Melanie's blonde hair swung over her shoulders. Long sleeves on a warm summer day. She can leave anytime she wants. That's what they all say. She's a strong, independent woman. At least, she was before all this came her way. Two kids. Two boys. Two beautiful children from the man she hated. They're old enough to understand what's happening now. She pushed her hair all the way over her shoulders, hiding her purple bruises. She hated to admit it, but it wasn't just the swig of the bottle that set it off anymore. And to top it all of their weren't even any flowers anymore. He couldn't deny it. He knew what he was doing. Her hands had started trembling last week. She stared at her hands in disbelief, this couldn't be happening to her. Better yet, it couldn't have happened to her, again.
This is my fault.
We have to stay together don't we? How would it look if I left? He would lie, wouldn't he? Just like he's been all these years. He'll make it look like it was my fault. He'll take the kids.
This is my fault.
I'd have to send the boys away first, and then maybe I would get out, after them. I wouldn't tell him we were going. I would just leave.
She's said this before.
"Melanie?" He whispered, pushing back her hair. She snapped her focus back to the table in front of her.
"I'm just so excited you two are finally getting married." His mother said a smile across her face, ignorant to the monster she had helped to create.
The boys were staring down at their plates, waiting for their mama to finally stand up and say goodbye, not agree to marry that miserable man that they had to call their father.
This is my fault.
I should've protected her last night. She's my mother, and I didn't get up and tell him to stop even though we both could hear her screams pierce the night.
This is my fault
I'm older. I'm just about as tall as the man we're forced to look up to. He should pick on someone his own size.
Don't let him touch them.
Let me save her.
I love you mama.
I love you too.
Someday, it'll happen. I won't be here by your side, and promise me, when that day happens you'll run and hide. Please don't try to be brave, just be safe. Just know your mama loves you. Ok?
I won't let that happen.
It's out of your control
"Melanie? Honey? You seem distracted. Are you nervous?" His mother asked.
Melanie stared at the boys, and turned to glance at the man sitting next to her. She held it for a moment, her courage deflating, a smile crept ,once again, upon his face as her gaze crept down to her plate. She finally looked up at his mother, not able to meet her eyes, but yet she still found the power to force a small smile on her face, slowly raising and lowering her head as she whispered, "Yes, I'm fine."
Her oldest son shoved at the table in disbelief. Melanie could hear his snarl. That ugly man stood up, full height, ready to pick yet another fight. His mother reached across the table for his hand, but he had already pulled away. He stormed from the table following his son, she could already hear the threats forming on his tongue. "Be strong, my baby." She whispered in fear. Mama, his mother, glanced up at her, ignoring strong, independent Melanie's whisper.
Only a mother's love can be so blind. I stared after my son, my beautiful son. I need to protect him. I felt like slapping the ignorance off of his mother's face. He's been doing this for years. I turned to her, she was staring at the magazine that blank stare I had seen all too many times on myself.
I felt like slapping my hands on the table, screaming and swearing. How long has she known? Could she have saved me? Could she have saved them. I couldn't help glancing at my younger son, he was staring down at his hands, unwilling, incapable of looking up at us. He knew what we should hear next, but I don't think my boy will scream.
She was leaning on the table with her left hand she picked it up, ready to charge like any respectable Mama bear, but his mother grabbed her arm with the grip he had held her with too many times before. Melanie's hair fell over her shoulders as she stared into his mother's eyes for the first time all night, if not all year.
"You don't have to marry him." She whispered, "Don't make the same mistake I did." She let go of Melanie's arm, but Melanie held it out as if she was still holding it, keeping her close, saving her from him. Melanie tilted her head, a silent question that they both knew the answer to, "He got it from his father."
"I got what?" He came back a smile on his face, his gaze directly on Melanie, and her son nowhere in sight. She had hoped it would be the other way around.
You son of a bitch. You killed him didn't you?
Her eyes were full of suspicion, going up and down his body, looking for her son's blood on her fiancé's clothes.
"He went for a walk, Melanie." His voice flat. Her eyes darted to the window, her shoulders tense, the purple scars on her neck perfectly visible, he noticed too. He brushed her blonde hair back over her neck, her body stiffened more than even she thought was possible.
They sat down at the same time, a knock came on the door, and Melanie practically teleported to the door, and her heart dropped as she opened it, the police.
"Hi Ma'am, we received a complaint about noises coming from your residence."
He was behind her, hand around her waist, "We're fine here, thank you."
"That wasn't what I said." The officer put his hand on his holster, "Are you okay Ma'am?" He asked. Melanie's face was pallid and blank, before she could open her mouth, another officer magically appeared from behind him, then sirens were roaring onto her lawn. He grabbed her by the waist, "You called the police, bitch?" That had really grabbed the officer's attention, his gun was aimed at his head, "I'll use her as a shield." He said, "I have no problems getting rid of this piece of..." His voice, it stopped abruptly. It all happened so fast.
Glass shattering, his grip weakening, all in a matter of moments, and the worst part of it all was the feeling, something wet on the backside of my clothes, my hair, it was everywhere. He was everywhere. Suddenly, the officer had my arm. He was holding me up whispering something that resembled: "It's all okay, now."
"What the hell is happening?" I shouted across the room, into the empty air. His mother was being helped from under the table, my son was being escorted out, but I couldn't stop thinking that my son was gone. He should've come back by now, even if there was no blood on his clothes, and the next question was how had he changed his clothes so fast, unless he used a... no, he couldn't have used a... I would've heard it if he had used a... gun.
"Wait!" I shouted, although the officer was right beside me. I was disoriented, and simply, I thought I was living in a dream, "Have you seen my son?" I practically screeched
I could feel the confusion misting off of the officer, as he opened his mouth and pointed to the wrong son, and said, "He's right here. We saved him."
"No. Not him. The other one." Their faces were blank, "The noise!" I shouted, "What was it? Why did you all come out here? How didn't you know? You had a sniper and S.W.A.T and everything!" I stopped, turning around, searching my officer's face, "He's dead, isn't he! No!No! He can't be!" I screamed with a force from my lungs I had no idea was possible until I saw them rolling out the lumpy black bag from the back, as if they tried to do it where I wouldn't notice. inconspicuous! But it wasn't. He's my son. I'll always find him. He just wanted to save me.
I love him.
My legs buckled from under me.
He deserved to die.
My stupid lover had planted that little voice in my head that whispered those wretched things, and I could do nothing but glance up at my youngest son. My only son, waiting for something anything for this to be a giant joke. Haha joke's on mama! But it wasn't. My son, my baby, he stared through me, past me.
There is no more family. We are nothing. He won.
This is my fault.