I really don’t understand what I did wrong. How could doing all the right things turn out so wrong?
Sean was everyone’s dream guy. He was the star High School athlete, tall and handsome, with a smile that could melt ice. And those eyes, pools of ice blue that you wanted to dive into. I was the lucky one that caught the attention of those blue eyes. I was the lucky one, I married the star athlete. Our life was following the road map to success. Sean followed his father and his grandfather and joined to police force. The dark blue uniform add to his charm and made him even more unresistable.
I ignored all the warning signs, the harsh words that slashed like knives and withering stares that reduced me to tears. I think I was in shock after the first time he hit me and I was eager to believe it wouldn’t happen again. When was pregnant with Jimmy Sean treated me like a princess. The past transgressions were forgotten, we had turned a corner.
Time wore on, Jimmy started walking, Sean started drinking. I did not dare to ask him why. I focused on keeping Jimmy hidden from the violent storms that tore through our little dream house. I don’t remember why he threw me down the stairs, I just remember the embarrassed looks on the faces of his colleagues when they came to investigate my screams.
I did the only think I could do. I ran. I packed a few clothes and some toys for Jimmy. They promised me at the shelter I would be safe. Words I wanted to believe. Words that were true for two weeks. A drunken Sean, burst threw the door, shattering the nights silence. Shattering my new life.
Once out of the hospital, in the dark cloak of night, Jimmy and I ran again. This time it took 6 months for Sean to break the door of the new shelter, and my arm. Like a convicted felon, I served some time, once again sentenced to life with Sean. Undeterred I ran once more.
I have lost track of the number of broken doors and limbs through the years. I’m feeling safe, for now. Jimmy is now twelve. Although he had never been the focus of Sean’s abuse, he walks through life a battered soul. He has withdrawn from the world, showing no interest in making friends or exploring the ever changing world around him. His ice blue eyes are shuttered closed. It lifts my spirits a little that he seems to have found some peace quietly sitting on the front steps of our latest refuge.
My heart soars when I realize that Jimmy has made a friend in the little man across the street. Although a quiet reserved man, he is quick to smile when he spys Jimmy sitting on the step. Long term residents tell me Jimmy’s friend is Mr. Pauley. Mr Pauley and his wife raised six sons in the large impressive home across the street. The sons now grown have not been seen in years. I smile to myself as I think it is great that Mr. Pauley could provide the positive father figure that has been missing in Jimmy’s life.
Sitting in the warmth of the afternoon sun, I am feeling positive about our lives. It is a strange feeling. As I nestle into the chair, I wait to hear the familiar drone of Mr. Pauley’s lawn mower.