Sunday, August 15, 2010
Lips pursed in surprise and anticipation.
Fist clinched in anticipation.
“You want me to pop you upside the head….”
A flinch of the shoulders followed.
“Do what you got to do; I may be short but I’m tougher than you think.”
Shoulders give way to a curl-and-uncurling of fingers in a “Come on” motion.
“Don’t make me do it again.”
A long index finger extends toward the other.
“In your sick mind I’m causing you to do it. I’ll do something and you’ll not forget what I did!”
A voice of anger gave way to a trembling whimper.
“You and some invisible army - you better back off.”
Turning away another…
“Awgggggggg” could be heard. “You’re never going to hit me again!”
“I will do what I want, when I want” and he pushed her into the wall.
Pulling a knife from a counter she turned from the wall and thrust her body toward his. He stepped to the side allowing the motion of her body to move past him, her small frame landing against another wall. Displaying a physical limpness in her arms and body she uttered a grunt that could be heard…
…while he laughed.
“Ha, Ha! See, you can’t hurt me. I own you!”
Running out of the room thoughts of fear, anger, and rage overwhelmed her synaptic processes. “I’ve got to get away or I’m really going to get hurt”. Passing through a bedroom she ran into a restroom and locked the door. Pausing for a moment, she turned an ear toward the door and listened for continued danger. His laughing and yelling filled the premises. Seemingly, during her intent to survive his voice was increasing with intensity as each second passed.
“Is he drunk?” she thought. Almost losing the mental capacity to think and make a plan she thought, “He’s really loud; maybe the neighbors will hear him screaming and call the police.”
But several minutes passed and he became almost tyrannical. She could hear his screams that seemed to be directed at someone in the room with him. But she only heard her name at the end or beginning of each tyrant. Profanity peppered every statement, “He has gone crazy. If he remembers I’m here he will kill me.”
No help came.
“Calm down, calm down” she repeated over and over. “I’ve got to calm down. Pull it together.” As if trying to prove to herself that she was ok she raised and stretched her hands in front of her chest, but her fingers continued to tremble.
Employing other senses she continued to listen in an effort to determine what he was doing, but it was impossible to really know what was happening. During the next few minutes he became quiet, weighing on her sense of security and whether she was really in danger.
Again she put an ear up against the door, listening and listening; and listening a little bit more. But there just wasn’t enough proof that he was gone, or if he was still there.
She reached for the door knob and considered opening the door. But as her fingers neared the knob breathing could be heard from the hallway and she stepped back to the center of the room.
Quietly, reverently she said, “Are you there?”
In a stern, almost commanding voice and answer was received. “Your damn right I’m still out here and I’m going to kick your butt when you open that door!”
Again her entire body began to tremble as she assumed a fetal position on the floor. While gasping for breaths of fresh air tears began to stream down her face and pool up on the floor. But the pool of tears was not apparent until a hand dropped to the floor.
“What?” she screamed. “Look what you caused me to do! Don’t come in here!”
Gasping for air she stood-up and started to pace around the room, while tears continued to drop to the floor. She grabbed a tissue from the counter and started to pat the tears from her face. Several minutes passed and her facial expressions resembled a more normal state of consciousness.
“Hummmm, do-do-do” he sang out in the hallway. While he continued with a “Do, Do, Da, Da”, she allowed thoughts that she normally would not think come into her mind.
“What can I do? Where is that carving knife?
Pausing for a moment she turned her head, positioning it like a cat when it notices a mouse running across a floor, or while watching a bug crawl across a wall.
“I could kill him if I had that knife.”
Her fear had festered over the past weeks and months like an infected cut, painfully sensitive to every movement and possible touch. Fear had evolved to defense and then to the concept of murder, something that her religious beliefs would never have allowed her to consider a year ago. But like most infected cuts, a point is reached where efforts to fight the infection no-longer are effective and lancing, or cutting the infection out, become the only options to relieve the pressure and remove the poison.
And that is exactly what he had become to their relationship. Poison to the love they had once cherished, puss on the top of their life together.
He had to be removed.
Thoughts were racing through her mind. She considered that premeditated murder is a capital offense, punishable by death, or at least life in prison, but at the same time she was astonished that the actual thought of killing him belonged to her. She thought, “He can’t be allowed to continue to physically abuse me and psychologically ruin my life, I can not let him hurt me any more.”
“I can’t take it any more”, she thought. “I’ve got to get some help, get out of here, or…..” tears started to stream down her face again.
While talking to herself she placed her hands over her cheeks and eyes and seemed to be praying, “Please help me. Please help me. What can I do?”
But with an interrupting voice that seemed to come from a surround-sound set of speakers she heard,
“What the hell are you doing in there? Get your ass out here” as he banged on the bathroom door.
“Open this door now. I am not leaving until you come out here!”
“I’m not coming out there while you’re acting like this!” she replied. “Are you drunk?”
He hit the door once more and then started walking down the hallway. Pressing her ear up against the door it was apparent he was leaving because his steps grew faint and almost disappeared, then his footsteps began to become louder. He was coming back up the hall.
‘Clunk’, she recognized that sound – it was a chair being sat on the floor. “He’s sitting just on the other side of the door!” she mentally screamed.
“I’m going to get me a sandwich, let me know when your ready to come out and maybe I’ll let you have a sandwich too. That’s if you’re a good girl!”
Her entire body shivered and the hair stood-up on ends when she heard the ‘good girl’ comment. “I’m going to have to kill him. He’s not going to let me out of here” she said.
Sitting quietly she attentively listened as he began to walk down the hallway. The sound of his foot steps continued to diminish, giving her the assurance that he was walking away from her, maybe to get the sandwich he mentioned. The footsteps continued to grow faint, and then non-existent. “Finally” she whispered.
“Where is that knife?” Thinking through her movements prior to entering the bathroom she sat on the commode lid to ponder what had happened. Considering the last 20 minutes she recalled that “he pushed me and I grabbed the knife, then he shouted at me and I started to run. When I got to the bathroom I flung the door open, came in and locked the door.”
“Where is the knife? Where is the knife?” Several more minutes passed and then it was like a eureka moment flashed across her face. “When I swung the door open I dropped the knife just outside the door.”
She said out loud, “If he didn’t pick it up the knife is just on the other side of this door.”
While recalling that he surprised her earlier by being on the other side of the door, as she murmured, “No, no, no. I can’t go out there. I’m sure he found it and is waiting for me”.
With what some would consider impeccable timing, or maybe more of a demonic timing he shouted from a distance,
“All right honey, come on out. Aren’t you getting hungry?
And in a condescending, almost a ‘you know I’m lying’ tone…
Everything’s alright. Come on out.”
Assuming the stance of a statue she immediately stopped moving. “Don’t move, don’t move, DON’T BREATH” she mentally screamed.
‘Maybe if he’s drunk the food will sober him up’ she thought; a moment later a television turned on and she heard some talking. Almost as a prayer she thought, “He’s watching TV. God please let him fill up on whatever and then make him go to sleep.”
She leaned against the bathtub. Apparently the air conditioner was not on; the air was getting stale and warm. She thought about it for a moment and came to the conclusion that all of her crying had consumed the cool air; when she was crying and screaming her rapid breathing had warmed the room’s temperature even further.
But the porcelain surface of the tub offered a respite to the uncomfortable environment. Considering how cool the surface was she started to entertain the thought of taking a bath, but it was just too hot in the room to even turn the water on. But she thought, “I have really been sweating, I need to take a bath, but not if he’s sitting outside the door.”
“Are you out there?”
No answer. She snuggly put her ear up against the door and listened intently. There was no movement. She repeated “Are you out there?”
Still there was no answer, and then she remembered the knife. “Honey, are you out there?” she asked again and there was still no answer. Still standing inches from the door she considered the knife once more. “Maybe…” she thought, “I can get it now.”
Immediately upon touching the door knob a memory and fear of what happened last time flashed in her mind. She could still hear him saying “Your damn right I’m still out here…” and she backed away from the door again.
But the knife served as a mental magnet, pulling all of her thoughts back to the door and the possibility of safely reaching the knife, just beyond her reach, on the other side of the door. She approached the door yet again and warmed the knob with the palm of her hand. “Are you there?” she softly asked again – still no answer. There was no sound or movement other than the voices and sounds of a television show coming from down the hallway.
“You can do this. You can do this. You can do this.” she kept repeating in a soft, nervous whisper. She turned the knob slowly so as not to create a single sound. Once the door bolt clicked she knew the door was open and he could burst into the bathroom at any moment. She pulled the door toward her, making access to her secured location even more vulnerable to his attack.
Peering outside the door it seemed obvious that he was not there. But was he really gone? At the very moment she took a first step out the door she heard a “Whoooooshhh” from a commode flushing down the hall.
“Oh no” she thought. He’s in the hallway bathroom.” She froze like a rabbit trying to cross a road in front of an approaching automobile, and then jumped back into the bathroom like an antelope.
Closing the door was not possible, petrified fear had once again consumed her entire body. Listening quietly for the sound of footsteps to come in her direction she mentally counted; “10, 20, 30”; half a minute had passed while holding that breathe in anticipation of being discovered. Still nothing happened. “Maybe”, she thought “…he won’t come down this way.”
In an attempt to make no sound she had not released the breath sucked-in while out in the hallway and bedroom area and her head was feeling as if it would explode. But things could be even worse and she realized this when it was apparent the last gulp of oxygen consumed at the door could not be maintained. She sprinted to the bathtub, picked-up a towel and shoved her face into it.
Exhaling the old, stale breath felt good, but both lungs felt as if flames were consuming bronchia and it was like a soldering fluid had boiled over into every microscopic fiber of her being. Deliberate breathing seemed to transform into a more regular, autonomic action. “Thank God”, she thought. “Things are returning to normal.”
Looking across the room and through the door she noticed that the knife was sitting on a chair in the hallway. “I need that knife.”
*** Good day, everyone, I appreciate your support by following my blog. This entry had several pieces of information or thoughts that contributed to its creation. The first was that I wanted to continue touching on emotions and I decided about 3 weeks ago that I wanted to write from a female's eyes. This is not an empowering superhero type of female (maybe I will do something like that in the future), but then there is no end to this story yet. With that said, the other factors that contributed to the story are somewhat sketchy for this introduction. I had another situation in development and this story had to occur prior to my original entry consideration. I want to thank @grapechick on Twitter (Sherry) for a discussion we had this past week that indirectly caused me to develop the first storyline, which means this story is two-times removed from my original thoughts and our Tweet-sation (which I’m considering as a part of this story’s continuation).
With all that said, this entry developed itself and grew to just under 2,500 words. As I started and wrote the first “Shut-Up” I became angry with the male character and even more afraid with the female. It was like the characters were in a personal vision and I was watching the main character through a camera, I could see her trembling and the shock when he answered, “Your damn right I’m still out here…” It surprised me first, that he was there and said it, and that I heard him say it (I don’t talk to people like that). If you like the story and are interested in a continuation please leave a comment, and let me know how this entry affected you. Once again, thanks for reading my work and staying in touch. If you know of anyone that my writing style will appeal to please let them know I’m here conducting a little 'open-heart surgery' (sharing some of my deepest thoughts) and Thinking Outloud.