October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
This piece, taken from my "Women and Men" collection, is my contribution to the occasion.
By the way, you don't have to be bruised and/or bloodied to be in an abusive relationship.
“So what so you want me to do?” the cop is asking, in a bored voice, over the phone, and a catalog of responses flips through her mind: blow him up like a bomb, drown him like a rat, smash him like a cockroach, take him far away, shackle him, shoot him, throw his ass in jail, erase the part of her life that includes loving a man who now terrifies her.
She settles on one — arrest him — because it seems most likely to be agreeable to this officer of the law, and anyway, that’s what they’re automatically supposed to do when someone breaks a restraining order, especially for the sixth time; only, apparently it isn’t, because the cop is hesitating, persisting, asking is she sure, because he was, after all, holding a flower when they picked him up outside her bolted door at 3 a.m., and “I think he was just trying to make amends.”