David Alberto Muñoz
I never imagine she would do something like that. Well, I guess I probably would do it also under the same circumstances. She was an innocent young girl when she first met him. He was handsome, tall, and muscular, with that incredible sense of mystery that drives every girl crazy. She felt in love with him. I cannot understand why every guy at first is so gentle and caring, but as time goes by, he changes into this strange monster that sleeps next to you. Sometimes guys think we don’t feel anything. I don’t know what crosses their mind, but they don’t understand we are humans with emotions just like them. Well, forget about “just like them.” I mean, we are so different. It is like day and night, north and south, high and low, heaven and hell.
That day, she actually let him have it. The last time I saw them he was like always on top of her, whining, complaining, even striking her because she would not get his dinner ready; she would not clean the house, she wouldn’t take a shower and all the kids were dirty.
But did you know she had depression? A lot of people talk about it, and perhaps there are some that think it is only a pretense game, but I’m telling you some of us get really depressed especially after having a baby. Do you remember when Sissy had Michael? She would not get up from the bed not even to go to the bathroom. It was certainly depressing. Her husband became the lady of the house. He had to work and take care of the kids. But in the case of Alice, it was not fair what she went through.
He came that morning drunk, like usual. The kids were sleeping. He had been in court requesting full custody of the kids. Apparently, he got some kind of court order and was determined to move away with that slut he was sleeping with. Yes, that stupid girl who didn’t even know how to put a Kotex on herself nevertheless helped the girls with it!
Yes! I know maybe I am not being fair but do you have any idea what Alice went through? Do you? A lot of guys don’t believe in postpartum depression. You begin to feel sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, your hormones are changing, or maybe you are experiencing a stressful life event, like a death in the family, or your kids are sick; all of these can cause chemical changes in the brain that lead to depression. Depression is an illness that runs in some families. Did you know that?
Other times, it’s not clear what causes depression. I guess all of us have felt that way at one time or another but when postpartum gets you it is like you just gave up on life. You don’t care about anything not even your kids I’m afraid to say. You wish you were death…
That day Jimmy came into the house and began to yell at Alice. She just sat there with that face of indifference she had developed. Somehow she knew deep inside what she was going to do, but it hadn’t actually stricken her until Jimmy started hitting her. I don’t know why men believe they can hit a woman at random. It makes them feel like real men I guess…
I came into the house as soon as I heard the screams, the fighting, in no uncertain terms I demanded from Jimmy just to leave and stay away. The kids were crying. Little Jimmy grabbed his Teddy Bear beating it in the face with desperation while little Alice just screamed: “Mommy…Mommy…” I remember she picked up the phone and was telling someone: “My Daddy is hitting my Mommy.”
It was all crazy. How can we turn our world in a few seconds and become like animals, like real beasts attempting to survive in a pile of violent mud?
Alice raised her eyes with determination. I had never seen her like that. She grabbed a knife from the kitchen and with an unusual strength went through the body of Jimmy who didn’t have any time to react. You should have seen his expression. I am not certain if it was a surprise, irritation or pure anger.
When the police came, she told them he had tried to kill her with the same knife. She placed it in his hands, but the entire scene was so ridiculous that they just accepted her story even though it may not match the ballistics’ report. Although, I think ballistics has to do with a gun, right? Everybody in the neighborhood knew about Jimmy. Many nights we heard the screams coming from Alice, and we didn’t do anything. Why? I don’t know. It wasn’t our business. In America, we don’t get involved if it is not our business.
I never imagine she would do something like that. But you know what? I’m glad she did. A man cannot understand that…but we do…he will never hit her again…I’m glad she did it…
My name is Alice…and I’m glad I did it…he will never hit me again…
© David Alberto Muñoz
From the book, Insanities, Soundness, and Reality: A collection of short stories told perhaps by the same person. Editorial Garabatos, 2016.
David Alberto Muñoz
Se autodefine como un cuentero, a quién le gusta reflejar "la compleja experiencia humana". Viaja entre 3 culturas, la mexicana, la chicana y la gringa. Es profesor de filosofía y estudios religiosos en Chandler-Gilbert-Community College, institución de estudios superiores.