admissions and explanations

he spent thirty days in jail.

he called her first when he got home.

caller id showed his name on her phone when it rang.

curled up in a ball crying, she let it go to voice mail.

she trembled as she listened to his message. then she was relieved.

he sounded normal. he begged her not to call the police. he just wanted to see her.

she called him back.

they arranged to meet. there was still love. there was still commitment.

they met the next evening at a park.

he rode up to her car on his bicycle.

her heart leaped when she saw him. he looked alive again. he looked good.

they cried as they embraced.

some tears were for sorrow, some for regret, some for loneliness.

after the embrace, she studied him.

his head was shaved. he was thinner.

she touched his left cheek with her right hand.

then it began to pour out of him. he was sorry for what he put her through.

in his darkest moments, he’d had little to no strength to resist the demons.

they told him he would not sleep without the little pink pills.

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

each night, they fed him the same lie. the stronghold grew stronger.

each night, he went out to get the little pink pills.

sometimes he bought them. sometimes he stole them.

he got caught at one place. they banned him entry for a year.

he swallowed the little pink pills every night.

every night, he took more of them. twenty, thirty, fifty, eighty. he lost count.

he knew they were trying to kill him. they almost succeeded.

those little pink pills were never meant for sleep. they were only for allergies.

he had swallowed almost enough to die in the bed next to her.

one more night, and it might have been the end. he knew that. he said it.

he knew papa god saved his life by sending him to jail.

mercy saved his beloved son and daughter.

they wept together as he told the stories.

little pink pills laced with witchcraft have killed many.

they would not kill him.

he found little pink pills for months. they were hidden in secret places.

they were in the kitchen. they were in the bathroom. they were in the closets, they were in compartments in the car.

he destroyed them as he found them.

and he never took them again.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

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anger in the kitchen

anger was always hard for her.

anger. be angry. sin not. right.

as a child she was never allowed to be angry, to express feelings of empowerment.

she learned to stuff it. when she tried to express it, she was slapped. better to stuff it.

this was the same in some ways.

he did not care about breaking the restraining order.

he cared that she had not sent him to prison for two years.

he would not hear her side of stories they shared in the darkness.

she had no voice with him.

he said he was sorry. sorrow was absent.

he cared that he had been caught.

he was never really sorry.

he told stories about his jail time.

it was like a movie to him. glamorous. exciting. dangerous. stupid.

he took her into the city to the jail. he showed her his cell window.

he thought he saw her at the courthouse across the street one day.

he had. she testified and obtained a restraining order.

he said the other inmates talked about how they wanted to beat or kill the b*%*#*s that put them in jail.

he said he didn’t do that.

he said he talked about how sweet and kind she was.

she said nothing. she did not believe him.

he thought he was okay as long as he was a little bit better than the other guys.

he was never sorry for any of it.

his heart grew hard. he padlocked it shut.

he began to place blame elsewhere. his father. everything his father did was to blame now.

when that did not work, he placed blame elsewhere.

he blamed her.

her anger. it was still there, waiting to be released.

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

it was coming out, sometimes like a tea pot or a pressure cooker, a little steam at a time.

she was still patient, kind, longsuffering, forgiving.

but when the longsuffering ended, it ended.

then the steam came out a little more forcefully.

it enforced boundaries.

anger.

anger is good. productive. righteous.

be angry. sin not.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

mercy

picking up every shattered piece seemed impossible.

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

where to begin. so many questions. uncertainty. fear.

god. he knew what was needed.

he had the plan before she knew she needed one.

worship was needed. worship was first. worship would carry her through this storm.

god sent a gift. a friend with concert tickets. worship concert tickets.

that friend showed up on time. they went. they worshipped.

god was still good, still on the throne. he still loved her. he still loved him

then came the grand jury. then came reduced charges. 30 days. restraining order.

then came feelings. anger. betrayal. loneliness. irritation.

why was the sentence so short?

why did she have to be the one to move?

and god help her. she missed him, that man who was really in there.

god. he showed her. mercy triumphs over judgment.

her heart shifted. the question came. what would she want for herself?

mercy.

he called her after 30 days in jail.

he broke the restraining order.

she went lower in humility. ‘father?’ she asked.

‘mercy,’ god said.

she did not turn him in.

mercy.

Definitions of mercy:

a: compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment <begged for mercy>

Source: Meriam-Webster Online Dictionary

b: compassion for the miserable. Its object is misery. By the atoning sacrifice of Christ a way is open for the exercise of mercy towards the sons of men, in harmony with the demands of truth and righteousness ( Genesis 19:19 ; Exodus 20:6 ; Exodus 34:6 Exodus 34:7 ; Psalms 85:10 ; Psalms 86:15 Psalms 86:16 ). In Christ mercy and truth meet together. Mercy is also a Christian grace ( Matthew 5:7 ; 18:33-35 ).

Source: Easton’s Bible Dictionary

(copyright 2016 jane doe)

 

the aftermath

she sat in starbucks resting after giving her statement to the police.

out the window, she saw several officers drive away.

he was handcuffed in the back of their car.

it was over. he was gone.

relief washed over. she inhaled deep breaths.

my god, how had they arrived in this place?

ugh. the bank next door was on lock down. could it get worse?

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photo credit: pixabay

she finished with the police. charges would be filed. serious charges.

she worked the rest of that day. it was a good distraction.

in her office, out loud, she tearfully proclaimed god would restore, somehow, some way.

he had to. he must. there were promises.

at home, the apartment seemed smaller, darker.

she walked the dog, and ate some dinner.

those twenty minutes played over and over again in her mind.

the tears flowed, the sobs came.

she asked god what to do. he said, “forgive.”

there was a movie for that. she watched, curled up in a ball crying.

he was safe now. no more nightly trips. the bars would protect him.

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photo credit: pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

he would not die but live.

she would live, too.

(copyright 2016 jane doe)