Davina’s shock was setting into her body. She couldn’t say anything else. He was done listening to anything that she had to say now anyway. She was thankful when he exited the room and left her alone. He was no longer the good man that she had known throughout high school. That boy would have never laid a single finger on her…let alone wallop her across the face the way that he did. Davina took a deep breath of relief as she heard the door slam close. He was gone for the moment. She began thinking again about the necklace and its familiarity. She was walking into Sebastian’s room when she abruptly stopped in her footsteps.
She remembered where she had seen it. She slowly took the necklace from her own pocket and examined it closely. “Oh my God…” She said in the night air of her house. Her heart raced like it was about to schism inside of her chest.
She looked closer at the charm that rested on the gold chain, and it was a hummingbird, her favorite. Finn had gotten this for her birthday, and it had the earrings to match. This was Georgia Marlow’s necklace, she thought. How did Cole get it? Why was it in his pocket? The answers to those questions made her light-headed. She just kept thinking about the things he said, and she could not shake the threat he threw out into the air about people messing with their family. I don’t know what to do, her mind was screaming inside of her head. Perhaps this was Cole’s way of flaunting that he was an awful entity in her life and that she did not want to mess with him. She realized this was his way of showing his teeth to her, like a rabid dog, and laying all the cards on the table in an intense card game. It was a game that she was done playing, and she had no desire to play it with a rabid dog either.
All she could think about was talking to Finn, but Cole would be watching her closely now. She was so stressed that she felt a crease forming on her forehead, and it triggered the pressure in the wound on her face. It still hurt like hell. There would be no forgiving him for any of this…Davina knew that for sure. She would have to be careful not to piss him off. She could only imagine it would get more critical for her, but that wasn’t the thing that scared her the most. Her mind began racing with the necklace in her hand. The shock was really setting in and causing a panic attack. She thought, what would happen when Sebastian angered him? Would he hit Sebastian? Would he kill me? Her mind was moving fast, and it was chaotic inside of her psyche. It was heralding her to understand how crucial her situation was. She needed to save her son and herself.
Cole having Georgia’s necklace could only mean one thing. He was connected to her death. He basically had told her that she was killed for messing with the family. All she could think of was Finn and the twins. I will never be able to look Finn in the eyes again, she thought, and that thought led to other thoughts about Cole and her situation with him. The necklace missing from Georgia’s neck is why the police thought that she was carjacked on her way to town. It was a gorgeous necklace with an emerald-breasted hummingbird drinking from a pink diamond. Finn had paid a good bit of money for it, and the necklace and earrings were not anywhere to be found after she perished.
Davina and Cole had been in this relationship that went on for years now, and she thought she knew everything about him. She would have never predicted the abuse of that night or any of the others. The beatings escalated after that night, and they always came when he was drinking. He was getting more sinister and more violent, and Davina’s bruises got bigger and more serious. The mistreatment got so profound that he had to start taking her to the emergency room to get treated and give bogus excuses about how she was injured.
The excuses worked for her until meeting the nurse named Aurora Mitchell. She saw through the nonsense that Davina told for reasonings to her injuries. Davina reflected for a minute while in the waiting room of the emergency department to be seen. She had been choked out by Cole with a garter belt…her garter belt…from their wedding. Her neck was covered in welts, and it was so black and blue that it looked like she had tried to hang herself from the highest tree. The injuries were too many and too often, and Aurora knew how to be discreet and find out the information that she needed to treat Davina’s wound accordingly.
The people were moving around the room in a flurry as names were being called to be examined in the back of the waiting room…behind those big electric doors. There was a kind of cohesion in the madness of the people though. “Davina Deville!” The nurse called out her name to be seen by the doctor.
Davina stood up, and she went through the door of the emergency room. She was limping and holding a scarf tight around her neck to hide the bruising from being choked. The nurse had empathetic eyes. The dark-haired nurse tried to get a wheelchair for Davina, but she wanted to walk of her own free will.
The nurse, Aurora, motioned her hand to the left, parking the chair, and directed Davina, “Right this way, Mrs. Deville. We will be going to Exam Room 5.”
Davina put her head down as she walked by the nurse’s station in the center of the room to her assessment space. “Thank you, Miss. I had a terrible fall while I was handling laundry today.”
Aurora knew it was more than that, and asked, “Do you need help? Like legal help?” She sat down beside Davina in the chair. “This is the 5th time I have seen you in a month.”
“I’m very clumsy since my pregnancy…I’m not in any trouble. I swear.” Davina tripped over her words and spoke to the nurse very fast. “We need to do X-Rays, right?”
“Yes, but I want to talk to you for a little while if that’s okay? You’re safe here…in this room with me. Can you tell me what really happened so I can treat you properly?” Nurse Aurora saw tears form in the corner of Davina’s eyes. “It’s okay. I’ve got you. I promise what you say will never leave this room without your permission.”
“It will put you in danger if I tell you what happened. Can we just go to get the X-rays?” Davina pleaded with the nice nurse to let it go, but she knew she had already said too much.
She begins looking Davina over, and she continues talking, “Do you have anyone that you want to call to sit with you while you get treatment? That neck of yours is in bad shape, and I think “the fall” has caused a splintered fracture in your shin bone. Plus, your ribs have contusions. We are going to have to admit you.”
“No, he will see anyone that comes in, and I will get in more trouble. You can stay with me though. I trust you.” Davina reached out for Aurora to hold her hand. Aurora gladly holds her hand to calm her. She could have used a big hug, but she was too sore.
After the first time, his violence got out of hand and more often. She was cheating death each time he got done beating her. He had broken her arm, ribs, and wrist, along with giving her a handful of concussions throughout the past year, and Aurora had seen every single one of those injuries. She had a thick medical record of “falls”, and the kind nurse that always treated Davina had a hard time not reporting them.
Davina lived by putting on a brave face and pretending it never happened most times. She was the prototype of an abused woman…something she never thought she would ever think would happen to her. The abuse elevated like a plane taking flight into the sky. It escalated and escalated, and her medical visits got closer and closer together. Each attack was more brutal than the one before it. After every incident, the thought of getting away and fleeing the plethora of harm that she was enduring did cross her mind, but she couldn’t leave. Instead, she began wearing oversized shades and long-sleeved shirts and blouses to hide the bumps and bruises. Cole would cut off her casts and take the walking canes that were to help her recover from his assaults. He did everything in his power to keep his little secret that he was a vicious piece of shit. It was like wearing a mask every time she left the house.
“Davina, do take off those dreadful sunglasses and join us at the table,” Megan exclaimed, “Why must you always wear those in the house? We are not in Hollywood for Pete’s sake.”
“I’m sorry. The eye doctor dilated my pupils, and the light hurts. Would it be okay to just keep them on? My eyes are very sensitive right now.” She looked over to Cole as she lied to her mother-in-law, and he smiled at how good she lied. He lounged back cockily in his seat. It made her sick to her stomach.
“Oh, that must be horrible for you, Davina dear. Whatever makes you feel comfortable then… I suppose.” Megan was sarcastic, of course. She busy-bodied away from the couple into the kitchen as she finished patronizing Davina. “Cole, come help me in the kitchen. You can grab the sweet potato pie. Plus, I need you to grab the fine dinnerware. Chop! Chop!” She clapped her hands together to make him move faster.
He got up from his chair, smirking back at Davina as he exited the room. He enjoyed her torture like it was some kind of Hedonistic feeling to see her writhe with discomfort around him and his family. Chills ran down her spines so hard that it felt like frost on her back, and she was happy to see him depart her view. She had completely withdrawn from the relationship after the countless times that he had hit her in the past year. Part of her life consisted of hiding the abuse from the ones that loved her the most, and the other part of her life was being a mom to Sebastian. The latter being the most important.
Her seclusion became a mask to protect the ones that she loved. The problem with a mask is that sometimes you forget how to take it off. Anyone who loved Davina had become a target and their lives were in danger if they intervened in Cole’s business within his relationship. He warned her constantly that the ones she loved could easily disappear. So, to save them from her monstrosity of a partner, Davina had become accustomed to hiding herself from others, and no one really knew that there was a problem in the relationship because of her seclusion. Everyone thought it was a choice by her to stay away and be antisocial. They did not realize that it was because her marriage and life was a huge malfunction altogether, but her friends should have known…
“Davina, are you mad at me or something?” Brooke had asked her over a telephone call a few weeks after the attacks started.
“No, why would I be?” Davina answered, but she was defensive. “You’ve done nothing to me…”
“Well, I never see you anymore, and Finn and I were wanting to know if you and Cole and little man would want to come over for dinner this weekend. Finn is off for Thanksgiving break at school, and we thought it would be nice to gather over at Georgia’s house for a nice dinner like we all used to.” Brooke plead her case, but Davina was still very standoffish.
“No, Cole has me helping Megan with a few things. I will have to talk to him, but I am pretty sure we are going to be working. He mentioned his mother having a large gathering, and I was expected to be there.” Davina was glad that this time she would not have to hide bruises and cuts and bumps. She had been on her best behavior.
“The invitation stands indefinitely. I would love to see you. Maybe you could slip away while you guys are over across the street. Finn is really having a hard time since losing Georgia.”
She took the hummingbird of the necklace she was forced to wear in her fingertips, running her fingers along the stones, “Maybe another time, okay?” Davina hung up the phone on her best friend. All the lying and deception were beginning to drain Davina’s spirit.
It had been two years since Cole started beating the life out of Davina, and the only person who had an inkling of an idea was the ER nurse who treated her each time she came in. Her own mother, Fiona, did not know anything about the abuse, but she would soon.
© E.M. Kingston – All Rights Reserved
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, E.M.’s Random Word Prompt, MLMM’s Wordle, and Three Things Challenge. This story started from a flash fiction prompt from Fandango.