This is the rework of a self-published auto-biographical story (2008), rewritten for this blog. Names of characters have been changed.
Content warning: mental and physical abuse, misogyny.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
EXTRA WARNING: DOMESTIC ABUSE
Continued from… Patty and Tom
“No, Fred! No! Stop! Please! Stop!”
Confused and disoriented Annie listened to the words. Moments ago she had still been in a deep sleep. The door to her room was closed. Sounds came from the hallway on the other side of it. Fran’s screams and crying pierced through the wood of the door. One moment it seemed the sound came from the main bedroom; the next from the living room at the end of the long hallway.
“No kicking, Fred. No, please. Oh god, it hurts. No. No. No.”
Indecisively Annie stayed in bed, listening. It very slowly dawned on her that what she heard was Fred hitting and kicking Fran. Even though she understood this, her brain didn’t want to believe it. How could she have such a wrong impression of Fred? Before she could dwell on this or take any other action, Melanie stormed into her room. Fred and Fran’s voices sounded closer than ever now the bedroom door was open.
“Annie, please help. Daddy is hitting mommy,” Melanie cried. Whether it was instinct or fear, Annie knew she shouldn’t interfere with the couple. Shivering, Melanie crawled into her arms.
“Are the other kids still sleeping?” Annie whispered.
“Yes, I closed the bedroom door behind me.”
Annie hoped Fred wouldn’t go into the children’s bedroom. But, there was another problem: her bedroom door was still open. She was just trying to come up with a quick way to close it, when Fred suddenly appeared next to her bed, and grabbed Melanie’s arm. She seemed to fly out of bed.
“Go to your own fucking bed!” Fred screamed.
With his attention diverted, Annie quickly pulled the duvet cover over her head, leaving a small opening through which she watched his reflection in the mirror. She pretended to be asleep. She watched as he looked down on her, but she stayed still. By a miracle, Fred turned around and walked towards the door. Annie lifted her head from the pillow to follow his movement. Immediately he turned around. His dark blue, wildly enraged and alcohol-red eyes locked with hers.
“How about you? Want to fuck that fat slut too?” he screamed.
It took Annie a couple of seconds to understand he was referring to Patty. So that was cause for the battering? What a…
“I’m not the one who wants to bed every woman I see,” she snapped.
Ominously Fred moved closer to Annie, his hand raised. Quickly she disappeared under the covers and prayed that he would leave.
He did, and then it started again…
“Oh no, please… no, please Fred… no, not again,” Fran moaned.
Swiftly Annie got out of bed. Sounds came from the kitchen. Annie ran to the door of the children’s bedroom, slipped inside and closed the door behind her. By a miracle, everyone but Melanie was asleep. Annie comforted Melanie for a while before she returned to her own bedroom, afraid Fred might notice she wasn’t in bed anymore. The couple was still in the kitchen when Annie softly closed the door behind her and got back into bed. Yet again, she pulled the covers over her head, this time not hiding from Fred, but trying to block out the sickening sounds coming from somewhere in the house. She felt guilty because there was nothing else she could do. Fran’s crying went on for some time and then abruptly stopped.
A loud bang echoed through the house. Annie breathlessly listened, every fiber of her body in shock. A key turned in a lock and she realized the bang she had heard was the slamming of the door to the main bedroom. That was the only door in the house with a key.
Who was in the bedroom? Fred? Fran? Both? Annie was too afraid to check. Shocked and bewildered about the “other” Fred she saw, she didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.
To be continued… The Day After
© Rebel’s Notes