Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Friday Night

"Want to watch David Letterman's monologue before we go to bed?" my husband asked.

"Sure," I replied.

Then the phone rang. Folks you only get two kinds of news that late at night..close to midnight. There's trouble or someone has given birth and no one I knew was in labor at that time. I answered the phone when the caller i.d. showed my Life Friend (remember her from previous blog entry?) I get this....

"Call the law." (sobbing) "He's gone crazy" (Hearing loud hollering in background...crashing...profanity.)

"What???" is all I can think to say.

Phone hangs up.

I call back frantically. I just know he's done something so badly she can't get the phone. She answers with a whisper. I hear her child crying and it's so close that I know the child is being held in her lap. "What is going on???" I say..and loudly.

"He lost it. I don't know. He pushed me. Child saw it all. He's going to do something bad." I hear him in the background asking if she's on the phone and what could happen if she is. I tell her to NOT hang up and put the phone beside her so I can hear what's going on. I put my phone on speaker phone so Fred can hear what I'm hearing. All of a sudden I hear her cry "Please don't, X!! Please don't!! Child is right here! Please don't!!!" Phone hangs up.

Folks, I froze. It was like a bad accident. You know you should be doing something but you can't wrap your mind around what you've seen or heard. I unfreeze long enough to call a mutual friend. Her hubby answers the phone. I tell him that X is beating the crap out of Friend and someone needs to get over there NOW!!! Hubby tells Mutual Friend and she calls back. Her hubby won't go over there. I don't blame him. Fred won't let me go and I know X is beyond drunk and I would fear for my own self if I was stupid enough to go in. In the meantime I have called back and she is on my phone (speakerphone on) so that M.F. (mutual friend) can hear through the cell phone what is going on. She borrows another cell phone and calls 9-1-1. Why didn't I call??? I DON'T KNOW. All I could think was that that baby needed to get out of there and I couldn't go help. Those five minutes were some of the most confusing of my life! Friend tells me that she called 9-1-1 also and didn't say anything. She is whispering to me because the phone is beside her and X doesn't know she's on the phone. 9-1-1 calls her back and I tell her stay on the phone with one of us. I was a shaking mess. Finally after 50 years...more like 20 minutes...she comes on the line to let me know the law was there and he was handcuffed and put in the patrol car.

"Do you need me?" I ask.

"No, I'm fine"..she starts sobbing. I am on the cell phone with Mutual Friend. At the same time we both said...."I'll meet you there."

I hang up the phone and start to dress. Never looked at Fred or said anything. My pure focus was on getting to my that baby. I come back to him sitting on the couch and start apologizing. Our time is so limited and here I am running off at 1 a.m. to the aid of someone else. He simply looks at me and says..."She needs you. You have to go. Just take your cell. " I loved him so much at that moment.

The whole way over there I mutter and fuss to myself. It's only a few miles but it felt like I was driving across country. I assumed that they had taken X and was gone. I pull in the yard and there are two patrol cars...with X locked up in the back of one. I don't even look his way. I can't. I am shaking. I go in the house and the officer is taking the report. I don't say a word but go straight to the baby who is clinging to mom's shirt. It was like the child had taken a bath in fear. I take Child gently away so Mommy can talk to the nice officer. Child starts sobbing. I croon and hold and say nonsense things. Child tells me they need to be with Mommy. They have to take care of Mommy. I told Child that they had done a wonderful job and that Aunty Hope was going to take care of Mommy for a while. Child consented to sit on couch with blankie and puppy and rest. I go back to Friend to hear her tell of what happened. Officer is nice and very compassionate. Apparently X thought of fighting officers when they came in. Mistake. BIG mistake. He changed his mind quick-like and went peaceably.

I start looking around. Oh my. The recliner is overturned. The dressers in the bedroom have been ripped out and clothes are strung everywhere. Then glory be! There's a huge hole the size of an elephant's fist in the wall beside my head. Mutual Friend turns up and the officer wraps things up. Says he's going to get his camera to take pictures of house. Dude came back in with some cheesy butt instant polaroid camera. I raise an eyebrow. When he finally leaves and Friend has much deserved breakdown, I ask for her digi cam. When in hand, I start taking my own set of pictures. It's good to have backup in this world. Besides, digital showed the broken bedroom door better...the color in the clothes strung everywhere...the hugeness of the hole in the wall.

I made it home around 3:30 a.m. Exhausted. Mentally. The house was straightened...Child put to bed. Friend hanging in there.

Now I have to say this. On the way over there I was thinking....Be a little bit more redneck, would ya, bud? Oh, I was pissed. Then after I left and was driving home I realized something. This happens every day of the week. Women are abused...children are witnesses. And doesn't just happen to the regular folk. It's every where!!! There are lawyers, doctors, professors, brokers, CEOs that come home...drink too much...and just freaking flip out. I exclaimed while over at Friend's that I was too old for this crap. Then I realize...there are women who deal with this until they die in their 70's,80's ..or until hubby dies first. I can't fathom it. I really can't. I had a bad relationship one time...way back in my misguided youth that ended with a call for domestic violence. Never again.

I am still upset because she wants to drop the charges. When she went for the bail hearing...the judge said no contact whatsoever until court date. She can't go that long without contact. There are bills to pay. Why don't the courts think of this??? You tell the couple no contact and then how is she supposed to pay the bills???? I don't think she would lose the house or car in 5 weeks, but we all realize how far behind a person can get if they miss one payment. I am just seething about the system and how it "protects" the victim....just doesn't care if they lose everything they own in the process.

1 comment:

Jacinda said...

Oh, Hope! I'm glad you were able to be there for your friend!