Bruised and bloodied, I had awoken from a deep slumber, I had never wished to take. The dried blood that lies under my swollen lip crumbles under my fingers as I swipe my hand across my face to confirm the damage. The damage I already knew was there. A cut above my eyebrow stings at the presence of my finger when it enters its domain. A butterfly bandage should hold that until it heals. As I sit up and place both of my feet down on the floor, I grasp my shirt which has managed to dangle precariously off the bedside lamp. Slowly bringing it over my body, I wince from the pain that has taken my breath away.
Counting and feeling my ribs through the shirt. If you can even call it that. It now resembles a rag for cleaning, stretched and torn, beyond recognition. I make sure none of my ribs have suffered from any fractures. A process I have seen doctors complete more times than I would like to admit. I know with all sincerity now that yes, they are bruised an in an unpleasant state, but I am lucky none are broken. While I may be in pain, last night will not result in a visit to the emergency room. There will be no need to concoct a story that will permit me from returning to my home and complete my duties as his wife. Cooking, cleaning and catering.
I rise to my feet with as much tenderness as I can. Knowing my body wants to collide with the mess of a mattress in which I was just strewn across. I have to see the damage. The damage that became me. The wrath that was released upon me from the moment his piercing eyes turned into a rolling storm. I should have been prepared. I knew he was going out. I knew he wanted his good luck shirt cleaned and ironed. He had a big bet on the game and he was about to go watch it with a few of his buddies from work. I knew I needed to have it done by the time he stepped out of the shower. I failed. The mistake was mine.