Davina was folding clothes and watching her usual tv sitcoms when the breaking news came across her television about Megan’s arrest. She was folding her turquoise cashmere sweater while sitting on her couch while producing a stack of folded clothes on the oak coffee table. She had her favorite sweater up to her face, snuggling her nose against its soft texture until the story came on. When the words left the news anchor’s mouth, she dropped the sweater onto the table and ran into the kitchen to grab the phone. She thought I need to call Brooke.
She dialed the phone, but there was a busy tone ringing back into her ears. As she hung up the phone, she was thinking that Brooke had probably gone to celebrate after hearing the news that her mom was in trouble. It was a silly thought, but it made her giggle a bit under her breath. She found it a bit funny herself that Megan got caught up, and a little humor now and then was good when it came to the Deville family.
With the afterthought of her amusement still making a smile on her face, Cole walked through the front door of their 3-story home, and the smile faded to a terrified grimace. He was a mess. He had blood on his hands, and his clothes were covered in even more blood and dirt. His hair looked like he had been through a cyclone, and he was crying.
“Cole! Are you okay? What’s wrong?” Davina ran to him with a towel from the laundry because she thought the blood on him belonged to him.
“It’s not mine, Davina…” He pushed her away. “I got into some trouble. I’m alright. Can you open the safe and put this in there?” He handed her a revolver.
“I’m not touching that thing, Cole. Jesus Christ, Cole! What did you do?” She backed away from Cole and his gun nervously.
“Take the gun, Davina! Do what I say! You are my wife, and I told you to open the safe and put this in there. Remember who the hell you are married to, Davina!” Cole shoved the gun into her hands. “And Davina, I would wipe it off if I were you…” he said as he threw her beloved cashmere sweater at her face and the bloody gun.
Davina stood there with her arms shaking and her legs feeling like wet noodles. She had never seen him so angry before, but she was never one to back down to a bully.
She speaks out saying, “I won’t. I will not do it…You should do it yourself!” She wiped the gun down to remove her prints and set it wrapped up in her sweater on the coffee table.
As she turns to walk away, he blasts her in the face with his fist. Thankfully she was agile enough to break her fall with the clutter that was resting on the coffee table from doing laundry. The shot from his clenched fist had knocked her back about two feet from the dissonance between his hand and her face. This was the first time he had ever put his hands on me, she thought, I will never forget this… She becomes hysterical, and as she begins to scream out in pain, she hears Sebastian crying in his bedroom. The ruckus must have woken him. Her thoughts wandered to her sweet little boy, and she was thinking, Shh baby boy…Mommy’s okay. Instead, she stood there waiting for Cole to release another punch from his fist. She was so scared of the trepidation building inside of herself and worrying that Cole would go after Sebastian next.
“Please Cole…stop!” She holds out a hand to keep him from charging at her face again. “Let me get cleaned up and get Sebastian. I’m sorry. I am so deeply sorry. Just please…” She pleads to him. He laughs at her.
“Shut up! I recommend you shut your mouth, and go get your kid, Davina…I’m going to take a shower, and you shouldn’t look like that when I get out.” The words “your kid” stung in her ears as much as the punch to the face. He motioned his hand around all the blood that was on her face from him striking her. “Clean you up and get this house clean. You make me sick.”
As he walked away, Davina hugged her knees into her chest and rocked there for a minute. “This is not my life”, she cried out. He was not one that was usually violent or mean, and this behavior was not something normal in the relationship. They were high school sweethearts. There had been tension before, but she didn’t understand why he would hit her after so many years of good times. He had never shown any signs of being abusive. In Davina’s eyes, he was still the same boy she had met in the back yard of her house while swinging on the tire swing that was hanging from the big maple tree. Before now, it had been easy to love him, and this incident made her wonder how long she should stay.
She scuffled to Sebastian’s room and peeked in the crack of the door. He had stopped crying and was playing with the toys in his crib. She backed away from the door and went to the spare bathroom down the hall from his room since Cole was in the master bathroom. When she got to the mirror, she could not look at her reflection right away. She could already feel the swelling in her cheek, and it was throbbing with pain.
After standing there at the sink for a short while with her hands cupping the water to splash onto her face, she tried to build up the courage to lift her head and look at herself. It was so hard for her. She was anxious and scared, and she thought that these things only happened in soap operas. She could not believe that this was happening in her marriage. What am I going to do? What am I going to tell my friends and my momma? What if he does this to our baby? I need to get away.
All these questions and thoughts filled her head as she stood there in pain, emotionally and physically. The sink was running chilly water, and the noise of the sink running was calming her, but those bothersome thoughts engulfed her essence. She could not stop crying. She needed to get her face washed, but she could not imagine what she looked like at this moment. Finally, she lifted her eyes to the mirror. She saw the reflection of a female she did not recognize in the embellished mirror that was resting above the sink, and she crumbled inside when she saw what he had done to her. The contusion on her face had formed a big ball on her cheek that was purple and red. It was bleeding and seeping fluid. This was the first time she had ever felt hopeless. She knew, at that point, that it would not be the last time. His behavior would ossify to a continuous level of fury and brutality throughout the rest of their marriage, she just had no idea those things would now be themes of their remaining connection.
She grabbed a washcloth from the cabinet beside the sink and soaked it in water, as she brought it up to her face, Cole knocked on the bathroom door. She could tell he was using the knuckle of his finger to tap lightly on the door, and she could hear his breath on the other side of the crack of the entrance to the lavatory.
“Davina, I didn’t mean to hit you. I’ve had a really bad day, and your stubbornness infuriates me sometimes…Please open the door!” His body was up against it…hovering…breathing…listening to his abused wife cry behind the splatters of water coming from the sink. “C’mon baby…don’t cry.”
“I still need a minute, Cole. Can I have a few more minutes, please?” She patted her swollen cheek with the cold towel. The blood had started to congeal atop her busted skin. It burned to the touch. Each time she put the cold, wet towel up to her face, her cheek felt like it pounded into the linen of the cloth. Nothing stopped the pain, and it didn’t help that her hands would not stop trembling to take care of her wounds.
“I’ve got something for you, Davina. I’m sorry. I don’t know why I did that.” Cole was leaning against the door. She could hear his body rubbing against it.
Davina closed her eyes and took a deep breath, “I’ll be right out, okay? I am trying to pull myself together.”
Cole pressed away from the door and started pacing outside it in the hallway of their home, “Sometimes you just make me so angry. I don’t like being talked to like that.”
Davina thought to herself that he was still being very selfish and mean by saying those things, “Yeah, I know. I didn’t mean to make you upset. I just did not want any part of what you got yourself into. Plausible deniability…” She tried to rationalize her actions of pissing him off to make him back away from the door.
He could tell that she was not coming out right away. “I’ll give you some time, but I have something for you when you come out, okay?”
She said to herself that he was such a narcissist. How did I get here? I cannot believe that this is now my life. The gas lighting was not working on Davina. She could see through the blinders that he was trying to instill upon her. She wanted to call her mother or Brooke. She was sure that he would not allow that…not looking like she had just been in a boxing match with Jean Claude van Damme.
She turned out the light before she opened the door, and Cole was waiting outside the door when she opened it. Great, she thought, he wants to go another round…I bet that is what he has waiting for me…
She tried to step around his as he leaned against the wall of the hallway, but he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her close to him. As he did, she gasped out in fear. “Cole, I just want to sit down for a minute. Please let go.” She tried to wiggle out of his grasp, but he held her tighter.
“C’mon baby, let me apologize to you. I told you I have a present for you. Reach in my pocket, the front, over here.” He motioned his neck to the right-hand side of his body. “Go ahead. It’s for you.”
Davina felt her eyes roll a little bit from being annoyed by him not letting go of her and making her dig in his pocket like a little schoolgirl. She hoped he didn’t see her expression, and against her own wishes, she put her hand in his pocket.
For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:
The bolded and hyperlinked words in the story were using word challenges from the Daily Spur, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Word of the Day Challenge, My Vivid Blog, Your Daily Word Prompt, Sunday Whirl Wordle, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.
© E.M. Kingston