They called it a near miss...

Submitted into Contest #44 in response to: Write a story that starts with a life-changing event.... view prompt

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They called it a near miss, but I called it a direct hit as years of pent-up anger surged through my veins. The porcelain coffee cup sailed through the air and smashed directly where I was aiming it; just next to my husband's head. He had been quietly reading the Desert Sun Newspaper while he sat on the bar stool in our breakfast nook. It shattered with a loud bang against the wall. I had made my point.

  He recoiled in shock and disbelief as he looked at the pieces of the white cup scattered on the floor beneath his bare feet. The cup might have missed his head but the splashing lukewarm coffee had hit an unintended target. He quickly raised his hands to wipe the amber brown liquid from his unbelieving eyes.

 I stood steadfast, my hands on my bony hips, my hazel eyes still flashing anger as my thin lips went into a snarl. I couldn't hide my deep content watching him wipe his disbelieving eyes. "Yes, he deserved that", I was thinking to myself, trying hard to justify my actions.

  "What was that for, are you crazy women"? he screamed. He began to rise off his barstool and move toward the me. He stopped in mid-step when he realized my hands held another cup, raised up high to make another pitch at his head. "Move one more step and I won't aim at the wall again", I said in a deliberate cold menacing voice.

  The man 'blinked' for the first time in our marriage. He turned in silence and simply walked out of the room. I put the cup I was holding on the white tiled counter, took a deep breath and wiped a tear that had formed under my right eye. "Not again", I thought as I began to do something that I had never done before...Confront my abusive husband.

  When I say 'abusive', I don't mean physically, my husband would never hit me, but his words would burst through my brain, crack it, and remain there unchallenged, quietly reverberating over and over again until that's all I'd hear.

  It hadn't always been that way. Oh sure, there were times early in our relationship when my skin bristled at his hurtful words , a multi-colored feathered arrow pulled back on its string, flying off its bow to hit it's mark right between my eyes. He was a word aficionado when he placed the poison arrow against the string, pulling the tension as hard as he could, then he'd let it fly, straight at my lifelong insecurities.

  Laughing, he would add, "You are stupid, you do know that, don't you?"he would say about a conversation we were having where in a rare instance I'd interject a thoughtful comment; or, "Why would you decide to do it that way, it's wrong", he would mutter while patting my head in his patronizing way. "You really need to lose some weight", as his hands extended out to mock the size of my rear-end. 

  In the beginning I took his words as ,'That's just how he shows affection.' Over time I realized he was using his words as weapons to gut me to my core, I became a wounded deer, not realizing If you act like prey, they'll act like predators. Somewhere in my tortured soul, I always knew that, but if I tried to reply, he was faster, swifter, more cunning with his words than 'stupid insecure ' me could ever be.

  In an instant I was slapped back to reality. "What have I done now? I knew my action would have life disrupting consequences. I didn't care, now I wanted to become the hunter of words and use them like a honed scalpel to cut my husband, slashing him until he stitched up his hateful words never to ooze at me again.

  I went from room to room looking for him. The house was eerily empty. Panic struck, again I thought, "What have I done?" A lightning bolt struck my brain, "This is NOT your fault", I knew that... but...

  I moved back into our living room. I looked out the delicate lace curtained French doors going out to our back patio and saw him there, sitting alone, his head in his hands.

  My hand lingered on the gold brass doorknob, not sure if I wanted to open that door. I did, so I slowly turned the knob and ventured out to the unknown. The words began to spill out my mouth, but before they could hit the ground he spoke first; again.

  "You need help, you haven't been yourself for months now; what is wrong with you, I don't recognize you anymore?" he said with quite a bit of authority.

  My words that had spilled on the ground came bubbling back into my mouth, a spouting water fountain refreshing my parched voice. I started cutting him with my new found voice. I stopped him in mid-sentence, "Shut up, just shut up and listen for a change', the slashing words struck him like a mighty sword going straight to his unending ego, "You have been verbally abusing me for years, I'm sorry about the cup to your head but you've deserved that; I'm your w___e...He stopped me, this time in mid-sentence.

  "Deserved that, deserved a cup flying at my head", he went on, "You've become emotionally unstable, you need help", he went on Blah, blah blah...until my hands went up to protect my ears from his harsh criticism of my actions of the morning.

  I closed my eyes and let out a piercing scream that almost made him fall off the Mexican pig skinned leather chair he was sitting on. His mouth hung open like a trapped door that couldn't close.

  I began to speak in a strangled voice, "You've called me, stupid, uneducated, a fat cow, ugly, and dumb for years now; you've silenced my voice with your cruel, cutting words, NEVER again...If I EVER hear those words come out of your mouth ONE more time it will be the LAST time you EVER see me in THIS house!" I'm done being the object of your hurtful words, do you understand me now?" She wasn't finished yet, "Really the only 'stupid' thing I've done in my life was to marry you!"

  My husband slammed his rusted trapped door mouth shut,  a loud clang reverberating as his thin lips banged together. They opened again, "You can't leave me, you have no money", he simply said.

  I just looked at him, a blank stare came across my face. That's when I turned and walked off the patio into the bedroom and took one of the largest suitcases I could find in the closet and began filling it with items of my new life. A life away from him.


May 29, 2020 14:43

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2 comments

Writers Block
21:14 Jun 10, 2020

Thorough and descriptive

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Eva Gryder
15:03 Jun 06, 2020

Great story! Maybe work on your grammar a bit in the dialogue, but I enjoyed the plot!

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