I, Jennifer take you, John , to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
She occasionally remembered her wedding vows, how she meant each and every word, but how things had changed. Those days, she sometimes wishes they’d have stayed stuck, lived in that facade forever, but reality came knocking, banging and burst open that door. She had been living a lie, and the truth was brutally painful to accept.
Was that it, was that what she could blame?! But had she not changed herself?! She expected change, nothing stays the same she knew that. He also changed, but this?! Him …..how could he change so much, he had became another person, a stranger she barely knew. Was she blinded by love or was he just an award-winning actor?!
She loved him
She meant her vows….
She wanted to spend forever with him ….
But where was he?!
She just stood there, in her birthday suit, staring at herself in the mirror. She was home alone, John was at work, and her baby Rachel was in school, she just started this year. Just thinking about her put a smile on her face, she couldn’t say the same about John. Locked up in their room, she continued to stare at herself. Her body, the drastic changes from what she looked like, the bruises and scars brought forth as a result of his violence. Tears began to flow from her eyes, as she used her finger to trace her recently obtained scar. Two broken ribs was the result this time round. He hit her, slapped her actually, and caused her to fall down the flight of stairs
DR. ROSE’S OFFICE, 2WEEKS AGO###
“What story do you have for me this time Jen?!” Dr. Rose asked, she’d been her doctor for six years now. “Or should I say what lie?!”
She just stared, tongue-tied, embarrassed.
“What exactly do you want, for me to read the eulogy at your funeral?!”
“It was an accident…I slipped down the stairs”
“Aaaah, that’s today’s story….you must have been using a lot of soap then to have made you slip.”
The sarcasm was clear, “He didn’t mean to ….”
“Didn’t mean what Jennifer, to push you down the stairs?!”
“he didn’t push me…”
“oh I forgot, you slipped…”
“we were having an argument, one thing led to another…”
“is that supposed to justify his abuse?”
“But he… “
“Lemme guess, he apologized. Apologizes, Look at yourself Jennifer, why are you letting this man do this to you…. “
She was looking, she was crying. She wasn’t happy, she did not like what she saw, the scars all over. For wrongs she had not committed. Always staying hoping and telling herself that this time it would be different. But it never was, she was either cleaning broken glass in the kitchen, crying herself to sleep, or in the bathroom, or one of the rooms in the house, nursing her injuries and cleaning her blood somewhere or bloodstains. Watching as her esteem diminished to nothing. She cried so often, she wondered how she still had tears.
“Why do you keep going back to him?! Do you want him to kill you?”
“Sometimes his himself the man I grew to love ….”
“and other times, you are in hospital, this isn’t what your life should be. Why do you stay?!”
Why did she stay?! Making excuses for him was her prowess
At first he just gave stern warning, just raised his voice and his mood changed drastically when she met an old friend, she claimed he was jealous that if the roles were changed she would do the same.
He forbade her from going out occasionally with her friends, she claimed she did need to start acting like a married woman.
He verbally assaulted her, criticized all she did, then he would turn a leaf and blind her with compliments and gifts, and his lovemaking he certainly knew her body well enough, and never disappointed.
Marriage was not a bed of roses, she repeated what was told to her, they’d be hard times and this was there’s. She meant her vows.
Her daughter deserved to have her father around.
Deep down, she loved her John, hoped that things would go back to how they were in the beginning.
But she had to put an end to the pattern that had become her life.
“You have two broken ribs….. this time,” she added with emphasis.
“It’ll be a shame,” Dr. Rose uttered, her thoughts out-loud, ‘watching your story on the news”
“something worse than this,” she said eying her bandaged sides, “or your untimely death.”
She stayed silent, deep down she knew there was a lot of truth there.
“Then your neighbors will speak about your constant quarrels, your husband will escape only to be caught and imprisoned. Dear Rachel will loose both parents at once. Can you imagine the depression she’ll undergo. Is that what you want for her?”
“No, I wanted her to have her father in her life…
“for what, to watch him kill you. A broken home is not good for a child. She sees, she hears, she will be affected psychological, that’s if he will not start abusing her as well. Is that what you want?”
She was quiet.
“Take charge of your life Jennifer, you’re a smart girl”. “Staying quiet and suffering in silence does not help. You have to take the first step, then I can help, yours neighbors, authorities but it has to start with you.”
She needed that,the truth, and she was glad.
“And, am not sure if this is good or bad news.”
“You’re pregnant, six weeks”
Her face curved into a smile, a genuine smile, that hadn’t happened in a long time. She was happy, really happy.
“You could have easily lost that child..”
“You need to do something, if not for you, then for your newborn.”
“you know you can count on my help”
She smiled again genuinely, “yes I do, thank you doctor.”
“Will you tell him?”
He wasn’t happy about Rachel, because he wanted a boy
And before that he wanted a child, boy or girl
He wanted her home all the time if not at work
He wanted her friendless because he claimed they were indecent and poisoned her mind
He wanted her not to visit anybody.
He wanted to control her life.
He wanted her prisoner.
He wanted to dominate her life.
Quite frankly she’d had enough
Tired of wearing extra makeup to hide her black eye or scratched face.
Of avoiding her brother because he could read through her lies.
Lying to her mother that she was happy in her marriage.
Faking a smile each time they interacted with other couples.
Claiming she was gyming when she knew the real reason behind her weight loss.
Constantly making up stories when she found herself at Dr. Rose’s office.
She had tried, she had held on as long as she could. She had suggested remedies. They had tried them, the priest, the marriage counselor, other couples. Nothing worked. He promised to change, and he did but it was always short lived. Then he would get back to his old ways, no more. She wasn’t gonna sit hear and wait to be killed. Then have him mourn over her grave and quickly replace her. What about Rachel?! What about her new born.
She had loved, so had he, but change caused this, and the man she once knew and loved was no more.
She’d had enough, this was now war!!!!!!
Fighting for the ones she loves….
To be continued….