**WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT**
THE FOLLOWING POST CONTAINS CONTENT THAT MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME READERS. READER DISCRETION IS STRONGLY ADVISED.
Today's #writerwednesday post comes from BeJeweled: What A Tangled Web We Weave. As a women's fiction writer, I tackle controversial subject matters, such as domestic violence. Today's post takes a look at this sensitive topic and gives a glimpse into the character Nikki's home life, as well as the tragedy of domestic violence, both women and men around the world deal with daily.
This excerpt comes from the chapter "Her Heart."
Nikki walked over to Carlos and began rubbing his back to calm him down. She wished she were invisible at that point, because no matter what she did, she knew his ire would turn on her.
“Get offa me!” he shouted, as if reading her mind. He swung his left arm to move her away from him.
“What did I do?” she asked in a hurt tone, walking back towards the kitchen to finish preparing dinner.
“If it wasn’t for you, this wouldna’ happened! You a married woman…whachu look like not coming home at night? I expect you to be here, and that’s what a married woman ‘sposed to do. Now you airing our dirty laundry all in the streets, got niggas judging me and shit!”
“That was between me and you, Carlos. If you hadn’t said nothing, they wouldn’t know about it. Besides the argument didn’t start over that, it started over the game. My being away from home was a side bar issue. You shouldn’t have told them I was gone, and it wouldn’t be out there in the streets.” Nikki didn’t understand why he seemed to think she was at fault.
Carlos looked at her in disbelief. “It wasn’t me who told! Not that I owe anybody a damn explanation. But after some shit like that, you think it wasn’t gon’ get out? Look around, Nikki. Haven’t you noticed? We live in the hood…people will talk. From the moment my boy, Cecil, dropped me off that night and everybody was outside, I knew it was over. Then yo’ ass don’t come home for a while. Hell that made it worse. Where the hell were you during that time, Nikki, huh?”
“I told you, at my mom’s,” Nikki lied. The lie rolled easily off her tongue. She knew he would never call or visit her mom to confirm her story. “What was I supposed to do Carlos, huh? You came up to that reception drunk and embarrassed me—”
“Embarrassed you? I embarrassed you? I’ma show you embarrassment!”
Nikki took off running down the hall the moment she saw Carlos move towards her. She began running towards the bedroom to escape the argument and the fight that was sure to follow. Her heart pounded loudly in her chest cavity, barely drowning out the sounds of his bare feet slapping against the wooden hall floors.
Nikki tried to lock him out the bedroom, but her strength was no match for his rage, as the door shook from his pounding fists. There was a brief moment of silence before he slammed into the door, grabbed her by her hair, and dragged her into the bathroom.
Sharp pains shot throughout her body as he pummeled her with his fists. Nikki recoiled from his anger in a fetal position near the toilet. Her hands and arms were used as shields to cover her head and ward off his blows. Retreating in her own mind, she lost herself in past memories of her childhood. She had learned this diversionary technique early on. In the midst of her memories, she vaguely heard a buzzing sound somewhere in the distance. When he finally finished, he grabbed her by the hair again and forced her head into the toilet. She braced her hands on the side to prevent her face from going in, but she crumpled when he punched her in the side of the neck.
Her saving grace was smoke filling the apartment. As he jumped off her and ran to the kitchen, she realized the sound she had been hearing wasn’t the ringing in her ears, but the sound of the smoke alarm. She sent up a silent prayer of thanks, to a God she was trying to believe in, that her spaghetti casserole had burned in the oven. She had received, at least for now, a temporary reprieve.
Domestic Violence is a serious epidemic in the world today, and especially here in America. It isn’t something to be taken lightly or for granted. It happens to both men and women alike, no gender or race, or economic background is exempt from its brutal grasp. More than 10 million men and women in the United States are physically abused each year by an intimate partner. And those staggering figures are just the ones that are reported.
If you or someone you know are the victim of domestic violence, please dial 9-1-1 for assistance, or The National Domestic Violence Hotline. The number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1.800.799.SAFE (7233).
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