“Love don’t make you bruise Nell.”
― LeeAnn Whitaker, Never Another You
The following is a true story of a family, close to me, whom I won’t identify and respect their privacy. Although I wanted their story to be heard:
She falls in love. Her parents unhappy, she says yes to the engagement.
Her man has meager means, can’t exchange them for a ring.
She buys the ring. They get married.
She is a nurse. He is a teacher.
She pays the bills and makes the food.
He is greedy for his earnings, doesn’t share it with her.
They have two daughters.
She pays the bills, makes the food, buys tiny dresses.
He only shares his palm prints on her face. On her head.
On her ear.
The girls grow.
Hearing deserts her right ear.
She wants to leave.
With empty and hollow words, he begs her to stay.
She retires, every penny spent.
He retires with an empire of his own.
Their 20-year-old daughter gets married.
There is a knock on the door.
She opens it to another woman.
The strange woman is washed by a wave of wonder and surprise.
“Your husband said you have cancer, that you can’t walk or have sex”
“He is my lover”
She is disgusted, her heart punctured by blows of betrayal.
It’s time for her to abandon all.
No savings, no house to her name, she is condemned to stay.
Her daughter has two boys.
She engrosses herself in grandmother duties.
Her ear stinging every time a breeze brushes the world.
Her daughter is a teacher.
Her husband has meager means.
He works at a shop her parents gave him.
They live in her parents’ house.
Her daughter is crying.
Her husband is a drug abuser and cheats on her.
“Why didn’t you say anything?”
“He beat me and threatened to kill our boys.”
Her daughter is crumbling like burnt coal.
She still loves him. Can’t sign the divorce papers.
“You have a job, you have us, leave him”
But desperate, she crawls back to him.
She still receives cruel punches and smacks.
Her daughter’s husband succumbs to alcoholism.
And her ear still fires daggers of pain to her skull.
But the story is still not over…