived in………………
As he lay in the bed, staring at the ceiling, his blood was boiling over with pure hate.
“What a joke! What a pitiful excuse for a woman!” he thought. “She must enjoy her punishments! Why else would she constantly screw up and piss me off? She knows she’s gonna get it!”
His mind was racing and his breathing was rapid. Suddenly, an evil smile spread across his face. He knew what to do. He knew it was the only thing he could do…he would kill her.
“Yes, kill her. I must find a way to kill her and cover it up.”
He breathed in and exhaled with relief. He would end it. He would end her. He couldn’t wait. Oh, how he would enjoy it. To watch her die would be the highest point in his life.
He was satisfied and relaxed now. Slowly, he rolled over…..and fell asleep.
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