Thursday, January 17, 2008
Sarah's prompt: The Scar
She put her hand to her cheek and ran her fingers along it. Barely perceptible amidst the wrinkles and laugh lines on her cheek, she remembered the day she got the scar. They had been married four months, two weeks and five days. The day had started out badly and had only gotten worse.
His day at work had been filled with tension that had ended with harsh words and the company had let him go. He hadn’t wanted to tell her so he stopped off at a local bar to a have a couple of beers.
He was two hours late when he finally got home and supper was burned. They were fighting even before he was all the way through the front door. He went straight to the fridge and grabbed a beer. It was followed by four more in quick succession. Angry words rose louder and louder through the apartment window. He had said something hateful and she had smarted off to him and he hit her, his wedding ring tearing the soft skin on her cheek.
Immediately he was sober and begging her forgiveness. She just stared at him with a deer in the headlights kind of look and then crying hysterically she ran from him to the bathroom and locked the door. No pleading on his part could induce her to open it and finally he had walked back into the living room. He sat down in front of the television not really watching but not really knowing what else to do. Eventually he heard the bathroom door open and he had called her name softly but she hadn’t responded. He stayed in that chair for two more hours wanting to talk to her, to hold her but he didn’t know what to say or what to do. Eventually he got up and went into the bedroom the lights were off and she appeared to be sleeping. He lay down next to her not touching her, just laying there. Finally he fell asleep.
She could hear his breathing slow and then steadily he began to snore. She waited until she was absolutely certain that he was completely asleep. She sat up and turned on the light.
“What the f…” he started to scream as he sat bolt upright in bed his face burning, the words died on his lips as he saw her sitting there with the knife in her hands, tears streaming down her face. He brought his hand down from his cheek. It was covered in blood. He got up and looked in the mirror. He could see the gash in his cheek. “Licia?”
“You will eventually always fall asleep.” She whispered.
“I love you. I want to be with you. I want to share my life with you.” The words came faster now. “But I will not let you hit me. I will not. So I’m telling you, I will stay with you and we can have a wonderful life. But you must remember that if you ever hit me again, ever. That eventually you will have to sleep and I will cut you. I will cut you bad.” She began to sob and he went to her on the bed. It was a long night, he promised he would never hurt her like this again. Eventually they had made love and they had slept and they had lived their life both scars reminding them of what they could lose.
It had not always been easy, she miscarried the first baby. They had money problems off and on. It had not always been hard. They had a family, three girls and a boy. They built a home and a life together.
51 years, they had buried their youngest daughter, drugs and fast cars had killed her. The other children had grown up, married and had families of their own, 8 grandchildren, one great grandchild. They had loved each other and he had kept his promise to never hit her again.
She reached into the casket and wiped away the makeup they had put on him. Before they closed it, before they took him away, she touched his face, she ran her finger along the scar, she caressed his cheek and she said goodbye to the man she loved.