The Last Fight

“QUIT IT!” She screamed. Her voice was raw from the effort of her screams, yelling until she was hoarse from it, exerting all of the anguish and rage through her voice as she finally fought back.

It had been years of dealing with his abuses. His rages, his blame, his excuses, his groveling apologies that changed nothing. She had forgiven him far too many times already, had always taken him back. Reopened the door to her heart and let him in one more time, in hopes that this time he would stop drinking. This time he would change.

This time her love would be enough.

It never was. Not once. At least not for long.

Things would be wonderful for a few days, maybe even a week. There was that one time that he was loving and patient for weeks. Until he wasn’t any longer.

Dread had filled her to the depths of her being when he was late for the first time in a long while. She knew what that meant. He’d stopped at the bar for just ‘one quick drink’ with his friends.

When he came home, he’d find fault with something. She was walking on eggshells after that, knowing that one tiny misstep would send him careening on a path of violence and uncontrollable anger, all aimed at her.

This time had been different. He’d come through the door, already furious because she’d forgotten to close the garage door. He’d slammed into the house, yelling at her before he even got inside.

Something clicked. Changed. Like a magnet, suddenly flipping so it stuck instead of repelled. She didn’t cower this time. She didn’t beg or plead. She stayed calm and quiet.

Standing at the stove, cooking his dinner, she listened to him rant for one minute and then turned to him, the cast iron skillet in her hand, “I made you dinner,” she said with a calm she didn’t feel. He reached out to slap the pan out of her hand and instead she swung it at his head screaming back, “STOP IT! NO MORE! Just QUIT IT!” Her every sentence punctuated by the sound of the pan hitting his skull.

She looked at the mess on the floor before her and thought, “Great. Now I’ve went and wasted dinner.”

 

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