E1: Fall Hard
The penthouse was pristine, although he would expect nothing less upon returning to the scene of the crime. A toasty bouquet of warm vanilla and cinnamon rolls wandered throughout the sprawling foyer, intending to usher well-heeled guests into the couple’s enclave. Scott chucked his Gucci duffle bag onto the arm of a hideously upholstered chair that was bequeathed by her late aunt.
“Viv, it’s me.” His words fell flat, consumed by static opulence and sumptuous living quarters that were amicably designed during those new love, carefree years.
“I’m in the study.” Her tone was certainly agreeable, yet not quite as pliable as Scott had hoped for following a calamitous argument that ended with an emergency room visit.
* * *
“Do you feel safe at home? We have to ask these questions.” The triage nurse was more salt than sugar, yet there was something about her stoic demeanor that made Scott feel safe, as if his story mattered. Shame and embarrassment aside, his experience with reporting injuries sustained at the hands of his wife was nothing short of offensive. Vapid accusations that were cleverly disguised as questions of concern proved the norm, despite glaringly obvious signs of physical abuse.
“Oh no, I don’t have to worry about that. I feel plenty safe at home.” There was only one thing more troublesome than the sharp pain radiating down the left side of his back, and that was the truth. As spectators on the sidelines of reality, the couple often sneered at newlyweds who were oblivious to the first rule of domestication; praise in public, pound in private.
* * *
“We cannot do this anymore.” A sentiment shared and stated in unison; wholeheartedly felt yet debased with keen temperament and a biting tongue. Vivian was disconcerted by his ability to disconnect from the violence in a fashion that was ostensibly theatric. Visual images of the physical skirmish during brief moments of recollection flitted about her vanquished subconscious like a pernicious butterfly in search of soothing nectar.
“I know, it’s killing us. I can’t do this anymore either.” She danced around the dark, post-traumatic stress disorder cloud in an unceremonious waltz, following its lead. In reality, Vivian and Scott would do this again, and again, and again once more before the luminescence of an unblemished snowfall rushed the autumn season towards its end.
1522 ET – Author/Illustrator/Original Soundtrack: O.W. Showe
National Domestic Violence Hotline: https://www.thehotline.org
Domestic Violence Support: https://www.doorwaysva.org/get-help/domestic-violence-resources/
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