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The Perfect Life
As she sat there staring out the window waiting to see his car pull in, she realized it wasn’t the life she wanted. Today, she thought, was the day he wasn’t going to have a reason to hit her. She had done everything he wanted her to do and more. She had scrubbed the walls, washed the floors, done the laundry, and cleaned every room in the house. She made everything shine. She then had gotten dressed because he hated when she wore sweatpants or baggy clothing. She put on light wash skinny jeans,the ones he thought made her legs look sexy; a blouse, that she had cut to show her midriff that tied to itself; and black stilettos, because he hated when she didn’t wear heels.Then she put on her make up and did her hair. She put a thin line of eyeliner on each eye, he liked the way the eyeliner made her eyes look, she put on soft pink eyeshadow, he liked the way it made her eyes sparkle, soft pink lip gloss, because he thought it made her look sexy, and pulled her hair into a ponytail, he thought she looked like a goddess when she did that. She started the dinner ten minutes prior to looking out the window, because she knew he liked it hot and ready when he got there. She had made fried chicken, just the way he liked it. She also prepared a salad the way he wanted it, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and shredded carrots. He also liked freshly chunked cheese so she planned on doing that when he sat down to eat. She had put out the candles on the table that smelled of apple pie, which he liked to smell while he ate dinner. In addition she set the table with the china they had. She also made his favorite dessert, key lime pie, which she had made in the morning. She dimmed the lights and put on his favorite dinner music. One that was calming and often soothed him. She put the wine glasses on the table and the wine in a chilled bucket, just the way he liked it. She saw his car pull in and went to finish the chicken. After quickly putting it in a bowl then on the table she heard the lock on the door open. She looked up and smiled at him when he stepped inside. She was prepared to not get hurt. Ready to have a change.
“Is dinner ready?” were the first words out of Max’s mouth.
“Yes, it’s on the table I just have to chunk the cheese, I waited because I know you prefer to watch it be chunked.” She smiled then turned to start cutting the cheese.
“And the wine is ready?” he proceeded to ask.
“In the bucket chilled and ready for you to pour.” She replied with the sweetness of honey. “Okay your cheese is ready. Would you like to sit?”
He sat down and motioned for her to sit next to him. He poured the wine and gave her a glass. She then waited as he ate his salad. He would look up and smile at her on occasion as she sipped her wine, careful to leave some because she knew if she had asked for more he would get mad. He then started to grab his chicken and gave her some. She hated eating chicken like this but knew he liked her to eat the way he ate. They sat and ate in silence with music in the background.
“Very nice choice in music.” he told her.
“Thank you, I know it’s our favorite”, she replied. He liked when she said “our” and “we”. He smiled at her and she made sure to smile back. She knew to ask about work after he had eaten.
“How was your day?” he asked her. She knew to tread lightly with this question.
“It was good. I did housework and even had the time to clean the bathroom.” He loved when she spent the day cleaning. He reached across the table and held her hand. She smiled and sighed. He loved that. He finished eating and she carried their plates to the kitchen. As she cleaned them off she heard his footsteps coming. He put his arms around her waist and she proceeded to turn around.
“I love you.” he said to her
“I love you too. With all my heart.” She knew he loved when she said that.
“You look gorgeous” he told her. She smiled and looked down, knowing it tugged at his heartstrings.
“Thank you. You are very sweet.” She had to compliment him back even though she was terrified of him. He looked at her with satisfaction and started to kiss her. She kissed back with passion knowing he liked to break it off before he sat to watch the television. He pulled away from her with smouldering eyes.
“Not now sweetheart, I know you miss me when I’m gone, but I need to relax before we do that.” She kissed him on the cheek and let him walk to the couch. She caught her breath and finished the dishes. She started to re-clean the kitchen and heard him stand up. The fear she was so used to came back.
“Ginger, sweetheart, you have the most stunning silhouette” he said whilst leaning against the wall in the kitchen.
“Thank you.” She never knew what to say after that. She hated hearing her name through his lips. He came closer and she was prepared to be hit.
“I noticed you staring out the window waiting for me. It was cute.” She smiled and turned to face him. He put his hand on her neck and she had to hide the fear that she had because if she showed it, it would happen. He leaned in and started to kiss her and move his hands over her body. She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him closer. Fully aware that at any moment, if she did something wrong, he would hit her and make her bleed. He started to unbutton her pants and she caught her breath.
“We are doing this here.” He said with a husky voice, and then started to kiss her neck. After they had sex on the counter he told her they were going to bed now. She hated sleeping. She always got the memories of him hurting her. However she chose to listen and followed him to the bedroom. She made sure she was laying on the bed first because if she didn't, he would get mad. He layed down and held her close. They fell asleep in peace.
He was standing in the kitchen staring at her. She had told him she didn’t like the shoes he had on. He came charging at her. He grabbed her by the hair and threw her on the ground. He started to yell about how she was stupid. He punched her in the face. Then kicked her kidneys. He straddled her body and punched her face more. She had accidentally let a tear escape and that enraged him. He started to hit her torso. His strength hurting her with every coming punch. She tried to get up but he grabbed her by the throat and held her down. Suffocating her. Telling her he was going to kill her. He then grabbed her by the arms and threw her against the wall.
She woke up having trouble breathing. She sat and stared at the monster who slept beside her. She knew she either had to die. Or stay with him forever.
It was five AM and as she awoke. She knew the drill. Wake up, get dressed, put on makeup, make breakfast, put on a happy face, and survive. Today however her sister was being allowed to come over for the day. She knew if her sister saw her scars her husband would be put away for sure. So she went along with the never changing routine. She finished making the same boring breakfast they ate everyday; bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and sausages. Her husband Max stepped into the already set dining room. He looked at her with his lazy morning grin, notifying her that she belonged to him. Not that they belonged to each other, that she was a piece of property in his eyes. They sat to eat. He didn’t start off their morning with the usual conversation.
“So when is your sister getting here?” he had asked her.
“She said she would be here around two o’clock” as she replied she was cautious, due to the fact that this was uncharted territory.
“I’ll bring her some flowers on my way home” he smiled as he stared at her.
“Thats very sweet of you. I’m sure she’ll love it, If you don’t want to do that, I’m sure she wouldn’t be offended” She kept her voice from trembling as she answered him.
“She knows I’m a good husband to you, I put a roof over your head, put food in your mouth, and never force you to work. Seeing as she is still single at the age of 21 I want her to know how a real man treats his wife.” He instructed her. She had a million thoughts running through her head at this moment. Does a real man actually hit his wife? Does a real man need to remind his wife daily that she is nothing more than an object to him?
“Yes that would be a great thing to show her. I thank the lord every day that you are an amazing husband. I don’t know what I would do without you.” Her heart almost leapt out of her throat at that moment, she pushed it down and blew a kiss in his direction. In all actuality she cursed the lord and everything about him for putting her into this relationship. She wished on countless occasions that she didn’t take the path less traveled by. She wanted to strangle the lord for hurting her this way. She knew if there was a lord, he would not harm his subjects.
“I’m going to go get ready for work. Clean up this mess. I’ll be ready to leave in ten minutes.” He said this and left the room. She hadn’t finished cleaning by the time he came out because he had finished earlier than usual.
“Why aren’t you done cleaning? You should be able to finish washing dishes faster than that” He looked at her and she knew that no matter what she said she would be hit.
“I tried to but you got dressed faster than usual.” She looked at the ground aware that eye contact would make the beating worse.
“So this is my fault?! I get ready a tad faster and its my fault you can’t finish washing dishes! I just ask for a clean house and you can’t even clean f---ing dishes” He was yelling. Then he charged. He slapped her across the face and she stood completely still. “You are worthless how can you say you love me when you can’t do something simple!” This time he pushed her into the counter, hurting the lower part of her spine. “Your so stupid sometimes!” He punched her in the eye. She tried to protect her stomach. Hunching forward so he had little area to hit. “Oh are you hurt! Does it hurt to know that you disappointed your husband! Does it hurt to know you broke his heart before he went to work!” He threw her onto the floor and glared at her. She looked at him with pain in her eyes. Big mistake she thought to herself. This enraged him. He grabbed a knife from the counter and looked at her. “Maybe I should just kill you now” with that he threw the knife at her and left.
She had hovered into a ball just before he threw it. She then felt a painful stinging sensation on her left side. she unfolded and saw the blood pouring onto the floor. She got up, steadied herself, and ran to the closet. She grabbed the pillow cases and wrapped her arm and leg to stop the blood from pouring. then she grabbed a sheet and put it on the floor of the kitchen. after she was sure the blood had been absorbed, she put it under her bed. She didn’t have the time to clean it. She then decided to fully attend to her wounds. She went into the kitchen to get paper towels then to the bathroom and grabbed hydrogen peroxide. She sat on the edge of the tub and poured the hydrogen peroxide onto the paper towels. She then held it onto her leg wound and cried because of the stinging. After she had finished cleaning them, she grabbed a soft pad to absorb more blood if it spilled out, and then wrapped it up with an ace bandage wrap.
She scurried around making sure the house looked nice for her sisters arrival. After the incident this morning she didn’t want her sister going into shock. She knew she only had a few hours before her husband would show up. She had to tell her sister everything without Max getting suspicious. She heard the doorbell ring and felt relieved that today she might be saved from this hell hole of a life. She walked to the door.
“Lily! How are you! I’ve missed you so much.” She yelled to her sister. They hugged for about a minute.
“Ginger I missed you so much. Wow your house is spotless. Since when did you become a neat freak?” Lily asked her sister who looked stunning for just being around the house. However, she remembered Max loved her to look her best all the time.
“Oh Lil’ you have no idea what’s been going on.” Ginger looked at her little sister scared to ruin her innocence in what a man can do. Although fully aware of the men her sisters been with.
“You look upset. It can’t be Max though right? He’s perfect to you.” Lily looked at her sister noting the tears prepared to escape her eyes. She had never seen her older sister act this way. Although there was a six year difference between them, her sister had always been stronger than Lilly. Ginger, in Lily's eyes, was perfect. Gorgeous auburn hair, the hourglass figure so many women craved, and who could forget her sisters heart. Ginger, had the perfect life. When Ginger was younger Lily recalled looking up to her sister. Who wouldn’t though? Ginger had been the head cheerleader, head of the Prom committee, and had won over the hearts of everyone, no one in the school had anything bad to say about her. The only time Lily had seen Ginger cry was when she was hospitalized for her anorexia at the age of sixteen. Her sister who was so perfect, had shown a single flaw that hurt the whole family. She was now very concerned about her sister.
“Lily he’s not loving. I’m scared of the man I married,” Ginger said with tears streaming down her face. She was relieved to let it out.
She started to tell Lily about everything. About the first time he hit her.About the reasons. About how every day she woke up afraid that if she over cooked the eggs, she would die.
“Ginger how could you let him do this!” Lily yelled at her sister who was sobbing.
“What do you mean how could I let him! You think I like seeing scars all over my body! You think I like waking up afraid for my life! You think I like pleasing the man who gives me nightmares!” At that word, Ginger lifted up her shirt to show her sister the wounds from his beating early this week. “I can’t go a week without getting hurt Lily!” Lily stared in shock. Unable to form words. Unable to even fathom what had happened to her older sister. Realizing that she had become a shell of her former self. Ginger then grabbed her sister by the face and looked her square in the eyes.
“Lily, I’m pregnant with that monsters baby. He doesn’t want to have a child. He’ll make me get rid of it. I want to be a mom.” Ginger made sure her sister understood.
“Ginger we are calling the cops. When is he due home?” Lily said to her sister determined to be strong for her sister.
“We can’t he’ll kill me if I do!” Ginger yelled at her sister un expecting her to do something about it.
“Then you won’t call. When does he get home Ginger.” Lily used a stern tone with her sister fully aware that for her, this would either help or hurt them both.
“We have three hours.” Ginger told her sister.
“Pack your bags we are going to the station.” Lily said. Then she proceeded to grab a trash bag and throw her sisters belongings in there.
On the ride to the station, Lily could tell Ginger was scared. She had never seen her sister like this. So afraid so innocent. They pulled into the station and got out of the car. They walked to the front desk and Lily decided to speak for her sister.
“My sister is being abused and needs help now. If she goes home she will be killed. If you don’t believe me look at her torso.” Lily motioned for Ginger to lift up her shirt. After a moment of understanding between the sisters, Ginger finally lifted up her shirt. “She has a baby in there please help us” lily looked at the cop with pain in her eyes, scared that if this didn’t work, she would loose her sister forever.
The cop took notes on everything and saw that the medical records had matched up. He asked ginger for the keys to her house and she looked at him bug eyed.
“Miss, this will help you. As long as you testify in court this man will be kept away from you and your child. Let us have the key so we can keep you safe.” The cop told her this with a look of empathy in his eyes. She gave him the key and he went out to send a team to apprehend her husband. When he walked out of the room she looked at Lily.
“How can I testify in court! He’ll surely come after me and kill me!” she shakily voiced to her sister.
“Ginger, it’s going to be okay now. You are going to be safe. All you have to do is tell them the story you told me. Plus you said there were blood stained pillow under your bed. That's physical evidence sweetheart. I promise you that you and that gorgeous baby of your will be safe from Max.” Lily pulled her sister into a hug aware that she had saved her sisters life. Aware that she had been the one to keep her niece or nephew safe. Fully satisfied that her sister would no longer be abused after seven years.
“Thank you” Ginger whispered into her sister's ear. Realizing that after the trial was over, she would be safe. She promised herself that if she had a son, he would be nothing like his father. Now all she had to do was spite Max by giving him a life behind bars. She could do this. She was strong enough to deal with the abuse, she could be strong enough to tell the world her story.