The Last Straw

When is enough enough !?

Very moving and poignant Story written by Charlotte Pearson

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2. Judgement

 

  A few weeks had passed since I had last ‘walked into a door’. Dinner was always ready on time, clothes always neatly ironed and I only ever really spoke when spoken to. I had become the not so perfect Stepford wife. I was staring out of the kitchen window while chopping onions for that night’s dinner; it was a beautiful day. The sun beamed in and lit up the room. I tilted my head back and just enjoyed that moment, the warm sun rays caressing my face. I felt my muscles relax and a smile slowly tease the corners of my mouth when suddenly I heard Joshua cry out.

“Sorry daddy,” he was pleading.

“What have I told you?” Michael raged.

This was followed immediately by a loud crashing sound. My heart skipped a beat as I raced to the living room. Joshua was huddled in the corner holding his face, terror and tears filled his eyes. Redness was rapidly spreading over the right side of his face. Michael stood in the middle of the room, his fist still clenched from where he had hit Josh.

“I’ve told him time and time again NOT to bring his toys into the living room!” he snarled.

“Joshua, come here honey,” I croaked, failing to hide the cry in my voice.

“You stay right there,” Michael warned without even looking at Josh. His evil glare was suddenly fixed on me.  Joshua did not dare move an inch. He was frozen with fear. All of a sudden I was overcome with emotion. Furious, yet terrified. All those years I had allowed the emotional and physical abuse, somehow believing it was my own fault, thinking that I had done something wrong. Josh had done nothing wrong and it was my job as his mother to protect him. This was the last straw.

“How dare you?” I squeaked. The words just seemed to escape my mouth.  Michael’s eyes narrowed; I slowly took a step back, drawing attention away from Josh.

“How dare I?” He said sarcastically.  My back came up against the wall in the hallway. He continued coming forward. As he approached I tried to reason with him.

“Michael I…” He cut me off punching me in the face without hesitation; my nose immediately poured with blood. “

HOW DARE I?” he bellowed, grabbing my neck.

I could not breathe; he squeezed tighter. I could hear Joshua crying hysterically. I started to struggle, put my hands against his chest and pushed him off. He stumbled back, his eyes looked bewildered. He looked down and my eyes followed his. The handle of my vegetable knife was sticking out of his chest. I had not put it down when I dashed from the kitchen. He looked up at me, fell back against the wall and then slid slowly to the floor, his eyes on me the whole time, sadness and regret filling them for a moment, and then suddenly they were blank and empty. He was gone. I had killed him.

“Thank you Mrs Johnson, no further questions,” said Mr Ross my barrister.

“I would like to recess for lunch; we will reconvene back here in an hour,” said the Judge.

As the bailiff led me down to the cells, I held my head high and glanced at the jury. What I saw there was comforting. Some were angry and looked at me with compassion; one was openly crying and dapping at her eyes; another smiled at me with open encouragement. I had finally escaped one prison and hopefully - with the understanding and compassion of these twelve people – I would not be facing another.  

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