Originally posted December 2018 as part of my #52Weeks52Stories Challenge
#52weeks52stories: Week 52
Word prompt: smack
Word count – 429
Reading time – 1 mins, 42 secs
Frozen in Time, Part 1
“Please don’t come here again.”
The battered woman trailing police to the front door turned and whispered in a hard voice, “You don’t understand. This was my fault. I shouldn’t have pushed Elliott about coats for the kids.”
Petra Gwynn smirked. “You remind your husband your three children are wearing nylon jackets in freezing temps and he has the right to smack you around?”
Sonia Milan glanced over her shoulder at the cops standing next to their squad cars.
“Elliott’s been through a lot. He lost his mom at a young age… lost friends while serving in the middle-east and got an injury that ended his military career. He has to be handled a certain way.”
“Bullshit! He’s not the first person to lose someone or get injured in combat. Those are excuses, Sonia.” She turned her neighbor toward the hallway mirror. “Look at your face. That’s not how you treat someone you love.”
Sonia’s temper flared, and she whirled around to face her neighbor.
“Don’t you dare judge my husband. You have no idea what it’s like for him. Keep your opinions to yourself and mind your own damn business.”
Petra clenched her fists hanging at her sides.
The freakin’ nerve!
She approached Sonia until their noses were almost touching.
“That’s exactly what I was doing until you banged on my door. You cried out for my help. You begged me to call the police.”
She brushed past her clueless neighbor and stood by the open front door.
“And you are leaving my home… now.”
Kowtowed, Sonia turned for the front door.
Petra thrust her arm out blocking the woman’s path.
“He needs help, Sonia, before something even worse happens. But if you don’t care about yourself or somehow feel you deserve to be his punching bag, think of your children. They see everything and forget nothing. And it’s doing more damage than you can ever imagine.”
Sonia’s jaws tightened, and she pushed past Petra, storming down the walkway.
Closing the door, Petra sagged against it as the anger dissipated from her body.
I shouldn’t have lost my temper. Sonia needs understanding, not my contempt. Elliott has beaten her down so low, she believes she’s to blame for his shortcomings.
Petra slid to the floor, remembering the look of terror in her neighbor’s eyes when she’d first answered the door.
It was the same look she’d seen in her own mother’s eyes for most of her life.
To be continued…