Friday, May 11, 2018

Free To Sign

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: showers, rock, notary, mailbox, highlighter, pinwheel

*not autobiographical*
The papers had to be signed in front of a notary...which was fine of course. Even the thought that she would finally be free made her feel lighter, capable of a smile for a change. As soon as it was done and filed, she could start over, rebuild, figure out who she was and wanted to be.

Just one more step and a little more waiting...

For the last 13 years being married to Brian she'd felt like a pinwheel. She was at the mercy of his temper, blown by the winds of his moods, beaten down by his storms, unable to stop the showers of his rage or his punishments and their effects on her. For so many years she was treated like a pet not his wife at the best of times and a punching bag at the worst. Every small problem in their life would send Brian spiraling into hurricane season ultimately ending in a category 5 storm she would never outrun. There was no way *not* to rock the boat no matter how many times over the years she told herself if she just kept quiet, kept out of his way, kept the house spotless and made all his favorite meals everything would be fine.

It hadn't started that way. He was perfect when they were just dating. They were still babies really...fresh out of college with their whole lives ahead of them. She worked to put him through grad school for the first few years, then came marriage and what was supposed to be her turn at getting her master's, but Brian had other plans. He'd darkened by then. One by one her friends slipped out of the picture. She couldn't go out. She could barely answer their calls without weathering a Brianado. He interfered with her relationships with family, refused to let her work anymore even on her degree, and never let her out of the house after dark without him. GPS on her car tracking her movements, security cameras in the house... Once upon a time she had a full life, her independence, friends, a loving family then one dat she realized she had no one but Brian. And according to him, no one else would want her anyway.

She took the blame as belonging solely to her because what else could explain the change? For so long she thought it must be her own doing for not being enough or being too much...

Until she didn't.

Maybe it was a slow evolution happening in her subconscious that she wasn't quite aware of in her waking world, but it felt like it sprung on her overnight--she was absolutely NOT going to do this anymore.

He'd stopped allowing her to say "no" to sex a long time ago...but when he started getting violent with it ramming inside her in the middle of choking her out, something inside her woke from a dead sleep like Godzilla rising from the depths. The first time it happened she was so numb it hardly registered, but the second time? She was filled with a blinding rage burning so hot it terrified her. She clawed his face screaming at him to get the fuck off her. He was so used to her complacency that the shock was enough to get him to step away. Before she even realized what was happening, she felt her knee connect with his still exposed crotch, and when he doubled over in pain, she dropped to one knee and shot her fist into a sort of uppercut right into his nose.

That's it? she remembered thinking. All this time and that's all it takes to knock this motherfucker out? She didn't dwell on it for long though before she was up and out the door. She ran screaming to a neighbor's house, clothes torn, lip split, and eye already bruising from the beating she had been taking when he... when he... she couldn't bear to even form the words in her mind.

It was over now though. Done. She was done. The police were called. She DID press charges. She DID stick with it even through the nice guy routine, even when some of her friends and family believed his bullshit and took his side. She kept going even through the weakest moments, even when she no longer recognized herself in the mirror, even when she felt her most lost. She found that little bit of herself that refused to be beaten down hidden in the deepest pit and unleashed it. This beast, this new version of her, would be her new beginning.

She didn't expect the divorce papers in the mailbox that day. She really hadn't expected him to give in without a fight, but he'd already moved on, found himself a new sweetheart, Tracy, who promised to love him the "right" way so his monster never showed its face. Maybe this new girl would learn Brian was the monster. There was no soothing it into peace like it was just a part of him that needed pacifying. Brian and his monster were one and the same even if he wore a nice guy costume when it suited him. And maybe Tracy would learn that before it cost her life.

Either way, the papers would be signed and initialed on every line marked with neon highlight in front of a notary as soon as she found one--an end and a beginning.


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

The Bergham Chronicles

Southern Belle Charm

The Blogging 911

Cognitive Script

Part-Time Working Hockey Mom

My Brand of Crazy


  1. What a journey. Good for your character that she got out in time. Many other women don't survive abusive relationships like this one.

  2. I love this! That one little spark has kept many of us going in many situations

  3. Your stories always pull me in. I was proud of her bravery and strength all through this piece but by the end I was scared for Tracy.

  4. So raw and real and disturbing. And happening to women all around us. It makes me weep.