The Suitcase

This story was hard for me to write, for I am a survivor of domestic abuse. This story is about a dear friend of mine who always kept her suitcase packed by the front door. I love you my dear friend

The door slams . Finally peace and quiet. I wish . My heading is screaming from him yelling 

at me . I sit down at the kitchen table pull a cigarette out from my bra and strike the match. With a slow exhale and wiping away the 

tears with my other hand . I see my reflection in the window and people are walking by on the 

other side of the window . I think to myself , what would life be like on the other side of the window ? 

I glance over to the front door where a packed dusty suitcase sits. One day , I will pick up that suitcase and keep on walking and never look back ! 

(Bullshit ! I thought ). There is always that hope one way or the other I will be free .

I was warned when I met my husband. He is not a good man . He is a bully . I did not want to believe my friends and family I was infaturated with 

Dave. Dave was a farmer we met in middle school just a new kid with brown curly hair and blue eyes. What was there not to like about him. 

Dave was charming and eventually he wrote me a note that I had found in my locker . I was hooked .

We started dating , he was fun to hang out with.

The clues were there, I just did not want to believe that he would never do this to me .

Eventually, I met his parents I was 18 . I should of ran but again I thought Dave would never do this to me.

I remember the day well. His mother Ann with stringy hair and glasses wearing blue knit pants and a red shirt standing by the stove. 

His father , Mark was a burly man with a rough voice sitting at the kitchen table suddenly , Mark barks “woman ! get me a beer ” as quickly as Ann moved she was handing him a beer in no time flat.

I had never seen this before, my parents loved each other and would dote on the other. This was all new to me.

After graduation Dave went into the service. The letters were coming . I missed him. After basic training we got engaged and two months later

we were married by the Justice of the Peace .

Once the ring was on my finger Dave changed . Honeymoon was over in two seconds.

At first , the change was little by little , Dave placed me in charge of the banking the first check bounced. Dave 

Dave blamed me for not doing my math right. Few months later , 

Dave acquired a bicycle from a yard sale he sat on the living room floor trying to fix this damn bike. Dave sends 

me to the store to get the part for the bike I always returned with the wrong part . Finally I say “why don’t you get off your ass and get it yourself !” 

I never seen him come off that floor so fast as he held me down and repeatedly punch me in the arm. I could not raise my arm for a week. 

I decided that I will keep my mouth shut and do as Dave said.

Big ASS mistake the more I tried to change myself the worse things

became.

I just wanted Dave to start loving me again. What was wrong with this ? Several years later , I became pregnant I was happy yet scared. I wanted Dave

 to start to be more loving to me. Dave was happy boasting that boys are what makes

 the man a man. I was secretly hoping for a girl.

For nine months I went through hell what is suppose to be a joyous time. No not with Dave. He called me a fat pig, how disgusting I looked. This was when I had decided to pack a suitcase and place it by the front door.

Dave came home from work and wanted to know why there was a suitcase out by the door and when I told him “One day I will pick it up and keep on walking.” Dave laughed he replied with ” That will be the day I will hunt you down and kill you. ” Several days later, I went into labor, Dave drove me to the hospital but did not stay with me he went drinking with his friends. It was the most lonilest time I had. Just the clock on the wall loudly tic toc TIC TOC. Eighteen hours later, I had given birth to a bouncing baby boy. Named after his father who was boasting that the men in his family are the most dominant.

I was sad, I could not talk to my family, Dave made sure that we lived far away from my family and with no phone and of course no stamps to send a letter to, I was basically cut off.

What an Asshole, I had thought to myself. This is the most important time to have your mother with you.

Well it is what it is I thought to myself. One day, I will pick up that suitcase and leave as I sat rocking my newborn son.

Everything was getting worse. Dave started to give me rules . Rules really ? One morning we overslept and Dave was late for work. Oh boy, my new rule was I had to stay up ALL night and wake him up in the morning. Yet, I was not able to sleep during the day for I was caring for our son.

Outside of the house , Dave was well looked upon allot of people respected him , Dave would always put me high up on the pedestal he would even tell 

me what to wear and NOT talk to anyone . I knew what would happen if I did. At midnight Dave sent me to the grocery store with a list and money and be back in an hour . (no lie). From the time I stepped outside the door the marathon started. My nerves were filled with anxiety I bought the groceries home and as I was putting the baby jars away, I was having fun just clinking the jars just amusing myself. Next thing I knew I was seeing stars as I wanted to collapse Dave grabbed me and slapped his hand over my mouth and said “Don’t you fucking scream!. I had a bad headache and it hurt to lift my head for weeks. Hardest part was I had to be a doting wife and mother. I glanced over at the suitcase and again I had No nerve to pick it up. I was feeling hopeless.

Everyday, I would pray that the Lord would rescue me from this . I knew I could do better . Yet, every time I looked in that mirror, I would see my reflection of a woman I did not recognize. What happened?

Ten years later, as Dave Jr. was at school my what a handsome boy he was becoming. He also gets beat when he steps in to defend his mother .

Breaks my heart that I don’t have the damn nerve to walk out with Dave. I feel so not worth it. 

Every morning I would sit at the kitchen table and look out and wonder what is life like on the other side of the window ? As I smoke my cigarette. I would always imagine that I was on the other side of that window laughing and carefree and have friends, friends how many should I have ? In school I always had friends always out and socializing and sleepovers, oh those were the days. My friends did warn me about Dave and I just laughed and blew them off. So, one by one they disappeared I have no idea where or what they are doing now. Dammit! why was I so stupid? !.

Dave came home from work early he was upset, upset about the fact that he got fuel in his eyes. Dave was a fuelie on the Air Force Base where we were stationed. Dave was livid and he let me know all about it with his fists and yelling. I so wanted to go. That night after Dave and Dave Jr. fell asleep. I got on my knees and prayed, I prayed that the Lord if he was listening would just take me away from this nightmare. As I stood, clenching my sides where the punches fell I knew I had broke a rib. Dam that hurt and yet I was not allowed to show my pain. I hated him all the more.

Dave Jr. is now 18 and he came home to tell me that he was joining the military also and wanted me to come with him to break away from his father. Dave Jr. got to the point where he was numb to his father and yet he would never stop protecting his mother when it should be the other way around. I am such a horrible mother. I told Dave Jr. thank you I will stay here with your father. Two months later Dave Jr. left for basic training my heart was hurting. I could not even write my son, yet Dave Jr. would write and Dave would read the letters and not include me what he had wrote. Not fair. I just wanted to get out of this situation yet, I was scared.

Two years later, Dave Jr. showed up to the house with a beautiful woman whom he said this is Dana my fiancée, I was so happy to hear the news , yet in the back of my mind will my son turn into his father ? Their wedding was beautiful and Dana glowing in her mother’s wedding dress. 

After the wedding they both kissed me goodbye so Dave and I would ride the eight hours back home. The long drive and yet I had to hear Dave yell at me the whole time. As I fought back tears, I prayed harder that I would get out of this marriage sooner. Six months after the wedding Dave Jr. and Dana showed up I was so happy to 

see my son and his wife, when Dave came home from work he had to be a jerk and yell woman get me a 

beer. Dana faced dropped she could not believe what she was hearing. I knew what she was thinking I thought the same thing in the beginning also. 

The next day as the men were in the garage working on the car. I was with my daughter in law Dana. She inquired about the dusty suitcase by the front door and asked if she could put it 

away for me. She must of seen my look of horror for this is what I told her. One day, I am going 

to pick up that suitcase and keep on walking and never look back. Dana said, “why don’t you?” I bowed my head and replied “he will hunt me down 

and kill me.” Nothing else was said. That evening as I was preparing dinner. I should of known that

this day was not going to go well. The men came in from the garage and wanted me to go to the store and get them a key made. Sure, I went and everytime I came back Dave would yell at me for not getting it right. I was a dumb fuck up. The third time I came back , again it was wrong .

I just thought to myself really just go yourself then, I learned my lesson years ago. The next thing I knew Dave calls the key man and tells him that his wife 

keeps coming back with the wrong key so to make her pay for this he was going to hit her with a two by four. I was horrified, I saw Dana run outside to where Dave Jr. was and that was all I remember, Dave grabbed the two by four and gave me a good beating. Dana came running back in and she yelled at Dave through my spinning head. I heard her say ” you are not a man for hitting your wife, I do not want to know you as my father in law !”  I smiled inside. Dave looked over to his son and yelled you better get a hold of her now

or she is going to walk all over you. Dana and Dave Jr. left for home that night. I had never heard the end of it.

I just wanted to die. I decided then, that if I cannot pick up the suitcase and keep on walking. I would want a tombstone over my head. That would be my medal for putting up with Dave. Everyday, I prayed harder.  I was scared of Dave and I knew there was no way out. Two months later, 

I became very sick. I was losing weight and Dave told me to go to the damn doctor! Which I drove myself. After some tests, turns out I have cancer. The doctor, wanted to set me up with treatments right away. 

I told the doctor No, I do not want any treatments. As I smile to myself and the doctor was horrified.

I had to stay strong, Dave still had me do allot he even knew about my diagnoses. Yet, things were still the same. All I wanted to do was sleep. So tired.

Dave Jr. and Dana did not want to be around his father. Yet, I miss them dearly. I don’t blame them. I wished I had done the same thing. 

That night, I drifted off to sleep I was carrying my suitcase up a flight of stairs , when I reached the top. I realized I did not need my suitcase anymore. I was safe.


 

on a sp

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