I couldn’t stand the way he looked at her, like he OWNED her or something. The way she looked at him scared me even more. It was like she accepted his ownership of her, like a cute puppy who doesn’t know any better looks at the owner who beats her for no reason. The bruises were the worst. Her hands were the size of cantaloupes and her wrists were black and blue from where he had grabbed her and shook her. How could a human being do that to another human being? It didn’t make sense.
Then it dawned on me. He wasn’t a human being and neither was she. He was a monster and she was a shell of her old self. All I can think about now was the promise of her life. She was smart, talented, beautiful, and funny. And when I say smart I mean a perfect score on her SAT’s and full ride scholarships to ivy-league schools all over the country smart. She could have been anything she wanted to be.
But then that bastard came along and ruined her life. He capitalized on her non-existent relationship with her parents and ran with it. I should have said something. I was supposed to be her best friend, right? The first time she came to me crying should have been the last. I should have stuck with her, even if it meant getting hurt myself. But I was too selfish, too caught up in my own mess to even really see what was going on in her life.
If the tears weren’t enough then the hospital trip should have done it. I’ll admit I acted rashly. I probably shouldn’t have knocked Ian out, even if it was what he deserved. I should have known she would have defended him. By that point he had ripped the very soul from her and turned her into a mindless zombie. I couldn’t recognize her the first time I saw her out of the hospital. She weighed maybe 95 pounds, which is small, even for her. He was starving her, trying to control every aspect of her life. When she went home that night from seeing me he beat her for leaving the house.
Six months later she became pregnant with their first child. When I found out I went directly to her parents, trying to get them to help her, but they said she had made her choices and she had to live with them. They actually had the nerve to say I should back off and let her live her own life. Before I left I asked them if they could even call what she had a life. I left before I could hear their response.
I had some hope that maybe a baby would straighten things out between them, maybe make Ian less of a monster. I was wrong. He wouldn’t even let her have a baby shower, saying they were only for good mothers who didn’t cheat on their husbands. By this point the only thing stopping me from killing him was the fact that Sarah begged me not to. The only way she was even able to communicate with the outside world was through a prepaid cell phone. He monitored all her phone calls on the house phone and her other cell phone, to the point where he would call the number, see who picked up, hang up, and go beat her if he didn’t like who she was talking to. He swore she was cheating on him with anybody and everybody, her friends included.
I don’t know that I would do anything differently. I just know that I didn’t want things to end the way they did for Sarah. I remember getting the phone call like it was yesterday, even though its been three years since he killed her. All I can remember about that day was I downed an entire bottle of jack like it was water.
The day started out normal enough. I got in my car to go to school, dredged through my classes for the day, went home, and began to prep dinner. Then the phone rang. I had chicken guts all over my hands, so I asked my mom to pick up the phone. She answered it and Sarah’s mom was on the line. My mom said it sounded urgent, so I quickly washed my hands, dried off and took the phone. All Barbara said was she’s dead, and hung up the phone. No details, no blame, no explanation. I got a card in the mail a few days later with the funeral details, but still no explanation.
The funeral was the worst. Ian was there, holding the baby like nothing had happened. The only thing that was out of place was the armed guard standing next to Ian and the shackles around his feet. I wanted to slap him, wanted to strangle the life out of his body, but I knew he would get what he deserved in the end. Barbara came up to me and apologized for hanging up, but I could barely say anything to her, I was so full of rage.
Rage at her for not doing something sooner, rage at myself for not defending her, even rage toward Sarah for not getting out when she had the chance. But I was vengeful towards Ian. Yea, I was mad at Barbara and Sarah, but I’d never wanted to kill someone so badly in my entire life. The only question I dared to ask him was what the hell was he doing there. He had put her in that coffin years before he ever killed her, and he had no right to even think he was welcome there that day.
I couldn’t bear the thought of that jerk, that bastard, that wife beater getting to live on while Sarah’s life was wasted. In my mind, he didn’t deserve to live. I just kept comforting myself with the thought that he would never be able to hurt another woman again, never be able to destroy another life. That is the only thing that allows me to sleep at night…