I’ve been living with this secret of mine for 28 years now. It’s a deep secret, my best friend doesn’t even know it. Actually, I’ve been hiding it from her, especially. I don’t know how I’m going to tell her, if I tell her. I don’t know if she’s going to forgive me.
In our early thirties, she was in an unhappy marriage. Her husband was a peasant, to say the least. He would get drunk and abuse her; physically and verbally. He would work and spend all his money in the clubs or at the bar. My best friend’s husband was a problem the she couldn’t get rid of. She was always on the phone crying about their problems. He would sometimes neglect her and the children for days at a time. He was so childish, he wasn’t man enough for her. a
One evening, my best friend called crying, again, as usual.
“What happened now?” I sighed, coming out of my deep sleep. She started telling me about how her husband has been drinking again. He came home 3 hours late from work, stumbling and screaming about dinner being put away before he ate. It was late, she was trying to avoid arguing and waking the children up. He continued cussing and screaming at her. She went on about him slapping her and calling her every horrible name in the book. She said she cried and begged him to stop. My patience ran thin when she told me that this time was worst. I flew into her city the same weekend to comfort my best friend. Her face was swollen and red still and I saw the black and blue bruises throughout her body. There were some on her arms, thighs, neck and shoulders. He was obviously trying to hurt her badly. All I thought about was her being dead or her children witnessing this massacre. This is unacceptable, I lose sleep at night sometimes. After I saw her, I called my cousin, who was good for objectives like these. He instructed me to get my best friend and nephews far away from the house as possible. I anonymously mailed her 3 tickets to Seseame Place for the day. My cousin and I watched him at a bar later that night get pissy drunk. My cousin bartended that night and gave him complimentary shots all night. It was a quarter to 2 am when my best friend’s husband finally decided to stumble out of the bar. My cousin was watching him for 2 days, so he picked up on his routine. The bar was a 10-minute walk from their home and that was his form of commute.
When my best friend’s husband was half way home, my cousin and I crept closely behind him. It was a dark, long road. There were no houses near and the town was sound asleep. We pulled our masks over our faces and tossed on our hoodies indicating the perfect moment. My cousin shouted “hey.”
Her husband turned around towards us. I got the most satisfaction when I saw the fear in his eyes. My cousin swung his bat connecting with his head like he was Derek Jeter. Then I swung mine. Twice; he wasn’t as soft as he looked. My cousin and I beat him until he stopped moving. Well my cousin did. I had a purpose, I wanted to hurt him even after death. I kept smashing his head with the bat until I saw his brains seeping. That was for my best friend.
We ran down the dusty road to an old car my cousin had parked nearby. When we got in, we took off the hoodies and threw the bats in the back seat. My cousin said he was going to dispose everything. He dropped me off home that night. I ran myself a hot bath and poured a glass of red wine. I prayed asking the higher power for understanding and forgiveness. Unusually, my bath went cold, fast. I wasn’t half way done with my wine. I took that as a sign that I had a long day and it was now time for bed. That was the best sleep that I’ve ever had. I slept like a baby without a care in the world, until I was awoken by her phone call. I smiled knowing that this was the last time that he could hurt her.

– Viv.


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