The two women sit on the porch swinging, sipping lemonade and talking in
low tones. The type of low tones reserved for talking about illness or
“adult” matters in front of children. You know the tones, that are just a
step above spelling the words out or not talking about the subject at all.
In the yard a little girl is playing with a kitten.
“He was a domestic terrorist.” One woman leans in and says to the other
in that secret tone. “The explosions he made destroyed his life and the
lives of all those around him. He was a bomb ready to go off at the
slightest thing. He always had that type of repressed and depressed anger in
him. I lived in terror, the terror he created, the terror that spread
through the whole family and beyond lives like a disease or a mushroom
cloud. Yes, like a mushroom cloud nuking all my hopes, dreams, and youth.”
are so lucky he's gone away. He was never any good for you. He's
that other woman’s problem now.” The other woman says in that
hush tone. “You can do so much better.”
know but it still hurts. It still feels like I've failed.” She
gasps out a tear that breaks through the tone. “I thought I could
have made him better, made him happy, made him stop yelling, made
him stop hitting, make him stop hurting us, make him stop hurting.”
little girl pets the kitten softly in the yard; whispering her
own secrets in its ear.
didn’t fail. He was never any good. There was nothing you could
do." Says the other woman as she puts her arm around her
friend. “And you got a beautiful daughter out of the deal.” She
says in a more positive manner, but still in the tone.
‘m blessed that way. But I worry about how she will turn out with
all that she's seen so far.” The woman says teary eyed in that
dark secret tone.
“The little girl looks up to see what the adults are doing. She stumbles
and falls, as she tries to get up off the ground. She stumbles and falls on
to the kitty. The cat meows and hisses. The cat meows, hisses and runs under
the house. The little girl follows.
have to be strong for her. You can raise her up right. The both
of you will be fine.” The other woman says in the tone, but reassuringly.
just worry about her being cursed. She has my ‘try to fix the
problem no matter what” gene and if she has his mood, his emotions,
his disease, his terror...” She cries softly and secretly.
little girl softly cries out “Here, kitty- kitty. I’m sorry, I
hurt you.” as the cat hisses out in the darkness, hisses out from
under the house.
will raise her right and she won’t be like him. She isn’t like
him.” The other woman says in the tone that says it all, but reveals
she has seen so much. It has been so .... you know, for all of
her life. That has to have some effect on her and how she grow
up.” She says in that tone says nothing, but tells it all. “She
will most likely end up with a domestic terrorist of her own.
I don’t want her to get hurt, like I was.”
little girl looks under the house and calls out to the hissing
kitty. “Come here kitty. I just want to pet you.“ The little girl
sticks her hand under the house and the kitten scratches her.
The little girl pulls back her arm and stares at the mark. The
drinks her lemonade and says in a tone dark, deep, reserved for
un-wished things. “What if she has his anger. What if...” She
rings her hands and looks at the little girl in the yard. “She
has seen so much. She is very emotional. She has his.... blood.”
The little girl with the bloody
mark on her hand calls out for the
kitten in dark, under the house. The kitten hisses, as the little girl
calls out; and as the kitten hisses, the little girl cries softly and