DOZ Issue 34 August 2018 - Page 17

May since she was graduating early. Russell wanted to start a family right away. Emma parents had no interest in the whole marriage; they thought she was too young, so they just bowed out. Russell’s mother took Emma dress shopping and helped her plan the wedding with handwritten invitations to only a few friends and family. The date was set, May 4th. Emma felt like her life was a train rushing toward a dark tunnel and she didn’t know how to stop it; she felt like she was disappearing and on the 4th of May at 7:00 pm she would be gone. She couldn’t tell her soon to be mother-in-law that her son was abusive, and besides, she reasoned, he hadn’t actually hit her, yet. But married and a mother at 18 years old was not what she wanted. In fact, since Russell came into her life, she couldn’t see her future anymore, she couldn’t see anything, she only knew that Russell didn’t love her like she thought a man should love a woman he was going to marry in just three weeks time. She knew she was about to step off a cliff; she just didn’t know who to reach for to help her. Now, she was laying on the floor of Russell’s apartment bracing for the beating she knew he was going to give her. She had pushed Russell to far, she thought. Just two days until their wedding and she just told him she couldn’t go through with it. In that moment things seemed to be moving in slow motion. Emma straightened out her arms pushing her self up, she looked down at the green carpet, smelling of cigarette smoke and beer, her face throbbing in pain and the tears running down her chin falling onto the carpet. It was almost as if all this was happening to someone else, like she was watching someone else, not so much being a part of it. Just as Russell was about to strike again, she called out in a voice that didn’t even sound like herself, so much so, it startled her. “Jesus, Stop Him!” She said it just once, loud and clear. Immediately Russell stopped and walked away from her and sat down on the couch, propping up his feet on the coffee table and lighting up a cigarette. Emma looked at him; for the first time, she saw Russell through different eyes. He was an emotionless, empty, cruel person. Emma stood up straight and whipped her tears away; she pushed her hair back off her face revealing the black and blue mark under her eye. She stood there looking at Russell; she didn’t say a word, he just looked back at her and shook his head, unwilling to acknowledge that he had hit her so hard it threw her backward off her feet and into the kitchen wall. Emma started to say all the things she wanted to about how much he had hurt her, how he was a no good worthless man, but the only thing she could say as she picked up her purse and started toward the front door was “Good Bye Russell, I forgive you because Jesus has forgiven me.” “I hope you find Him someday.” She stepped through the front door; the sun was out, and the sky was clear. She closed the door behind her and stepped one foot in front of the other into her future. I have been writing all my life; I just didn’t realize it until I was my late 40’s. I hope my experiences can help others who have gone through similar trials. DOZ Magazine August 2018 17 «