She caught him staring at her sister in law. Ogling her through the curtains of their third floor apartment window, he thought himself a god, and how did she, a mere woman, dare to confront him.
She would be punished for her blunder.
He pulled at her hair and she cried out. He struck her so many times all sensation left her face and she no longer felt the blows. She feebly pushed him away. He grabbed a wire hanger and hit her over and over until the lines of blood seeped through her jeans. The hook of the hanger caught on her clothes and tore holes in them.
He was sitting with their son bundled on the floor in front of him. She told him she was leaving and moved to pick up her still sleeping baby. He forbade it. He promised she would never see either of them again if she left.
Her heart torn, her body bruised and bleeding, she walked out of the front door. She walked down the first flight of stairs.
Her son cried out in sudden agony.
She sat on the landing and wept silently; her heart not allowing her limbs to take her any further from her child but her brain knowing he caused her baby to cry out.
He would exploit this maternal love for the rest of her life. He would ravage the most natural of relationships. He would soil the purest of loves.