Ah, a mother’s dream, finally my nine-month old daughter fell asleep in my arms. I carried my body, laden with exhaustion, into the master bedroom. Gently, I kissed her still bald scalp, whispered, “I love you, Princess,” and laid her in her crib.
She and I had a closeness that I never experienced with anyone, to the point that the minute she left the comfort of my arms, she wailed out her insecurities. Her father, my husband, lie sleeping not four feet away, so I scooped her up, to avoid waking him, kissed her again, then loosened my robe to allow her to nurse.
Still standing at her crib I felt another wave of exhaustion climb over my body. I adjusted her and walked to the bed, where I snuggled her between her father and I. Just for a few minutes, I just needed a few minutes of rest.
Skyler lost her coupling to my breast and adjusted herself to better access the beating of my heart. In the process, she kicked Howie in the back, disturbing his sleep. He rolled over, “What the hell? I hate when you put her in bed with us!”
Without a word, I released Skyler from me, stood, tightened my robe, scooped her into a loving cuddle, and began to exit the room. As I got to the door I heard a rustle in the bed behind me, and suddenly Skyler and I were yanked back into the bed. “Don’t ignore me,” he yelled.
“I’m not, you said you don’t want her in bed with us, so I’m taking her into the living room.”
“You will not walk away from me without saying something,” he shouted as he moved to stand in a more powerful position, over my naked body; he had completely stripped my clothing from me, while Skyler was still in my arms.
“I’m sorry,” I stammered as I set the baby aside, knowing that another beating was coming and I had to protect Skyler at all costs. I laid her down on his pillow, close to the wall, and said a silent prayer that God would watch over her.
Fists flying toward my naked body, stomach, chest, legs, arms, I tried to deflect the blows, but it was useless. His naked body shivering with anger I suddenly realized I had a defense, and I grabbed his testicles and yanked. That would have brought most men to their knees, begging for forgiveness, but not Howie.
Taking a handful of my long brown hair as he used his other hand to grab me by the throat, lifting me off the bed he slammed my head into the door. I heard cracks and pops as the door broke at the hinge. My feet dangled just above the floor as he let go of my hair and moved his free hand to join his other around my throat. I tried to gasp, but there was nothing, no air, no sound, just death.
I knew I had already taken my last breath when a woman appeared to come out of the closet. He couldn’t see her, but I could, and her first order of business was to check on Skyler. Seeing the baby was crying, but safe upon the bed, she turned to me and said, “You have to fight back, fight back …”
My head, dizzy with lack of oxygen, thought I had one last opportunity, but I gave up instead, my feet still dangling from the floor I felt my spirit leave my aching body. “No more pain,” I sighed as I went to Skyler, no tears, no pain, I just said, “Goodbye, Princess.”
I walked past my physical body, and through the trailer, telling my beloved children goodbye. Sadness enveloped my spirit as I returned to the master bedroom where my body now lay in a heap on the floor. No pain, no tears, just a lump of human flesh and bones, I came from nothing, I am nothing, I will always be nothing.
Howie was still standing over my body, which I’m sure is deceased, screaming obscenities at me and I watch as he drew back his leg, and kicked me in the chest. Suddenly, my spirit returned to my physical body, where I felt the ache of every blow, and I gasped to gather the precious oxygen I had been missing. The lady that was watching over Skyler took one last look at me and said, “You’ve got to fight back,” and then she disappeared into dust particles before me.
Lifting my aching body, I looked at Howie, “Fine, I’ll take the baby to the living room.” It was that night, holding my baby as gingerly as I could so she wouldn’t hurt my pained body, I rubbed the aches and tension away the best I could and planned our great escape.