The “oooohs” and “aaaahs” filled the air. Jason could hear them clearly through the open car windows.
If he only had a gun. He could time the shot to coincide with the loud “bang” from one of the fireworks, or preferably during the Grand Finale. Yes, that would be perfect. Shoot her in the head and see the blood and tissue slide down the car window with no one being any wiser.
She was watching the fireworks with a rabid fascination. She would never notice if he pulled a gun or a knife or anything. She would never expect it. She expected complacency from Jason, which is all he ever showed. She had made him this way.
For nearly ten years, Jason endured an abusive relationship with her. She was not only verbally and emotionally abusive, but physically as well.
He lost all of his friends, as they accused him of “letting her get away with it”. He should have put her in her place years ago, but that wasn’t him. Although he was large, Jason was a mild man and would never raise his hand against a female….EVER.
Years ago, the police had come after she had beat him and filed charges against her. In Court, the Judge had looked at Jason and laughed, wondering how he couldn’t handle such a small woman being as big as he is. Nothing was done about it.
Jason never pursued the issue again. Even after she beat him repeatedly in the head with a cast iron skillet for being home 10 minutes later from work than she expected. He wound up in a coma for three days and still couldn’t recall the excuse she must have given for his condition. He now had limited movement on his entire left side and was unable to work.
She constantly reminded him how he was even more worthless now that he couldn’t work. It didn’t matter that he was bringing in over $2,000 a month in disability payments. A REAL man would be working to support his woman. She never once considered that she was the reason he was disabled.
Prior to being disabled, he often considered suicide. He felt worthless and weak by seemingly allowing her to abuse him so badly. He couldn’t make anyone understand why he could harm her in return. As his friends slipped away one by one, Jason felt even more worthless.
He didn’t know if the beating knocked some sense into him or if it just made him a little cruel, but he often entertained thoughts of killing her rather than himself. He knew he would never follow through as he couldn’t even bring himself to use a flyswatter. He felt so guilty having these thoughts, however, the thoughts are what helped him get through each miserable day with her.
Oh yes, he knew he could always leave her. It would have been easier when he had friends to turn to, but he was sure there was some type of agency out there to help him. Though when he had asked the police, domestic violence shelters only accepted women. As if men never got abused.
He knew he couldn’t leave on his own, he’d need help. Without it, he would fall for her apologies and excuses, her I’ll-never-do-it-again lines. He would end up back with her if someone else wasn’t there to remind him that she’d never change.
The sounds of the Grand Finale brought him back. He couldn’t help but steal a glance at her, remembering his thoughts of the gun and blood from earlier, as a crooked smile spread up the right side of his lips.
The fireworks were over and he noticed she was staring at him.
“What’s that smile for? Are you stupid?” She backhanded him across the face before starting the car and driving toward home.
As he looked out the side window watching others return to their cars in the parking lot, a tear slid down his face. He had never felt so alone.
Writer’s Note: Domestic violence affects women AND men. Don’t suffer alone in silence. There is help available.
Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women
MenWeb Help for Battered Men Online Resources
Mayo Clinic Domestic Violence Against Men
Jenny Tolley, MSW/MPH; The Domestic Violence Double Standard; Associated Content