Behind the Scenes — " Assault"



He was smart, he had experience. She knew that nothing she did or threatened him with would change his temper.

At first, being abused by the man who vowed to love her until death parted them seemed to be her lot. Something she deserved because ultimately she spurred on this rage, this monster that he became the moment she revealed her secret to him.

She knew when they shared their first kiss that the truth would one day be inevitably released, but she always believed that she had control over when, where and how it would emerge to his knowledge.


She was wrong. Horribly wrong.


The first time he lost it she figured she deserved it. It was the afternoon that he finally learnt who she was and allowed the truth to seep into his veins.

His outburst was seemingly natural. His rage understandable.


When she thought was that he would do one of two things. Either come to terms with it, move past and remain at her side as a loyal and loving husband as he had been. Or he would never accept it and they would part ways.


Never in her wildest fears did she imagine he would become what he did. Never did she think his family would impose on them both this tormenting form of restriction.
At first however, she did find that their reasoning made sense for both of them and that in time there was hope to somehow move past it.


It was only a few weeks after their little family sit down that she learnt his own dark secrets, that he had always been a monster and had previously injured and hospitalised woman who dared stand up to him or dare be anything but jewellery on his arm.
The shouting never stopped and his choice of words grew darker, it was clear he could not accept the truth nor the accept the reality of the situation his family imposed. He was a steam pot ready to blow its lid and she had to tread very carefully.

He was smart, he had experience. She knew that nothing she did or threatened him with would change his temper.


It didn’t take long for her to be back on the floor with him kicking at her and hitting at her. Days would go past without any incident, in fact they seemingly avoided each other at all costs whenever they could.
He would come home whenever he wanted to and expected only food to be ready. No more idle conversation nor sharing a bed.
They lived apart and the hardest part was explaining it to their small son.

Naturally he wanted to know why daddy was always angry, thinking that he had done something to cause daddy to never speak to him or spend any time with him.
It was hard, but it was easier than attempting to fix anything with her husband because not one word could be exchanged without a blowout.


He would find things to be mad about, reasons to want to scream at her and attack her with his fists and words. Eventually she became numb, it was routine.
They’d never see each other, then they would. He would ask something about the house or the car, the garden or anything insignificant like what she was wearing or the new coffee coasters in the sitting room. They would fight, she would try not to retaliate at first but the words from his tongue were always harder than the power of his fists and eventually they would begin a screaming match. She would threaten him by reminding him of his family restrictions and he would leave her with bruises.


Unlike the common abusive spouse who will buy flowers or gifts to manipulate their partners, he never did. He had no reason to manipulate her and he knew that. Their marriage became a business agreement, or more so a gym contract.

Two years later she found solace in the one thing she knew would bring about the end to both the agreement and her life. She knew it was possibly the biggest risk of her existence, more than the risk she took wedding him with her past hovering over like a black storm cloud.
But she felt happy, again. It was good to be noticed, to be loved and touched by hands that would never hurt her.

It was the only way to feel whole again, completely and utterly at peace in the company of someone she trusted with all her being and who she knew shared the same agony of the past.


Although their son found out, he never did tell his father. He too began to live in fear of his wrath and temper.
He never endured beatings, but he bore the brunt of his tongue’s cruelty. Shoving was normal, even having his father’s first pressed to his cheek became something he grew accustomed to.
In fact she could see him changing from an innocent child into a timid and confused young man, always eager to please and bend to the whims of anyone willing to let him fit in because he didn’t have any place at home.


She ended the affair, quickly. Things were growing harder to conceal and she felt her soul slipping to the man with a gentle touch.
Everything she wanted was in him, but she had to proceed with the arrangement in order to ensure any type of future for her son.


In the past fourteen months she had found means to coexist with her brut of a husband, and at times found herself pitying him because she understood that he too had demons of his past and that her secret had ultimately uncaged the beast he had worked so very hard to keep away.


Standing at the window watching her son and husband arguing in the driveway made her realize that she had surrendered herself to the whim of his family, that she had sold her dignity and soul for a price.

Was enduring his constant tormenting abuse worth it? Did it do any justice to the young boy who grew up to be everything she never wanted him to be?

Their cars head off down the street, the morning sun on the skyline glimmering on a beautiful day and she thought about all of these things that remained locked inside her chest.
Burdens eating away at her, dreams lost and corrupted, a life never to be because of her decisions and her greed.


Her wrist was blue from the grip of his hand the night before, sore and tender. Her finger ran along the vein in her wrist and suddenly everything around her fell silent. She could almost hear her heart beat as her finger caressed her wrist.

Would it save her from her heartache of losing the only person who could bring her peace and happiness? Was it too late for this now after every year she endured? Would her son ever know why and what would that do to him?


The sound of a door closing tore her from the silence of her mind and she looked up again, out the window. It was him, here, now. Why?






Soul Break — Behind the scenes “Assault” Copyright 2016 Lynel Coetzer

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