Sounds floating over the air, wafting through the open window, increasing in intensity, and chilling in pain. Rendering me as paralyzed, my own body hurting from the sounds. A woman screaming in pain – not hurt but being hurt. Chillingly familiar, for I have been there. Arms not long enough to stop that, but other arms, hands – are causing the pain.
I know, and I listen.
I want to run, to stop the scene that I can see playing in my mind, for it is playing with another, not me, but I cannot. Fear holds me – fear of having to share her pain as I stop it, fear of seeing it all again.
Yet, I ask – why?
What crime could be so huge to deserve that?
Is it ever about a crime, or is a mistake ever big enough? – No
Is she a criminal or just a hapless wife?
A wife, not a punching bag or an outlet for anger.
She is crying, weeping, and miserable – how many women are in that place? Arms, feet hurting them. Perhaps whips or more – for no one can tell behind those closed doors.
Bruises on the body – trivial – yes, those are trivial. But the bruises on the soul – fearful, everlasting.
Gradually the anger subsides, and with it her weeping, then it is rising again, this time with the woman’s cursing – cursing from deep inside her soul, cursing the one who hurt her.
Those are the results of the bruises on her soul. And even as she quietens down, her anger does not.
For once those arms touch inappropriately, they get used to that. And why not?
Can she forgive?
Why should she?
For, even if she does, the repetition will come as a reminder, an opener to old wounds and a knife to new ones.
Anger and pain – both physical and emotional – drive her, more so the emotional from the treatment she had been subjected to, repeatedly.
A wife – an equal – wasn’t that the message – in all beliefs and faiths?
Yet, as night dawns, how many like her sleep with those silent droplets wetting their pillows? Cursing the one who put them there even as she dare not let those sounds float over the air, or else…
Daughters, girls – all follow in the same steps; the pattern is ever-present.
Mother to daughter – beaten.
Father to son – beat.
Memories and similar pain bring the words, the enticing to others to take action and not be a punching bag.
“By – one who has been there.”
I still hear her, the day will come when she will not look back once she turns her heart and feet away.